Merry Christmas to Me

by Tabitha Kidwell

The best skill that I gained from 2 years in the Peace Corps was the ability to enjoy time alone and to entertain myself. You don’t know, because you aren’t there, but I am really fun alone. Yesterday was a prime example. A few weeks ago, the most wonderful package ever came from my friend Tess Venhoff – a tiny Christmas tree, miniature ornaments, and wrapped presents!

It’s a good thing I took this photo right away, because after one day, the different electrical voltage made those beautiful lights short out. Oops.

I knew I wasn’t going to wait until Christmas to open the presents, since I am spending Christmas in Australia with my friend Laura B. Vary, so I tried to think of a special time to open them. No special moment presented itself, so I decided to make a special day on Sunday the 18th, when I didn’t have to work or have any plans. The plans for the day, however, got a little out of hand and ended up going way beyond just the presents.

First, in the culmination of the re-tox binge I’ve been on since my cleanse ended last week, I got together all the different types of cookies I had wanted to try and had what can only be described as a cookie smorgasbord:

Santa would be proud. This was almost as good as all the pictures of Christmas cookies all my friends are posting on facebook. But it gets better… I also made 4 kinds of pancakes: plain, banana, berry, and mango, and ate them with real maple syrup I brought from America in August!

Now that I was full of Christmas cheer (AKA full of syrup and cookies, two of Buddy the Elf’s food groups), it was time to open Tess’ presents: a beautiful scarf, holiday hand sanitizer, pasta sauce packets, facial cleansing wipes, and powdered drink mix. Did someone perhaps visit the wish list page on here? All things I wanted and needed!

Next, it was time for Christmas-inspired fun.  One of the 111 goals on my Uberlist for 2011 (more on that soon) was to build a snowman.   Well I was too lazy during the real snowstorms last January and I thought for sure there would be another big one… and then there wasn’t.  So I had basically written off this goal… until I noticed what was going on in my freezer the past few weeks:

So I scraped off all that fake snow, carved a carrot nose, and cut raisins into fourths for his tiny eyes and buttons. I even made a tiny hat out of duct tape. Here he is, my Snow Bapak:

At this point, I was exhausted from my personal Christmas extravaganza (and it was only 11 AM!) so I settled down for a long winters nap. When I woke up, I was hungry again, despite the cookies and pancakes, so I went to somewhere I have also been saving for a special occasion:

KFC! The only chain restaurant in town and I hadn’t even tried it in Indonesia yet. Despite not having mashed potatoes, it was awesome. I got one piece original recipe, one order rice, one cream soup, and a mocha float. I was a little dubious of the cream soup, but, poured over the rice, it tasted exactly like the “turkey, gravy, and rice” that was my favorite cafeteria food growing up! Amazing! I was worried I would feel gross after eating fast food, but KFC actually left me feeling healthy and satisfied like I had just had a vegan meal. Maybe in comparison with the morning’s cookie pig-out? In any case, I will be back to KFC again soon!

Then I came home, played Amy Grant’s Tennessee Christmas, the album my mom played growing up, and wrapped all the Christmas gifts I’m taking to Australia. It’s hard to believe I actually have a real Christmas ahead of me. I had so much fun on my fake one! I hope there is KFC at the real one, too.

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3 Comments to “Merry Christmas to Me”

  1. Very nice. I love Bapak! Merry Christmas, Tabitha!

  2. I love your snowman, Tabbie! I hope my package comes sometime soon… I asked how long it’d take to get there at the post office and the woman helping me was such a Scrooge that she just huffed at me and said I’d screwed up the customs form. Gotta love USPS. Anyway, I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and have a great trip to Australia!

  3. You are completely and utterly awesome!

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