2006 has begun. I hope that all of you enjoyed the changing of the year.

I had a pleasant and relaxing New Year’s Eve. #1 son brought a friend to dinner and we had a brief round of a Christmas trivia game, but I have put away most of the holiday paraphernalia, and will try to persuade the family to help take down the tree. We usually keep it up till Epiphany, but #2 daughter is leaving on tour on the 4th, and I know she will want to join in, so we will sweep away the last bits of the festivities and return to normal life.

In any case, after cooking and cleaning up a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, I said I was through with all housekeeping and intended to relax the rest of the day. I brought out my knitting and my book and gave up all previous plans of going out and doing things, and settled into the most comfortable chair. Other family members came and went, and a variety of electronic things took place, but I was determinedly idle.

Later, #1 son brought home the girl whom he is not dating. He does not date,  but this is the particular girl whom he is not dating. Sort of like having a particular church which you do not attend. There was another girl in attendance as well, so it was clearly not a date.

The house was a mess (even though, as you know, I have done a whole lot of housework this weekend) and we had been watching the Discovery channel on last year’s tsunami, so I was a little bit teary. Nothing like coming into a messy house and finding your hostess drying her eyes after contemplating global disasters.

Also, Toby the Stupid Dog barked and growled at them. Just to make the experience complete. 

#1 son and his dad went out to look at the car, and I tried to move things around enough to allow the girls to sit down, and offered them cake.

You know how it is when people come over unexpectedly. There are always really odd things around. The normal untidiness at our house consists of books and craft supplies and shoes. Sometimes musical instruments and games.

All these things were out, it is true, but there were also dumbbells, a bottle of peroxide, a cereal box, and about a dozen mugs. Also many cookies. There I am, trying to be hospitable, and everywhere I look there is a mug and a half-eaten cookie. I don’t remember that many people even being here, let alone all of them drinking hot drinks and eating cookies. And forget the cereal and the peroxide. I don’t even have a theory about that.

At least it wasn’t girly magazines and beer cans.

The moral of the story is probably that you should always keep the house tidy, even if you have gotten sick of cleaning up after people. Because, let’s face it, the untidy people won’t be the ones who feel embarrassed when guests come into their untidiness.

Or the moral of the story might be that #1 son should call from the corner to warn me so that I could rush around and get rid of at least the evidence that the household has been sitting around all day eating cookies.

Or possibly that I should lighten up, because the chances are slim that those girls went right home and told their mothers that #1 son’s mom allowed a cereal box into the living room.

In the middle of the table here is the cake which I offered to those girls. Here is the recipe. Quite a good cake. And it uses up that eggnog, which always seems like such a nice idea and then doesn’t get drunk up.

Today is probably a good day to throw away any remaining Christmas cookies, or at least box them up and take them to your neighbors. Don’t call first. By dropping over and surprising them with dumbbells on the hearth and electric guitars in the chairs, you will be doing them a favor. They will be motivated either to keep their house tidier or to relax about it, both excellent New Year’s Resolutions.