Merry & Bright

It was Xmas — Xmas with its mantle of white snow, scintillating from a thousand diamond points, Xmas with its good cheer, its peace on earth — Xmas with its feasting and merriment, Xmas with its — well, anyway, it was Xmas.

“Caroline’s Christmas, or, The Inexplicable Infant”, Nonsense Novels, Stephen Leacock

It was Xmas — sorry, Christmas — and we modestly feasted, went to church-on-the-couch, zoomed with the relations we’re not allowed to visit, and generally worked ourselves into various over-sugared, over-stimulated, over-tired tizzies. There were stockings and presents. There was pie. Some mistakes were made (in case you’ve ever idly wondered whether silly putty is easy to get out of a lite-brite: it’s not). All in all, it’s been a reasonably satisfying Christmas all round. We even woke up to fresh snow yesterday morning — although it has been too overcast to do much in the way of scintillating.

True to form, after having nearly all of 2020 in which to complete Tertia’s Christmas stocking, I finished it on December 23rd (this may be a personal best). I love having a family set of stockings, but I hate making them. There is nothing more boring than projects worked entirely in single crochet. Nothing. But I pushed through with the help of Downton Abbey and Holiday Baking Championship, and her stocking was hanging from the mantel with the others come Christmas morning. We’ll call it a win.

The other big news vis a vis Christmas actually has nothing to do with the holiday, except that it happened on it: I did some laundry. That’s not news in itself, goodness knows how much laundry it takes to keep this house running, but what was unique about this load was that it evidently also contained a sparkly red crayon. This crayon was washed. And then it was dried. I only found this when I pulled the load out of the dryer and found that all of the children’s clothes had glittery red wax spots on them. Merry Christmas to me!

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, here is how to deal with a crayon that’s gone through the dryer:

  1. Wash everything. Use your hottest water and longest cycle, plenty of detergent, add some OxyClean if you have it, as well as at least a cup of baking soda. This took the spots off 90% of the clothes. Hang things to dry if you haven’t cleaned your dryer yet.
  2. Second round: spot-treat the clothes that are still stained with OxyClean and run them through again, still with the hot water and baking soda. This took care of very nearly everything, and the one pair of pants that still has visible marks on it also has some paint stains from before, so I’m not too bothered.
  3. To clean the dryer: run it for a few minutes so that it gets hot and the crayon bits soften, then open the door and scrub the surfaces with dryer sheets. You will have to do this several times since it gets progressively less effective as the machine cools. Don’t forget the back wall of the dryer, the inside of the door, and all the other little crevices where wax can hide. Once you think you’ve got it all, run a load of damp rags through to make sure.

And that, dear readers, just about sums up our little Christmas en famille. May your days be merry, your jammies be seasonal, and your dryers remain wax-free. Here’s to 2021.

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