Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday stuff

Yesterday Spouse & I went to a tree trimming party at George & Steve's. We also went last year, when we met many folks who are now our friends. We talked, joked, and laughed as we helped them decorate their 12' fresh tree, which reaches up into the vaulted ceiling of their family room, and their 6' artificial tree in their living room, with ornaments old and new. Then we recuperated with food. It was a lot of fun.

Once we returned home, Spouse "rested" in front of the TV while I unpacked the last box of Christmas decor. It contained the mantle decorations and Spouse's holiday cookie jars. I replaced the photos and candles on the mantle with holiday garlands, frosted fruit and flowers, deep rich burgundy candles and a wreath. Next I carefully unwrapped the 4 holiday cookie jars that Spouse received from members of his former staff and arranged them on the kitchen counter.

One year for Christmas one of his staff gave him a cookie jar that looked like a gingerbread house. Since this gift appealed to the nostalgic child in him who wishes nobody had "theme" Christmas trees, he must have really expressed a great interest in the cookie jar. This gave the other staff members the notion that he loved or collected cookie jars, which he does not, and the following year he received 2 more holiday cookie jars: Santa sleeping on a crescent moon, and Frosty the Snowman, and the year after that another one: multiple gift wrapped boxes. Isn't it funny how things can snowball like that? Thank god he doesn't work there anymore or we'd be up to our eyebrows in holiday cookie jars!

Content with the placement of all the holiday decor it was time to put away all the boxes, bags, and containers from which I'd extracted everything. Fortunately Spouse was talked into helping me transport them up 2 flights of stairs to the attic. The house now has a warm, festive, holiday feeling.

This morning when we awoke Spouse asked me what we were doing today, alluding to my tendency to schedule the weekends full of activities. I shot him a knowing glance and smugly replied that we had absolutely on the calendar. After a few more minutes of luxuriating in the knowledge that we didn't have to get up or be anywhere at any particular time, I made a suggestion.

"Although there's one more weekend before Christmas, I'd rather not be trying to finish our Christmas shopping then, with all the other last-minute freaks. If you'd like, maybe we should go to Dover and try to finish our shopping today. That would leave us both days of next weekend to wrap everything and do our holiday baking."

Spouse agreed, so after a light breakfast of bagels and coffee we hit the road. Honestly, I doubted we'd actually finish our shopping today, but figured we'd get at least a few things, and would be more than 1/2 way done. But to my delight and amazement, we actually finished our shopping! This has got to be some kind of record for us. Perhaps it is a testament to the slightly slower pace of life here which results in our not feeling much stress. Stress often breads stress, so if you can find a way to reduce it a little, you'll actually reduce it a lot. This seems to be true for us at least.

After hauling our booty in from the car, Spouse took a nap and I got out my holiday cards and address list, put on some Christmas music, poured myself a glass of eggnog, and settled in for a few hours. As mentioned in a previous post, I enjoy writing out holiday cards. Rather than looking at it as a chore or doing it out of some sense of duty, I enjoy thinking of each friend and remembering something funny or important about my time with them as I write a little note inside or simply sign our names. Its a joyful tradition I look forward to every Christmas.

Tonight I got 65 cards written, addressed, sealed, stamped, and ready to go into the mail. That's slightly less than 1/2 of the list. But I'm off work tomorrow and Fri next week, plus there's the evenings when there's nothing on TV but reruns, so there will be plenty of time to finish them this week. As I indicated, for me its not a chore, its a pleasure.

Drag Queen name of the day: Kim Chee


Java said...

What a wonderful weekend, doing what you want with someone you want to be with. I know what you mean about stress. Unfortunately I'm still drowning in it.

Bugsy (aka Joe) said...

Congrats on completing your Christmas shopping! Isn't that a great feeling? Good luck with the baking!