We are well into the Christmas season—already!—and although I got off to a slow start, I am picking up momentum. Years ago, the kids decided that the decorations get put up on December 1st. Well… that doesn’t always work out, so it migrated to ‘the first weekend in December.’ Putting up the tree and all the decorations isn’t one of my favorite things, though I do enjoy looking at it. I must say, getting the job done with adult children gives it a whole ‘nother flavor, not to mention doing in a few hours what used to take all day (and we had less stuff Back Then!).
Shopping, another one of my Not Particularly Favorite Things, is now mostly accomplished via the internet. I can’t begin to describe how wonderful it is not to have to:
- go out in the freezing cold
- hike through ten miles of slush to journey from a parking space in outer Shaboogamoo to the store [though granted, this year is slushless thus far]
- fight the crowds that often don’t know what they’re looking for or, if they do, are downright aggressive
- smell the clouds of abominable perfumery (both for sale and as the result of careful marinating), which gives me some of THE most awesome headaches…
- try to get help from employees that have no idea of what or where things are (Seriously, me knowing more about computer cords than they do is not a good thing)
No, I now try to get most of the shopping done online, and then the nice fellows in the delivery vans get to brave the cold and bring each and every lovely package to my door. And since I shop in spurts, and delivery dates vary, I can wrap those lovely gifts shortly after they arrive rather than all at once. Even better, I can get items that I know my family and friends really want because of the awesome invention of public wish lists.
Next on the To Do list are the traditional cards. My husband and I made them by hand one year. Maybe two. In spite of our collective creative abilities and artistic talents, that didn’t become a regular thing. But then I learned how to use Photoshop… For a few years I did up some ‘e-cards,’ and last year I designed the physical ones and Hubby printed them through his workplace. I even made a computer wallpaper version to give out. And guess what? I designed them again this year! So fun. 🙂 (Keep reading to find a link to this year’s!)
Baking? When I was a little girl my family used to do amazing amounts of baking, bread-making, candy-making, you-name-it. It was fun, family-oriented time that we all got in on, and right before Christmas my mom used to put up this long table draped in a red tablecloth. In amongst the loads of goodies were pretty decorations. The Santa sleigh on its bed of fiberglass angel-hair ‘snow’ was elevated to elegant awesomeness by strict instructions not to ever, ever touch it. My mom used to keep a log of what was baked and how much. The most awe-inspiring year yielded 160 dozen cookies. Amazingly, no one in the family displayed those calories on their waistlines. When I first got married I made a modest attempt to keep up the tradition, but it required freezing the cookies (which Hubby disliked), and the two of us just didn’t eat that much, so we picked a dozen or so favorites, and—froze them! Dangit, the kids and I LIKE ’em, and we like spreading the sweet joy of the season out over a month or so. Even so, with half the kids moved out and the two that live here gone more often than they’re home, the baking has decreased even further. It’s probably better for our waistlines, which do show those dreadful calories. I like to give them away to friends and neighbors, though I’m not sure how well they appreciate the, er, gifts.
Another great thing about the season is the music. I love Christmas music! (But not before December!) I have put all my Christmas songs into a single folder on iTunes, and thus my iPod. I have
10.7 20.9 (I added our CDs!) hours of tunes to play. My husband says, “Wow, that’s like having our own FM 100, but without the commercials!” And check it out: only fifteen different renditions of “Silent Night.” Does everyone do that song? Good thing I like it…
And did I mention that we make our own gift tags, too? Also fun, yes, indeedy!
I am so very grateful for the talents with which we have been blessed! I am so grateful for the gospel in my life, and for the Christ that gives us this reason to celebrate.
I hope you all have a safe, warm holiday season…
To download the picture as
a wallpaper for your computer,