The Countdown to Christmas…

20181220_082144I think Christmas, for me, started on Thursday with breakfast in bed from Colin. He knows I always have an english muffin with peanut butter and a mug of hot chocolate every morning so attempted just that. As he was walking into the room he said, “I’m sorry, I added too much margarine”. That might be the understatement of the year. Then he saw me looking at my hot chocolate and explained the beverage exploded in the microwave, which explained both the half empty cup and the bits of cocoa powder all over the mug. Breakfast was still good though and it’s not often I get it served in bed.

 

20181221_093339That day I bought myself a present of my own for Christmas. I’d seen it at Pier One and just had to have it. It’s the perfect reminder that I matter too and deserve to follow my dreams. It goes quite nicely with the wall art although if I’d known I was going to buy the metal word art I’d have put the sticker somewhere else.

I had my friends over yesterday for an afternoon of conversation, present opening, and Christmas Crack. Kait came over with the baby and we all got our chance to hold him. And, when he got a bit overwhelmed I managed to calm him down again with a lullaby and some rocking. I can’t share any pictures from the party because they all have the baby but I can share my present.

 

20181221_145910-1These slippers are just perfect for me. They’re mermaid sequins and are glittery silver when brushed the other way. Lara was quite interested but wandered away when she realized they a) weren’t doing anything and b) weren’t edible. They’re lined with fleece and are so comfortable.

After my guests left I went out with my Mom to finish up our grocery shopping. Now everything is full to the brim with food. Other than fruits and veggies I can’t see us needing to buy anything throughout January. Definitely a good way to start off the New Year!

20181222_154323Today was a quiet day. I talked to Kait for a while, which was nice and she shared some pictures of the baby via messenger. And I chatted with Colin while he worked on one of his computers. Then I wrapped the rest of the presents, with some help from the kittens, and called my girlfriend. That was a good conversation although it was pretty much my bedtime when we finished chatting. I wanted to write this blog too so I’ve swan dived over bedtime but I can sleep in tomorrow. The stocking stuffers are sorted out too for Christmas morning. I can’t believe it’s only two days away!

I’m looking so forward to Christmas! Colin and I are having a quiet Christmas Eve and then we’ve got Kait, her boyfriend, and the baby coming over for Christmas morning. And then we’re all going to my parents’ house for a big family dinner. I’m finding that the older I get, the more family means to me and I’m looking forward to seeing them all.

I hope you all have wonderful plans for the holiday, whether it’s with your birth family or chosen family. Merry Christmas!!!

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Making spirits bright…

20181212_180507-01My absolute favourite holiday is Christmas. I love the lights, the decorations, the time spent with family and friends, the music, the food, buying just the right present for someone, and wondering what’s been wrapped up for me. It is all glorious.

We are just under two weeks away from Christmas and this is the first year I’ve been behind. I usually have our tree set up in mid-November and the presents wrapped soon after that. Cards get mailed right at the end of November. But this year it’s changed. I just don’t have the oomph to do everything all at once. The tree got put up yesterday, the presents are unwrapped and I’ve only sent out half the cards. But I will get there and I’m sure the cards will be just as appreciated the week after Christmas as they would the week before. The important thing is things are getting done and it’s not draining me to exhaustion.

20181212_180552-01-1I am looking so forward to this Christmas, my grandson’s very first. He loves lights and I can’t wait to see his expression when he’s faced with the tree. And Kait loves cinnamon rolls, something I’m determined to bake for breakfast. I have a simple, vegan recipe and, if I give myself an hour, I should get them all done and ready for breakfast and stocking opening.

Every time Kait is asked for a present suggestion for her, she replies with a gift for the baby, which makes it really hard to shop for her. Luckily I’ve found something she should enjoy. The same with Colin who has so much stuff, it’s hard to figure out where he’d put any more.

20181211_161618One of my oldest friends got me a present for the tree this year, a little silver spoon with the words “Grandbaby’s First Christmas 2018”. It was totally unexpected and totally perfect. She gave Kait some absolutely adorable clothes too, all in larger sizes, which is good because the grandbaby is a big baby.

I am looking forward to a holiday filled with family, from Kait and her family in the morning, to everyone at my parents’ house in the evening. It gets crowded and a bit overwhelming but it’s still fun.

My wish for all of you is that you have an amazing holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate, and a fantastic new year!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Christmas is my most favourite time of the year. The decorations, the lights, the chocolate, the music, the family and friends, the baking, the presents, the cards, the chocolate. I have to include chocolate twice because it’s so yummy.

We’re still sorting out what we’re going to do on Christmas. Is Kait coming here on Christmas morning? Will we have dinner at my parents’ house or my sister’s? But I’m sure that will all get sorted over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve already decided to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. Bonus is that’s a big incentive for Kait to come over here. And both my Mom and I picked up a Gardein vegan turkey for dinner so I’m all set there. Colin’s stopped being vegan so he’ll be eating turkey with everyone else.

When I was a little girl, my Mom would ask me what I wanted for Christmas and I’d reply “a tree with sparkling lights”. That hasn’t changed. And now we have even more. I hope you enjoy my pictures and wish you could share yours as well.

tree and mantle

My electric fireplace mantle and our little tree, which is actually standing straight, no idea why it’s leaning in the photo.

sparkle ornament

My favourite ornament. It reads “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go”

dining room

Our dining room. I love this little penguin. Oh and you can tell which decorations on the hutch are mine and which are Colin’s.

Christmas village

This was Colin’s favourite decoration as a child. He’d spend hours walking the little figures around and making stories for them.

If you do want to send me a picture of your ornaments, feel free to message me on Facebook and I’ll add them to this post.

Christmas tree oh Christmas tree…

I thought putting up our tree was going to be easy. I don’t know why, it wasn’t like I’d had an easy time the last couple of years.

Two years ago we got our tree out of storage and it was missing a leg. I jury rugged one out of a plastic coat hanger then quickly covered it with the tree skirt. It wasn’t perfect but it held the tree up until after Christmas, which was good enough.

Then Colin and I went to Superstore during the Boxing Day sales and I picked up a new 6ft tree for $15. It was such a good deal that I called Kait and asked if she wanted one too. Luckily she refused.

I nearly cried last year when I put up that tree and looked at it for the first time. The spaces between the branches were nearly 10cm apart. I like some large spaces for dangling ornaments but not the whole tree. The spaces were so wide it resembled some sort of bizarre fern instead of a pine tree.

That’s when Colin came to the rescue. He’d kept the old tree and all three feet. He promptly stole a foot from the mutant fern tree and hammered it into the old tree’s base.

“There, you have all your feet,” he said triumphantly.

And I set up our original tree and Christmas was good.

It was after dinner on Friday when Colin and I went downstairs to get our four Rubbermaid bins on Christmas decorations and the box with the tree in it. Colin piles all four boxes onto his skateboard, the only time he uses it, and I grabbed the tree and carried it home.

The worst thing about our original tree is it’s one of those older style ones where you have to attach every single branch. I started digging out all the branches then found the tree feet at the bottom of the box… all two of them when the tree needed four. We triple checked and nothing. No more feet. At that point I declared it a night and went to bed. The next morning I went downstairs and found another foot near the back of the locker. But three feet weren’t going to cut it and I couldn’t find a coat hanger similar to the one I’d previously used.

We have a JYSK a block away from our place and a quick internet search turned up a 6ft tree for $23.99. I grabbed our wagon, which Colin’s decorated for Christmas, and headed over. The only one they had at that price was 5ft but it was good enough.

Colin came in while I was decorating and stared at it in shock.

“It’s tiny,” he blurted. Which it must seem from his 6ft4in height. But I’m not much bigger than the tree and it looks fine to me.

The best thing about this tree is it has legs instead of feet and they’re all one solid piece. Now to see what’s going to happen to our tree in 2018!

our little tree

 

Christmas chaos…

I had three days off in a row mid November and decided that would be the perfect time to decorate for Christmas. I just needed to take down our Hallowe’en decorations and convince Jeremy to move all zir RC car bits and computer parts to somewhere more inconspicuous than our couch and dining room table.

“Jeremy, we really need to clean up…”

“That’s a great idea!” zie interrupted enthusiastically. “I really need to give my room a thorough cleaning. It’ll probably be easier if the bed wasn’t in the way…”

This was so not what I had in mind!

This was so not what I had in mind!

And off zie went, dragging even more stuff into the living room while pushing the Hallowe’en decorations to, well just about anywhere (including under the couch). Luckily zie did clean up fairly quickly and we were able to bring up the decorations from storage the following evening.

Last year I figured I’d make decorating easier by leaving the tree set up with the lights and garland already in place. That way all we needed to do was put on the decorations. What could go wrong? That question was answered almost as soon as we opened the locker door.

“Mom? Did you notice the tree?” Jeremy asked.

At first I thought zie was talking about the two loose branches dangling from the side. No big deal, they’d be easy to fix. Then I looked down. The tree went to the storage locker with four plastic feet. Now it only had three. It leaned against the wall as if it had snuck into the eggnog and rum a month too early. I have no idea where it could have found alcohol but where ever that was, it had apparently left a foot. It was nowhere to be found in the locker; we even got on our hands and knees to look under the baseboard heater. And there was no way I could put our ornaments up unless I wanted to replace them all next year. I’ve been carefully collecting ornaments for the past thirty years so that would be a distinct no.

so many bins

Jeremy insisted on taking all the bins up at once while I carried up our tree. When we got back to our apartment I hurried to put the tree into the living room then came back down our front hall to let Jeremy in. Zie let zirself inside instead.

“I could have opened that for you,” I blurted as the door banged against zir skateboard.

“I’m a strong, independent woman,” Jeremy retorted.

Jeremy tossed zir hair back and placed a hand on zir hip, holding the bins steady with the other. “I can do it myself,” zie added cockily. Alrighty then.

I propped the tree up against the bookcase and informed Jeremy we were eating before doing anything about the tree. I don’t think well when I’m hungry. Theoretically we could run across the street to Value Village. It was early enough for them to be open and they might have a tree. But we’d only had this one for a couple of years and it was still good, aside from that damn foot. Maybe I could make a foot but it would have to not only be strong enough to support the tree but also bend to fit into the groove on the base of the trunk. If only we had a metal coat hanger… I got up and hurried to the closet. We didn’t but I found a sturdy plastic hanger and Jeremy’s wire cutters.

our recycled leg

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. At least the tree skirt covers it.

tree and living room

I’d say that the decorating fiasco is over except Jeremy’s now decided to rearrange all zir bins in the hallway closet, which means zie’s dragged half the contents of the closet into the living room and, for some bizarre reason, placed a bentwood rocker onto my bed. Blackie’s enjoying sleeping under it. There’s no way on earth I’d fit.

Then there’s the chaos of shopping.

I don’t like shopping. I don’t like crowds or noise and shopping seems to involve an abundance of both. One of my coworkers introduced me to an online China based website where I could order all sorts of items, which means shopping in my pjs at bedtime with no crowds (other than my cats). I immediately ordered a bunch of Jeremy’s presents including a wall art sticker which looks like a window into the Minecraft realm, a Five Nights at Freddy’s brass game token, and a small RC forklift (something Jeremy’s wanted for years). I also ordered a small purple RC car which fits into a soft drink can. This was back on the first day of September. It has yet to arrive. Neither has Jeremy’s light up gaming headphones. My new strand of glimmer lights haven’t arrived either. The good news is I have enough presents for Jeremy without them. I still want zir to have them though and not just because I’ve paid for them.

The presents which did arrive here promptly were the ones I bought for my nieces. I ordered them on a Saturday and had them show up that Monday, which would have been amazing if they were supposed to arrive here and not the other side of the country. Luckily my Mom shipped them with her gifts, reasoning that three little books wouldn’t cost anything to add in.

At least our Christmas outfits are sorted out. I have decent black jeans and several sparkly sweaters while Jeremy has teal leggings and my black velvet, glitter spangled top. I get the feeling sometimes that family thinks I’m pushing zir into feminine clothes. Meanwhile I gave zir the choice of three coats yesterday at Value Village and zie went immediately for a very feminine 50’s style coat in vivid purple with a double row of gold buttons. It sadly didn’t fit but zir next choice, a soft plum, did. It looks fabulous on zir.

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I booked a day off next week to shop for stocking stuffers and one last spontaneous gift. We were at the check out on Sunday when Jeremy spotted a stuffed animal zie absolutely had to have.

“OMG Mom… I need it! Look at how cute it is! Please!!! It’s only eight dollars and it’s adorable!”

“Ask for it for Christmas,” I replied idly as I flipped over the tag. It’s a phrase I say at least once a day for three months of the year. An orange Beanie Boo cat named Muffin, it wouldn’t be that hard to find again. Right?

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This is Tabitha…

This is Muffin

This is Muffin

I’m sensing a bit more chaos ahead.