Down to the Holiday Wire

It all comes down to the last few days.  Down to the wire. The making of the final “to do” list for the holiday. I can happily say my list will be short and most of it is really odds and ends that are not truly necessary.

The shopping is done, nearly all the wrapping is done – just a small thing or two left – the groceries are bought.  Luckily I don’t have much to do on that end.

It’s really been a thing for me for many years that I like to have a clean house just before the holidays.  I used to do a major cleaning undertaking just before we would go get a tree and decorate.  Really because once all that stuff goes up you can’t do much cleaning around it all.  Now that we don’t get a tree or decorate anymore, such is life with four cats, I am still in the habit of a major cleaning.

The ungodly warm weather has put me in the mood to clean I think.  It’s in the 70’s in late December which really is lovely but certain not to last and will make the impending cold only seem far worse.  Still, the windows are open and the kitties are enjoying it thoroughly!

Chocolate cupcakes are also on my list and this is the yummy part.  I’ve been wanting to make some real vanilla bean frosting so that leads to the chocolate cupcakes.

No big plans around here.  Just an easy few days of laundry and dusting.  I may even give myself a pedicure. I do plan on catching up on some t.v. or a movie or two and that should be where those cupcakes come in handy.



Twelve Days….

It’s officially the Twelve Days to Christmas countdown and I am worn out.  Done.  Over it!!

Just as I should be starting to bask in the glow of the holiday lights, the warmth of the fire and celebrate under the mistletoe; the Grinch has come to Whooville and stolen all my joy.  What can I say?  I’m not an overly cheery sort of gal in the first place so for me to end up on top of Mt. Crumpet with the green guy is not exactly a stretch of the imagination.

I will say in my own defense that I did start the season out with a bang.  I shopped and I shopped and choose gifts with delight.  I baked and I baked up a storm!  I made plans to go out and partake of the holiday mayhem and festivities.

So what happened?

Well, rain for one. So the “festivities” keep getting delayed and I think this weekend will be a bust as well, so that’s a big bummer.  The baking is going pretty well.  A few batches of trash but that’s to be expected.

But man alive don’t look at the scale because that’s going to be a mood killer for sure. I have a little black dress looming for New Years Eve that is literally now weighing on me with every cookie.  It’s singing at me from my closet  “Everything you bake, every bite you take, I’ll be watching you.”  Seriously.

Next up we have that gift list.  Those fun to shop for gifts….on that all consuming gift list.  I purchased things over Black Friday weekend that have yet to ship.  For an obsessive person like me who needs up to the minute tracking details this has been torture.  I don’t understand how it takes nearly two weeks to get something ready to ship.

 I’m ready to cancel my STILL pending orders and buy something – anything – locally.  However, that will only add to the amount of items on that elusive “still to get” list.  Those last few items to pick up just before the big day or those hard to shop for people that always take longer to find a good gift for.  We all have them and it seems like every year we don’t figure out how do avoid putting them off to the last few days.

So hopefully over the weekend I will find a last reserve of holiday cheer and my heart will grow three sizes!! My last gifts will be purchased, the cards will get mailed and gifts wrapped up.  Either way it will all be over in a bit over a week!


Winter Wonderland Envy

While the bulk of the country is blanketed in beautiful snow Virginia Beach is sopping wet with cold and dreary rain.  This is usually the case around here in the winter time.  Just barely too warm for snowflakes so we end up with bone chilling cold rain and wind. That’s the thing about living at the beach those ocean breezes that are nice in the summer make for chilling winds when it’s cold out.

I can understand when you are buried under eight feet of snow in so many weeks that those rolling hills of pristine white lose their charm.  It’s not exactly like flipping through the cozy L.L. Bean catalog. But those of us who never see the snow can dream.  I used to live further north and while we didn’t get the goods measurable in feet, we did get our fair share now and again.

I’m sure all those who live in the Winter Wonderlands and Ski Lodge Meccas of the world just about hate this time of year.  All the wanna be Olympic down hill skiers in the making – yeah the ones walking around on brand new crutches with the BIG stories. I would tell you the same about living at the beach- it just ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

But this time of year – with the holidays and weather reports – it just makes me long for the snow.  I would love to be locked away in some ski resort surrounded by fireplaces, Christmas trees and snow.  Make no mistake I’m a Lodge Bunny not an Olympian.  I would fill my days on a sofa by a fire or shopping some cozy little place on a side street.  Sipping hot buttered rum and eating blueberry pancakes with fresh Maine berries and maple syrup straight from the tree.   I’d get all dolled up in pink snow boots and a warm new coat for a horse drawn carriage ride but that would top off my outdoor activities.

For now though, I have cranberry muffins warm and fresh out of the oven.  There is cinnamon bread rising and sugar cookie dough chilling.  That’s right – I’m baking my rainy day blues away.  The hubs and I have started playing cards in the evenings which has been great fun. Tonight will be warm cookies and gin rummy.


The White Elephant…

Along with all your holiday fa-la-la and mistletoe laden merriment something else gets thrown onto  the gift giving fire for most people.  Anxiety.   That’s right! The gift giving season, while joyous, is a minefield.  Just before Santa comes sliding down that chimney all of the elves are one minute away from stepping in front of an oncoming bus and ending it all.

Holiday gift giving is an art form.  There are tons of articles and blog posts about giving the perfect holiday gift or how to avoid giving a bad one.  There is yet another onslaught of media directed at being a gracious recipient of the dreaded unwanted gift.  But through it all we are told not to worry because, after all, it’s the thought that really matters.

And then it happens.  You are presented with a gift from a dear friend or family member.  They give you a shiny package and hope gleams in their eyes. Your heart skips a beat because you can just tell this is going to be a really great gift.  Something that they spent a lot of time trying to find or they thing really speaks to how much they know you and what you love.

You open the box and peek inside.  What is this you wonder and smile.  Maybe a vase of some sort,  a gift card for  a day a the spa,  a beautiful hand-made piece of jewelry?  “OH…Oh my” you gasp and it is NOT because it’s a beautiful gift. You’ve been given a white elephant.  The most undesirable of all holiday gifts and you are going to need a moment.  Kinda like that commercial – where is a candy bar when you need one!?

Thank GOD you are prepared! You’ve read those stupid articles on the web about receiving crappy gifts and you can take this Duck Dynasty mug in stride.  You smile, hug your friend (who should KNOW you’ve never seen this dumb show) and you pour the wine you’re drinking into that ugly cup.  You need a bigger glass now anyway!

The Holidays Are Rolling In!!

I love to shop.  Holiday shopping is especially contagious.  I find around October as the air turns cooler and minds start wandering to the upcoming festive season when people ask what I’d like for a gift my list is very small and humble.  About two weeks prior to Christmas Day, my list is long and eccentric!!

As I shop for others I can certainly follow the ‘one for you,two for me’ train of thought. I  love to shop for others but I never fail to find the fabulous for myself as well. This pretty much leaves me with the theory that I just love to shop – any excuse will do.

Over the Black Friday weekend I stayed tucked safely into my computer away from the mayhem.  Today is an exciting day for an online shopper.  The UPS truck pulled up and left the first of my packages at my door. Finally being able to inspect the loot is a thrill!

After an online purchase I am one of those shoppers that constantly checks up on my items via web tracking. Your order is being processed! Your order has shipped! Such anticipation.  I just LOVE when stuff shows up early! I admit I am a junkie.

Hopefully the rest of the season proves as fruitful as this weekend was.  I managed to score some good deals and the vast majority of my list is crossed off! Yeah me.

Though as much fun as purchasing is all the internet window browsing.  I love to scan the sites and look.  I can meander and wonder for hours.  I’ve discovered lots of new sites to peruse and the best part is they are open all night long and it takes no gas in my car to get there.

Happy Holiday Shopping!