We’re basically 10 days from Christmas, so let’s take quick stock of where we are: Tree? No. White Christmas? Unwatched. Cookies baked? Zero. Gifts purchased? One. Philly lights viewings? Rained out. Christmas cards sent? Haha, now I’m just messing with you.
I actually haven’t sent Christmas cards since my breast cancer six years ago “May This Be Your Breast Year Ever!!” was the tagline — seriously my best work — I’ll never be able to top that one.
My problem with Christmas…(boy that’s quite the opener)…my problem with Christmas is that my real, Big-Girl-Now adult life looks nothing like how I grew up. Yet I continue to measure Family Holiday Cheer Levels by the standards of my youth. Observe:
It’s Saturday, and I’m sledding. I’ve been out for there for hours and am starting to get cold. So I walk across the street to my house, passing snowdrifts higher than my head. I bustle in from the cold, and find Mom sitting at the kitchen table, handwriting Christmas cards. She has a little pot of tea in a teapot (covered by a tea cozy), and has a plate of homemade Christmas cookies and fruitcake. Kenny G is playing on the stereo, but next up (courtesy of the 5-disc CD player my parents splurged on), could be anything from Manaheim Steamroller to Jackson 5’s Christmas album to Barbara Streisand (jinglebell jinglebell jing-jang-bell!!). The Christmas tree is fully decorated, poinsettias are everywhere, and the special Christmas rug has been carefully placed.Christmas-themed tea towels are hanging in the kitchen. Scotti is playing with the créche. The entire house smells like baking and Dad is downstairs in the basement, either starting a fire in the fireplace or puttering around.
I don’t own a tea cozy. I’m confused by the act of physically writing (is it some sort of quaint art form, like cross-stitch?), my kids groan every time I try to play Christmas music and our most reliable December tradition thus far is my meltdown every Dec 20th where I sob, “nothing even feels like Christmas!!!” Mike then marches to the grocery store and drags a tree home, which the boys dutifully help me decorate with the one box of ornaments in the basement (all given to us by my mother who bought an ornament for me every year of my life, carefully labeled and wrapped) only to have us leave the next day for Michigan. We come home Jan 2nd to needles all over our floor.
The good news, I suppose, is that this year we’re leaving on Dec 19th, so perhaps my yearly meltdown can be avoided. No promises.
I think…I think this family needs some new traditions. We did take the kids to Frankford Hall to see Santa, so that’s something. My boys are still a little bitter about the whole thing (“imposter!!”), but Scotti was in town and her littles were thrilled. We’ve managed to squeeze in some ice skating at Dilworth Park, and I know the boys will watch White Christmas with me if I insist (and I’m real good at insisting).
On the expectation chopping block? Christmas cards. I’ll never send another Christmas card again (at least not in this decade), and…if I’m going to go all tough-love on myself…I need to completely give up the idea of Christmas baking (it’s a win if we cook dinner four nights per week). Philly will never look like Marquette, MI in December (think: North Pole, but charming), and my Grandmother’s fruitcake recipe hasn’t been made properly since she died (although I have a sneaking suspicion that her “secret” was doubling the booze).
Hm. Smart woman, that one.
Do I want these leggings? I know, I know. I’m not really a leggings girl. But I came across these ribbed LETT leggings at Verishop and now I can’t stop thinking about them. Especially cozy with cute boots (THESE OMG) and oversized sweater.
Date night pants. We’re in Grand Rapids right now, celebrating Mike’s Mom’s retirement. Jess just strolled on in wearing these faux-leather pants and had me fooled. Super-cute, and look surprisingly real. Jess swears they’re comfy, too.
Like a sparkly NYE cupcake. This frilly little top from J.Crew would be so crazy fun on NYE.
Speaking of NYE tops….if you subscribe to our newsletter, we’re “modeling” (haha mirror selfies) the holiday tops we’ve each had on repeat. Look for ’em in our Sunday night special edition.
Making the move. I’ve been staring (and drooling) over these starburst earrings from Voloshin for over a year. Every time I get dressed up, I realize that they’d be perfect with yet another outfit. And since they’re on sale….done.
Because I’m a queen, obviously. Ref is having a major sale, and I always find myself hitting ‘add to cart’ for the most ridiculous (yet amazing) items. Like this gold gown. (But will probably end up with this comfy little dress or a flirty linen number — like this one — since history has shown I wear them alllll summer.)
Sing, Greta. Greta Thunberg was recently named TIME Magazine’s person of the year. And if you haven’t yet seen her UN climate speech, it’s powerful: “…the biggest danger is not inaction. The real danger is when politicians are making it look like real action is happening when, in fact, almost nothing is being done apart from clever accounting and creative PR.”
Enjoy your weekend, everyone. Someone make some cookies for me. 😉 I’ve gotta get going to this retirement dinner. Can you imagine? Such an exciting new phase of life.