feeling the same way all over again

So – let’s skip to the real story. I got my iPod this year. Bitches! I knew it. My husband could only hold off for so long (R.I.P.) . Things that make this iPod even more fun than the one that preceeded it:

* this one has a color screen
* it’s smaller (flatter), and bigger (wider, with more storage space)
* it’s cheaper (yeah, I know.)
* the packaging was teeny
* Jack Sparrow was on the package and his package is not teeny

I am in many ways a spiritual person but damn. Not when it comes to Mac gadgets. And before you think I’m shallow, please know that I don’t really give a damn what you think – also, I really do only have TWO gadgets and they are both white and chrome and Mama loves them very much.

Seconds prior to present-opening.

My mom’s home-grown hand-crafted wares.

Christmas Day dinner:

Bruschetta, Cabbage Rolls, Potato Latkes, Strawberry Spinach Salad (minus the strawberries), sparkling cider, and a Guinness Cake (not pictured: the little bastard is still contemplating his doom!)

new kinds of festive rituals

Today I stumbled upon pictures of our foursome from the last two Christmases at the little cottage that we rented in Cannon Beach, Oregon. I grew inexplicably misty thinking of our mini-tradition away from home; the familiarity of the Christmas-lit shops, the beauty of the wind-torn beach, the familiar pub a block down from our home away from home. Our trip back up two years ago where Sophie rode with my parents and they reported she spent half of the ride viciously giving her new stuffed animal (Goodebunny) discipline: hissing “Do you want a timeout?” in the meanest duck voice possible. The fun of the Oregon lack of salestax which allowed our $5 Christmas rules to be observed de rigueur.

For us this year, Christmas is being celebrated in an increasingly unusual fashion; never mind we are not in Oregon, we are also (for the first time in my life) without my FOO. I was sad for half a car ride (as I talked it out with my husband) until I re-oriented myself to my own little family and the projects therein. Now I feel a sense of wonderment as the holiday gently spirals out of my control and out of my plan. The plan to have a series of packages mailed out to closest friends? Derailed. Presents entirely handmade? No. A Christmas dinner complete with guests? Cancelled. I did manage (with minimal help from my spouse) to send out our homemade Christmas cards (every year, after careful selection, addition, and culling, we hover at sixty to seventy cards), our own tradition that we enjoy immensely. About half of the changes in our Christmas routine were due to my illness which put me out of the running for a solid three days (and I’m just glad no one else in my family got sick).

With an absence of Christmas precedents in effect, new activities must be planned. In that vein today ended up being beautiful, but rather exhausting. The first thing I did this morning was a (near-)three mile hike with Erica (I got to see her “new” baby to boot). As soon as I got home my husband took to a full shopping day with a friend and I found myself gifted with my children (who I am growing so familiar with as to not even contemplate alone time much anymore) to run my errands. First, the once-a-week menu planning, shopping list, and grocery (which included a large Christmas Day dinner plan) then the entireity of my family gift shopping downtown in torrential rain – half the time, with one increasingly-heavy child sleeping on my shoulder.

Christmas pajamas have been opened and donned. We have taken the drive to our town’s “Candy cane lane” to look at the lights. The stockings are up. One million presents remain to be wrapped and inserted under the tree (actual number will be reported tomorrow). Thank you baby Jesus and happy holidays, one and all!

in a glass case of emotion

Well, I am feeling wretched today – it seems December, in two days, has already brought a share of disappointments. So I was oddly cheered when I discovered about five minutes ago that I have actually recieved something like *four comments* on my sewing blog (I’m not really sure how anyone finds it either – I lost my links at this oft-visited page and have been too lazy to put them up). Right now I have no camera (except my assy iSight on the Mac – a camera that always includes my rather messy and grungy laundry room background) so my sewing and knitting efforts (re-conn’d pants! left-handed knitting!) have gone undocumented.

But sadly, at this moment the more depressing circumstances in my life are overcoming the good. My parents won’t be around for Christmas while my remaining immediate family member – my brother (viewed here with hospital bracelet regarding an episodic severe intestinal illness) told me he’d rather have Christmas by himself, my husband doesn’t seem to care how much I am sad about not being with my FOO. Two friends have gone AWOL while I worry about their personal circumstances, one friend broke up with me, my older child is ill, and my younger child is growing out of his clothes too fast. And last but not least, Blogger Beta is acting like a gay and our bank account will be hitting bottom on Monday with four days left until payday.

Wow, it actually did not make me feel better to write that all out. Anyone interested in keeping me from throwing myself in front of a fast-moving train, feel free to send me a cheer-up email. Or barring that, a train schedule.

Today while the children napped (like canaries, their sleep-response seems proportionate to daylight) my husband and I wandered around the house, bored, ineffectual, too lazy to jump into our typical uber-housecleaning weekend frenzies. I was too cold and he was too warm (as usual) and we had carefully not over-scheduled our weekend – so now we had nothing to do. This afternoon while I cut out a pair of flannel pajamas he ventured into the attic to pull a cheesy-ass tinsel tree (via Freecycle) and thrift store lights out of the attic. Our now-garish living room awaits the awakening of the oldest child (yes, she is STILL napping, at almost 7 PM!) who will doubtless be thrilled at our impressively “festive” living room. Now that my knitting is caught up I am currently searching for an *easy* sock pattern for Sophie and feeling overwhelmed at the idea of assembling Christmas presents together this year.

Looks like it’s lumps of coal for many of you.