Scenes from Saturday + Party Prep

The John Lewis holiday ad got me again. Yes, I’m fully aware I’m being emotionally manipulated by a department store, and it’s ridiculous and callous on one level, but….it’s really well done blackmail. It did get me thinking about all my past Christmas presents and if any gifts had a similar long-echoing effect into adulthood. 

I couldn’t come up with a single gift like Sir Elton, but each year there would be five or six new books laid out under the tree and trying to decide which one to read first was one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. This year I’ve read over 75 books, written a book, visited the library so much I know all the librarian’s names, and still get excited just to browse through any bookshop. Feels like that had an impact.

On the other hand, the ad also has me reconsidering the kid’s crayon melter gift. I’m not sure there’s a big future job market in smelting….


After the (very cold) town tree lighting last night, most of us slept in a little later. Most of us.


Ally is not a morning person. Dash did his best to cheer her up.


At 16 degrees, it was a day when the indoor trainer was calling my name, but I had group accountability to get me outside for a icicle-forming, hand numbing, but very satisfying six miles.


Back at home, a small assembly line was formed to get the Christmas cards stuffed, stamped, and mailed. Some of you should see our adorable smiling faces not just online, but also in your mailbox this week.


Last minute prep for tomorrow’s big birthday party called for an early morning trip to Wal-Mart (always interesting in and of itself). Back at home, the girls got busy creating the goody bags.


Cecilia and I learned some of that “new” math together: big seven division. I might have found it more fun than Cece (that’s her fake math smile), but we both learned something new.


Michelle, as usual, was a whirl of weekend activity and next on the agenda was getting the tree. According to her calculations, this was the only hour window in the next three weeks that we were free to get it. So off we went.

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Here she is deep into her tree-picking process. After almost 20 years of doing this together, I’ve learned to just stand back and wait for her decision.


The girls favorite part is always the free popcorn inside the hardware store while Mom deliberates out in the cold.


To avoid any adult or child meltdowns, we smartly decided to have lunch before trying to bring the tree inside and put up the lights.

We’re still eating our way through Thursday’s old-fashioned and always very tasty chocolate dump-it cake.


It was meant to be. White Christmas was on while we set-up the tree. Better than The Santa Clause for the 38th time this year.


Ally refused to take a rest, but did agree to lay down and guard the tree.


We might not have too many Nona recipes to pass down, but Michelle has a lot of fruit-peeling techniques to share. Cecilia learned her Mom’s preferred method for peeling ripe pomegranates.


Next, Cecilia decided if we were decorating the house, we needed some cookies, so we added sugar cookies to the agenda.


By then, Ally was off the couch and taking charge of decorating the tree. There were a lot of ornaments concentrated in the lower branches.


Dash and I went for a frosty afternoon walk and both of us were equally confused about why there was a bagel in our driveway.


The last item on the agenda was wine, food, and good company, so we headed over to our friends’ house. It was our kind of party!


She’s going to be in high demand as a baby sitter in a few more years.


Another Saturday done and dusted. Or almost. I still need to go online and find the perfect holiday gift to influence my children’s lives for a lifetime. No pressure. If John Lewis doesn’t have it, I’m sure Amazon does.



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