In the life I dream of, where there’s a money tree in the back yard that produces enough cash for me to own a rustic lodge in the mountains where I can retreat on summer weekends and through the entire winter, I spend the holidays draped in flannel, tartan, and fair isle.
Well, I kind of do anyway, but it just isn’t the same without the open fire, the chesnuts, hot chocolate, and snow falling in big, clumpy flakes day in and day out. Instead I guess I’m just trying to keep DC classy. And this gift guide is all about comfort, class, and the rustic feel that the holidays can (and should) bring out in our lives. My favorite from this list? The fair isle throw blanket. I’m a throw horder.
I think this is by far my favorite compilation of holiday gifts ever. I went through a very long anti-gold part of my life. All I wanted was silver, white gold, platinum…. you name it. I thought that gold meant old fashioned.
Well, gold’s making quite a comeback these days. Brass is even back in style (what!? I know…) so it’s become rather easy to find great gold details for your home, your closet, and your jewelry box of course. My favorite thing on this list? The minimergency kit. I keep thinking about buying one for myself and then I just don’t. Maybe Santa will put one in my stocking?
(we took a quick peek at the National Tree this afternoon…)
reading not too much. We are watching a lot of Christmas movies these days. Doesn’t leave much time for reading.
writing a Christmas dinner menu. Which will be followed by one last trip to the grocery store. We’re going the honey baked ham, sweet potatoes, Waldorf salad route.
listening to Maybe This Christmas’s Pandora station. It’s really awesome. Loving it. Check it out. I’m not steering you wrong. Promise.
thinking how crazy it is that Christmas Eve is tomorrow night. And how sad it is that we are already 2 days into winter break. Time needs to slow itself down.
smelling chocolatecrinklesbaking in the oven. :)
wishing we were in Michigan with my family right now. Sometimes plans have to change, but it’s going to be…. different…. spending my first Christmas without everyone. I love you all. Miss you all. Hugs and kisses. And lots of cookies and eggnog, too.
hoping our little Christmas here in Maryland will be a happy and blessed one. Lots of snuggles and hot chocolate and gifts and smiles and laughs. You know, the stuff that makes Christmas so special.
wearing my green Minnies, a black shirt and the earrings my bff, Katie, brought back from Kabul for me! I love them!
loving that I got to see said bff Friday night. And loving even more that we’ll ring in 2013 together!
wanting her to stay home forever and not go back to Afghanistan. (Are you reading this, Katie?!?!) Ok, good. Onward.
needing to visit the gym. Or go for a run. Between the cookies and the drinks and the lack of working out…. I think that it’s finally creeping up to me. Time to get back into a routine.
feeling so incredibly full. We went to Christmas brunch today with my in-laws. One of those Brazilian Steakhouse joints. Have you been to one? They keep feeding you meat until you are about to explode. Amazing for the glutton in us all.
clicking on this post. My cat is FAMOUS! Did you see him? There’s Baci, looking up at our tree ON NATALIE HOLBROOK’S BLOG!!!! I tried to explain what this meant to Baci, but he just looked at me and then nuzzled my arm. He didn’t get it. I celebrated his fame for him.
Did you miss the other Sunday editions of Currently? No worries. You can find them all here.
Our super awesome pine cone friend from Carlee over at Life Smith. Willie fit in right away on our tree. What is it about receiving an ornament that stirs up the most basic of Christmas cheer? It doesn’t matter how sparkly, how festive, how stupid or beautiful the ornament is. I mean, even Charlie Brown understood the importance of an ornament. One single red ball. Cheers everyone right up.
Something tells me this will be a holiday none of us forget. And with all of the love and happiness and cheer, there will be a heaviness and anger that trail with it through the rest of our years. I don’t have an answer for fixing that.
But take a look at the ornaments on your tree. Or on the tree at Starbucks or the gym. And let them help you smile. Simple, raw smiles. Nostalgic smiles and excited smiles and remember all of those simple gifts.
And decorate, people. Brighten this world with lights. Find smiles behind ornaments. Hug your friends and family with garlands and ribbons and strings of cranberries and popcorn and paper chains and just, well, hug them. Even that little tree, that little wooden one, all it needed was a child’s blanket and that bright red ball. And all was right in the world. Charlie Brown got it. Just decorate.
… and bake for your work’s cookie swap. Just try not to eat them all in one night.
There were lots of tears last week. Fighting tears and happy tears and disappointed tears and confused tears and stressed tears. I don’t know what to do tears. Overworked tears. Anxious tears. Plain, sad tears. That was all before Friday. And Friday was a heavy day to be teachers. Even tougher to be a kindergarten teacher. So we weren’t quite sure when the tears would end, really.
It was a week of big kid problems. Of realities and truths greater than ourselves. Late, restless nights and mornings where the rooster seems to have forgotten to let you sleep. But these are the sort of things that get in the way of Christmas. They aren’t that special, you see.
It’s a good exercise in perspective. Through what frame are we looking at the world? At ourselves? At our problems and our fears? Maybe, this Christmas, we’ll step back and look at the holiday from the tiniest little viewpoint. Nothing big. No expectations. Just a tiny little house and a tiny little family celebrating the birth of a tiny little guy who did good things and taught real things like unconditional love and how to help. And I think our world could use a little bit more of that little kid’s message these days.
(and so you know where to find the cookies when you stop by…..)
My car alarm went off this morning. It wouldn’t stop ringing even when my husband went down to stop it. I’m not sure what triggered it, if anything, but it didn’t surprise me. In fact, that random alarm seemed like the only fitting way to begin closure to this wild week. Christmas spirit seems further away right now than perhaps ever before in our house. And despite a mid-week date to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform in D.C., things just don’t feel right around here lately.
We watched Jack Frost last night. I fell asleep with Misha about halfway through. Christmas movies aren’t keeping me up until the wee hours of the night like they used to. Maybe I need to bust out the big guns and tune into some It’s a Wonderful Life a bit earlier than usual. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Christmas spirit evolves right along with the candles on your birthday cake. And as quick as the magic of your childhood disappears the realities of December steamroll in. The holidays are fleeting. The local radio station plays the same 50 Christmas carols in a continuous loop. And the James Taylor CD was overplayed so much last year that it won’t even play anymore. Christmas lights die and it is rather difficult to find cheer when you are going light by light through strand after strand to find that one, single light that is causing all of the chaos.
So this is why we congregate in large numbers around the holidays. To find the Christmas spirit. If at least for a few hours, last Saturday we watched the Annapolis Parade of Lights from the Severn Sailing Club with some friends. Food, wine, Christmas lights, music, and the masses. We had one of those chilly-but-nothing-worth-complaining-about sort of nights where you are just fine outside for hours as long as you’ve bundled up.
So if you can’t find Christmas hidden somewhere else, well, I am sure you will find a twinkle of spirit in here.
1. Merde il Pleut Umbrella~ Raindrops(if you have to ask what it means, then you shouldn’t be buying it) 2. Fair Isle Ski Sweater~ J. Crew (it will go great with all of my Minnies) 3. Original Packable Tour~Hunter (it folds up to pack in your luggage!!! omg!!!!) 4. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4~ Amazon (um. there is a reason this is front and center on my wish list. please and thank you) 5. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin~ Barnes & Noble (I’ve enjoyed The Happiness Project so much that I’m ready to delve into her other book) 6. Adopt a Three-Toed Sloth~ World Wildlife Fund(this little guy is only the beginning of my adoption kit…. & I’ll be sure to go visit my little sloth in Costa Rica asap like a good mom) 7. Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home~ Anthropologie (if you really knew me, you’d know that I hate cupcakes and love myself some macarons!) 8. German Goggles~ Restoration Hardware (totally trying to channel the Red Baron here… I’m obsessed with these things)
In all seriousness, I’d love any of these gifts. Especially that baby sloth. Oh, and the lens. Thank you for indulging me in a day’s post of pure selfishness. Now, please, do tell, what should Santa bring you this year?
If there is one thing I can say about my hometown, it’s that Christmas looks good on Annapolis. Oh, she looks mighty fine on our streets and docks. So I last left you up at the top of Main Street, right? Quite a tease, really.
Here you have it. The rest of our chase-the-sunset-and-follow-the-storefront-decorators jaunt through town a few weekends ago. Best to be had with a piping mug of cocoa (extra marshmallows) and your favorite seasonal tune of choice cranked up to the loudest volume.
From my home to yours, Happy Holidays!
(Hehe. We are just getting started, my friends. We just had our Parade of Lights, where the boats circle around the harbor for two hours decked out in their Christmas decorations. You just wait. This is the stuff that Christmas spirit is made of….)
wishing the holiday season could be extended through January. It’s almost Christmas already, friends.
hoping that the Skins rip each and every feather out of those Ravens this afternoon. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!
wearing an old Madewell sweater (nautical stripes, of course) and some comfy Matchstick denim.
loving that I feel caught up on sleep. Woke at 8 this morning naturally. Really loving that my husband woke at 8 naturally, too!
wanting my friends to live closer. Stephanie came home this week and Katie will be home for a few weeks over the holidays. It’s so great to see them, but hard to know they have to go back to work, too. ;(
needing a maid. There. I said it. I need a maid.
feeling sneaky. Just bought a gift for Alex online while he was looking over my shoulder and he didn’t even notice. Hehehehe.
clicking through all of the pictures I took this weekend. Lots of good stuff. Such as brunch and at-home spa adventures and the Annapolis Parade of Lights. Coming soon to a blog near you. :) (That would be here, you know.)
Did you miss the other Sunday editions of Currently? No worries. You can find them all here.