There was a concern – actually, it was an assumption I’d resigned myself to – that this would be the worst Christmas ever, but it wasn’t. To tell the truth, it was probably among the best. I got to spend it with Jen and her family, and felt so loved. When it comes to dear friends, I win.
Here’s the dress that I wore on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, courtesy of Lands’ End who sent it over a few weeks ago. When they told me I could pick any color I wanted, the festive red was a no-brainer for me. (Thanks, Jen, for taking the photo!) This neckline is begging for a fabulous necklace, but I was SO TIRED by this point of the day that I decided to “style” it with bare feet and a glass of Prosecco. The “OMG it’s Christmas Eve!” doesn’t go away at age 30, apparently, and I barely slept.
Did Santa bring you anything good?
This version of “White Christmas” sung by the Drifters is hands down my favorite Christmas song of all time.
[Side note: I can hit most of Bill Pinkney's notes in this. It stressed out the choir director at my conservative Christian high school that I sing bass "like some sort of lesbian."]
Grandma and I went to the Messiah sing-a-long. We tried, but more often than not we sang the wrong words, the wrong notes, and even from the wrong page, but we didn’t care because it was fun. It was more half singing, half giggling, and I think we pissed off the Serious Singers around us.
We both did the alto part, but next year I’m going to sing with the tenors. Rob likes to joke that I should sing “ten or” eleven miles away. Harumph.
Rob and I had the fourth annual Hanukkah+Christmas party in our tiniest apartment yet, and it worked out just fine. It always does. For the most part, I’ve gotten over missing having a bigger place to live in, with a place to park your car, a washer and dryer IN THE HOUSE that you can use whenever you want, a machine that you put dishes into that magically makes them clean without you lifting a finger, and a room dedicated solely to watching television. And a basement for storage!
But on party days, and in the aftermath when everything is dirty and disorganized and needs to be put right again, it’s frustrating. (The trade-off is that we don’t live in the suburbs where “a night out” ends at 11 pm and involves either a dive bar, a loud bar full of skanky girls and meat-head guys, or the Olive Garden.)
To throw a party now we have to push all the furniture around to make room, but even then people ended up spilling out into the hallway. I met new folks, including the chick who writes STFU Parents. She brought me a Britney Spears ornament.
On Hanukkah night one I got a latke-making lesson from Rob’s mom (I did well!), and I recreated it for our party on night eight, along with sufganiot which are jelly donuts also traditionally served at Hanukkah. Then I made big soft pretzels, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies. In other words, I lost my damn mind. It was delicious.
On Christmas Eve I’ll be on a plane early in the morning and will spend Christmas on the beach in Puerto Rico. I make absolutely no promises about not coming home with a dog. We’ll be back in time to do absolutely nothing on New Years Eve. I like it that way.
Other people have done it since, but Judy did it first, and so elegantly. (The more cheerful, “hang a shining star upon the highest bough” replaced the original “until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow” in 1957).
Do you know the rules of the mistletoe say that if gentlemen catch a lady under the mistletoe, the lady cannot say no to a kiss? Dudes: stock up.
via Etsy’s Zoo Loo Natural, which appears to be run by two cute little girls
Christmas Postcards, $10 for a pack of 10
Save an envelope and send Christmas postcards instead! These sweet illustrations from the Rifle Paper Co. are wonderful. (Their regular Christmas card illustrations are dreamy, too.)
Evergreen Wreath – Make your own!
I found these instructions on how to make an evergreen wreath and I encourage you to try. When folks buy a tree they usually have the bottom branches sawed off, and one of my local Christmas tree sellers is letting people take those castaways for free. Maybe yours is, too, meaning you can make this traditional holiday decoration for super cheap. Martha Stewart has instructions on how to decorate your wreath once it’s put together.
I’m doing my gift guide differently this year. It’ll start with essential Hanukkah and Christmas supplies, and move on to more gifty type things. Last year I broke it into sections and I loved the end result, but it was exhausting to make, so this year it will be all in small, happy pieces. In other words, stay tuned for essential holiday shopping goodness all month. I’ve found some awesome stuff for you.