A lot of time has passed since my last post. A lot has happened since my last post. Most of it chaotic, some of it personal and a great deal is tied in to the holiday season. These days, if you blink, you miss the sunlight. The early sunsets and gloomy weather make me thankful that so many religions observe festivals and traditions that are centered around light.
Many of you don’t know this but my Oma took a nasty fall this summer. She is in her mid-70’s and broke bones in both arms as well as her nose. She was in the ICU for a few days and spent most of the fall learning how to walk again. She has completed physical therapy and is going up and down stairs like a champ now. I’ve been so thankful and proud for her progress. I remember the first time she called me from home after being released from the hospital.
I’m down but I’m not out, she told me. We talked about the upcoming holidays. My Oma has always loved Christmas. Her home looks right out of a magazine by the time she is done decking the halls. She told me that she wasn’t about to miss out on her favorite time of year.
Eh ehhhhhhhh, NO!
That’s what she always says when she vehemently disagrees with the idea of something. Imagine it with a sassy, Creole drawl. I got choked up on the other end of the phone. A few months prior, I thought I’d never hear her say that again. I try not to limit counting my blessings only during the holidays but the amazing recovery that my Oma made from that fall was my miracle. She has been such an inspiration for me. I come from good stock.
Needless to say, I cannot help but be overcome by the spirit of the season. As for decking my own halls, my ornamentation is sparse this year. We’re traveling so I went light. We’re spending Christmas with my family by way of New Jersey. We’ll drop in on my inlaws for a night and then continue on the road down to Georgia. I am sort of looking forward to the trip. My shopping is almost done and it will soon be time to sit and wrap gifts while watching Love Actually.
I made a conscious effort to shift as much of my shopping as possible this year. I live in Boston. We have tons upon oodles of incredible local businesses and artists here. Anywhere you are, just open your eyes and look past the department stores. Your local economy is bursting with makers and artists that deserve support. I spread the love to the Jersey Shore when we were down there last month as well. I did some doorbusting at Arrow Acres Farm. I bought several pairs of alpaca socks and gloves for loved ones. When in doubt, go with alpaca socks. It’s one of those golden rules of life that I am passing on to you. My friend, Shannon, and I also attended the tree lighting in Asbury Park. The boardwalk was mostly spared from major hurricane damage and while the shops were still unable to open, the local shop keepers set up tents inside of the Convention Center. Lots of folks had the same idea and I was happy to see how packed it was. I found a great Tillie ornament for my tree. If you’re looking for gift that gives back, one of my lucky family members is getting this t-shirt for Christmas.
Back to the Boston area! LOTS of loved ones are getting chocolate this year. I work right up the road from a chocolate factory so this was a must! Taza has an incredible cinnamon and orange blend wheel for the holidays and it is to die for!
I made an online order from Porcelain and Stone’s Etsy page. She’s from Cambridge and her jewelry is perfect for the ocean lover on your list. The item arrived today and I couldn’t be more pleased!! I will give it with pride!
Molly and her cousin, Christian, are both getting some gifts from Newbury Comics. They are 11 and 13 so that place is chock full of loot for their age group. Sign up for their mailing list because they have the occasional killer sale.
I wish that I could say the same thing about Black Ink. This is one of my absolute favorite local shops. You won’t find better stocking stuffers anywhere else. They will even can your gift.
No holiday shopping is complete in this house without a trip to at least one book store. I really enjoy both Harvard Square and Porter Square books. I got Shannon the Simon Winchester book, Skulls. I gave it to her already so I can talk about it! 🙂 It’s a fascinating compendium of images that focus on the collection of Alan Dudley. Over 300 animal skulls! There’s even an app!
The remainder of my gifts will be of the homemade variety. That’s for another post.
Shopping for the holidays can be overwhelming. I understand the frustration but I’m thankful to have such a wonderful collective of people in my life. Material things are far from the most important part of the season but these tokens of affection are from the heart and I can’t wait to give them out! These next few weeks are bursting with events and parties and I’m trying to spread out thin so I can hit as many as possible. A Holiday Fiesta at Taza, caroling in Inman Square, a Pretty Things historical beer tasting, the Clover holiday party and Lady Kielbasia’s Holiday Spectacular. Matt is a regular and I can’t miss this! 🙂
I hope that amid all of the Christmas chaos, you are finding joy, love and light.
Happy 12/12/12! (It’s nerdy but I have the highest respect for numbers.)