Friday, December 11, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love this time of year.

When the radio starts to play classic Christmas songs (I've been humming them all week) and your weekend schedule is booked with holiday parties.

When its cold enough outside to put on a scarf and boots and pull that jacket out of the closet that has been sitting largely unused most of the year (because you live in California, after all).

When eating copious amounts of cookies and other baked goods isn't frowned upon because it's practically a food group.

When walking your dog around the apartment complex is made all the more delightful because you get to admire your neighbors' Christmas lights and spy into their living rooms to see how their tree is decorated.

When you blow most of your paycheck on presents and start to stress when you realize Christmas is two weeks away and you still have more shopping to do. (You know you feel it too. Christmas time isn't all gingerbread and candy cane sweetness!)

But seriously, I have felt more joyous lately, even in spite of the looming debt. The holiday season never fails to lift my spirits. The only thing that would make it better is if we had room in our apartment for a Christmas tree. But at least I can count on my parents' house to fulfill that part of the holiday equation.

My mom always dresses up the living room with festive attire. Aside from the obligatory tree and stockings, the mantel and the banister are trimmed with garland, mistletoe hangs above the entryway, holiday class projects-- like my wooden snowman whose cap I made out of one of my old red socks or my brother's golden macaroni Christmas tree-- are set out on display, and dishes of candy tempt you at every pass through the room.

My mom lets me put up my favorite decoration, though: my grandmother's hand-painted nativity set.

Even though I started thinking about Christmas weeks ago-- getting the gifts, making the cards-- it didn't hit me until this week. For some reason it is hard for me to believe that Christmas is just around the corner, and soon after it will be a new year. Like one of my coworkers said to me today, Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye! It's so true. It seems like this year went by so quickly. But maybe it always feels like that in December.

Today was my company's holiday party. The office shut down at noon and we had a potluck. I brought my mom's sweet potato puree, which you may remember from my Thanksgiving plate. I made it because  my editor was bummed that I didn't bring him any leftovers after Turkey Day. Even though I had never made the sweet potato recipe before, it turned out well-- I did my mom proud, I think! Several people told me they loved the dish and even took home some extras; one coworker said it was her favorite item at the potluck!

I have two more "office" parties this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, though they won't actually be at the office. Since I work from home (minus Wednesdays), it will be nice to hang out with coworkers for once, especially out of the workplace.

Also on the weekend agenda? Crafting more cards! For those of you who emailed me your addresses, I sent out your cards on Thursday so you should find them in your mailboxes soon! Making each individual card proved quite an effort but I enjoyed putting my artsy, creative hat on for a change. I hope you guys like them! (And I'd love to hear what you think, so feel free to drop me a line when you get yours!)

Speaking of holidays (great transition, huh?), I have to go finish my Christmas wish list. Yes, I make one. My mom still asks for it every year! The list is usually fairly extensive, which my mom appreciates because it gives her lots of options to choose from. Once I'm done I'll post a little snippet of what I hope to find under the tree this year.

Till then, I'll leave you with an adorable picture of Hazel that I snapped on Thursday when I went into the office to pick up my desperately needed paycheck. It was cold and gloomy out so I put on her jacket. Isn't she a doll? Look at that face! (I am unashamedly biased.)

Happy weekend loves!

christmas collage and gingerbread man both via we heart it 


Andhari said...

Hazel is the cutest! Anyway, I love all these festivities! All the discounts and holiday parties :)

Shoshanah said...

Those so much I want to say about your post I'm not sure where to start! First, Hazel does look awfully adorable in her sweater and your version of my mom's sweet potatoes does look great. And I'm sure it tasted great too. And speaking about all the cookies and baked goods... well they're slowly starting to show up at work and I'm getting excited about the whole thing!

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

i also live in LA, so it's wonderful having the rain to add to the festive spirit! we're having a holiday party at my house tonight, so it already feels like Christmas day!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Awww I LOVE all those things too, except I've ate WAY TO MANY cookies since being home! Haha.

There is SO much snow up here, I love it. Since I grew up with snow it takes a lot of snow to put me in the Christmas spirit!

Saara said...

I also love this time of the year. I love the calmness, the cute music, the warm feelings, all the candles and cute lights, vin brûle,christmas cakes... lovely. I hate the shoppingstress people seem to have and I hate the supercolorful christmaslights. But I try to avoid that and concentrate on my peace :)

Ashley said...

Hazel is a doll. The weather is helping me get into the spirit too!

Elizabeth Marie said...

Awww yay, I'm feeling festive too! And a little stressed. Hazel is adorable. I can't wait to see what Santa brings you :)

Erin said...

Another thing that makes it feel like Christmas? All the cards that keep arriving in my mailbox! Including yours... It arrived today! Thank you. It looks lovely hanging on a ribbon in my dining room amidst the others. Oh, and I'm enjoying a cup of Joy Tea right now!
Merry Christmas, Carissa!