Monday, December 22, 2008

Peace on Earth

Cape Cod Weather Today: Cold, clear, 20 degrees. The rain washed much of the snow away, and left a layer of ice on everything, The sky is turning blue, and hopefully the sun will warm things up....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Cape Cod Weather Today: Snowy and 32 degrees outside. About six inches of snow fell in the yard overnight. The snow clouds still linger, low in the morning sky, as if contemplating another snowfall any minute now.

I love snow. I love looking out the window and seeing the snow-covered branches of the trees and the pokey dead grass transformed into a pillow of white. I even enjoy shoveling, believe it or not. Good aerobic exercise, and when you're finished you have something to show for it. Kinda like raking leaves (i like doing that, too.)

But they got our hopes up too high, with flurry of phone calls the night before, and sending the kids home early from school in anticipation. They expected a blizzard. We did get significant snow (on the Cape, anything over three inches is significant), but it didn't even start until later in the afternoon. There wasn't enough to play in until around 4:00. I don't mean to complain, but I expected more.

The kids are thrilled. I'm busy wondering how I'll finish the Christmas shopping, hoping the roads are okay. I can see my road is plowed. Hopefully they all are. And hopefully the kids get their snowman built before the predicted rain comes tomorrow to freeze it all into a solid mass. Or maybe they'll be wrong about that, as well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seven Shopping Days Until Christmas...

Cape Cod Weather Today: Sucks. It's cold, it's dark and overcast, it's windy, and it's raining. What more could you NOT want out of the weather? The dogs may be out of luck for a walk....

Still busy checking things off the To-Do list... went caroling with my Brownie troop yesterday to a local nursing home, made the first of many gingerbread houses with my daughter, finished the shopping over the weekend for all the cousins and various family members, and have gifts for all the teachers. Still have not taken anyone to talk with Santa directly, but I hear the Big Guy is going to be at the Christmas Fair at the local vet, so thought I'd take the dogs and kids all together to chat with him. The puppy probably has the most to say...

Received the next round of edits from my editor on Monday night - I'd already gone to my oldest son's basketball game, snuck out to take the other two to karate, went back to the game, drove another girl home from karate class, dropped he boys at home and took my daughter back out to her basketball scrimmage in a neighboring town (we were late, but 2 other girls never even showed up, so the coach was thrilled to see us at all) Caroling yesterday was a little less hectic... and more enjoyable. Today I really have to work on those edits... I do want this book to be published in 2009! But I still have a bit more shopping to get done... and stockings to be stuffed....

I'm looking forward to Christmas vacation. My son's school team has no practices scheduled - my daughter's team may have one practice. And my other son's band practice is cancelled as well.

What ever will we do with ourselves???

Write, perhaps?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Hectic Holidays...

Cape Cod Weather today: Bright, crisp, and COLD! The thermometer read 19 degrees Fahrenheit this morning when I drove the kids to school... the dogs will have to wait a little longer for their walk because it is just way too chilly out there...

The tree is up, and the myriad Rubbermaid containers are out of the attic (albeit not fully unpacked yet...) I still need to find my collection of antique glass ornaments to hang on the tree, but I promised my daughter I wouldn't do that without her. So I've moved on down the list to find one of the other dozens of things that need doing before Christmas.

When did Christmas decorating and shopping change from highly anticipated and enjoyable to a checklist of chores to rush through?

I remember when I was young (or at least younger) and used to actually like the prospect of Christmas shopping. I didn't have any more money in my wallet then, but I liked to meander the shops (even the mall!) and find the perfect gift for each person on my list. Now it's just one more thing that needs doing in an already busy month.

I want my family's holiday season to be more relaxed, and more magical - but it was an effort to get the kids to even help decorate the tree. Takes too long, I guess, in their world of near-instant gratification. My daughter had fun baking cookies with me for the holiday bake-sale her scout troop held over the weekend, but even then her attention span waned and I was left to decorate the last tray of cookies.

How do you go about slowing the pace and adding more of the magic back into the holidays? This seems especially important and relevant in a year when the economy is so fragile that I don't think many of us can buy our way to happiness... Please feel free to post any and all suggestions - I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling with this issue this year.