Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot . . .

Some guerrilla decorating happened in my neighbourhood last week, an annual attack perpetrated by someone with a generous heart, a love of fun, and an apparently unending supply of ornaments. None of our trees were festooned (although my husband hasn't admitted this, I bumped into the chief elf who said that last year she'd been deterred by him saying that I really don't like the decorations! Bah, humbug, nice way to get a reputation, thank you, dear!). So they stopped at jolly-ing up my bike. But look at my neighbours' bright-and-shinies:

That last photo also gives you a good view of the muddy conditions of our dirt roads through the winter and you can imagine how useless the bike fenders are at protecting my pants and the back of my coat. (Although, to be fair, the worst of the mud above is from trucks going into the construction site of a home-in-progress.)

We're so far keeping the Christmas preparations and activities pretty low key around here, although I'm starting to feel a bit anxious about precisely that. For so many years, I did stockings for each of my four kids and for my husband, but gradually their partners have taken on that responsibility. (I may put one together for a daughter who's partner-less at the moment.) I also used to be sure everyone had at least one CD, at least one hardcover book, generally two decent-sized gifts (and then for a few years, Paul started to feel as if he should buy them something from him, since everyone knew I did all the other shopping), but we've been scaling this back year by year so that now I try to find one substantial gift and resist doing any fillers or even-ing-up. As for Paul and I, having bought two great paintings recently, and having, really, every good fortune, and everything I feel as if I want or need, I think we're going to concentrate on enjoying each other's and our children's company. We're lucky enough to have friends who go every year to work in Asia building homes, renovating orphanages, providing seed money for various businesses, and just generally doing wonderful work, and we made a donation for their trip to Cambodia next month (they stay and work in a village there for several months). I've got knitted gifts for everyone, stacked up on some favourite CD's to give a few friends and colleagues, and otherwise feel as though I'm pretty well prepared. I'm giving two of my kids help cash-wise getting things they need, which seems boring to me, but I've finally realized is probably less selfish and certainly more efficient than shopping for hours to get them something they'd like to love but wish it were something else. Two others are getting something Paul and I are pretty excited about (and maybe a bit nervous too) -- hope to show you what that is after Christmas. (I know, there are some scary, long-winded sentences there, but I've got to get packed and head out and there's just no time to edit -- sorry!)

Anyway, I'm heading to Vanc'r this afternoon so that tomorrow we can take my mom to see the lights at VanDusen gardens. I suspect that will provide a good infusion of the Christmas spirit. And I'll probably take a walk-through the stores and check out the Christmas spirit there and maybe have a hot, alcoholic drink at a lounge with some music and start feeling positively festive. We'll see. How's your Christmas spirit doing?

And remember, I've got a little poll going on over to your right -- I'd appreciate your feedback. For more explanation, you could read the end of the post below


  1. Do you enjoy wrapping presents as much as I do? I love giving a gift
    that's been wrapped really well. This year I got some really pretty blue and white Martha Stewart paper, so exciting!!!
    Mom was excited about going to the see the lights with you I hope you get nice weather or at least not rainy.

  2. Hilary: I love beautifully-wrapped gifts and sometimes get it together enough to wrap well -- certainly, I love all the accoutrements -- beautiful paper, fabulous ribbons, etc., But I have to admit I'm not generally great at it and have been known to give gifts in brown paper bags! I think my kids will tell you that we're a family that tends to underplay the giftwrapping, sadly!

  3. Random acts of ornamentation...

  4. Guerilla decorating! How fantastic! I'm not certain which I prefer mud or snow.

  5. I solve the Christmas guilt trip by leaving the country..seriously I go for one biggie and let my mum do the books and my sister do the clothes/makeup that leaves their dads family do "the tat" perfect. As for the mud if thats the payoff for your wonderful view i could cope (probaly wearing fishermans waders)

  6. Thomas: perfect!
    Gina: yes, they're equally appealing to me as well!
    alison: Christmas out of the country does have a certain appeal! But I'm finding it easier and easier to put guilt aside and just enjoy. And yes, the mud's probably a fair enough trade-off


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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