Speaking of Festive, I did promise to expound a wee bit more on some of the ways I'm trying to manage that this season. An important strategy, one whose execution is so far working out very well, is that I decided to invite each of my (adult) kids to spend some time with me in the shops, with drinks or a meal folded in to the outing. In other years I've tried to surprise and while this occasionally yields wonderful results, it just as often ends in disappointment, waste, and the risk of hurt feelings. I've also, in the past, got a list of Wants, but then resentment creeps in as I try to find something that ticks all the boxes, spending hours on a search and still needing to hang on to the receipt in case I haven't got it right. Some of my chickies have even received gift certificates in the past, and while I know these are appreciated, I really feel as if I could just as easily write a cheque -- demeaning, somehow, to both of us, and yet so practical
So this year, I decided I would combine the practicality of the gift certificate with the wonderful feeling of giving a gift the recipient would have chosen for him/herself AND I would pull Festive more clearly into the picture by having the company of my gorgeous son, daughter, (and, this past Saturday, my lovely daughter-in-law). What fun to play Lady Bountiful with my magic credit card (poor thing's warping from the heat of overuse, but don't worry, I do pay off the balance each and every month!)
Saturday was the first test day for the new approach, and what a lovely afternoon and evening I had. Son, Daughter, Daughter-in-law and I took turns sitting outside change-rooms for the 3 of them to come out and show off potential new duds. My son benefitted by seeing a few things he could pick up for his wife; I think all 3 benefitted by having someone else suggesting a sweater or blouse or shirt they might not have picked up; and I benefitted most of all by having a Strong Young Son carry all the packages we walked out of J Crew and Club Monaco with.
Then we all repaired to a nearby lounge for martinis -- a splendid break and an absolute contribution to the Festive Spirit. Paul joined us for the drinks, and then we hugged Daughter good-bye and wandered, with Son and Daughter-in-law, back to our place to drop off the parcels, then across the bridge for a fabulous meal together at Maenam (Fusion Thai -- if you don't know this spot yet, it's well worth checking out, especially if you do as we did and order the Chef's Choice). A bottle of Moscati for more bubbly festive and we toasted the end of a lovely day and the best of the Christmas spirit really beginning to take hold.
And in case you'd like a little What I Wore for all this Seasonal Happiness, here's the outfit I wore to lunch with my sister on Friday: a silk Club Monaco blouse (I was a bit nervous, I'll admit, pale pink silk and food?? not a good combination for this sometimes messy eater. . . .) with J Brand coated blank skinnies (I can't tell you how much I love these. But it's lots!) and J Crew patent flats, a pink cashmere scarf . . .