Happy almost Christmas to everyone who celebrates and Merry Saturday to all!
I didn’t get around to doing Christmas cards or, ahem, presents this year because UGGH 2016 AMIRITE? So the above image of George looking murdery in a Santa hat and this random stuff list will have to suffice.
1. How are you spending your holidays? I come from one of those weird families that never celebrates Christmas on the actual day — we just celebrate when everyone’s able to show up. And since I have a huge family with about a million people who are married to about a million other people, the only day we can all show up ends up being something weird like the Wednesday after Christmas.
So I’m spending tonight and tomorrow with my friend’s family here in Michigan before I head off to Buffalo on Monday. This is the same family I spent Thanksgiving with. Which means, yet again, I won’t be expected to do dishes. Yippeee!
That is until next week, when I return home, and I become the official Pots and Pans Scouring Queen of Western New York.
2. I’ve spent the past week coughing like a chain smoker due to a pretty severe acid reflux flare-up that started pretty much at the same time as my winter break started. (Thank you, body! What a sweet way to send me on vacation! You really do think of EVERYTHING!)
So I’m now on a total detox of all the things that make me refluxy — like caffeine and alcohol and cheese and chocolate. These are also, coincidentally, the very things that make my life worth living. And the very things that holidays are made of. I mean, what is even the point of Christmas if I can’t spend it shoving red wine and nut-covered cheese balls into my face?
But, on the bright side, my little flare-up has resulted in some new bedroom redecorating. I mean, check out this nifty new acid reflux pillow that is now adorning my bed.
I think I need to puffy paint the cover so it goes a bit better with my decor.
Also, I’ve had a number of Facebook friends inform me that this pillow can be used for naughty things. I will assure you that I have no idea what they’re talking about. And I’m too scared to Google it to find out.
3. I spent all day yesterday baking a billion Christmas goodies that I can’t even eat. If that isn’t the definition of modern martyrism I don’t know what is.
Including my now famous ginger orange shortbread dipped in dark chocolate. They are basically little hunks of buttery heaven. Trust me on this.
And this cranberry orange coffee cake which is crumbly and glazey and EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN LIFE. Again, trust me.
4. I also spent all day yesterday listening to the Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas album on repeat. It’s my absolute favoritest holiday album ever because BANJO, okay? And it doesn’t make me listen to “Run, Run, Rudolph” against my will like some popular pop music Christmas albums do. (I’m looking at you, Kelly Clarkson.)
What’s your favorite holiday album to listen to again and again until your ears start to bleed?
5. I like to start every new year with a new journal even though I’m pretty much the worst at journaling. But, who knows, maybe this year, right?
So I was super excited to get this fun little number in the mail this past week from a writer-friend.
I’m hoping that I might actually be able to keep up something of a journaling habit in 2017. (True confession: My 2016 journal is less than halfway full and it’s mostly boring stuff like to-do lists and blog post ideas I was totally going to write. True confession #2: I did not write them.)
Do you journal regularly? What do you journal about? How do you keep in the habit?
6. Tis the season I start downloading a million podcasts to listen to during my eight hour drive home to Buffalo and then back again to Michigan.
My two new (to me) favorite podcasts this year have been Reply All (this episode on imaginary friends for grown-ups was just crazy-pants) and Surprisingly Awesome (this episode on broccoli was… well… surprisingly awesome and has totally changed how I think about broccoli… and, yes, I regularly think about broccoli).
What have been your favorite podcasts this year?
7. Other things I’ll be downloading: all of the books on this list of famous people’s favorite books from the past year. And I’ve got to download them NOW because I made a resolution that I wouldn’t download any new books in 2017 until I finished reading all the jillions of already downloaded books on my Kindle.
Have any suggestions for books I should download now before I ban myself from pressing the “buy” button on the Kindle. (How I will miss you, “buy” button, you tempting little minx!)
8. As a woman who regularly camps and backpacks alone, I could relate so much to this article about the fears of women who sleep alone in the woods. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lied in my sleeping bag at night listening to breaking twigs thinking, “OMIGOD, THERE’S A BEAR/PSYCHO-KILLER/BLOOD-THIRSTY RACCOON OUT THERE AND NOW I’M GOING TO DIE.” Even though I know my chances of being assaulted or killed are much lower in the forest than in the city where I live. Also, like, what kind of psycho-killer hikes into the woods for four miles on the off-chance that there might be some lone girl in a tent out there waiting to be psycho-killed? That just doesn’t make any sense. (This, of course, doesn’t mean I won’t lie awake at night thinking of all the ways I’m going to die the next time I go solo camping. It just means that I know I’m being super irrational when I do it.)
9. For all you cat-owners out there, this might be helpful: A guide to giving your cats their annual performance review.
I’m pretty sure George’s review will be: adorable, entirely too bitey, needs to be cooler when it comes to wearing hats.
Have a great holiday weekend everyone! Send me your holiday album/journaling/podcast/book suggestions!