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Sunday, December 17, 2017


I have the best intentions.  I intend to send Christmas cards and give thoughtful gifts.  I want to make other people happy with physical evidence of my affection.  In fact, I want this so much that nothing is quite good enough.  I shop until I'm worn out and still don't have anything to wrap.  It doesn't help that I'm frugal and a bit agoraphobic.  Ten nine eight days before Christmas, I have found exactly one present.  I'm feeling pressure.

My brother took me to dinner for my birthday.  I'll take him out for his birthday.  It's simple.  We know the rules.  We're both happy.  Why can't it be that simple all the time?

A friend reminded me of gifts I gave a few years ago.  They were labor-intensive, thoughtful, and beautiful.  Damn, that's a standard I can't continue.  I was glad to make them, glad they were appreciated, but please don't expect that level of effort every year.  And I know she doesn't expect that.  Her appreciation just makes me want to give her something great again because she's a lovely friend.

(Repeat cycle in a never-ending, obsessive loop as the days count down to Christmas...)

I wrote the above and decided to quit whining and go shopping.  I now have two gifts, neither great.  They're both kind of cute to go with better gifts which obviously don't exist yet.  About $100 poorer than I started, I now have a yoga mat, cookies, chips, and a frozen pizza.  Clearly, a yoga mat requires junk food and other nonessentials.  I also got a pair of excellent shoes for $9.  Did you hear that?  $9!!!  Yay!  I intended them as replacements for my yard shoes which have a flapping sole.

I happily showed a friend my new shoes and he firmly advised against further shopping.  "Be responsible!"  Okay.  I'm thinking of getting another pair of $9 shoes though so I can use one pair for walking around and one pair for mowing the lawn.

Maybe I'll bake some cookies as gifts.  Don't get excited.  They don't exist yet.  We'll see.  I have all the best intentions so they might happen.  I know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I'm just not cut out for holidays.  I'm also contemplating whether or not I can get away with making whole wheat cookies because I accidentally bought the wrong kind of flour.  Ten pounds of it since it was on sale.  No wonder it was on sale.  Whole wheat?  Uck.  Told you, I'm a bad shopper.

Note about flour, buy unbleached.  It tastes and behaves the same as white flour without the Clorox.

I think the cookies are going to happen.  In years past, my friend Helen made buckets and buckets of cookies to give to friends, clubs, and doctors' offices.  She was a sweetheart, but she died this year.  I'm thinking there are a lot of people in need of cookies.  I won't pretend to do this on such an industrial scale, but I can do my part.  I think I'll keep Helen's spirit alive in the process.  I even have two bags of stevia for diabetic cookies.  I wonder if people will rebel against whole wheat diabetic cookies?  Maybe dipped in chocolate?

I hope your shopping/baking is going better than mine!


  1. You made progress, count it as a win! Plus, $9 shoes :)
    Lovely bow. Acryllic?

  2. Thick watercolor. Does that start counting as goauche? As far as shopping goes, at my current rate of success, I think I might get finished by March. Maybe April?

  3. Linda, I agree that one can't live up to ever increasing expectations, to increasingly laborious activities as shopping and decorating every Yule or Christmas. One year is great, the next not-so. And then it is followed by a complete break after which a very intensely gift-buying years follows. Like nature; sometimes her harvest is huge, sometimes it is a complete fail. I agree with this and I hope you don't beat yourself up over being like Mother Nature. Merry Christmas, Joyful Yule & Marvelous Midwinter wishes to you.

  4. I actually started baking. There will be a Christmas after all :) Wishing you and yours a happy holiday and a happy new year too!