Friday, December 21, 2018

May Your Days Be Merry & Bright...

Do you understand what it's like to be Jill, this close to Christmas?  On the last day of work before a 12-day break?  Still with 4 days to go before the big day, yet feeling like you can't contain the excitement RIGHT NOW??

Honestly, it's kind of not even that fun.  My stomach is in knots and I sometimes feel like I can't breathe.  That's how wound up I am.  I keep stopping and telling myself to calm the F down.  Why am I allowing myself to feel so nutty?? I am extremely prepared.  I have a whole weekend ahead of me to get food items  ready and tie up any loose ends.  I should be gearing down and moving into relax mode.

Sometimes being Jill, the 35-year-old who still feels like a 5-year-old at Christmas, isn't all snowflakes and snow angels.

But regardless.  It's my last day of work, and I'm incredibly excited to be off until January 3rd.  I'm super-pumped for the next few days of hollying & jollying, of course, but I also can't wait for the quieter days afterwards.  I have no Equity notes to write, I will have no bulletins for church to print, and no major obligations at all that I can think of.  I can't wait to just un-plug and re-charge.  I'm so ready.

It's raining today, washing away my beautiful snow and leading me to believe this could very well be a Green Christmas.  In the past, that would have totally ruined my mood, but I'm not going to let the weather affect me this year.  It's out of my control.  Christmas will happen, with or without the white stuff.  I can accept that.

I don't plan to be blogging over the holiday break, so I won't likely be back until 2019.  I'd just like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.  Enjoy the time spent with loved ones, eating, drinking, and being merry.  Soak it all up and savour it.  Have the best Christmas ever!!!

May your days be merry & bright,
And may all your white. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What I'm Loving Wednesday: All the Christmas things...

Probably pretty easy to guess what I'm LOVING this Wednesday, eh?

... CHRISTMAS!!!  It's my favourite time of year, and I'm just enjoying every single moment!! 

... I made ginger snaps for the first time last night, and they turned out quite well!  Woo Hoo!!

... I jammed a whole bunch of things into the evening last night.  It must be some kind of pre-Christmas adrenaline rush I have going or something.  Normally it's all I can do to drag my ass through the evening without falling asleep.  Last night, I finished my wrapping, baked ginger snaps and made Oreo fudge, and crocheted a few more of my "last-minute" items.  AND still wide awake at 11 PM for the second night in a row.  I'm quite enjoying this festive energy boost!!

... I have to admit, as much as I don't want this next week to blow by too quickly, I'm kind of loving that Lynndonne and his pal Tucker will be done soon.  Moving a giant elf (and his beer-drinking buddy) around the house, staging silly scenarios, and taking pictures isn't as much fun as it looks.  Plus, he's leaving sparkles all over my damn house.

... I know I mentioned it yesterday, but I'm so loving the prospect of the downtime I will be enjoying between Christmas and New Year's.  I'm so looking forward to endless hours of watching TV and movies, crocheting, reading... it all sounds so delicious & hygge to me!!

... Loving all of the festive activities still to come!  I am a little concerned about the weather though.  My White Christmas is in jeopardy thanks to to a pile of rain forecasted between tomorrow night and Saturday, but it's not even the rain that has me worried.  It's the potential for freezing rain.  Our curling party is tomorrow night, we are going Christmas caroling on Friday night, and I had planned to do my pre-Christmas grocery trip to Shawville on Saturday.  All of those plans could be affected by weather.  Fingers crossed that the weather man is wrong (he usually is!!)

... I've been seriously loving Gwen Stefani's Christmas album.  I downloaded it a few weeks ago and it took a little while for it to grow on me, but "Never Kissed Anyone With Blue Eyes" is now one of my favourite songs, and I also love "Secret Santa", "When I Was a Little Girl", "You Make It Feel Like Christmas", and "Cheer for the Elves".  Highly recommend it!!

... I'm loving that Mary Poppins Returns is now in theatres, and I'm really hoping to get to see it over the holidays.  It looks so good, and I adore Emily Blunt as an actress.  Should be a fun trip to the theatre!!

... Loving the cute texts my nephew Caden has been sending me.  He has texting capabilities now, and it just brings an instant smile to my face when my phone buzzes and I look to see something like: "4 more days til Xmas break" followed by a string of emojis.

Well, I think that's about all I've got for today!  What are YOU loving on this Wednesday before Christmas??

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Random Tuesday: It's almost time...

  • One week.  ONE WEEK.  I really can't believe this, you guys.  I feel like it was JUST November a second ago.  December always flies way too fast.  SLOW DOWN, my favourite time of year.  SLOW DOWN!!!
  • So. I had one last Christmas "task" that was weighing on me, and it is now mostly complete:  The wrapping.  It's one of my very favourite things to do, so I always kind of leave it until well on in December.  Well, this year, that was kind of a mistake.  I had intentions of having my Wrapfest last Saturday, but I ended up helping to serve a funeral luncheon and by the time I was done at that, I was wiped.  Saturday night I had a little party to go to, and on Sunday we had church and Danica's birthday party, so no time for wrapping.
  • I got at it last night, though.  I'm not entirely sure where I got my super Monday evening energy, but I got a TON of stuff done last night:  I did all the dishes that I'd been abandoning in the sink for the past few days (and emptied the clean stuff from the dishwasher that had been sitting for a week - I LOATHE emptying the dishwasher!!); I did laundry;  I put away the pile of clean laundry that has been growing in the spare room over the past few weeks (I LOATHE putting away clean laundry); and I wrapped a million presents.  A few little things left to wrap, but for the most part, that's a big CHECK!!
  • I usually go to bed around 10 pm.  Last night, I stayed up til 11 as I was determined to get that wrapping done.  Then I went to bed and lay awake for God knows how long.  It's happening... The little kid in me is coming alive, and it's getting harder and harder to sleep the closer we get to the big day!
  • One thing that I'm usually stressed about this time of year that I'm not this year?  Getting all my shows and movies watched.  I don't know how it has happened, but I've already got most of them done.  I still have to watched The Family Stone - it's a must - and The Muppets Christmas Carol.  And of course, the old Miracle on 34th Street on Christmas Eve day.  But otherwise... I think I've watched them all!
  • Tonight I will finish up the little bit of wrapping I have left to do, and then I'm planning to try making ginger snaps.  I have never made them before, but I bought molasses for the first time with the intentions of trying them out, and this will probably be the last chance to do that.  I hope they turn out!
  • I also hope to have a little bit of time to do some crocheting.  I have some last minute little gift add-ons and stocking stuffers I'm working on, and I'm hoping to get a few more done.
  • Tonight feels like it's the last evening of "down-time" before the weekend... tomorrow evening I have our annual Christmas movie & pizza party with my friend Lindsay and her family; Thursday evening is the Curling Christmas Hot Shots Party; and Friday evening is Christmas Caroling here in town. Saturday  I have no "set" plans, but I want to do my pre-Christmas grocery trip, get my games ready for Christmas Eve, take a load of gifts to my mom's, and deliver some treats.
  • I just want to push pause.  I don't want these days to go zooming by. I want to savour this, my absolute favourite time of year.  I want to hang on to it, I want to cling to it.  
  • That said, I'm also really, really looking forward to this week being over. LOL  How contradictory can a girl be, right?  But I'm craving the break, the downtime, the hygge of it all.  I'm anxious to just be lazy, sleep in, no alarm.  Binge on Netflix.  There are SO many movies and shows I want to watch!  Fuller House Season 4 will be a must, and there's a new season of Life In Pieces, which I love.  Of course, that will all come AFTER I finish New Girl, as it's leaving Dec. 31st.  There's also the Ellen DeGeneres comedy special, the Bruce Springsteen Live on Broadway special, Dumplin', I Feel Pretty, Passengers, new seasons of Wentworth and House of Cards... SO MUCH TV'ING TO DO!!!
  • Can you tell I'm ready for the holidays?  I'm so ready for the holidays.  I'm so ready to have 10 days off from work.  I'm so ready to sink into my winter hibernation mode.  So, so ready.  
How are you all doing?  Surviving the week before Christmas??  I hope you're all feeling as ready & as excited as I am! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Wishlist: 2018 Edition

Well, folks, it's that time of year again!!  Time for me to share all the little hopes and dreams I have for what Santa might leave under the tree for me in 2018!!

*Disclaimer* As per usual, I know the best part of Christmas is the people around the tree, not what's under it.  And yes, as I get older, I definitely enjoy sitting back, sipping a coffee, and watching the kids open gifts more than I actually enjoy partaking in the opening myself.  In fact, I've "cut" presents with a few people and it feels good to let that part go.  But let's face it... a girl still has dreams, and wants, and needs.  Doesn't hurt to make up a little Wishlist for the big lad in red, does it??  I've been a pretty good girl this year!! ;)

Alright. Now that that part is out of the way, here are the items that made my Wishlist this year:

I always need a few books, especially to fulfill the reading requirements for our book club selections.  This year, my book club requests are:
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

I also asked for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, because I hear it's really good but it didn't make the book club cut.  Still want to read it.

I know.  Can't get much more basic than this.  I'm not sure WHY I never buy new ones (or make my own, now that I know how to crochet!) - but I have used the same dingy, disgusting dishcloths for YEARS.  They need a revamping, in a major way.

Colour-Changing Mug
It's a silly little thing, but I have a mug fetish.  I can't resist them for some reason.  And I think the colour-changing mugs are so cute, especially this panda one.  (I also need to come up with a way to STORE all of my mugs, because lord knows there's no more room in my cupboards for them.)

The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden
I prefer to follow patterns rather than watch Youtube videos when it comes to crocheting, and there is still so much I need to learn.  I've heard from other crocheters in the groups on Facebook that this is a crochet must-have.  

Starbucks Tumbler with straw
My sippy cups are always with me, I drink a ton of water in a day.  I got a big Starbucks one a few years ago from a friend, and it is by far my favourite of all my sippy cups.  I wouldn't mind getting a new one so I can throw out some of the el-cheapo Walmart ones that I drop and break all the time!

iTunes Gift Cards
These would never go astray.  I'm always downloading new music.  Getting it for free is always a bonus!!!

A Nutcracker
This is the new "breadmaker" of my annual wishlist.  Remember how long I asked for a breadmaker before I finally got one?  It seems the Nutcracker has taken it's place.  I feel like it's the only Christmas decoration I don't have.  (My friend Lindsay did give me one back in the fall... but it was a Halloween version. lol)  The thing is, I want a fairly large one, one that could stand beside my tree or in a corner, and be large enough that it's noticeable, but... they're expensive, yo.  I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for a nice one on sale.

Electric Hand Mixer
My hand mixer is probably the small kitchen appliance I use the most, and mine is sounding pretty sick these days.  I've been praying it survives the holiday baking! lol!  If Santa doesn't bring me a new one, it will definitely be something I go out and buy over the holidays.

A board game, like Clue
I don't know why - because I'm generally the one who has no desire to play board games - but I've been daydreaming about being hunkered down over the holidays, playing games all day with the kids.  I'd love to introduce them to Clue, I remember having a lot of fun playing it when we were kids.

Gift cards for the movies
Going to the movies is one of my most favourite things in the world to do.  I'm hoping to get to the theatre to see Mary Poppins over the holidays.  A gift card for the movies would never go to waste with me!

Essential Oils (Peppermint Halo)
Back at Thanksgiving, I had a headache and my sister put her Peppermint Halo stuff on the back of my neck.  I had a nap and woke up feeling a million times better.  I told her to buy me some, but she recommended waiting for it to to on sale.  I'm hoping it has been on sale at some point and might make its way under the tree. lol!

Ergonomic Shovel
I originally forgot to put this on my list, I didn't remember until it snowed the first time!!  My mom has one and I used it last year a few times at her place, and it made shoveling such a joy!!  I wish for one of my own!!

Immersion Blender
Another item that I originally forgot to put on my list, and didn't think of until soup weather hit!  I make a lot of soup in the winter, and I prefer pureed soups to chunky soups.  The one I have was a supreme el-cheapo and it didn't work AT ALL the last time I tried using it.  If it doesn't land beneath the tree, I'll be investing in a good one myself!


What is on YOUR Wishlist this Christmas?? Come on, I can't be the only girl in the world who doesn't mind the odd present or two! ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wednesday Medley: This, That, & Christmas!

I have decided to follow the lead of some of my fellow blog pals and take part in this week's Wednesday Medley!

1. National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12. Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while. It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbor from years ago. Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer. How about that couple who carpooled for soccer. There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me. So tell us who you want to call today!  

Well, I have certainly never heard of this before! LOL! I don't like talking on the phone, so I'm probably not one to take part in Ding-a-Ling day. There are people I sometimes think of from my past that I wonder about, though. What happened to them? How did their lives turn out? The boy I teased in elementary school. The guy I had a crush on in college. People who lived in our community at some point during my life, but then moved away and we lost touch. Facebook has helped with that quite a bit, though. Nobody I'm feeling the urge to call today! haha!

2. Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize National Poinsettia Day. I am including this "National Day" too because my neighbor's poinsettia from last year is blooming beside their house!! Have you ever tried to plant a poinsettia outside?

I have never tried planting one  outside, and I have only ever had one once in my life.  The year I was on the Christmas House Tour, the church gifted me with a big beautiful poinsettia that I kept alive for almost a year.  I don't have much of a green thumb, though, so plants don't usually last long around me. lol!

3. Do you believe in Bigfoot? What size shoe do you wear and do you have trouble shoe shopping?

I kind of do believe, yes!  Mythological creatures have always kind of intrigued me - Bigfoot, aliens, the Loch Ness Monster, etc.  I love hearing stories about sightings, and I'm a believer in the fact that there has to be some sort of truth to get a story started.  So yes.  I kind of think they might just be out there!
I wear a size 8-8 1/2, and I don't usually have much trouble shoe shopping, but I don't do it very often.  I tend to wear shoes until they're falling apart.  My only difficulty is that I have a wider foot, and sometimes have to leave behind shoes I really like because they are too narrow and hurt my feet.

4. What is one thing you refuse to share?

Okay, that's not entirely true. LOL  I'm getting better, especially when it's my nieces and nephews picking off my plate.  And I like to make things to give to other people, especially at Christmas, so in that sense I'm very good at sharing.  I just... like my food, and I'm not a big fan of others touching it when it's on my plate, or in my bowl... ya know?

5. Are you finding that this Christmas is stressful? More or less than last year? 

I was way better prepared and started much earlier than usual, so I'd say I'm not that stressed this year.  I can still get overwhelmed if I think about it too much, but I'm trying to keep myself present in the moment and enjoy rather than get stressed out.  Last year was definitely worse. Not necessarily because of Christmas, but because of some health issues I was having.  It was around this time last year that my heart palpitations started to become a problem and we were trying to get to the bottom of that and the high blood pressure.  I was kind of consumed with worry in that regard.  This year, my medication continues to work beautifully and I feel much better physically, so that feels good.

6. Tell us something random about your week so far!

I came into this week feeling a little disappointed that I had "booked too much" for my weeknights.  I had a hair appointment last night, I signed up for a Pound workout demo class tonight, and I have curling tomorrow night.  But as the week progresses, I'm feeling very chill and OK with it all.   I have lots of free time on Friday evening, and on Sunday as well, and then still another full week before Christmas, so I still have lots of time to get the wrapping and baking and movie watching done.  Still lots of time to "soak up" my favourite time of year!!  Bring it all on, baby! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Long Weekend? What Long Weekend?

Another festive and fun weekend is in the books, and boy, did it go by in a snap!  It was even a long weekend for me, but it sure didn't feel like it.

I had booked a day off on Friday to finish up my Christmas shopping.  I was so looking forward to this day, because I actually didn't have a ton of shopping left to do.  So it was kind of a relaxed day, helping my mom with some of her shopping, picking up a few little stocking stuffers and odds & ends, and groceries.  Call me crazy, but I just love strolling around the mall this time of year, taking in the sights and sounds of the holiday season, especially when I'm not stressed out and frantically running around trying to buy gifts.  At Carlingwood, there were lots of little ones running around, visiting with Santa and riding the train.  Even though the mall was crazy busy, everyone seemed to be in a great mood.  I also had some of the friendliest cashiers and staff help me throughout the day, which was so pleasant and really makes a hectic, crowded day in stores so much more enjoyable.

We had lunch at the food court before heading back over to the Quebec side, with stops at the dollar store, Walmart, and Bulk Barn, then headed for home mid-afternoon.  We popped in to visit my sister, as she was working from home that day, and when I got home, I assembled all of my gifts and stocking stuffers to assess everything and make sure I hadn't missed anything.  I was happy with what I saw, and officially checked off "FINISH CHRISTMAS SHOPPING" off my list! Woo hoo!!  (* I do still have 2 gifts not yet in my possession... fingers crossed they appear this week!!  I want to wrap this weekend!!)

Friday evening was our Christmas book club meeting, so we gathered at Jenna's to celebrate another great year of reading together, and to discuss the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I know I've read the book before, but I enjoyed it so much more as an adult, and I really enjoyed the movie as well.  It was a fun evening chatting with the ladies, as always!

Saturday was Santa Claus Parade day in town, so I was up early because I'm a kid at heart and I can't sleep when all this Christmas fun is going on!!  I sipped coffee, watched Fallon, and crocheted for a while before getting up and into gear.  I vacuumed the whole house, washed my bedding, and cleaned the upstairs bathroom before finally getting myself ready.  I had to get my giant elf, Lynndonne, and his buddy Tucker to the Quyon Tractor & Truck Pullers gang who were assembling a float for the parade and requested their presence again this year.  I dropped "the boys" off and then returned home to wait for the parade to start at noon.  My mom, BIL and niece, and a bunch of my friends and their kids, gathered at my place to watch the parade and we had a great time.  It was one of the best parades I've seen in our little town in a long time, with lots of local businesses and groups entering into the fun.  Kudos to all involved, especially to "Santa" who stepped in to fill big shoes this year and did a great job!!

After the parade, we grabbed a bite to eat at the new restaurant that opened in town, and then that afternoon was cookie baking with my mom.  Every year, she dreads having to make our family's favourite cookie:  iced sugar cookies, just like Grandma used to make.  Last year, I helped her and while I realized why they are such a chore, everything went so smoothly that I was excited to make them with her again this year.  Well... things didn't go quite as smoothly this year. LOL  I think I was a bit too tired, and my patience was thin.  They are finicky little things to make. When we were finally done around suppertime, we agreed that next year my sister and brother should have to make them.  Needless to say, we were tired and glad the job was done!!  I went home with the intent of watching Christmas movies, but instead I fell asleep on the couch.  Whoops!!

Sunday morning was our White Gift service at church and choir practice, then we had brunch at the restaurant before heading up to visit my Uncle Garry, who is in the hospital.  He celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday (on the same day as my dad's birthday, he would have been 78), so we wanted to get in some early birthday wishes and a visit with him before his big day.   When I got home, I worked on finishing up my crocheted gifts (weaved in those dreaded ends, a chore I had been avoiding for weeks!), got some stuff done around the house, and watched Home Alone and The Holiday.  I seriously couldn't believe how fast the weekend flew by, in the wink of an eye it was over!!

Yesterday was back to work, but it was an easy day because Sue, Lindsay, and I skipped out for a few hours to join the UCW Christmas potluck at our church.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch, played a few games, and just enjoyed the visit with the ladies from our church. It made for a fun Monday!  After work, I was feeling sluggish from the big meal at lunch time, so I had a quick nap before embarking on laundry and making some more Christmas treats for my freezer:  peanut brittle and bark are now done!

This morning it's snowing and the office is super-quiet. I keep smiling to myself as I think of Christmas, now just two weeks away.  I'm nine work days away from being off for over a week, and I can't wait.  I'm just craving the holiday fun and the downtime during the week afterwards.  I can't wait to watch movies and binge TV shows and read and just lay low!!  I'm daydreaming about a snowstorm, it would be a perfect time for one to hit! ;)

Happy Tuesday, friends!! :)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Christmassy Thursday Things

Going to just do some random rambling about Christmassy things today!

  • This past Monday night was the annual Christmas House Tour, which I help to organize as a fundraiser for our church.  This year, we had five beautiful and very different homes open their doors to us, and everyone did an amazing job.  This fundraiser has kind of been my baby for the past few years, as I start in September trying to find homeowners in our community willing to let 100+ people in their doors to see their homes and decorations. We only ask them to decorate as they normally would for the holidays, but people always seem to go the extra mile for it, and I truly appreciate how hard they all work to make this fundraiser for our church a continued success each year.  It is such a fun evening going from house to house, oohing and ahhing over the beautiful decor and neat ideas (it amazes me that people come up with new and clever ideas each year!).  This year, we had enough goodies and gifts donated to have three separate draws, and we also had a generous donation of gorgeous handmade wooden Christmas ornaments that we were able to sell, and they were a big hit. The generosity of our church family and community as a whole always makes me so proud.  
  • Now that the planning and execution of the House Tour is over, I can relax and enjoy the season even more.  I should get one more big check off the ol' To-Do List tomorrow, as I have the day booked off to finish up my Christmas shopping.  I really only need a few stocking stuffers, and some wrapping essentials.  But I always enjoy a trip to the mall during the holiday season, to soak up the sights & sounds.  And I love when all of that part is completely finished, and I can anticipate the part that I REALLY love - THE WRAPPING!!  I still have 2 parcels to arrive by mail, and fingers crossed they appear within the next week, because I have next weekend booked for my wrapping extravaganza.  I love turning my living room into my elf workshop, putting on Christmas movies, sipping on rum & egg nog, while wrapping away all day.  Bliss!!
  • Oh, I also do still have one Christmas gift to finish making, too!  Actually, 2 of them.  I have to finish crocheting a blanket, and then I have to weave in the ends on it and another blanket I made earlier this fall.  That, so far, is the only part of crocheting that I despise... weaving in the ends.  Ugh.  I'm going to work my little buns off to get that all done this weekend, though.
  • Last night, I did one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen - melt and swirl chocolate for my Christmas bark!  Sadly, I was only able to make two of the three kinds I make annually because I way underestimated how much white chocolate I would need.  Back to the Bulk Barn I go tomorrow!
  • Tomorrow evening is our Christmas book club dinner and meeting, Saturday our town is having the annual Santa Claus Parade, and Sunday is the White Gift service at church.  All fun and festive things going on!  My mom and I are also planning to bake on Saturday, a little tradition we just started last year when I asked her to teach me to make my grandma's iced sugar cookies.  They are a big job for one person, but it goes so much better with two tackling the job!  Overall though, it's a less busy weekend than last weekend, and for that, I'm so grateful!
  • I kind of over-booked my evenings for next week, which I'm disappointed about now, as I've reached the point of the month when I just want to hunker and squeeze in as many Christmas shows and movies as possible.  Tuesday evening I have a hair appointment, Wednesday I booked in for a Pound workout demo, and Thursday is curling.  But once those evenings are over, things will calm down a little bit.  The way the weeks fall this year still leaves me plenty of down-time before Christmas to do my hunkering and last-minute preparing.  I'll be OK.  I know I will. lol!
  • One thing that I'm NOT looking forward to? I still have lots of LYNNDONNE work to do.  ugh! Do you know what a pain it is to drag around a giant elf and try to think of new and funny things for him to do?  I'm glad people seem to enjoy him, but I'm not sure Lynndonne will be coming off the shelf next year!
  • Have I mentioned it's snowing?  It is.  Right now, as I type.  Oh God, how I'm praying for a White Christmas!!
OK, I think that's it for today folks!  Hope you are all feeling festive and excited!! :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

December: Currently...

Hello December!  Hello my favourite month of the year!!

I have so much Christmassy stuff I want to talk about, but first, a quick post on what's up with me currently, in my favourite month of the year!!

Listening to...  Take a wild guess.  Of COURSE I'm listening to Christmas music!!  All of my old favourites are out: Bieber's Under the Mistletoe, Wayne Rostadt's Christmas in the Valley, Elvis Christmas, Pentatonix, and so on.  One of the items on my Christmas Bucket List was to download a new Christmas album this year, and I haven't yet, but I'm eyeing Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas.  I just may make a move on it tonight.

Eating... Strangely enough, I'm eating semi healthy right now.  Only because of the Goodfood box I got last week.  I still have two recipes I haven't made yet, but it has introduced some vegetables into my home, and that's a good thing.  I also was proud of myself for not sampling too many of the Christmas cookies I made over the weekend.  Most of them went straight to the freezer.  Woo hoo!

Drinking... The usual - water.  I haven't really got into my "hot drinks" yet which I usually do this time of year.  Maybe I'll make a hot chocolate tonight.  I'm also looking forward to rum & egg nog.  I'm an egg nog fan, but I usually wait and buy it super close to Christmas.

Feeling...  Despite it being my favourite time of year, there has been a lot of sadness in our community lately, and that is definitely weighing on me.  Feeling more blue than I normally would this close to Christmas, but unfortunately, there are things in this world we cannot control, and we can't make them go away. My heart is with those who are hurting, and I am hurting for them.

Reading... Did I say Harry Potter last month?  I think I did.  I thought I'd be done it by now.  It's not that I'm not enjoying it.   There's just been too much going on to really spend quality time with my book.  Any free evening I have is spent working on my crocheting (still one gift to finish), baking, watching Christmas movies and specials, and trying to squeeze in some New Girl since it's leaving Netflix later in December.  By the time my head hits the pillow, it's lights out and fast asleep.  I always struggle to get reading done this time of year.

Watching... As I just said, I've been working through as many Christmas movies and specials as I can!  So far, I've watched Little Women, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, A Christmas Carol (Disney Jim Carrey version), Four Christmases, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Nightmare Before Christmas.  Last night I was super stoked to discover A Muppet Family Christmas on YouTube and watched it, as well as an old Max Fleishman cartoon I remember from when I was a kid called "Christmas Comes But Once a Year".  I also watched a bit of the SNL Christmas special.  Still lots to go!! And as I also said, I'm trying to squeeze in a few episodes of New Girl each night too.  The show is leaving Netflix (boooo!!) later in December and I'm on the last season.  So frustrating to have to rush!!

Wanting... SNOW!!!  We got snow early this year, but we had a mild spell last week and most of it melted away with several days of rain.  There isn't a lot in the long-range forecast, and some more mild days predicted too.  It's officially the time of year when I start panicking it might be a green Christmas.  I HATE green Christmases. :(

Needing... My last few Christmas gifts to arrive.  The darn postal strike has added extra stress to the online shopping this year.  And of course, I never learn, I order from Shutterfly every year, and every year have a hassle with delivery.  I have Friday booked off to do my last little odds and ends and stocking stuffers, and once they're done and my parcels arrive (knock on wood), I'll be completely DONE!  I need to have this done so I can truly breathe and enjoy the Christmas season.

Missing... loved ones who aren't here anymore.  As much as it's a joyful time of year, it can be bittersweet as you think of the ones who have passed away.  It's inevitable that we miss them just a little bit more this time of year.

Enjoying... the Lynndonne shenanigans again this year!  Last year, I decided to do silly Elf on the Shelf scenarios with my giant elf, Lynndonne, and while it might seem crazy to put that much work into it - especially when I don't have kids! - I had enough people tell me they hoped he'd be back this year that it made it worthwhile to bring him alive again this Christmas.  We're 5 days in, and it really does bring me joy to post what Lynndonne is up to each morning.  I hope he ( and his new, beer-drinkin' pal Tucker) are making a few people smile each day. :)

Happy December, friends. :)