Monday, November 06, 2017

Thinking of Christmas

I think that's what's going to help me make it through. Christmas is a big deal to me, even if the day itself doesn't always live up to my memories or hopes. (I just hope this year is better, with no one injured).

I did find out today we're getting a "stipend" (in other words: "Don't call it a Christmas bonus; we're a state school") towards the end of this month. 1.5% of base salary (probably minus taxes and in my case minus what gets Hoovered out to go into my 457 B account - though I suppose Future Me, if there IS a Future Me* will thank me.

(*Some days I wonder, given geopolitics. I hope there will be, but I still worry)

Anyway. That makes things a little easier as I had some big expenses this fall that my salary didn't cover comfortably. (I had to take a bit out of savings, and I hate doing that, even though dealing with emergencies is what having savings is for)

But now I'm thinking about the cute sweet winsome pleasant things.

As I said earlier, I started my mom's hat, and I have plans to do yet another for AAUW (I ordered some yarn from Webs today just in case the Sweet Roll doesn't seem likely to work out). And I have the fairy lights going. And I did buy some ornaments at Target on Saturday.

And I do think I want to get a new, skinny, 6' tall tree - to set up along side my piano, and to hold all the many ornaments I own. (And that gives me license to buy a few more, and also, I can stick some of the toys I have on the tree - am thinking Applejack and Minty and company would look nice). And I have some twinkly multi-colored LEDs. (As much as I like the white fairy lights for around the door frame, I want colorful lights on the tree, because that's what we always had when I was growing up.)

I also mentioned the Hallmark movies. It's funny: those sort of sappy, low-level romances make me roll my eyes normally, but given a Christmas theme - I'm kind of a sucker for them. (And also: Hallmark tends to be wholesome, in the sense that the guy and gal get married at the end of the movie, and everything proceeds in a decorous way. I don't like "strong" romance; I prefer my romance to be more in the model of Austen or those other early writers where you were wed before you were bed, or however they say it.)  I probably need to switch to those full-time and see if I can set up a parental-lock function to keep myself from watching the news.

I've talked before about Christmas brain - part of it is, yes, just being able to enjoy the bright and pretty and sweet and sparkly things. The stuff that isn't, you know, "really" Christmas in the church sense of it, but the stuff that makes life nice, and especially, during what is usually a cold and dark time of year, makes things nicer.

But the other thing, and I was thinking of this the other day (and probably need to think about it more): I was thinking how "I want to be done with hearing about bad news, and I want to spend my time thinking about the Good News." And yes, that's not just for Christmas, but for me, it seems easier at Christmas and at Easter than it does in what is sometimes termed "Ordinary Time."

And yes, I've gotten good at compartmentalizing "Advent" (which is really a mini-Lent and a time for reflection and contemplation) from "The Christmas Season" which is more celebratory and of course includes the things I listed: decorating, and tv specials (even the sappy Hallmark rom-coms), and special foods, and being cozy, and shopping for gifts, and all that.

(My gift shopping is NEARLY done. I need to find one or two more things for my sister-in-law - I am thinking I might try the local gourmet shop, which is like the ONE nice and fun store left downtown, for something.)

I also want to get my gift-knitting done, so I can maybe do a little toymaking for myself: I still want to crochet a G4-ized Surprise, and I still want to make the "sleepy Scootaloo" I bought yarn for. And I have other yarns ahead for other toys....

(And I have to think about what *I* want as gifts; my mom has been nudging me for a list. I think I will start checking the catalogs; I know any more it's easier for her to do catalog stuff than run all over town looking for some item I want. The thing is, there's not that much I NEED - I saw a couple of tops in the Duluth Trading catalog that were cute and would fill a place in my winter wardrobe, and I need some new dress shoes, but those are really best bought in person, so I don't know. I might ask her for an Ulta gift card, given my newfound love of cosmetics....I don't need any yarn or books or things like that, and I confess, at nearly 50, I'm a little embarrassed to ask for toys, so I tend to get those for myself.)

It is still too early for Christmas music, I think, but when I get my new tree and put it up, maybe that's when I get the music out. I'm thinking maybe next week, maybe do it bit by bit, in the evenings - bring a few things out each day and set them up and around, I don't know. I am gone over Thanksgiving and then it's a hard push to get to the end of the semester. This year, I leave on the 18th for Christmas, so it's a *bit* later than it often is.....

(I already think I'm going to see if there's some way I can drag the owl sweater with me and get more work done on it over break, when I have more time and more attention)

I'm also ready for it to get cold. It was in the upper 80s over the weekend, which is for the birds. I don't want ice and I don't necessarily want snow (snow is best when no one has to go anywhere, like, on Christmas Day itself), but I would like it to FEEL like fall/winter. And for me to be able to wear my winter stuff a little this year....


Lynn said...

Oooo! I have a couple of tops from Duluth Trading that I LOVE. Yesterday was the first day that it was cold enough to wear one of them because they are very warm - unexpectedly so for how lightweight they are. I forget what they call them offcially but they're a double layer henley, different colors on the inside and outside and the cuffs and collar are the same color as the inside.

purlewe said...

hmm. maybe your mom can give you a gift card to help cover the cost of the new tree? Like you buy it now, but some of the payment of it will come later?