Monday, November 13, 2006

The holidays are coming? You're kidding!

The steel gray skies and falling golden leaves should have been the clue. Weather like this signals November in my house on the hill. October may have rain and fall colors, but there is a depth to the golden palette, there is a starkness to some of the tree branches, there is an ominous look to the clouds coming from the north that signals that autumn is quickly changing into an early California winter.

I didn't actually forget that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. I knew it was November, really I did. But today, as my son finished his online class, I heard his tutor remind everyone that next week was their Thanksgiving break. I thought he had his schedule mixed up...not NEXT week! Well, a quick glance at the huge wall calendar revealed that it was not Wes who was confused. Sigh. It's a good thing that we're experienced Thanksgiving hosts; all I need to do is make a quick list of ingredients for our weekly shopping day and get busy.

I will blame last week's weird neck problem for my disorientation; I am simply a week behind. Fortunately, my neck problems ended as quickly as they began. I woke up on Thursday, after three days of pharmaceutical assistance, and my neck felt great. I can only pray that I never have that experience again. I told my mother that if I had to bungee jump in order to never have neck pain again, I would. If you knew my fear of heights, you would have an understanding of how much my neck hurt.

With my calendar orientation adjusted, I have been doing some thinking and searching and planning for The Next Holiday. I found a site with great gift ideas ( here), checked my closets and found supplies for making soap, stationery, and a scarf or two. I also reminded myself that I have a computer filled with photos that can easily be used for calendars, collages, or sets of cards. My wonderful birthday/Christmas/Groundhog Day/Valentine's Day/Anniversary/St. Everyone's day present will be busy photographing black and white portraits of each family member, as well as the whole clan together (with the "set the timer, run, don't fall over, straighten your hair, wipe the sweat, smile..." method of family portrait photography. Hey, it's worked well for twenty years; why stop now?) IKEA was the source for inexpensive frames of different sizes, and those will mail easily to out-of-towners.

Of course, we will also be opening the family chocolatier as soon as the turkey leftovers and stuffing crumbs are cleaned up. White, milk,, orange, rum; the flavors and chocolate will blend together to create delicious truffles for coworkers, neighbors and friends far and near. The recipe can be found in last November's archives.

So, I spent part of an hour searching and planning, and that small investment has me much less disoriented and quite excited about some simple, affordable projects to share with family and friends.

Let the holidays begin!

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