October – December is my favorite time of year. September is pretty good, too.
Maybe that’s odd because we love to garden so very much. Seedlings are started inside in March, we’re moving plants into the garden in May, and enjoying the garden’s progress through June, July and August – with the big harvest starting in September.
But it’s the fall and winter months when I feel like I’m most at home with myself. I love to tuck in during this time of year. It starts when the leaves are beginning to turn. (Or maybe as early as when the back-to-school-bus starts driving by at the beginning of September.)
A photo from the end of October – our Maple tree is past its peak in the picture below, but it was beautiful.
I love to plan for the end-of-year holidays. I love to holiday shop for gifts and have gotten a bit of a handle on it this year. (Last year I came down with a horrible flu at the end of November into December, and my holiday gift shopping was hurried and harried at best. Mr. Gordon was also very, very sick and I was on my own in the throng of shoppers.)
I prefer to avoid the malls and to shop local, but of course some items can only be picked up at a chain store (like Kohl’s) or ordered online. A kitchen appliance, for example. But other gifts I try to source through local shops or online maker websites like Etsy – or special, small business maker sites like the creative force at Chicken Librarian. I’m not very crafty, so I look to others with the crafty-creative bone for those gifts. 🙂
If you read the update on the cayenne pepper vodka experiment (you’ll have to scroll down a bit in that other blog post to get the update), you will know that we scrapped that idea. We tested the mixture after 2 weeks of marinating. It was really bad. Eh, you win some, you lose some!
So at this point we will not be giving a homemade liquor beverage for the holidays. We might come up with something else, of course, but we’ll just have to wait until next year to produce some traditional 44 (orange coffee liquor).
But this past weekend I made some pretty good strides on the gift buying. I daresay I’m about done except for some final little items and some gift cards I always pick up. (For example, my father joins the masses of older folks who are devotees of The Tim Horton’s. He’s there almost every week night meeting up with the other senior hoodlums. So, he gets a “Tim’s” gift card every year as a side gift.) 😉
I do a lot of shipping of gifts, too. THAT gets expensive. But, family is spread out. It’s hard. I am the youngest of 4 siblings and the closest brother lives in VA. (I’m in NY.) I also have a sister in SC and another brother in GA. It’s been over a decade since all of us have been home at the same time.
Here we are in May 2007 at my parents’ house.
Last year my 2 brothers came home for Christmas – which was great – but my sister and her husband stayed south. Even my parents are a couple hours+ drive away. Not bad, of course, but in bad weather, not always a good idea. Christmas Day 2017 brought a horrible blizzard and my parents had a rough drive home from my house to theirs.
Families can get spread out these days. We don’t travel much (Mr. Gordon is actually a tree) 🙂 so I don’t see my family that often. It’s sometimes strange to me because I did live in the same area for about 30 years before “moving away.” I miss my 2 long-time girlfriends, too. They still both live where I grew up.
This is life and moving away is nothing new. But I always feel it around the holidays. I am lucky, however, that Gordon’s parents and siblings all live within about 30 minutes of us. They’re good people. And they are all pretty fun and / or funny, too. I mean laugh out loud funny. I’m grateful for that. 🙂
So, I’m getting into the holiday spirit and yes, the Christmas music has popped up once or twice. To get YOU in the holiday spirit, here are a few photos from recent holidays past.
Well, so the holidays are coming, folks, with all its craziness, fun-ness, wistfulness, hopefulness, and busy-ness. What are you doing in prep?
- What are you planning?
- What are you buying?
- What are you making?
- What are you doing?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What are you trying this year that’s different? Anything new? 🙂
Share in a comment below your ideas, plans, memories… whatever floats your snowflake!
What’s on Your Holiday Wish List?
I feel like I can only ever focus on what is right in front of me and therefore have difficulty looking ahead or preparing for events to come. So that means right now I am focused on Thanksgiving and what I need to do to prepare for hosting our families (I think there will be close to two dozen of us). This year we are having a Finger Food Feast (or Thanksgiving Cocktail Party as my husband calls it). We have asked everyone to bring two to three Thanksgiving inspired appetizers to share. I am looking forward to this slightly different way of feasting with family.
Once Thanksgiving has passed, I can think about Christmas. I will have some gifts to make and yummy foods to bake. My husband and I head out on a date day to grab lunch and shop together for our boys, nieces and nephews. I always look forward to that day. It’s more fun to go shopping with him than to try and do it all myself.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hi Bekah! Thank you for popping on by my post! 🙂
Mr. Gordon and I typically do a nice lunch date out during holiday shopping, too. When we lived in Rochester, after visiting some of the more funky stores, we would have a delicious sushi lunch at a small sushi restaurant in the same neighborhood. It was always such a treat. I loved that as much – more so, actually – than the shopping.
Your Thanksgiving Finger Food Feast sounds like a great idea! You are hosting quite a crowd – good on you! I like your idea, too. All the tasty treats without the stuffing – of guests’ bellies…. 😉 Let us know how it goes!
We will be heading to Mr. Gordon’s parents’ house for dinner this year. I think we are bringing an apple pie and maybe German potato salad. I still bought a 10-pound turkey to bake for us. I make my mother’s stuffing recipe – something I cannot live without at Thanksgiving – so this is how I make sure I get it… and have plenty of leftovers. Then we’ll also have turkey for leftovers: pot pie, soup, etc. 😀
Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, Bekah! 😀
When we travel for Thanksgiving (which isn’t often now that we are closer to family), I would make a second Thanksgiving dinner at home so we could have leftovers too 🙂
Enjoy your time with family!
PS My son Alex and I plan on trying out the bagels today that your husband posted about. We’ll let you know how they turn out!!
Oooo, Bekah – let us know how the bagels turn out if you make them!
Ugh. The internet just ate my reply! Well, actually, it was user error but let’s not tell anyone.
You are so far ahead of me with holiday preparations. Last year I was on top of my game…I made all our gifts, decorations, and cards. I was done with everything except the gifts right after thanksgiving. I’ll be lucky to get everything together before a Christmas this year!
I loved getting to know you better thru this post! And thank you for the shoutout! I hope to have the shop restocked before small business Saturday.
I missed the update on the vodka. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out! Could you make extracts instead? They would be so cute in neat little bottles with a nice ribbon decorating them. I make my own gin and it’s super easy and super yummy but not everyone is a fan of gin.
Anyway, kudos to you for being all prepared!! Oh. I also know what it’s like to travel to see family and having to ship gifts. My whole family lives in TN so I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I’d like. ❤️❤️❤️
Blame the internet gremlins, Kristin! That’s what I’d do. 😉
Wow… making all of the gifts, decorations, and cards? That is quite a feat! I don’t think I would be able to manage that – regardless of how much time I had! But I am definitely in good shape this year.
I went shopping this past weekend and picked up bulk of the gift cards I planned to buy, plus other items like more wrap and bows. The orders I placed online are arriving. I have been wrapping presents – about five a day. I’m chipping away at everything. I even have one box ready to be shipped. That will probably go out around Dec. 6 or 7. I shouldn’t complain about shipping costs – after all, I couldn’t deliver the items for so little – but it’s still a cost that makes a dent in the Christmas savings.
I still have to pick up a few things and also bake some treats to send to one relative, but my goal is to have everything purchased, shipped and wrapped by Dec. 7. I also hope to have the tree up by this Friday. 😀
Are you staying local or heading to TN for T-G or Christmas? Happy Everything! 😀
Well, you have my respect for sure! You are super prepared. I’ll head to TN after Christmas where we’ll celebrate and exchange gifts, which is probably one reason I’m so lackadaisical about it this year. Last year I had to get everything made and packaged and sent out. And you’re right…the cost of shipping is nothing compared with delivering the gifts in person. So there’s that.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of what’s in store for you and Mr. Gordon for the rest of this year and beyond!!