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?