Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Thursday Three!

And I'm playing this week. I shouldn't be, instead I should be slaving away as a good little (barely) civil servant, but what the heck, its for the holidays.

#1. When does the tree go up in our household? Not until December is well under way, sometime between the first weekend and the second weekend. Shopping for the tree, a real tree, remains a familial tradition that requires all members to be present- no letting the kids sneak off on some less important venture. We try to reserve the trip to the tree seller's corner for a night with a good snow fall taking place, the more snow the better. Something about going out in the dark and picking a tree while the snow falls all around really gets me in the mood to loosen the strings on my wallet, so we pick a tree, I pay and then we head home for hot cocoa. This year's trip did not include snow sadly but did incorporate dinner at Western Sizzler before the big event.

And I got off pretty easy on the wallet this year too. The spouse always says she wants a big tree, knowing that our basement family room is small and low-ceilinged. She even said it this year but then chose a beautiful, small tree as the one she wanted.

#2. Shopping is usually a last minute event at our house, just because a) I'm cheap and b) I try really hard not to get sucked into the buying-is-the-reason-for-the-season too soon. The spouse plans ahead a little bit as she often is sewing gifts for her sisters and that takes time. Like tree shopping, I really prefer a good snowstorm to get me in the mood for spending money on presents. Something about those big fat flakes falling below the streetlights really gets me in the spirit of buying. With the advent of online shopping that significance seems to pale somewhat but if the vendors really want me to get crazy with my money, they better arrange for a good snowfall outside the mall. Gift cards to a restaurant only occasionally for the boy & his girlfriend as stocking stuffers.

#3. We mostly stay close to home. After a Christmas Eve church service we generally stay at home for Christmas Day. After so many years of being in the service and far away from family we've gotten used to a quiet day by ourselves. Its too far to get to Michigan or Florida or Ohio so we just don't try. Its kind of nice that now that the oldest son and his wife (and impending grandson) lives less than an hour away, they usually come to visit for the afternoon. But its generally a laid back day with the cd changer stacked full of tunes, snack foods laid out for browsing and a chance to relax, explore new toys or start on a new book.

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