Before our Thanksgiving guests even left, I was on a plane to Atlanta for several days of training and team-building with my colleagues. I’m a high-strung traveler, and I can admit it now. I used to try and play it cool, outwardly rolling with the punches while having an internal meltdown, but I’ve decided that this is me, and if I need to arrive at an airport the full two hours before my scheduled departure in order to maintain my sanity, so be it. Sadly, I live quite a ways from the airport and so I found myself pulling out of the driveway at 2:30am the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
It was a solid trip. I experienced minimal delay on the way out, and got to have dinner with my aunt and uncle and cousin the first night there. I honestly enjoy my colleagues – we’re blessed to have such a great staff, and it’s nice to talk to people in person when they’re usually a floating head on a web call. So it was a good trip. And it kicked my butt.
I didn’t bounce back this time. I made a conscious effort to be in bed before 10pm every night I was away, and it was still a slow crawl back into real life. I shared on Instagram a little bit of my struggle to readjust, and I think I’m finally back to normal today, a full week after coming home.
It was a week of making merry, of diving fully into the new holiday season. We cut our tree the day after I got home, choosing to frequent the same place we’ve gone the past two years. The proprietor greeted us by name when we pulled in, and we had the place to ourselves as we inspected each tree. The girls each took a turn at the saw, and an eight foot tree found its way into the bed of the truck. We do not quite have eight foot ceilings, but we do now have a green scrape in the paint over our heads, and a tree with no topper.
We enjoyed a teeny homegrown Christmas fair at Beanie’s nursery school. I made blondies for the bake sale, and we shopped the used toy collection, coming home with a big bag of Duplos and two like-new puzzles for a small donation – a Dr. Seuss alphabet and a Scholastic beginning sounds (this one is pretty great, and both girls worked really hard on it without getting frustrated).
We made an attempt at spritz cookies, finally using the electric cookie press my mom had given me quite a few years back, and took a huge plate of them along with us to the tree lighting at the community center. It was a community-wide event, with multiple groups taking charge of various parts. Our librarians read a story and organized a craft. My fellow board members organized the cookie donations and served hot chocolate. The fire department and events committee set up a campfire and roasted marshmallows on the beach, and some of the local men strung the lights and flipped the switch at the appointed hour. Santa himself arrived in his SmartCar and had a present for each child. Truly, one of my favorite events of the year.
I’m finishing up teacher gifts, one for each of Beanie’s nursery school teachers, and one for Sweebee’s piano instructor. I’ve got three dishcloths finished, and need to cast on the fourth tomorrow. I had thought I would wrap them around a bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, but was cautioned by a scent-sensitive former colleague, and went for fancy chocolate instead (and these Dagoba bars are under $2 each at Target right now with your Cartwheel!).
Swee and I did a little shopping to fulfill a request from the town’s Giving Tree, choosing warm socks and a simple fleece and shirt for a neighbor in need. My girls are such kind little souls, it’s not taken much reminding at all to get them thinking of others. It’s enough to bring me to tears.
**Speaking of tears, several of these Christmas books have been real tear-jerkers, like The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree and The Story of Holly and Ivy. I’ll be sharing more of our reading selections in the side bar on the right, as well as in posts here and there using affiliate links, and would appreciate your clicks, if you’re so inclined.
Why affiliate links? By clicking a blogger’s Amazon affiliate link, they will receive a tiny portion of anything you buy at Amazon during the 24 hours after clicking – even your normal household goods. It’s a small way to help my family on this adventure, so thank you for clicking!