, , ,

This week has been one of quiet celebration.  No madness of opening packages in a chaotic flurry of paper-tearing.  No gigantic feasts after which all were uncomfortable to simply sit due to excess consumption.  No rushing from store to store in search of something, anything, to wrap and give in order to show affection.

Yes, we opened a few gifts: a mouse and oriental carpet mouse pad for Tom, a coloring book for Mom, a weather calendar for Dan and some new pants for me… so Mom and I can be Twinkies!  And we had some good food, just nothing too extravagant.  While I did go to Jo-Ann’s to get a yard of sale fabric and ribbons, some of which are gifts, I avoided the sales in general and don’t feel like I’ve missed a thing.  I have spent quite a bit of time at the book store working this holiday season and it was nice to see the shoppers there put so much thoughtfulness into their gift giving.  I gave TONS of book recommendations.  There were also a lot of gift certificate sales and it was super fun to see folks coming in to spend them this weekend and getting things they loved.  One guy purchased the Dylan Book of Songs and I discovered (don’t think I knew this before anyway) that All Along the Watchtower was a Dylan song, though it will always be Jimi’s in my mind.

What did we do to celebrate?

We started with a Yule Dinner on the Solstice.  We’d hoped to get together for a celebration with some local friends but it didn’t work out, though I’m looking forward to it for next year.  Instead Dan and I celebrated at home with Mom and Tom.  We lit candles to welcome those who have gone before, the parents of Dan, Mom & Tom, to join us.  And then I read a solstice reading:

Take one last inhale of what the dark can teach. After partaking from the mystery of darkness, now is the time to unmask your true nature discovered during the last six months.


That mistakes are not failures but simply teachers of a better way.

That duty is not to be obeyed at the expense of self-care.

That boundaries are not for keeping others away from you but a way to honor your personal value.

That pursuing our dreams is a matter of authenticity.

That making a good impression on yourself is as important as a good impression on others or more so.

That wisdom must go hand in hand with learning from youth.

That showing your hand in the game of life makes you vulnerable and that is a good thing.

Vulnerability leads to personal growth.

Greet now the feminine energy that has the power to heal all talk of war and depravity.

Let the male energy rest and dance as the days lengthen and the nights shorten.

Go out and greet the morning sun as she births a new day over the horizon.

This Winter Solstice, may the beauty of your darkness shine as bright as the promise of your light.

(which I modified from info found here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/12/winter-solstice-2015-capricorns-wisdom-the-birth-of-dreams/)  Then we enjoyed Capital Chicken, one of the old staples from D.C. life.  And we shared stories of memorable times.  We followed it up with a game of Over/Under and Tom, never one to play games, was the big winner!  It was a fun family night, relaxing and full of reminiscing.

Dan and I treated ourselves to a much needed couple’s massage with Sam and Amy on Tuesday. I highly recommend taking a couple hours to treat yourself.  I can guarantee Sam is Amazing.  https://www.facebook.com/driftawaymassagebysamshrode/reviews

On Wednesday we had a nice dinner at Mi Mexico after a long day at the book store and then headed to a friend’s house to discuss how we can help get Bernie elected next year.  Our local Bernie Campaign Rep, Jake Sanders, gave us information about the success of recent phone banks and we planned upcoming events.  I know Bernie gets very little media coverage but I believe they are underestimating his popularity (or purposely de-emphasizing it?).  Danny posted on FB this week: http://trofire.com/2015/12/09/bernie-sanders-wins-poll-for-time-person-of-the-year-gets-removed-from-finalists-david-pakman-show/  where it was reported that, though Bernie was the people’s choice for Time’s Person of the Year, he didn’t even make the top 8 finalists for the list the powers that be at Time would consider.  Bernie continues to be the underdog.  And I think this photo says it all…

Bernie because fuck this shit

On Christmas Eve, we had a nice dinner and opened a few gifts, including a lovely basket of organic fruit from Fran and Ed.  Mom and Tom had their champagne and, since I was able to take photos, we got some good shots of them as well as the glasses framing the tree (Tom’s annual traditional photo).

Champagne 2015

And Christmas Day we did Jewish Christmas!  Went to see Star Wars which is AMAZING (but I won’t go into more detail as some of you have not yet seen it) and definitely worth seeing at the theater, probably twice.  Then we headed over to the Great Hunan for Chinese food!  What a wonderful way to celebrate, though I was disappointed to have to leave the Downton Abbey marathon after the second episode of season 1 – I started watching in season 3 so it was fun to get more back story.  Boy was there a lot to miss in just those first couple episodes!

Jewish Xmas 2015

All in all, a good week of Christmas but the real celebration will happen when the boy arrives in January.  Son Tom is spending the last part of his winter break here in Minnesota with us… well, really with his cat, Lucky.  It’s all about the cat.  But we don’t mind.  We know Lucky is awesome but he has to sleep sometime!  So we’ll get time with the boy as well.

Here’s wishing you all a Safe and Happy New Year’s Eve.  And remember, folks, it’s Amateur Night.