Of Books and Christmas

It’s November…you all know what that means. It’s almost Christmas! Yippee! I love Christmas – the decorating, hiding gifts, baking, snow…oh yes, I like snow at Christmas. Sometimes I wish it would snow just for that month, or even just that week. It just doesn’t have the same feel without snow. And the candy canes. I miss them so much because they remind me of Christmas. I can’t find them here. Thankfully I can bake my own fruit cakes so I don’t have to go without those, but I always wish I could find some candy canes. This year I’m thinking of making a fruit cake and decorating it to look like a candy cane. If I pull it off I’ll be sure to post a pic.

Speaking of which, I need to get a good Christmas family pic, and by that I mean it has to look Christmasy, with nice clothes, and a good background. I have no experience with Photoshop, but I wonder if I could get it done at a shop? (I’m thinking out loud here, bear with me.) I want to send it with my Christmas cards, which I need to send soon if I want them to get there on time. Gotta dig out that mailing list, the one I never use during the rest of the year. Pretty much everyone I know uses e-mail, except my grandparents. But I feel that nothing can replace a Christmas card in your hand that you can open and look at over and over. E-cards don’t do the subject justice.

What else do I have to do? Plan gifts. I’m ahead in that this year. Some are covered already, but I’m waiting on Logan’s as I have to see what he gets for his birthday. We’ve invited some people for his birthday, so as a rule, I don’t buy stuff I or the kids need or even want for our birthdays’ until I see what gifts are received. It can save money in the long run.

On the topic of gifts, I have been blessed with a husband who could care less about them. He will give one if necessary, but it will be up to me to select and wrap it. That is why I never get gifts from him. On my birthday he gave me an envelope with money. That is how much he hates shopping for gifts. I’m just wondering if there is a way to talk him into actually taking the time to get me something, hide and wrap it, and give it to me. It’s just always been a tradition in my family to give gifts and I miss it. Even a simple gift means a lot to me. But I can’t get my hopes up. I figure if I give him enough gifts he will eventually get the point and get me one. (Or maybe he won’t, in which case I’ll have to ask him to do it…but I know he hates it. What a dilemma.) What do you think, Sweetie? Will you get me a gift this year?

In other news, I had the day off today, meaning someone else kept Logan and I could do what I wanted as long as I had Lila. (Sadly, mommies don’t get a full “day off” until their kids have moved out.) So at 11 this morning I went to a bookstore. I love to read and was determined to find a book for myself. I can’t remember the last time I bought myself a book. Usually I just find the e-book of what I want to read, but today I wanted a real book. I think I spent 2 hours in there. Lila took a nap on my shoulder since I couldn’t bring the stroller to the upper level of this small shop. I didn’t have Logan along so I could go slow and take my time. It isn’t easy for me to decide what I want to get if I don’t have something in mind beforehand, so it took a lot of searching, selecting and discarding, and searching some more before I made up my mind.

Under the section of “Self-help” books were a large selection of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. There was “Chicken Soup” for every possible category: the traveler, mother and daughter, father and daughter, teen, kids, love, and more. I’d love to have the whole collection because these are books I read over and over. We already have two of them in the house, so I settled for a third: “Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul”. Yes, I knew that was for me. I also picked out a parenting book called “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk”. I’ve read a summary of it before, but I feel it’s nice to have the whole book, in print, so I can study, mark, and store away the knowledge I will need for the day my kids start talking. 🙂 I also picked up a pocket-sized book for Glad about wine – making, harvesting, how to tell one from the other. I thought it was a find as he likes to make wine. I hope he reads it. Last of all I got a height chart for Logan. I’ll get a pic of him by it and then you’ll see why he was hugging it tonight.

I was happy with my bookstore adventure. I would have stayed longer but Lila was getting fussy and I had to get her home. After she slept, I got some coffee, a pack of chocolate cookies, and sat down with my new “Chicken Soup” book and read it cover to cover. There are some things you just don’t understand until you experience them: motherhood is one, raising children is one, and it’s so nice to hear from people who understand what you are facing and can help you laugh about it when you feel like screaming. That kind of time out can truly refresh your soul and help you keep going. Get one of those books if you don’t have one, and if you do, go read it again or get a new one. Then take a time out and read it. You’ll feel better.

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  1. Do you like in the States or India? I'd love to hear more about the india culture. You're children are beautiful.

  2. Hola Mercy, just to let you know that I have been here every day of the week 🙂 well raising kids, from what i know in less than 7 years of being a mom,needs a lot of help. Most of it when volunteered seems less guilty to be taken ! tell me if you agree. I love the way you "manage" to live a beautiful life even away from the culture and environment you were raised and wished you had for your own children. Kudos on that!

  3. Yes, the more help the better…well, sometimes.


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