Andy from Wild ARS Chase is now in my Google reader, thanks to an introduction via a recent co-blog with Ben from No Ordinary Rollercoaster. I’ve been reading Ben’s stuff since I clicked on one of his comments off of Courtney’s blog, Word Perv. In an effort not to be a lurker I’ve actually tried to comment on every blog that I read regularly…
Andy recently posted letters to new and long-term readers, along with a challenge. It’s actually a challenge to long-term readers, but since a) Newbies can join in too, b) I love a challenge and c) I need to delurk myself from Wild ARS Chase… I present to you, Jen A.’s Top 10 Favorite Things About the Holidays (Halloween thru New Year’s Day):
10. Activity Overdrive — It starts near the Halloween and goes straight through New Years, the clutter of highlighted activities on my calendar that have nothing to do with work and everything to do with friends! This year I’m lucky enough to count a football game, an ice hockey game, a divorce celebration, a Stitch-n-Bitch, a dinner party, and a Nat’l Geographic photography exhibit among the fun things I’ve planned to do with friends during the holiday season!
9. Nordstrom — Walking up to the Nordstrom in the Annapolis Mall this past Saturday, they had huge billboards on the outside of the store proclaiming that you would not find Christmas music or decorations inside the store because Nordstrom believes in celebrating each holiday as it comes. Cheers to you, Nordstrom! Now, if we could only find a way to exhaust all of the fumes coming from the perfume counters out of the main level of the store…
8. The Possibility of Snow — Living in Southern Maryland, we only get a good snow about every four years or so. And I only like the first day it snows. After that? It’s all mushy and half melted and you have to worry about black ice and snowplowing your car into the ditch beside the road. Then the salt trucks come through, followed by the scraper trucks and everything turns brown (or yellow!) and dingy looking and I’m over it. But the FIRST DAY OF SNOW — that’s magical.
7. Jackets and Coats — I used to love getting to wear sweaters in the fall and winter, but now the chilly air is an excuse to layer up with a coat or jacket! I love choosing which one, and if I had a bigger closet and/or more funds, I would most definitely bu a few more to round out my selection!
6. Courtney’s Annual Thanksgiving Brunch — A new edition to my holiday routine! Her 4th Annual was my first, and I’m hooked. I blame it on the great group of friends that gathered, Charlie’s blue eyes, and the sweet potato cheesecake.
5. Fireplaces — I love starting up a fire in the fireplace on a chilly day or night, curling up on the couch under a throw with a cup of hot chocolate and a book.
4. Hot Scotch — My friend Sarah J. introduced me to hot chocolate with a shot of Buttershots in it, and it is now one of my favorite toast-me-up winter drinks!
3. Wrapping Presents — This year, I’m not really in a presents sort of mood. This year, all I want is to hang out with good friends and enjoy myself. But when presents do come into the picture, I love wrapping them. I love neatly folded corners, taping, tying ribbon… It’s just one of a million little process-oriented tasks that make me happy. And I always delight in seeing the other person’s face light up; when you know you’ve gifted them something really great, no matter how big, small, lumpy or baked it is!
2. Mail — I always love getting mail, but it’s around the holidays that gobs of real mail (not the bills and newsletters from colleges and the local hospital) really starts arriving! Of course, the cards from friends and family are always buried within a mountain of catalogs, but hey… I can deal.
1. Sourdough — my family starts using my Mom’s 170-year-old sourdough starter (from the Goldminer’s in CA) around the end of October. By Thanksgiving, the biscuits have the best flavor and the turkey (or chicken) and dumplings is a leftover I will keep heating up… But the best part of the holidays is New Year’s Day, also known as Mom’s Birthday, when my family has a Fried Sourdough Bread Open House. OMGYummy! Do you need an post-New Year’s hangover meal? C’mon by when you’re sufficiently sober enough to drive and help yourself to a few pieces! (You’ll thank me later!)