A Little Festive Friday Fun For You

Let's talk . . . holiday movies . . . for a minute.

Are you a fan? Do you fill your December with holiday movie viewing? Or do you (like me) live with a holiday-movie-bah-humbug who has little tolerance for that type of thing?

Last week, I found a downloadable list of Christmas movies (note that the list also indicates information about where you can stream the movie this month), and I thought it might be a fun list to share. (The original list is here. I found this link rabbit-holing from somewhere else . . . probably from someone's IG story or something. You know how that goes. . . )

Holiday Movie Marathon

It seems a fairly comprehensive list to me.

I have seen most of these movies (or portions of them) over the years, although there are a few I've never heard of before, and a couple I don't usually associate with "holiday movie" (Little Women, for example, and probably While You Were Sleeping . . . although I do get the connection). When the kids were little, we watched a lot of these, but not since. (And I'm fine with never seeing Elf again in my life.) We used to have a big family tradition of watching The Muppet Christmas Carol on Thanksgiving evening. But, like so many good rituals, eventually it became chore-instead-of-fun and we let it go. My sister and I have always had a fondness for White Christmas (that Sisters song has always been a big hit with us. . . ). I can quote dialog from A Christmas Story. And even Tom likes Love, Actually. (But don't get him started on It's a Wonderful Life.)

Here's my list of go-to holiday movies . . . 

Holiday Movies My Mark Up

How about YOU? What holiday movies are you most excited about watching each year? (And is anything you like missing from this list?)

Sometimes Mondays

. . . feel like the start of something new.


This year, I've decided to re-think all the ways I celebrate the holidays.   Kind of a . . .Kon-Mari of my holiday traditions.  I know it's time to let some things go -- and then, perhaps, I can make room for the new and the different.  Or just create some empty space to relax and enjoy.

And I'm kicking things off with a big Thanksgiving . . . shift.  
Because this will be the first year that none of my kids will be around my table.  In fact, this will be the first year that NO ONE (even Tom) will be around my table!  

This Thanksgiving, I'll be driving Tom to the airport  . . . so he can fly off for another fishing adventure at his favorite lodge in Patagonia.  I remember many, many months ago, when Tom was first arranging his trip, and he told me it would mean flying out on Thanksgiving Day.  My first thought was . . . (gasp) Not Thanksgiving!  But that thought only lasted about 15 seconds.  Because . . . why not?  We already knew the kids wouldn't be able to come home for Thanksgiving this year.  It would be just Tom and my dad and I anyway . . . 

So why not celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day???  We'll be celebrating with our turkey dinner tomorrow night! 

(And isn't this the perfect way to start my holiday shake-up?)

Full of Thanks . . . and Turkey


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday.


It's hard when there is someone so obviously missing from our table.  But we took comfort from memories of Thanksgivings past and the love that we all share.  

(The food was really fabulous, too.)

I have more to tell about the last week or so.  But for now?  Excuse me while I go collapse in a corner for awhile. . .



I am grateful for what I am and have.  My thanksgiving is perpetual.
---Henry David Thoreau


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Pretty Much Perfect

Up here in the north, Easter - and especially an early Easter - is very often accompanied by cold.  And snow.  And definitely UN-spring-like weather.  (I remember, many a year, dressing up in new Easter finery -- and then piling on winter coats and scarves and boots and hats and mittens.)  (And I remember thinking how ludicrous an OUTDOOR Easter egg hunt would be.)

But, this year?

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Beautiful weather.

Beautiful spring day.

Beautiful celebration.

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Pretty much a perfect spring day!

(Ahhhh!  Breathe in that spring air. . . )

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Hope your weekend was just as wonderful!


Right Now . . . December 2015

You've been such a notable month, December.  Full of activity.  Warmer than ever.  And gone in a flash!  (Of course, you're also ushering in the new year with ice and sleet and snow.  Cue winter . . . )


Here's what's happening . . . RIGHT NOW.

Watching . . . Movies.  All the movies!  Tom and I have been on a movie tear lately (because this is the season for all the movies we've been waiting to see).  Before Christmas we saw Spotlight (excellent; my favorite so far), Room (good - but the book was better), and Brooklyn (great - and far better than the book).  This week (so far!) we've seen the new Star Wars (so fun), The Big Short (excellent, plus awesome soundtrack), and Joy (Jennifer Lawerence is great; much better movie than the reviews would have you believe).

Reading . . . In the ears -- Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Elena Ferrante) (Neapolitan #3); on the page -- H is for Hawk (Helen MacDonald).  Earlier this week, I finished the challenging, heart-breaking, and eye-opening Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates).  (Really . . . everyone should read this one.)  I'm also enjoying my new Christmas gift cookbook Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix.

Knitting . . . I've just picked up my never-ending sweater again.  (You know why it's never-ending don't you?  Because I'm never-knitting. . . )  (I WILL finish, though.)

Listening to . . . a Solstice playlist.  Tom and I hosted a Solstice party this year, and we created a special playlist for the party.  It's, well . . . very eclectic!  We chose songs about the sun, sunshine, light, darkness, winter . . . and burning (as in candles) -- and it beats the heck out of Christmas music!


Dreading . . . the January People at the gym.  (They've already arrived, actually.)  (I hate January at the gym.)

Drinking . . . Ballast Point Sculpin.   (A new discovery.)  (YUM.)

Planning . . .  How to move forward with my intentions for 2016.  I have some cool things in mind, and I'm looking forward to putting some of those plans and ideas into action.

Humming . . . this one, from the Gorrillaz.  (I have it on several playlists, but heard it again in The Big Short the other day.)


Wondering . . . what the new year will bring!  It's always kind of amazing to look back and see all that happened in the year just ending - expected and unexpected.  So I'm just wondering what will come with the new year.

Itching to . . . just sit and knit for awhile.  But there are so many other "shiny objects" to play with right now . . . 

Organizing . . . my digital photos.  Ugh.  What a monumental undertaking.  My advice:  DON'T store all your photos (like. . . for years) on your hard drive.  And, really.  Get rid of the bad ones and dubplicates right away.  (Just sayin.)

Delighted by . . . a new Alabama Chanin kit I received for Christmas from Tom.  (He got a big hint.)  (It's the wrap skirt!)

Needing to . . . clean out my refrigerator.  And clean my oven, too.


Enjoying . . . Erin and Keith!  Thanks to an extended vacation, I've got them through the weekend!

Celebrating . . . the end of a challenging year.  (Although we've certainly risen to the occasion!)

Looking forward to . . . returning to my Regular Life . . . after all the Holiday Madness!

How about YOU?  What's happening for you . . . RIGHT NOW?

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

December is always a crazy month.  That Christmas Machine just continues to roll, and "regular life" just kind of  . . . enters a vortex or something.

Sometimes it's best to just sit back and take a breather; to think about those things you truly enjoy about the holiday season.


  1. I love to decorate my house for the holidays.  This year, I've KonMari'd my holiday stuff, and pared down my decor significantly.  I'm really excited about this.  It was time for a change -- and way past time to simplify.
  2. I love twinkle lights and candles.  It's so dark this time of year!  I like to brighten things up with little lights everywhere.
  3. I love to watch Christmas movies.  My favorites are Love Actually and The Holiday -- and, of course, White Christmas.
  4. I love to get Christmas cards in the mail -- and especially if they include a family photo and a little newsy update.  It seems I get fewer cards every year, but I really treasure the ones I receive -- especially from those friends far away.
  5. I love planning (and cooking) a special meal or two for holiday celebrations.  At Thanksgiving, I make the same meal Every.Single.Year.  (And my family likes it that way.)  At Christmas, though, I like to pull out all the stops and make things that are really special.
  6. I love listening to Christmas music.  It kinda drives Tom nuts, though, so I mostly only listen to Christmas music when he's not around.  (Unless it's the Messiah.  He loves the Messiah.)
  7. I love the smell of pine.  We have a "real" tree, so the fresh smell comes along with the tree -- but I also enhance it a bit . . . with pine-scented candles.
  8. I love the special events that happen only once a year:  Parties and concerts and the Nutcracker ballet.  (I also like getting a bit dressed up now and again -- and holiday parties allow me to wear some sparkle!)
  9. I love seeing all the wrapped packages under the tree.  When I was a little girl, seeing those packages made me giddy -- like . . . hardly able to breathe, I was so excited.  A little of that feeling still spills over.
  10. I love the memories that the holidays bring:  Christmases of my childhood; Christmases Tom and I shared in our early years together; Christmases with my own children.  Wonderful memories are woven through pretty much all the things I like BEST about the holidays.

How about YOU?  What do you truly enjoy about the holiday season?


See what the Ten on Tuesday gang has to say over at Carole's!

We Gathered Together

Thanksgiving . . . already seems like it was a long, long time ago.

(Doesn't it?)

But it was really just a little over a week ago that we all gathered together . . . 


to eat


and share


and laugh! *


Brian and Lauren were busy with preparations for their reception (more on that later this week), so they were (mostly) on the go.

Erin and Keith hung around, though, and jumped right in to the "Craft Friday" concept.  (Making your own gifts, rather than shopping the Black Friday sales.)


Although I can't give anything away (there are blog-readers among their intended gift-recipients), I can say that they enjoyed the process AND their final results.  (They also cleaned up after themselves!)  (I love having adult children.)


Now that my kids both live so far from home, it's a rare thing to have all of us in the same place.  It was wonderful to share Thanksgiving weekend with ALL of them.

I enjoyed every moment!


*  When we were taking photos out on the patio, I was directing everyone AWAY from the grill . . . so we'd have a nicer background for the shots.  These two???  Not so much.



Headline News - Special Thanksgiving Edition


Yesterday was a Very Good Day.  But today . . . we are tired.  Let's break it down into headlines.

Turkey mantle

Woman Orders 20-pound Organic, Free-Range, Vegetable-Fed, Antibiotic-Free Turkey by Mistake:  Faints at Cash Register


Family Declares BEST TURKEY EVER!


Family Matriarch Doubles Mashed Potato Recipe: Quick Thinking Has Her Mixing Them in a Punch Bowl


Family Dogs Pull Back-to-Back Security Shifts:  Turkey Safe for Another Year


Gingerbread House Decorating Proceeds As Scheduled:  No Cave-ins or Breakdowns Reported


Family Declares Black-Friday-Free Day:  No Shopping Planned


Hope you all enjoyed a relaxing holiday (or just great regular day, if you don't live in the US!) -- without any unexpected headlines.