Friday, January 2, 2009

Seven Quick Takes on My Holiday

Thanks to Jen for hosting our party every Friday! Pop on over there to read the Quick Takes of others.


Thank goodness for computers, the Weather Channel, and my husband. Why? Because otherwise we may not have made it to Dallas at all. Without each one of these we would have been snow- and ice-bound in Chicago and that would have made me very cranky indeed.

But thanks to modern technology and a quick-thinking husband, we realized our plight and left at 5 p.m. a day earlier than we had originally planned. Had we left the next morning we would have been stuck. Thankfully, we made it without any trouble at all. (The same cannot be said for the pickup towing a camper that hit a pothole on an icy patch of highway and flipped completely over on its head. The accident held us up for about 30 minutes in downstate Illinois, but I’m sure our inconvenience was NOTHING compared to theirs.)


I have officially decided that my official “favorite” Christmas song is officially “Feliz Navidad.” I don’t know why, but it just makes me happy and jumpy and smiley every time I hear it. The words don’t mean much—just a simple Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year—but the melody. Oh, that melody. Jose Feliciano really knew how to kick it up for Christmas, I’m telling you.

So this year I let my family know the secret I’ve been hiding all these years. “Feliz Navidad” makes me happy, yes it does. And every time it comes on the radio now we (meaning B and I) turn it up loud and we shake and shimmy and dance in the car (as much as we can while being buckled into our seats). This embarrasses my teenage girls to no end, but I’m officially here to tell you that as long as they play that song on the radio at Christmas time, I’m going to sing it out.

I just hope that maybe someday my girls will forgive me . . . or maybe even understand.


On Christmas night, after a full day of revelry (by which I mean gift-opening, game-watching, Wii-playing, and good-food-eating) we sat around looking at each other, wondering what to do next.

“Let’s go see the lights!” all five cousins proclaimed in unison. They had been out until midnight on Christmas eve, stuck in a traffic jam (so they claimed) while looking at Christmas lights in one particular neighborhood.

Finally, after a little cajoling, we (13 of us in all) crammed our over-stuffed, over-rested selves into two cars and drove halfway across the Dallas metroplex to see one house with a spectacular light show.

And let me just say . . . it was worth it.


A small note-to-self regarding day-after-Christmas shopping: next year go to Williams-Sonoma FIRST because they tend to run out of Winter Forest soap and lotion and the world’s best turkey gravy.



Never see a movie about a dying yellow lab when your own wonder dog who looks exactly like said dog in said movie is 900 miles away. Trust me on this one.


The adults in our family have a tradition—we draw names and do a sort of Secret Santa thing for each other. Usually we have one of the kids do the drawing around Thanksgiving time and then mail the names in separate envelopes to each person.

This year we decided to draw names while we were together (since who knows if that will happen again until Christmas of 2009). How’s that for prepared?

So now I have a full year to buy a Christmas gift for my person. Knowing me, I’ll still be looking around on December 23, trying to figure out the best gift because I am a complete idiot when it comes to buying gifts. I’d just like to say I’m sorry one year in advance to my person.


And speaking of the best Christmas gift . . . tune in next week when I’ll reveal to you the best Christmas present ever. You won’t want to miss it. I may not be so good at the gift giving thing, but there is someone in this family who really knows what a mama wants.


  1. Shel,
    great post! I came home from Marley and Me and petted my aging lab-mix mutt for about 20 minutes. Wish I'd known it wasn't as kid-friendly as you might think!

  2. Glad to got to enjoy beautiful Christmas lights. We didn't drive around this year, but the strands on our home made us smile each time we drove up.

  3. That light show must have been amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, isn't 7 Quick Takes fun?

  4. I'm afraid I find FN's repetition irritating rather than enlivening, but I'm totally with you on admiring my man's connection to technology and real life to make things happen smarter.

    God sure knows what He's doing, pairing us up proper...

    Have a Happy New Year, and good luck on finding that perfect gift!