The Final Days of Sockmas - 2013

And a few *more* days saw waltzing weather patterns, Harold and Kumar, missed Electroextravaganzas, and sparkling shiny offices. 

tra la la la la, and now the Northwest Christmases in all their effulgence!

On the Twenty-Third Day of Sockmas, my true love gave to me...confectionary shelter, Christmas: Take One, slushy Solstice, a White-Christmas dusting, a pencil in a tube, ursine office cheer, a festivus subpoena, holiday alarm clock, automata adornment, Raver workout reindeer, Electroimpact topper, Amazon invasion, timered lights a'lighting, a small sporting good store, nine merry monkeys, a cardio tiara, furry feline footsies, arch-saving shape-ups, sniffling date-night(!), melting credit cards, a holly jolly head cold, one sock-saucy simian, and a loris in a pear tree.





The keebler elves would be proud of what we Wright/Thompson folks can do to a few squares of gingerbread and seventy tons of enchanted sugar-lard. Ok, they actually have some pretty strict standards, those elves. Never, ever, rent to elves. Trust me on this. You might think they're small and tidy, and prone to fixing and mending things overnight, but they are litigious little Dickenses. I mean there was a section on the Resident Elf Landlord Act on the bar and holy moley, the definitions alone would put this into a distressed cookie territory. Our emergency exit plan? Apparently eating your way out doesn't cut it. I guess you need a functioning door and windows at least. And those candyland emergency sprinklers that squirt a soothing glaze... pricey. 




But yes, our little prefab home remains unrented. We thought about mice, but once you've got one family of mice... well, let's just say property values are sensitive and skittish beasts. And those Hansel and Gretel folks seemed pretty messy to me. Bread crumbs all over the house!


But we'll call it a vacation house for my inner child. My inner child shrank when I grew into an adult. Not to sound morbid, but apparently I needed to use some of its materials to fashion my outer grown up. Feeding on my own life source might sound a little questionable, but better than throwing it on the side of the road with the Jack O'Lanterns and Christmas trees, once the feted central symbol of a deep reverie and now merely dross to be forgotten. So, Merry Christmas little inner child. I'll call on you for counsel (perhaps suck a bit more of your little inner glee and jubilance from time to time), but you can retire for a spell in your own little melty house. If you can get into it without destroying it, that is. If not, I guess we'll eat the house and you can hide in the pantry. 



Christmas: Part One went smashingly yesterday. After a spell of confectionary construction, we finished up some smashing sweet potato chili for the main meal. The menfolk followed this up with some cornbread inundated in a biblical flood of honeybutter. The plate was gleaming long after the meal. After a measured repast and a thorough cleansing of dishes and fancy cutlery, we set to it: The Bacchanale of foiled paper and curlicued ribbon about the Christmas tree. Millions of innocent wrappings were slaughtered that day in a battle that shall be remembered for the ages. But in the end, we prevailed! For our pains, luscious chocolatey lucre (dark as pitch for me, and milky as... uh ... milk for my dad... and anything for +Andrew Wright, the candy omnivore). Other loot was fun, far to numerous and idiosyncratic to properly outline, although the Thank You cards I write generally are sheer works of art and will be available in published form by the end of 2015 for those who are curious just what I got and why it matter). 

But I will say, I finally got myself some storage containers. My kitchen/pantry feels about 22% more grown-up in a single day. Instead of droves of plastic bags, my bulk food products are now little works of edible art. I always admired my old roommate's kitchen set up (divorced dude who had enjoyed the trappings of domestic life, so he had a very mature kitchen). Since I buy most of my oddities and sundries from bulk bins, I have several more boxes of storage containers to go, but I'm getting there.  




Today, we turn the clock forward and backward and every other wayward way for our Christmas Eve: The First! The old bike-and-chain and I will be heading to my mom's house for the evening. In honor of my husband's Jewish heritage, we've a tradition of getting Chinese take-out for our Christmas Eve meal, before watching Scrooged, exchanging one gift and sneaking about with stocking fillers. 

While I had every intention of actually packing, my packing for the Christmas day trip remains a paper tiger. My list is exquisite in every regard. Let's see how much of it makes it into the actual bag I actually bring! But first, more merriment! More holidaze for me and for anyone else who cares to have it. 




On the Twenty-Fourth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...cozy faaaaabulous Eve, confectionary shelter, Christmas: Take One, slushy Solstice, a White-Christmas dusting, a pencil in a tube, ursine office cheer, a festivus subpoena, holiday alarm clock, automata adornment, Raver workout reindeer, Electroimpact topper, Amazon invasion, timered lights a'lighting, a small sporting good store, nine merry monkeys, a cardio tiara, furry feline footsies, arch-saving shape-ups, sniffling date-night(!), melting credit cards, a holly jolly head cold, one sock-saucy simian, and a loris in a pear tree.




Happy Christmas: Take Two from the Englett-Gaines-Wright household. Also known as Christmas Eve. Also known as a few days after solstice. Also known as Frederick Exeter the Fourth. Having gone before ye into the long night of Christmas Eve, I can reassure you the path is clear and the sailing smooth (if a touch on the gelid side). "All" will not have a good night, because it is in the nature of "all" to have a few grumblers and misfortunes. But, on average, it should shape up nicely. Mine did so, on average. Despite my general protestations, I am rarely the exception to the rule, so I can only assume my net positive Eve experience is the par of this Christmas course. 

After a short jaunt to the gym (last workout until 2014 - needless to say, I went around hugging machines while humming Auld Lang Syne), I prepared the home for its impending professional scour and packed my possessions up for our brief excursions. Roiling my merriness mojo, I joined forced with my mother for the last surge of Christmas errands. Christmas errands naturally required a stop at Chocolate Necessities for fancy drinks and liberal chocolate samples.It also included watching The Happiest Millionaire, which is not technically a Christmas movie but has about the right air to it. Also it isn't really  allowed on the tv when the boytoy is home, at peril of some full throated caterwauling, so it must be aired with discretion.



And in the afternoon, I had the greatest Christmas Eve gift of all: a visit from +Molly Tasanasanta! With my schedule, and introverted proclivities (and/or inability to use a telephone or just stop by places), I'm not great at coordinating with people who have nothing but time and energy to follow around any little bread crumbs of partial interest to meet up. Hell, my stalkers would have a hard time keeping track with me, and eventually would just resign themselves to exchanging a series of "I should go through your trash sometime, let's figure something out in a few weeks."

 So, it's not always the easiest ending up in the same place at the same time  with those who have teeny tiny little things like a one year old child, a teenager, a day job, inlaws, a duplex being prepped for rental, and the remnants of a dance/zumba empire to tend. I love Molly and Marcus more than dark chocolate with ginger, cayenne and cinnamon notes, but maybe don't get to see them nearly as much as I'd like (also, my spy cams were commandeered by the NSA, those doodoo heads).

Molly, Marcus and Emma stopped by my mom's house yesterday afternoon after a bit of a saga arranging a drop location for our mutual Christmas Gifts. Naturally, we were originally supposed to pick a trash can at the Amtrak in Mt. Vernon and wear red roses in our lapels by cover of darkness, but this worked too. Emma had fallen asleep in the car so she could rest up for her nightly keeping-up-of-the-parents; as such, Marcus stayed in the car while Molly snuck in the house. We offered to let her take a nap upstairs, but she declined. Eventually we were embolded to stand outside the car, allowing me to see Marcus, as well, but while leaving the Emma-creature unroused. The encounter was brief, but it left my face in a chronic smile for the remainder of the afternoon. A bosom buddie friend fix is quite the rush. 

Molly left me a custom-made blanket that could only be described as a my soul abstracted into plush tangible form: pink houndstooth on one side and leopard on the other. It is also incredibly warm and snuggly.


Later in the the evening, the men came home and we ate Chinese take-out on fine Christmas china, with diet sodas in our goblets and fortune cookies on our bread plates. And... then we watched South Park - but Christmas episodes, only, of course. After various scenarios involving Santa Clause with a machine gun, I opened my Christmas Eve gift: the penguin slippers and cat pajamas here. Hopefully the cats don't get any ideas and try to slip down my shins for an avian buffet!

Stockings await and waffle batter beckons. Needless to say, since this is me doing the baking: (1) I have completely lost the recipe on which I based my ingredient purchases and proportions, so once again it's time to wing it, (2) we actually don't have a mixing bowl, so as previously mentioned, it's time to warm up those alate appendages. 


On the Twenty-Fifth Day of Sockmas, my true love gave to me... an airplane ticket, cozy faaaaabulous Eve, confectionary shelter, Christmas: Take One, slushy Solstice, a White-Christmas dusting, a pencil in a tube, ursine office cheer, a festivus subpoena, holiday alarm clock, automata adornment, Raver workout reindeer, Electroimpact topper, Amazon invasion, timered lights a'lighting, a small sporting good store, nine merry monkeys, a cardio tiara, furry feline footsies, arch-saving shape-ups, sniffling date-night(!), melting credit cards, a holly jolly head cold, one sock-saucy simian, and a loris in a pear tree.





The Northwestern Christmas edition has just about wrapped itself up with the shreds of wrapping paper littering the cozy living room of my mothers house 'o holiday cheer! And it sprinted right down to the finish... in kind of a relaxed quiet sort of way. More of a purr than a roar - except for the moment when we discovered Karl might be a bit too excited about his gift of kitty kibbles from the Uber-Aunties('s cats). Ms. Englett is fortunate to have survived with her limbs intact. 



We were quite restrained. And by "we" I mostly refer to myself. I may not have been up at five chomping at the bit for the the waltz of the mad unwrapping, but I was certainly up at five at least. I whiled away the hours until the sane people stirred with a massive dose of sang froid. All stockings were unmolested (well, I had added to my mom's but that was a gentle, friendly touch) by 8:30 when the others joined. 

We broke for breakfast - pumpkin waffles went fast this year due in part to my having pared down the "recipe" (I never end up following a recipe so much as a quilt work pastiche of recipes borrowed and picked from as best accomodates my available ingredients and ease of googling) to an edible amount. A post-prandial mellow mostly involved everyone falling towards their electronic devices as if caught in tractor beam and which was followed by my pioneering escape into the room without electronic devices. Post the post-prandial pause, presents were lain bare and their goodies revealed. 



I got Andrew/me his and hers pillowcases with a loris for him and a tamarin for her... They are mildly terrifying topping our bed, but soft and fleecy and oh so adordable. 


I also got him a fidget thing. It's a green thing made for intense professional grade fidgeting. It may have been made for him. 



He got me a coat that I never ever in a million years knew about when we went to REI and Fred Meyer's with him. It's a soft shell. I love it. 


And I really really didn't know about the earrings in the pocket. Now that's a classy coat - coming with matching earrings and all. 


My mom got a coat too!


From Rachel, who also gave Andrew gloves. 



And I got plenty of socks! All in all quite the haul. 

But more importantly, we got to be together for a day feeling all happy and grateful and only mildly distracted by the siren croons of our electronic devices (which had some moments of sheer neglect yesterday before we succumbed). 


And now it's officially Christmas, I feel several days removed. Time to finish the final edges on packing and hop a few planes for a final push on Holidazing. I'm already a little tired just thinking about the wall to wall excitement dog-piling my upcoming day's schedule.Well, the first half is fairly tame: waiting in airports and sitting in planes. The second half may be quite the extravaganza, if I know the Wrights and their glittering galas. 

But for a few more hours... or an hour at least... I'm going to revel on the couch in my plush pjs and sip my coffee and enjoy the quiet chuckling of happy memories. 

Happy Holidays Every one! Hope it's RAD.



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