Monday, November 29, 2004

Holiday Weekend

I'm back at work, listening to Christmas music on the radio. The local lite station has already made the switch to Christmas songs 'round the clock. We'll see how long I last before I have to change the channel.

Thanksgiving was wonderful, as usual, other than the extremely windy conditions. Always a great holiday and less stressful than Christmas. Dinner at my parents' house with the traditional trimmings - turkey, dressing (or filling, as they say here in PA), mashed potatoes, peas, marshmallow salad (or ambrosia, if you prefer, sans JELL-O), pumpkin pie and pumpkin roll, and of course, birthday cake for my sister, J., whose birthday was Friday. My parents also celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary, which already has me stressing about what we should do for their 40th. I'm thinking a big family vacation (Disney?) instead of a party, but I haven't run it by anyone else yet. Any ideas?

I had one Black Friday experience, which was a trip to Michaels for refill pages for my scrapbook, along with some other odds and ends. (I rarely go shopping on Black Friday - I prefer the day after Christmas more than the day after Thanksgiving. I'd rather sit at home and watch all the holiday decorating shows on HGTV.) This was around 4pm and I had H. with me. There was a long line to check out - only 4 registers open with two lines, each feeding into two registers. They lines were moving very slowly, but I didn't hear any rumblings from the front, so thought it was just the usual. But then, I get to the front of the line and the checkout girl tells me, "You know our registers are down, right?" No, I didn't know that. "Well, they've been down for about 45 minutes. We can bag up all your stuff, then if you can wait, we'll ring it up when the registers are back online." Ah, technology! Absolutely no back-up system in place for handling this kind of problem on the busiest shopping day of the year. While I was trying to get more information from the girl, by some miracle in the heavens, the registers came back up and I was able to check out. The machine still wouldn't take my credit card, so after waiting 5 minutes for the transaction to time out, I ended up writing a check.

Life was back to normal on Saturday - grocery shopping and laundry. H. took a three-hour nap after having very short naps on both Thursday and Friday, then the three of us went to the Festival of Trees at the Timonium Fairgrounds. It wasn't very crowded and not quite what I thought it would be. The trees were interspersed throughout the building, competing with craft vendors, food and the silent auction. The floor plan could have been better to make it easier to see the trees, but it was entertaining for a couple of hours and there was a carousel to ride, which H. enjoyed.

On Sunday, I launched into cleaning and holiday decorating. I scrubbed the kitchen floor, which it needed desperately, then started putting away all the everyday knicknacks to make way for the Christmas decorations. The living room looks so bare, but shiny, waiting for me to carry boxes up from the basement. I did finish decorating the china closet, putting out my holiday china and matching accessories, plus sticking the wreath on the front door, which is the easiest thing to do first. I'll keep doing a little bit each night this week, but I didn't want to put anything out on the tables in the living room until we bring in the tree, which we'll probably go get this Saturday. We're going to try putting the tree in the living room this year instead of the family room, since H. has completely taken over that room, plus there's more furniture than there used to be in the family room (last year's entertainment center Christmas gift) with no place to move it to to clear a spot for the tree. We'll give it a try and if we don't like it, we can always switch back next year.

The next few weeks are going to be very busy, well into January - tree and decorating this weekend, a short trip to NYC for work, the Children's Holiday Party at work, shopping and wrapping, baking, etc., but I've got a plan and I'm looking forward to it all!