COFFEE TALK 12-22-19 ☕️

Greetings and salutations on this 2nd day of winter! I tell ya, I’m feeling it. As if right on cue, our weather has taken a turn for the cold, but the sun is shining, and it’s not raining, so I’ll take it!

My weekend has been a series of highs and lows. We went out with friends both of the last two evenings, and that was fun. And yesterday morning, Paul took the girls out Christmas shopping, so I was able to finish up all of my wrapping.

We decided to hold off with our cookie baking until later this week, so I took the opportunity to get a nap yesterday afternoon, making it both a productive and restful day.

But we found out on Friday that a friend (my age) passed away suddenly, so that has put a bit of a damper on things. We’ll be attending his service this afternoon.

Nothing like a dose of reality to remind you what’s really important during this season of frenzy.

Speaking of the holiday frenzy, I am feeling remarkably chill. I’m done shopping and wrapping, and I don’t do much holiday baking… I have C for that!

Also, this is one of the few times my work actually slows down for a few days. I normally thrive on the pace of this industry, but it’s nice to get a reprieve right here at Christmastime.

Our celebration will be a quiet one. It’s just the 5 of us until the 26th, when we have family coming in from out of town to stay with us for a long weekend.

Christmas Eve is also C’s 17th birthday, and we will keep our annual sushi tradition. We usually do takeout when we do sushi, but on her birthday, we like to go to the restaurant. Then we’ll come back home for cake and presents.

Christmas Day will be a quiet celebration here at home, which is how we like it. C is making homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and she has several pies on her agenda as well as a few other goodies. I’m not even sure what all she’s making, but suffice it to say, I don’t have to do any baking.

You know, teenagers often get a bad rap, but I happen to think they’re pretty awesome.

We’re planning to grill steak for Christmas dinner again this year. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us when we spend Christmas here at home. I’m not interested in doing a big turkey dinner for 5, and steak is always a treat.

Then we host our big Shane family Christmas party on the 29th, and that’s always a fun time. I think there will be 21 of us this year. We’re down 5 from last year, so it will seem like a small gathering for us, ha!

What do your holiday plans look like? I love hearing about how other people celebrate.

FYI, if you still have some shopping to do, there are a few retailers still promising Christmas Eve delivery!

Everlane is has free shipping for Christmas Eve delivery for certain zip codes, Nordstrom is offering free shipping for Christmas Eve delivery on select items until noon today, and you can get free overnight delivery at Neiman Marcus if you order by noon CT tomorrow, 12/23. Use code NMQUICK at checkout.

Oh, and I just got an email from J.Crew. Overnight holiday delivery is just $10 when you order by 11:59pm ET tonight, 12/22.

And of course, there’s always Amazon. I actually ordered a last minute gift last night on Amazon, and it is supposed to get here today. I will never cease to be amazed at how they do that.

Okay, I think that’s about it for me.

I hope you have a restful and very blessed Sunday!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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53 Responses

  1. I am so sorry to read of your friends passing. Prayers for all his family. 
    We start celebrating today with my dad’s family. We rent a hall as there will be over 100 of us! My dad is one of 14.! We. play games, share A meal and Santa comes. May you  and yours receive a spirit of peace  and contentment this holiday.

  2. So sorry to hear about your friend.  That must be devastating for his family (especially this time of year). 
    We are having about 21 over on Christmas Eve. A very small group by our standards.  Just the four of us on Christmas Day then out to VA next weekend to celebrate the other side.  Have a Very Merry Holiday All!

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss! That definitely reminds me to enjoy and love on my family and friends. I make a variety of appetizers on Christmas Eve afternoon and our kids and granddaughter come over and hang out until church at 6. After church  my son and daughter in law and granddaughter head to her family’s and we come home and watch a Christmas movie while I put together a breakfast casserole for Christmas. Christmas morning we go to my sons for brunch with both families and then we come home and finish presents with my daughters.

    1. That sounds really nice. I love a good breakfast casserole, but my family, notsomuch. 🙁 Still, you are making me think I might want to make one this year. I can’t really enjoy the sweet rolls, I may taste one, but I can’t have all that gluten, and sugar makes me feel gross. I usually make scrambled eggs and bacon, but I may whip up an egg and sausage casserole this year. Adding it to my list!

  4. Bless your friend’s family as the work their way through their loss. I hope they know the comfort of Jesus! 

    Last year I passed the torch to my daughter to host Christmas. All our children’s lives I’ve made the very same Christmas brunch, so I still provide that at their request, however it’s at her home now. We are invited to spend the night to watch her little open Christmas. Then our son will join in with his 3 littles after they’ve done Christmas at their home. We are THANKFUL to have everyone under one roof for a brief time to celebrate! 
    Be blessed my friend! 

  5. So sorry about the loss of your friend, Jo-Lynne.

    I love to hear about what other people do for Christmas!

    Today I’m attending a family dinner and taking 3 of my grandchildren (ages 5-9) with me so their parents can wrap. (They’re keeping the sick one home with them, lol) My other 3 grandchildren (ages 1-5) are coming with their parents so it will be fun because I’m not hosting! Tomorrow we’re having brunch and presents at our house with my son and his wife and the 3 children. We accidentally came upon this idea last year because their children are so little. They live 40 minutes from us and whenever we try to do dinner at our house the kids fall asleep on the way home. Then disaster strikes because, with that brief nap, they’re all up WAY past bedtime. I love it because there’s less confusion and we get more one-on-one time than when the 7 grandchildren are here. Christmas Eve day we’ll be finishing wrapping presents and baking and preparing dinner for the next day. We do easy meals on Christmas day– the menu this year is homemade soups, bread, and salad this year. And cookies! Our contribution is seafood chowder, cookies, and a charcuterie board. Christmas Day, I’ll go to my son’s (with the 4 children) early for coffee and to see them open some presents, then return home to regroup. Then back to their house for more presents and an early dinner. We open presents one by one and pass things around to ooh and ah, so it takes all day. Then to friends for a glass of wine before we return to fall in bed. I plan to spend the 26th at home, preferably in my pajamas. Then over the weekend, we’ll have family dinner with my inlaws. Phew. I’m tired just thinking about it all. But my greatest joy is being with my children and grandchildren so I’m looking forward to every moment.

    1. Homemade soups, bread, and salad sounds really nice. We also open presents one by one, but it’s just 5 of us, so it doesn’t take all day. Still, we try to drag it out. 🙂 Your plans sound like so much fun. Enjoy!

  6. Merry Christmas to you & your family!  All your traditions sound wonderful!   So nice to hear your daughter is interested in baking, etc. Our 10 year old granddaughter knows her way around the kitchen already. She enjoys calling down here & inviting her Papa up for her special pancakes!  We all gather at our daughter’s home Christmas Eve, and do our annual Secret Santa exchange, plus a gag gift exchange.  That is ALWAYS a hoot!  This year is the first time it will be just our daughters & their families here.  My sister/husband, have  5 children, spouses, & 9 grandkids for starters. My brother, 3 daughters. We would need to rent a hall!  With the family growing & more little ones, their parents have elected to stay home & not drag the kids out at noon. I agree, and wished we would have done when our girls were growing up. It was always such rushed morning, open gifts, eat breakfast, get ready, head out, eat Christmas Dinner, clean up, onto next family, repeat……We all have wised up & truly slowed down to enjoy what’s really important!  So have a wonderful Christmas season!  

    1. That’s awesome that you can all change it up and cut down on the crazy. We always had family in two different states, so never had to combine things. I was always glad for that. 🙂

  7. Flying today from Minnesota to Arizona!! Spending time with my snowbird parents, seeing some much needed sun & warmer temps! Fly back to our frozen tundra, white ground & snow piles at the end of the week. 

    Happy Holidays!

  8. I love it ! my teenager comes in handy for things like baking. she likes to cook and loves making asian dishes.  christmas eve will have church then open our stockings. christmas day it will be my parents and my daughter and I. One of my friends will come have dinner with us. lobster and shrimp scampi over pasta.  26th my siblings will come with there families. 27th my daughter best friend will sleep over they will have there christmas.  every year is different  

  9. So sorry to hear about your friend. Deepest condolences to his family.
    We host some of my husband’s family and any friends who don’t have a family gathering for Christmas dinner. So, only 8 of us this year. I make the entire turkey dinner, which I love to make and eat. Today I will make my “schedule” so I make sure I don’t forget to make anything (and remind myself when everything needs to be made.) Christmas Eve is just my husband and myself with the 2 dogs. As an aside, my husband still hasn’t started his shopping (he just needs to buy for me and the dogs.) Haha! He does this every year, and he is not stressed. Happy Holidays!

  10. Enjoy your holidays! We too have a Christmas Eve birthday! We’re combining my younger son’s (19🎉) current favorite dish and my husband’s family tradition of Feast of 7 fishes. We won’t be with family this year so we’re scaling 😉 back to 3 fishes and his chicken. Then, always birthday cake for dessert! On Christmas Day, with just us 4 we’re grilling steaks since the weather is going to be 62 degrees in IN in December! Woohoo! When we don’t travel and nobody comes to us, our holidays are pretty quiet, but that’s nice sometimes. On 12/26 my new 19 year old college student gets his wisdom teeth pulled so we’re hoping that goes well! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! 

    1. 62 in December in IN in December, wow! That happened here in Philly a few years ago – it was 70 on Christmas Day, so weird. I hope the wisdom tooth extraction goes well. Merry Christmas and HNY to you too!

  11. I am so sorry to hear about the sudden death of your friend.  Yes, things like that can be a real  punch in the stomach, and it does remind us what is really important.  I will keep his family in my prayers.  We were invited to join our DIL’s family for a get together on Christmas Day, but since Larry is still battling the pneumonia and me the sinus infection, we decided it’s best to stay at home, so it will just be the two of us, and that’s okay.  We bought Cornish hens to have for our meal.  It’s expected to be in the upper 60’s or low 70’s so we will grill the little suckers.  It’s pouring rain today, expecting a minimum of 3-4” and the wind gusts later may be 45mph, so trees may come down.  Good day to be inside, watching Christmas movies, etc.

      1. We survived the strong winds!  We have not had cornish hens in a long time.  I wanted us to have something just a little different, that wouldn’t require a lot of work, since we’re still not 100%, so that was what popped in my head.  You should give it a try!

  12. My sympathies to you on loss of friend. I’ve had that recently also. Leaves a void. Happy birthday to Caroline. Your children sound awesome.

  13. I am sorry for the lost of your friend. Prayers for you and his family.
    We will be celebrating on Christmas Eve at my sister’s and brother in law’s house with 26 family members!!!
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!🎄 

  14. So sorry to hear about your friend dying. So tragic. My condolences. Sending you hugs and prayers.
    We go to our church evening service on the 24th. Then driving 90 minutes away to my inlaws on the 25th. The 26th is Boxing Day in Canada, where big sales are on. Not sure if I will have the stamina (or insanity!) to hit a mall but may pick up Christmas decorations and cards at 75% off at Wal-Mart for next year. Happy birthday to your daughter! Sushi sounds terrific! Merry Christmas!🌲

  15. Hi Jo-Lynne!
    Want to know how Amazon does it? With A LOT of very hard working people! My daughter worked there as a packer for 5 months. She made some good money but it was grueling 10 hour days lifting heavy items and non stop packing. She’s only 26 and in good shape and she was wiped out. Please keep all those hard working people in your prayers and everyone, be kind and patient to all the busy salespeople! Merry Christmas!

  16. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Jolynne! And I’m very sorry to hear about your friend passing away.

    Our Christmas is pretty jam packed. We go to Christmas Eve service and then to Hubby’s side of the family. His niece does an open house so it can tend to be quite crowded. Then Christmas we have dinner at my sis’s with my Dad and his wife and Boxing Day is dinner again with my sis’ family with my Mom at my house. It’s way busier than we prefer but what can you do when your parents are in their late ’80’s and both live in the same city as you. By the 27th we are all at our max on the socialization metre and are ready for some quiet down time.

  17. So sorry about the passing of your good friend! I had a good friend just pass last Friday in his sleep, a blessing to go that way but the suddenness makes it hard!
    We just celebrated with my husbands family in Dallas, TX and we have themed Christmases every year. This year, probably 20+, was “When in Rome”! We dress the part and eat that food. It is always so much fun! Then Christmas Eve service at our church and my family comes to my house here in Spring, TX for lunch and gifts. So love your blog! I hardly ever respond but decided to this time. 😊 Lets all remember the reason for the season! Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

  18. Jo Lynne I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. My deepest sympathy to his family and prayers for needed comfort and strength at this time especially around the holidays. Our traditions are a family lunch today ( pretty normal on Sundays) we will all go to a church Christmas concert tomorrow then back to our place for food and the kids( our son and daughter) will put the gifts under the tree… we all open one gift.( this would normally be done on Christmas Eve) but our daughter is married this Christmas and they will celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve with his family ( they’re Dutch) so ourselves and our son will have Chinese food and watch National Lampoons Christmas vacation for Christmas Eve.  Our daughter and son in law will be back early Christmas Day with us we will open our stockings stop for brunch then open our gifts, then I’ll have turkey dinner.. Boxing Day my husbands family comes for brunch with all of us . The 27 th we have friends in for supper then done until the 31 when we attend our friends New Year’s Eve party( usually 80+ attend) This year I’ll have my sister and her family in early January for our Christmas with them they’ll be 11 of us. As some are away during the holidays… wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

  19. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. It’s definitely a reality check of what’s important, especially this time of year. My heart breaks for his family. Christmas will never be the same. 💕

    Enjoy your downtime and everyone being home. We are hosting 15 people, they start arriving Monday. The six cousins will all be together and are really looking forward to playing (ages 8-16).  It’s controlled chaos, but love how we hear laughing, giggling, and whispering by the kids. 

    Merry Christmas 🎁 

  20. We’ll have my family here for Christmas day. They’ll come over about noon and we’ll do presents and have “dinner” around 2:00.
    We have 5 year old twins so we have to open those presents fast!
    There will be 14 of us, which isn’t that different from our regular Sunday dinner of 10. 5 of those are kids and 3 of them barely eat—so they don’t really count.
    Everyone brings something and the food isn’t really the focus so it’s pretty low key. I do have a pumpkin pie to make for me and my son, the Thanksgiving one wasn’t all that good, so I’m a little apprehensive.
    For Christmas Eve we’ll do breakfast for dinner for 10 at my SILs house. That will be really fun too and lots of bacon!
    I hope you enjoy your family celebrations! I’m sorry about your friend 🙁 it really makes the rest of this seem selfish. We’ll make a point to count our blessings!

  21. So sorry to hear about your friend. Hard at any time but especially during the holidays.  We have rain here in Northern California and snow in the high country today which helps make it feel like Christmas. Off to our daughter’s house today in the Bay Area. I’m a bit sad that we won’t be able to share Christmas with our son, DIL and our little granddaughter’s for her first Christmas but they live in Denver and are headed to ATL to her parents. Our eldest grandson will be his mom this holiday and so he’ll be missing too. My daughter has invited their good friends and their parents to join us for Christmas dinner to help fill the table. They always invite us for their Hanukkah party and join us for a family walk on Christmas Day so we are just adding on to that to create a new tradition. As an only child, the holidays just were so quiet and boring so i feel so blessed at this stage of life to have a large family, friends and so many people to love and be loved by. I would have never believed in my wildest childhood dream to have 11 people around the table even in year when my immediate family can’t be together. . 

  22. Sorry for your loss at Xmas time. I am a procrastinator and also have taken a job that leaves me too busy to keep up. I wanted to get it all done and realized there is no possible way and am only focusing on presents for close family. At least my husband sent some Xmas cards.  And my younger daughter also likes to bake. Going to SC to see in-laws but leaving one of my daughters here to watch after our black lab who has cancer and is on prednisone. Didn’t know what else to do. Anyway just some dose of reality here. 

  23. I’m baking today and just read your coffee talk. Your comment “baking…I have Caroline for that” made me laugh…my mom used to say that too and misses me now as she’s in Tucson and I’m in Seattle…she doesn’t really bake either. My son said to me today when I told him what I’m making…”Mom, you will make me fat before I go back to school.” I assume Caroline is a fan of the Great British Bake Off…I’m trying a Stollen this xmas.

    Thank you for keeping us fashionable and not frumpy throughout the year. Really appreciate all you do!! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    1. I used to bake a lot, but I kind of lost interest after going gluten-free, and now just looking at sweets makes me gain 2 lbs. I’m happy for her to take over. 🙂 Merry Christmas and HNY to you too!

  24. My condolences to your family on the loss of your friend. It is never easy with a sudden loss but so close to the holidays makes it extra tender. Tomorrow evening we celebrate with my parents and brother at their house in the evening. There is only 8 of us and my mom cooks so that is fun. Tuesday at noon we celebrate with my moms family. There is about 90 of us total it is my moms siblings, my cousins (grandchildren) and then our children (the great grandchildren). We rent a hall at a local church and it is always a great time. Lots of excitement and lots of noise 🙂 I am always ready for a little bit of quiet after it is all said and done. Christmas eve we will do a candlelight church service with our children, always a special moment. On Christmas we will be up early and let the children open presents. I make my husband Christmas morning rolls which is his moms recipe and mine never turn out as good as hers, lol! We do one present per child and then one present they all 3 can use. Instead of doing lots of gifts we try to do something to make memories. Last year we went to Niagara Falls. This year we are not able to get away as long so we are going to do a day trip somewhere fun between Christmas and New Years. Christmas Day in the afternoon we go celebrate with my husbands family (his parents and brother&family). His mom is a great cook and it will be a feast. There will be 10 of us there and we do a gift exchange so it is a lot of fun. Our employees are only working Monday and half day Tuesday and won’t work until Monday the 30th so we are going to spend some time as a family just chilling and playing games and taking it easy. I have a list of things I want my husband to do for me around the house so I might try to persuade him to help me with some of those things!! This year we have really tried to simplify and enjoy the moments and not get so caught up in the extra. We are all so much more relaxed and not frantically ticking off a list that is mostly unnecessary. Wishing you and your family a awesome Christmas! Melissa Dinkle

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