Coffee Talk 12.23.18

Well, Christmas is two days away! I don’t know why it surprises me when it rolls around every year.

We spend so much time preparing and anticipating, and we always know the season will fly by, yet it still seems surprising when it actually arrives. Or is that just me?

From where I sit in my office, I can peer over over my computer monitor and see the top of our family room tree all lit up in the dusk of the pre-dawn morning. We finished up all our wrapping last night and rearranged all the presents under the tree so they look picture-perfect.

At this point, anything that hasn’t gotten done won’t get done because it’s too late to place anymore online orders, and even I’m not crazy enough to brave the stores on Christmas Eve, so now we wait.

We’re all pretty excited to celebrate Christmas in the new house. I think it still seems surreal to the girls, who are big on tradition, and all of their Christmas memories are located in a house a few miles away.

They’ve been doing their best to make this house feel more like home by recreating those traditions in our new location. It’s been important to them to do all the things this year… the cookies, the live tree, the present wrapping, the sweet rolls, the Christmas movies… Everything that is familiar and comforting to them about the Christmas season, they’ve wanted to experience here this year. Fortunately, we were able to make most of it happen.

If my son finds it all a bit disconcerting, I wouldn’t know. He doesn’t offer up his thoughts and feelings very often, but he seems happy to be here, and I think it will be good for us all to experience the first Christmas in our new home and get this milestone behind us.

It will just be the 5 of us on Christmas Day, so we’ll be able to take our time with our presents, and it should be a calm and relaxing holiday. My older daughter is planning to make my grandmother’s sweet rolls for breakfast, a favorite Guelich family holiday tradition, and I’m making a steak dinner at their request, which isn’t so traditional, but I actually made steak last Christmas, so maybe it’s becoming our new tradition.

In other Christmassy happenings, a friend and I took our daughters into the city yesterday to see the Pennsylvania Ballet perform The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music.

It’s such a gorgeous venue that I’m becoming very familiar with since having season tickets to their Broadway series. It was nice to know exactly where I was going and where to park, and we got down there in record time since we decided on the 11am performance.

It’s been years since I’ve seen the ballet, and it was everything I’d remembered and more. For me, it’s always been more about the music than the dance. I was a violinist in my youth (believe it or not!) and I sung a rendition of Waltz of the Flowers in high school chorus, so it was all a bit nostalgic to me.

I surreptitiously snapped this shot during the snowflake scene. We were in the back row, and there was no one on either side of us (score!) so I figured I wasn’t distracting anyone, and I didn’t use a flash. I thought it turned out really cool!

Unfortunately we had a group of extremely rude people nearby, which detracted from the experience. I knew when choosing the 11am performance, there would be a lot of kids, but this situation was beyond the pale. I kept hoping the ushers would ask them to leave, but no one did. It seems like there is no respect for culture anymore, but whatcha gonna do?

Besides that, it was a really nice time, and we decided to stay in the city and grab lunch afterwards, which was lovely. I’d definitely like to do it all again next year, but I’ll purchase better seats at an evening performance and hope for more respectful audience. There are no guarantees, but one can always hope…

Today we have church this morning and a Christmas party this evening, and then I need to get up bright and early in the morning and go to the grocery store to get Christmas dinner fixin’s. I know I’m crazy to wait till Christmas Eve, but the grocery store is enough of a madhouse on Sunday afternoons — there’s no way I’m getting within a 2-mile radius today.

I’ll spend this afternoon making my grocery list and hope I don’t forget anything — that will be a Christmas miracle. I’m always sending poor Paul out at the last minute for something obvious that I forgot. This time I’ll get the girls to help me double check myself, and hopefully that can be avoided.

Tomorrow is my older daughter’s 16th birthday, and while we already celebrated with a day in NYC a couple weeks ago, we want to make her day special. I’m making her a homemade birthday cake, and we’ll go out for sushi dinner tomorrow night — her favorite. Then we’ll come back and open our Christmas Eve pajamas. I tried to put a kibosh on that tradition, but I was met with resistance on all sides, so I have those presents set aside and ready to go.

In personal news, I’ve been really lax with running lately. Like basically, I haven’t been running. I think I’ve been out once in the past three weeks? GAH…. it’s really bad.

It’s been a combination of the nasty weather — it’s either raining or 25 degrees or windy or a combination of the three — and the sheer busyness of the season, but I’m going out this morning and hoping to get myself back on a dependable schedule, now that life is returning to some semblance of normal.

January is a tough month to exercise outside, but we’ve discussed getting a treadmill, and it just isn’t in the budget this year, plus we don’t really have a good spot for one, so I’m going to keep doing the best I can to work around the weather. As long as it isn’t pouring rain or snowing, I should be able to deal with the cold. I sure hope those winter running pants are under the tree! I forgot to include them in my personal wish list post, but they’re at the top of my list.

On that note, I better get off this computer and get outside before I lose my resolve. The first day back is always the hardest, right??? (Actually, I find days two and three to be the worst, but let’s not think about that just yet…)

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!