Friday, December 30, 2011

December Recap!

The last month has been a blur of activity and shopping.  I so wanted to blog more but I just didn't have as much time as I needed.  Blogging takes a lot of work...research, taking photos, photo editing, layouts etc.  There just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes!

I am spending this week puttering around the house, getting closets tidy and organized, all the laundry done, writing cards to my penpals and all the little things that get neglected when our minds and bodies are off celebrating.

I feel like Christmas rushed up at me this year...yes I know I have had a whole year but, with the basement renovation taking almost an entire year, my storage room was held hostage until almost December.  As it is, the basement still isn't finished but we needed to take a break.  Since I didn't have a lot of planning time and everything was such a mess I decided to do very minimal decorations and barely decorated the Christmas tree.

Did you know if you don't putz with garlands, little filler ornaments and all that other nonsense a tree can be decorated in less than 1 hour?  No?  Neither did I.  The best part of all of will take me a short amount of time to get it all off the tree. 

I decided this year to get every single piece of Christmas decoration into the living room and get it all sorted out, get rid of what we don't use and organize it by theme.  Perhaps a project for the new year so it can be done as it is coming down.  

The month kicked of with our Civic Awards pot luck meeting.  We all brought a dish and the chair of the committee hosted it at her house.  We had our meeting, patted ourselves on the back and got down to the business of breaking bread.  It was nice to socialize with the other committee members as we are usually busy getting to and from commitments.  The chair of the committee is almost 80 and is described as me in 40 years.  I knew we were soul mates when I saw her datebook is monogrammed.  I took coffee and cake in to her 80 year old husband who was in the den watching tv....he was also doing needlepoint.  We were all having such an enjoyable time I ended up missing a Rotary cocktail party that was on the same night. 

Royal Ribbons was busy up to the first week of December.  I got all of my orders printed and out the door and catered to my last customer of the year with a smile on my face.  I love my personalized ribbon business but I was happy to have my time freed up a bit so I could focus on other things.

We had our Rotary Christmas dinner at one of the local restaurants.  The meal was so-so but the brussel sprouts were amazing!  I ate mine, the mayor's and some of Hermes Scarf Friend's date's servings.  I was telling HSF about one of the much older man who is always verry, verrry flirty with me.  Always telling me the colour I have on is so flattering and then some.  I noticed none of the other women got a Christmas kiss that night!  HSF asked me if I had never noticed I probably remind him a lot of his wife.  No, in fact, I had no noticed that...but come to think of it...I see the connection.  HSF said he is bound to adore anyone who is well mannered, has short blonde hair, is pretty and well spoken...she said I look just like she probably did 40 years ago.  The quilted riding jacket completes the look.  Ok...not so creepy now!

Neighbour and I went to see the 'New Year's Eve' movie and I loved it!  I thought it was a great holiday movie and thoroughly enjoyed it.  We have to see Dragon Tattoo and Twilight soon!  With all of the schedules we need to factor in, it's hard to get a night everyone is free!  PS...I always forget just how insanely cute Zac Efron is.

I attended the Chamber of Commerce cocktail party for all of 20 minutes.  Enough time to do a lap, grab a drink, eat some nibblies, say hello and get on my merry way!  I suspect a lot of the members did the exact same thing as it was a bit quiet when I was there.

I managed to have lunch with HSF a few times - usually to discuss business as we are on several of the same committees so it's a handy way to eat and accomplish the discussions we need to clear up before meeting with other committee members.  Oh and we like to gossip.  Small town life!

It's hard to believe my parents' Christmas party was less than 3 weeks ago.  It seems like a hundred years have gone by!  I have an outfit post from that night coming soon.  The Little Prince charmed the crowd when he was finally comfortable enough to sing his Christmas song for us.  We all cheered and clapped when he finished and he loved it so much he sang it again!  And again!  Six times.  I finally had to stuff some chocolate in his mouth to get him to stop!  I spent some time chatting with my mom's oldest friend and finally got the story of why her daughter divorced her husband.  Turns out he started his own business and she didn't like being home alone as much as that entailed.  Charming.  A young man tries to make a better life for his wife and child and gets divorced for it. 

We joined my inlaws for brunch with Santa at the country club.  The food was really good but I find these sorts of buffets are wasted on me.  I wish we could just buy half of the buffet.  After we ate we went to my inlaws' house to open presents.  One of mine was a fleecy long housecoat...something I would never wear.  It was returned when we passed the mall on our way home.  I got a gift card so I will pick out something from the MAC counter or some such thing.

We spent a day in Toronto going to the Eaton Center, the Christmas Market and dinner at my favourite restaurant in Yorkville.  I realized after that I forgot to go by T&Co to see if they had the carousel windows here too.  I always make a reservation at the restaurant as I like to sit at the same table every time.  It looks out onto Yorkville Avenue and at this time of year there is always lots of hustle and bustle.  I fondly remember one year it was snowing and the street looked so beautiful with everyone rushing home laden with shopping bags....

Strings of street lights  
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green 
As the shoppers rush home with their treasures

...the Little Prince came with us this year for the very first time and he had a ball being his mommy's city child.  He loved the subway and taxis!  He needed to be changed into dinner clothes so the Suburban Prince took him to the car and I headed to the order a glass of something civilized. 

I took our sometimes babysitter out for lunch and a catch up.  We are both so busy we hardly ever have time to just sit and chat for no reason at all.  She recently got engaged to our contractor so we had lots to plans, flower ideas...bridesmaid drama....she is 15 years younger than me so I have a very different perspective to offer.  Hopefully she doesn't make herself crazy!  The cafe we lunched at is always beautifully decorated for the holidays.  I wonder if the frog is for sale!

The library book club met a few days before Christmas to discuss the latest book.  I didn't even crack it open.  It was some sci-fi sort of thing and that just isn't my style.  I did arrive with cupcakes and enjoyed everyone's company...most of whom hadn't read the book either!  We don't get a say in the books that are assigned so we end up stuck with book the weird organizer likes.  What I did learn is Tim's has 'kegs' of hot chocolate - but they must be ordered in advance.
I took a shift at the LCBO ringing the bell for the Sally Ann kettle.  It was so much better this year as I was actually inside the store.  Last year I was outside for a couple of hours and almost crying by the end of my shift.  As I was on the sidewalk last year I didn't pay a lot of attention to who was going in the liquor store.  Want to see everyone you know all in one afternoon?  Hang around the entrance of the liquor store!  This year I noticed there are a lot of people who need booze like a hole in the head going in and spending their welfare cheques. 

We took the Little Prince to get his picture taken with Santa.  I find it incredible how many malls have done away with with taking photos or have removed Santa altogether!  What's that about??  The mall by us has a great Santa and the Little Prince did an awesome job hanging out with him.  The mall had a great idea and offered people a memory stick full of photos for one price.  We ordered that and the photographer went crazy taking over 50 photos for us.  Santa just kept going and wanted more photos taken!  At one point I realized my son could probably be a model and decided to look into it in the new year.

 I had the hardest time shopping this year.  None of the people in my life need or really want anything and I hate wandering the malls.  I prefer to know exactly what I want to buy and get it online or find it online and go right to the store to get it.  I hate shopping...I like buying.  Why is it people who don't want anything still insist on presents?

Our local theatre has a fundraiser each Christmas and it is a bit tourist draw.  Local businesses decorate Christmas trees and they fill the theatre all season.  Tickets are purchased, filled in then dropped into the box that goes with the trees one would like to win.  I got a phone call a couple of days before Christmas to tell me I had won a tree!  I love it!  I was hoping if I had to win a tree it would be this one!  The photos just don't do it justice!

A friend of mine organizes a Christmas lunch for those less fortunate or alone on Christmas day.  I found out he has been paying for it himself (for 100 people!!!!) so I got to work and spread the word to my contacts to see if anyone would help him out.  I managed to get all of the potatoes donated as well as lots of turkeys...and some cash donations.  He was overwhelmed at the generosity and it was so nice to see how happy he was!

I spent a few evenings wrapping presents.  Considering how few things I bought for people I don't know how I had so much to wrap...but I might've gone a little bit overboard buying clothes and books for the Little Prince.  Thank goodness for gift boxes that come already decorated!  I did have fun using my own personalized ribbon tho!  I think it is the perfect finishing touch!

My parents came on Christmas eve and stayed over night.  It was a nice relaxing day as I prepped all the food ahead of time and instead of a big turkey, I made a turkey casserole.  It was all yummy and I didn't have to spend the day in the kitchen!  It makes a huge difference when my inlaws aren't here.  It's not that they aren't pleasant...they are just needy.  Even the Suburban Prince agrees we need to impose a time limit when they come over as they would say for days if we don't kick them out!  After my parents had been with us for 24 hours I told them the B&B is closed and they got their car packed, coats on, hugged us goodbye and went home!

We had our neighbours in for dinner on the 27th.  I kept it super simple with ceasar salad and lasagne.  Before they arrived I made a plate of baking and told the Suburban Prince to take it to the elderly couple across the street....40 minutes later he got home to find our friends and me sitting in the living room having cocktail wondering if he really did vanish into thin air!  Turns out the neighbour offered him a whiskey and he is just easy led astray.

Tonight I am going to the mall to exchange some presents I am not in love with, have a light dinner and finally see Twilight.  I plan on doing very little for the rest of the month.  We will, as usual, stay home for New Year's Eve.  I will see about making a nice dinner for us to enjoy while watching the concerts from all over the place.  I remember the year I was pregnant Denis DeYoung was performing at Niagara Falls and he was great!  Hopefully we will catch some good shows this year.

Have a fabulous day!


Adrienne said...

Good grief you are a busy woman! I am tired just reading and imagining all the activities you managed to fit in a single month.

I admire how involved in your community you are. It must be tiresome at times to be active in the way you are, but you never seem to complain.

Loved hearing about the chair of the committee and her husband.

xo, A

P.S. That gift looks awfully familiar to me :)

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Wow what a flurry of activities...
you are one busy gal.
Your community is so fortunate to have your passion, commitment and energy.

Sounds like you have been having some fun with your girlfriends and seeing some good movies.
Take care

High Heeled Life said...

You certainly have been a Royal on the move. I think the SP family is busier than than Queen E. It is most inspiring to read about all the ways you give back to your community, sounds like you are finally settling in to small town living. Happy Holidays, xo HHL

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

You have been a very busy bee this month! Congrats on winning the tree too- how fun!

Merry merry,

Teena in Toronto said...

Wow! You've been busy! Sounds like some fun stuff, though.

Hines-Sight said...

Wow, what a busy month. I love brussel sprouts, too, and loved the story about the older gentleman.

Happy New Year!

The Mrs. said...

Lord almighty I thought I was busy!!! I saw the decendants and it was sad but good!

Debra said...

Wow! It's been a busy month for you! Sounds like you had some fun. My husband & sister saw Dragon Tattoo & loved it. Daughter & I saw Hugo, also very good.

So fun reading what others do. Thanks for sharing. Have a Happy New Year!

Shelley said...

Right. I'm worn out. Where's the post where you've collapsed in a heap and had a nervous breakdown. It would be around the corner for me if I tried to do half what you do, I'm sure! Still, you're young, you'll survive...probably. What is next year's excitement?

Suburban Princess said...

Adrienne - it can be tiring sometimes but it is my social life. I wouldn't have anywhere to go otherwise! It should look familiar!

Hostess - Thank you! I love it all!

HHL - yes, this year has been the turning point!

PPC - Thanks! It is gorgeous and I am sad to think of taking it down!

Hines - yes isn't that nice! He is a lovely man...shame about the dementia.

Mrs - I dont think I have head of that one.

Debra - Thanks! I ended up seeing Dragon last was stressful!

Shelley - I have the luxury of staying home so I can run the world from the couch...jammies on, natch. I havn't decided what 2012 will be...awesome of course but I do need a project!

Karena said...

You were one busy lady over the holidays!! Fun events and functions!! I love your personalized ribbon on the green paper! perfect!

Wishing You and Yours all the best in 2012!

Art by Karena

Jo said...

I need to take a nap after reading all this ... you have been going non-stop! If I lived closer I'd bring over a much deserved bottle of wine {I'd join you of course :)}

Love the ribbon. I need to get on the ball for next year!