December 7th, 2012

holiday shopping

The Crazy Christmas Weekend

I didn't quite get the Christmas decorations up yesterday. I got the stuff out of the garage, and I remade my wreath with the new things I got yesterday (it was starting to look a little ratty, so I spiffed it up a bit). But then I ended up making a library trip and then making some meringue mushrooms, and next thing I knew, the day was gone. Today I hope to get everything up, and I also have a lot of baking to do for the church cookie sale this weekend and to have things to bring to various events.

This will be my crazy weekend of the holiday season. Tomorrow afternoon, I have a meeting (it's of a social group, so it's more like a party), then there's a big party tomorrow night. My children's choir sings in the early service Sunday morning, and I sing in the late service with the chancel choir. That evening is the church/community Christmas concert. I may manage nine waking hours at home the entire weekend (less if I sneak in a nap on Sunday). Monday will be a day of collapse. It's supposed to be nice and cold, so that may be my curl up with a good book day. Then the rest of the holiday season until Christmas Eve will be relatively easy, and all the events and activities will be optional. Although I may be whimpering much of the weekend, I kind of like getting it out of the way like this. Then I can enjoy the rest of the season in something resembling peace.

I concluded my latest "portal book" binge this week with a re-read of Magic Kingdom for Sale -- Sold!. I must have read it in college because I have a paperback copy, and the publication date falls in that range. I didn't remember much of the book at all, so it was like reading a new book all over again. I'm not sure why I didn't pick up the rest of the series. It was probably the college thing. I didn't do a lot of leisure reading during those years. I suspect I also was less interested in a hero who was a 39-year-old widower than I am now. I could probably relate to him and his decisions better now than I could then. My library system appears to have the rest of the series, so I shall have to continue this time.

The initial set up may have been even more amusing for me now and at this time of year because the ad for a magical fantasy kingdom in a ritzy holiday catalog sounds a lot like something you'd see as the big item of the year in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, something I wasn't aware existed the first time I read the book. Now I get all the local news stories every year about the outrageous things for sale to those who have the cash. I'm actually kind of surprised they haven't offered a kingdom yet.

What I like about this book is that the hero isn't any destined, chosen one. In fact, he's selected in part because they don't think he'll be successful. But he finds his inner strength and uses his skills, knowledge and experience to make something of what was supposed to be a disaster. It's the kind of person he is that matters, not any accident of birth or grand destiny.

Now for part one of the day's cookie frenzy.