Thursday, December 22, 2011

the *joy* alert: 21 december

The laundry was not all finished. The dishes were not completely cleaned up from supper.  The table was littered with bits of decorative paper.  Wrapping paper rolls, scissors, and tape might have been left on the floor.  Unfinished gifts sat neglected in the dining room.

But when you have a Christmas tradition that needs to be kept and you only have one night left to make it happen, well, you leave all that work for later, at least if you are a Billington. 
It was lightly snowing which made our yearly Christmas trek to Ten Thousand Villages just a little bit better. 
Each boy picked an ornament for our tree, we found a gift for cousin Jake, and grabbed some coffee to give our friends back home.  Mark and I  both used to volunteer at the store so going there feels warm and community-ish.  Tonight there were three people that we know there, so shopping turned into some nice chatting time (while the kids played tic-tac-toe).
Then we walked to this cute café for some treats.  But it was closed, which was a shame.  So I just took some pictures of where we wished we could have had our hot chocolate and coffee.
Then we got back in the car and drove...
to this coffee shop instead.  It`s not as charming, but it`s not too bad a substitute.
Sam tried on Mark`s glasses and almost went blind.
and then, of course, all the kids needed to try.  Mark loved their reactions to his super-strength spectacles.
We then stopped at the Crackpot Café to pick up our finished pieces that we painted last Wednesday.  Sam was completely disappointed by how his turned out.  He feels he wasted $13 and 4 hours of precious time for a gift he doesn't even want to give now.  Vive la perfectionnisme!! 

In the last couple hours,I've been working on tags for my gifts with Sam sitting on the other side of the table trying to finish up one of his gifts.  Mark (merci!) made cookie dough for me, so that I can make some sugar cookies for Jack's class tomorrow.  All those things listed in the first paragraph are still not finished, but, clearly, updating my blog is more important than finishing up the laundry.  Maybe a miracle will happen while I'm sleeping!

*Joy* Alert: Traditions are pretty important around here.  There is much joy in creating family traditions (and also in dropping everything and just taking a break)!

p.s.  I will remind myself of this when I'm driving, bleary-eyed at 2 AM Friday morning.

This month, I am joining my friend,Sarah Jane, in writing daily about things that bring joy during this lovely, peaceful holiday season. 
joy in the season
I saw a GAP ad the other day that I shamelessly "borrowed" for my titles this coming month. Ironically, if I can stay out of the GAP and other such places, I will most definitely be more alert to what brings REAL, lasting joy.