Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This time of year is proving to be very, very busy on the "real life" front, so I haven't had much time to blog. Just want to check in quickly to remind you all me not to go all Xmas-insane. I have no idea how I instantly morph into a poor-gal's Martha Stewart as soon as December hits. By way of dodging all the at-home fanfare, our goal was to go to Quebec City (aka Santa's Village) over Christmas but for various reasons, including my illness, that just didn't work out. So instead (though, secretly, I swore I would never do this again) I'm having the entire world over. What I mean is: I'm so happy to have the chance to host everyone at this time when wine appears to be off limits.


Last weekend, on the seasonal front, I somehow managed to:
  • Put up a tree
  • Trim a tree
  • Wrap all the presents that have heretofore arrived
  • Make sable dough (for baking next weekend)
  • Make salted caramels (5 gifts worth)
  • Make a freakin' banana bread (the kid guilted me into something she could eat "now")
  • Knit 20 per cent of a sweater (gift)
  • Hang a portrait wall of paintings (posters really, that must be replaced by something realer) in my newly-painted bedroom
all while arguing with Scott and M at regular intervals! Only 8000 more things on the To Do list and I'll be ready to chill.

As you can imagine, those intermittent throat ulcers are back. And I really have no one to blame but myself. I mean, seriously, do I have to plan boeuf Bourguignon for pre-Xmas-Xmas dinner? What ever happened to ordering Indian??

My other secret, however, is that - in many ways - I am actually coasting. The packaging for my handmade baked-goods is the exact same as that of last year (I didn't even reprint labels). For that matter, so is the roster of baked goods. I have enough wrapping to last till Armageddon, so I didn't buy anything new. Fuck complementary colours under the tree. As you know, I purchased almost nothing in-store. So there you go, tons of gifts without even having to put on a coat or outwit a crowd. People, I shopped while watching TV (shhhhh).

Here's what I hope for us all (and, for me, this may involve a Christmas miracle): May we be love-bitten by the true spirit of the holidays, whichever ones we feel like. Take that in whatever way it works for you: Want egg nog? Drink it. Love lunching with friends? Make a reservation. Hate decorating? Then don't do it. Tired? Hang out and coast. 'Tis the season, after all.

On a related note: Go to an open house, even if you're unconvinced. Eat a bite of gingerbread cuz your colleague made it specially and it's from a family recipe, even if you don't much like it. Enjoy the pleasure of others as they expend effort to motivate yours.

And definitely smack anyone (wink) who whines about being overcome by perfectionism. Christmas is not an excuse to indulge in that compulsion. :-)

PS: On a TOTALLY unrelated note - unless we put this under the heading of Presents I Got for Myself: Today I wore my new boots and my new coat and I am utterly convinced (like I wasn't before?!) of the value of buying quality. I walked to and from work (more than 7km) in those boots with nary a twinge of ouchiness. They are so comfortable - and gorgeous! And my coat was as warm as could be (it recently got chilly here) outside but, so light that it didn't threaten overwhelm me while I waited for my coffee in the crowded shop. In fact, it was as comfortable inside as outside. Not to mention that I got numerous compliments. Of course, I'm not suggesting that we buy what we cannot afford but I do think  a stretch, now and again, especially if one eschews volume for quality, is a very good idea. The Rosedale ladies call it an investment.


  1. Is that baristo still working in your coffee shop? ;-)

  2. In fact, he told me he loved my coat. :-)

  3. Amen to Christmas cheer and Amen to the best quality our budgets will allow. Christmas shopping in front of the TV is definitely the way forward. Saves your sanity and the ribs of the other folks who get in the way of your elbows!;-)

    1. Ha! I don't know if everyone should be wearing padding.

  4. We do need to see a picture of the coat......
    I found the most fabulous, comfortable chocolate brown boots but alas no coat. Maybe next year as I have a few coats to keep me going!

    1. Pic is coming, as soon as I have 5 minutes when I don't look wan. So happy you have found boots. A coat is, no doubt, on the way in 2013.

  5. Glad you're loving your new coat and boots? I'm not surprised. . .
    As for the Christmas cheer, I'm aiming at it. . . .

    1. Well, you have a charming little present this year. So I'm sure you'll get in the spirit as soon as those papers are marked!

  6. Reading your boot posts has seriously reaffirmed my recent splurge of Frye Dorado boots. Like you, I don't scrimp when it comes to paying big $$ for something quality, but these were a serious splurge! And, you'll appreciate this: after shopping around all over town, including Bootmaster on the Yonge St strip (which is THE place to buy Frye in the city), I ended up saving money by ordering them online from Neiman Marcus in the States. They haven't arrived yet, but I'm sooo excited! Wishing you very happy, joyous holidays! Julia

    1. The Dorado is a very stylish boot. For me it's a bit too wide but I love the lines. And, you know I believe in shopping local - but when the price is SO much better online, you have to consider your bottom line. Happy hols to you too Julia.