Friday, December 15, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Mean Tricks to Play with Cookies, Harbingers of Old Age, and Bringing Back an Old Friend for Christmas

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


As far as the gift-giving and christmas-card-sending part of Christmas, I am woefully unprepared. The worst is that this week I've done pretty much nothing, there have been a lot of other pressing things going on and quite frankly I'm going to take a nap after I'm finished writing this.


Our church Christmas party was last weekend. Chatting over a dinner of chicken cordon bleu with other church members was nice, but at the end I asked my 9-year-old to go get me a chocolate chip cookie and he came back with an oatmeal raisin. He'd already touched it so we couldn't put it back, and I didn't want to throw it away because it's wasteful (even though my friend Becky offered to do it for me while I looked the other way), so I just ate it.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't on purpose, but if there was ever a time when I've been tempted to fill one of my kids' stockings with coal, this was it.


After dinner, we divided into groups and went caroling. My group was caroling at a homeless shelter and then singing to a few members of our congregation who are older and aren't able to go out very much.

Our last stop was a lady named Alice. Nobody in our group had ever met her before, but she knew we were coming and we called from the front door of her retirement community to let her know we were there to sing for her. She buzzed us in the front door and told us to wait in the lobby; she needed five minutes to get dressed and would meet us there.

When we saw her coming down the stairs, we launched into "Joy to the World," gave her a gift basket,  went through our whole repertoire of carols while she sat down on the couch beaming. As we reached the end, someone asked, "What's your favorite Christmas song, Alice?"

The lady responded in a quavering elderly voice, "I'm Beverly!"

Why do I feel like this is something that would be in an Adam Sandler movie?

Anyway, just a few minutes later the real Alice came to the lobby and we did the whole thing again. But I hope we made Beverly's day as well.


At first I didn't realize it, but my 17-year-old recently told me that I'm obsessed with leopard print. I'd just bought a pink leopard-print sweatshirt and she said I already had a leopard-print shirt in green (in my defense, I thought they were polka-dots until she pointed it out.) 

After that, I started noticing that she's right, though. 

I consistently gravitate toward that specific print, regardless of whether I'm looking at dresses (I ordered one in leopard-print from Amazon but the color looked bad on me so I returned it) or purses (I wasn't purse shopping but I walked by it and it caught my eye.) 

Most recently, I found these shoes on clearance while I was Christmas shopping, and could not pass them up:

Tell me these are not fantastic. You can't.

Here's the thing, though: I know that leopard print is for toddlers and old ladies. And I'm definitely not a toddler...

But regardless of whether I'm becoming an old lady, I'm actually a little undecided about keeping the shoes. I haven't taken the tags off or worn them outside yet because I'm worried that they might not have enough arch support. Which I guess also answers my question about whether I'm old.


Ironically, when we went to my 6th grader's band concert on Wednesday, I noticed that the preschooler sitting in front of us was bouncing around in her seat wearing a little leopard-print puffer jacket. It reminded me to share my observation with Phillip about leopard print being only for little kids and the elderly.

"I don't think that's even a stereotype of old people today," he responded thoughtfully. "The generation that liked leopard print is gone. I think they're all dead."

So just like that, I've moved from aging to deceased. Time flies.


In our house, we are a cut-down-a-live-Christmas-tree family, but there was one year when we waited too long and the pickings at the places nearby were slim. And so the trigonometree was born. (We call it that because Phillip used trigonometry to cut the angles precisely.)

We'll still get live trees most of the time. But it's been a few years and we recently had some bigger house expenses, so we decided this was the right year to bring back the trigonometree.

Some of our kids wanted a real tree and took a while to get used to the idea, but come on. It's so minimalist and clean. By that, I mean "clean lines that are less visually overwhelming than a bulky tree," but also literally clean as in "you don't have to sweep up fallen needles every day." And it's free. I love the trigonometree.

It was the 12-year-old's idea to tape a gnome to the wall as a tree topper.


I've described myself for a long time as a perfectionist, but I think I might start calling myself "a recovering perfectionist." It's probably the results of age and having too many kids and responsibilities to overly care about the details, but I'm getting way better than I used to be.

For example, this week I printed 50 copies of our Christmas letter, and it wasn't until afterward that I noticed something was off-center. I didn't even do a long blink before shrugging and thinking, "Whatever, it's fine" instead of hemming and hawing over whether I should redo it. Progress!

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Anna said...

I love the trigonometree! And leopard print is back...and (because I think you are like me and would want to know) that specific print is actually cheetah. I had no idea until I looked it up and realized that real leopard print is too much for me, but I can do cheetah print in small doses. Like shoes. :)

Anonymous said...

I think Phillip's comment on the leopard print coming from the deceased generation is influenced by Grandma Dotties love of leopard print! I think the shoes are rather cute though. And as much as I love a live tree I'm quite taken with your trigonometree. You can really see the ornaments.
And I particularly love the caroling story. Some people are so lonesome in those facilities

Jenny Evans said...

Anna: I actually didn't notice but I guess I have both a leopard print and a cheetah print obsession, because I own both...