Gifts of Yum and Stuff and Rain

The doorbell rang on Christmas Eve.

To my delight, Fedex came bearing a box of homemade marshmallows from lovely Lisa in Washington.

That’s right, homemade marshmallows!

Lisa mentioned her latest batch and I made a wishful comment, but it didn’t occur to me that my wish would come true.

I have my very own tub of yummy, fluffy, perfect, quickly-disappearing goodness.

Thank you, Lisa!

They.  Are.  Heavenly.

In fact, my taste buds tell me they’re a close cousin to divinity, one of my all-time favorite candies.  And we all know what “divinity” means, right?  😀

Lisa became part of my cherished new extended family when her deceased sister’s sweet husband married my sweet mom-in-law last New Year’s Eve.

Did you follow that?  No?  Suffice it to say, Lisa is family and friend and thoughtful to boot.

The Mistress of Marshmallows, that’s who she is.

The most unique gift I received this year was the mixed bag of goodies from Tongue in Cheek Antiques French Brocante.

My wonderful mom-in-law follows Tongue In Cheek’s blog and was inspired to order this little collection of French curiosities just for me.

I love it!

There are little medals and a key and a fabulous shoe.

I love the bright blue ceramic heart, the big black flower button and the miniature Paris banner.

There are numbered tags and a key plate and the teeniest plastic statue of Queen Elizabeth.  (I guess a bit of Britain climbed into the grab bag too!  😀 )

All of these trinkets were wrapped in French documents from 1922, two typed and one handwritten.  Charming.

It will be fun to see which objects inspire art from me this year.  My wheels are already spinning.

Thank you, Jenifer!

Christmas went by in a blur of food and family and mountains of Trio.

The week before it brought a ton of rain.

I snapped a few wet photos in the yard to catch the mood.

Enjoy!

And Happy Tuesday!

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The Annual Anxiety

Christmas makes me nuts.

I don’t mean that I get busy and forget to eat and have a short temper.

I mean that it makes me feel like my life is spinning out of control.

I love the season – all the lights, the colors, the food, the cheap Santa hats, the glitter on everything – all of it.

But letting people down, especially my son, absolutely sends me over the edge.  I get a stomach ache, my mind races, and I feel more distracted than usual.

This year, I am possessed by guilt because the little boy wants a kitchen.

He has wanted a kitchen since he was five.

We have never given him one.

They’re big (though not big enough for him), they’re expensive and we know a kitchen isn’t a toy he would play with as much as he plays with lego or trio or his cardboard blocks.  Should that matter?

He really wants one and I am loathe to deny him that joy on Christmas morning.  He is soooo excited, more than ever before.

Our house is a museum for his personal paper crafts, the only holiday music we ever have running is his own little voice and he even plays Christmas themed arcade games on the computer.  He points out every cheesy plastic snowman in the neighborhood and he gets up in the night and turns on his Christmas tree lights after the timer shuts them down.

He is full of glee for the big day and he thinks Santa is going to bring him a kitchen.

But Santa is feeling a little bit broke and a little bit wary of buying more enormous plastic junk, so Santa is plagued with indecision, gut-wrenching stress and whole lotta guilt.  Oh, the guilt.

Santa is also possessed by guilt over disappointing the grown-ups too.

The little boy is locked into a very rigid schedule and he freaks out in traffic, so limiting his car time and social commitments is imperative for us this year.

Surviving Christmas means letting people down by declining invitations, leaving early, showing up late, not helping with the food, forgetting gifts, and sometimes being downright rude, out of fatigue and desperation though, not intent.  All of that makes a cheery Santa kind of sad sometimes.  (And perhaps a bit insightful about Santas of the past.)

Back to the kitchen.  What should Santa do?  What would you do in Santa’s shoes?  Santa’s enormous, shiny, hard-to-fill shoes?  What would you do?  How would you keep from going nuts?

P.S.  Did I ever show you this teeny Maneki Neko I bought at Marukai last Spring?

I cleaned out my giant green purse and found it in a side pocket the other day.  I had completely forgotten it was there.  It seemed fitting to hang it on the tree, next to Kimono Bunny, of course.  😀

♥♥