Only 47 Shopping Days to Valentine’s Day!

Today was crazy.

We were up before dawn to catch the first ferry back to Vancouver Island. My sailor grumbled a bit about the early start, but I was determined to catch the tail end of the Boxing Week sales before everything was picked over. A quick trip to the mall on the way home indicated we needn’t have rushed as all the good stuff was long gone.

After unpacking and starting the first of about five loads of laundry (how do three people and one very small dog generate so much laundry?) we went grocery shopping.

I poked around the holiday section in the grocery store, looking for discount Christmas crackers for next year. It’s always a little sad to see the left-overs and this year was no exception. The shelves were bare except for some beat-up snowman decorations and a flat of Quality Street chocolates. Showing remarkable restraint, I wandered over the greeting card aisle without any candy.

Just around the corner from the marked down Christmas decorations, I found. . . a huge display of Valentine’s cards along with several lurid hot pink signs warning me to get my gift and card by February 14.

When did the world start moving so fast that we’re bombarded with stuff we need to buy for the next holiday before we’ve even finished celebrating the current one? Come to think of it, when did Valentine’s Day become a gift-giving occasion and not just an excuse to say extra mushy things to your partner?

I consider the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be part of the whole Christmas experience. Once all the Christmas stuff is sold/taken down, I think we all need a little down time before we’re exposed to the next holiday merchandise blitz.

Let the Games Begin

Now that we know my sailor will be home for the holidays, arrangements must be made.

The emails are flying fast and furious and I’ve been online for ages organizing and planning. I can’t remember when dealing with endless details was this satisfying.

We’ll be spending Christmas in our hometown. As numerous family members are coming from out of province and one group has already claimed the only guest bedroom, we’ll stay in a hotel. (Reservations: check!)

Because there will be so many of us, we decided to go out for Christmas dinner rather than attempt to feed such a big crowd in my mother-in-law’s tiny, cottage-like home. (Found: a beautiful heritage inn in our sleepy little town open for Christmas dinner. Reservations: check!)

I don’t want my sailor, tanned and fit from his time in warmer climates, to be the pretty one. I need to get myself a healthy, sun-kissed glow. (One pre-Christmas hair appointment to have my mousey highlights perked up: check!) I’d hate to frighten Santa if I catch him sneaking down the chimney on Christmas Eve so a hair appointment on Christmas Eve morning is also in order. (Second hair appointment: check!)

Best of all–some romantic alone time with my sailor (finally!) My sailor and I have a lovely post-Christmas tradition. We get a room downtown and go out for dinner for an extended date night. I wasn’t sure if he’d want to bother this year because our holidays will be so jam packed with extended family, but he specifically asked me to set up our little stay-cation. (Reservations and a big cheeky grin: check!)