See that snow falling on my blog? I added it tonight in official celebration of the fact that I. Am. Finished. Christmas. Shopping. Not only that, but I have wrapped all gifts needing to be wrapped, and they are waiting patiently for the arrival of our Christmas tree. We’ve scheduled that event for tomorrow afternoon.
As of this morning, I still needed a final present for Adventure Guy and one for my brother. Adventure Guy put me in the perfect mindset for purchasing him a gift by letting me sleep in while he took Soccer Boy to the Santa Breakfast at church followed by the dress rehearsal for the children’s Christmas play tomorrow. With the male half of our family occupied and both girls fast asleep upstairs, I decided it was the perfect time for a little solo shopping.
One of my solemn promises to myself each year is that I will not venture anywhere close to the intersection that houses my city’s major shopping mall between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s a little gift I give myself. I’m not really a big shopper. I don’t do it for recreational purposes, though I don’t mind shopping with a purpose. Most of those presents referenced above arrived here in Suburbia via the Internet. It’s worth the shipping costs.
But, it being December 13 and all, it wasn’t worth the extra shipping costs or the worry to order these last few presents online. I decided to drive a bit further and visit the lovely, older outdoor shopping area in town. Though the forecast indicates it won’t last for long, the weather is mild today, making it a perfect time to walk from store to store. I found what I was looking for fairly quickly, and even picked up a shirt and sweater vest for Adventure Guy to wear in our upcoming family picture while I was at it.
Shopping done, I decided I might as well tackle the grocery store and buy supplies for the cranberry chutney I make to exchange with friends. Mimi shared her wonderful recipe a few years ago, and it’s been a tradition for me ever since.
The girls called me during my grocery trip, catching me just in time to add a few must haves to the cart. Then, I spent the rest of the lovely, relaxing afternoon with them catching up on some shows on the DVR and puttering around the kitchen making both the chutney and tonight’s dinner. It’s a commentary on how busy we’ve been that tonight is the first night we’ve eaten off of the Christmas dishes. I switch over each year after Thanksgiving and use them through New Year’s. Adventure Guy made beer can chicken, which I served with roasted new potatoes, fresh green beans, and pan rolls.
I’ll need to savor today since, even though I’ve managed to finish the gifts, I still have quite a bit to do prior to Christmas. The girls talked me in to letting them host a Christmas party next weekend. I’ll also be hosting our Sunday school class party on Friday, and I need to get to work on the invitations for our New Year’s Day open house. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my evening by turning in early with a good book!
P. S. For those who are interested, here’s Mimi’s grandmother’s chutney recipe. I’d linked to it in the past, but she’s moved blogs since then!
5 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
30-32 ounces cranberries
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
juice of two oranges
peel of 1 orange, grated
Cook all about 15 minutes, stirring often and simmering until the froth disappears. Put in hot, clean jars and seal with hot rings and lids. Makes 9 cups.