Last week I was walking through a shopping center in search of Teavana’s Dragonwell, when I spotted, not one, but three “holiday” stores. They sprout up now like little redwood seedlings in the mall-forests of California. I sighed. Ah, well, no point wasting exasperation on things ignorable, is there?
On the other hand, a few other errands last week reminded me that there are a few tasks you might take on, even though Christmas – my winter holiday of origin – is a ways off. Have no fear – I would not think of exhorting you to start gift-shopping. I never finish fortifications until the week of, and feel that December 22nd is a great day to slap down that credit card one last time.
But how about completing needed repairs? Stocking up on festive goods? Now seems good. For example:
- Buy lots of new candles. You might order a bunch of beeswax tapers from Glacier Mountain Honey, because it’s really nice to support small family businesses, to say nothing of the great state of Montana, and beeswax smells gorgeous.
- Check your lights to make sure they all work, untangling as you go just in case you threw them in the box impatiently last January. Maybe buy new strands in fancy shapes like candles and grapes. Definitely a few packs of gutter hooks.
- Get wrapping supplies before all that’s left in stores is paper that erupts in glitter every time you touch it. I am a sucker for Paper Source.
- Take your party clothes to the tailor. I have needed these J. Crew cropped silk pants altered for 11.5 months. I’ll pick them up next week.
- Bring home a new Christmas object. When my kids were little, by tradition we acquired a few new ornaments every year. I don’t have big trees any more, and find we don’t even have room to hang what we have. However, there’s still space on tables and counters. Past finds included these elf houses, groovy glass trees from Target, and a set of little wooden carol singers that were souvenirs from a trip to Switzerland. This year I’m thinking kitsch. Look at these china figurines from Royal Doulton. Come on, admit it, fun.
By the way, alterations prepare you for many festivities. And candles, (here for Diwali – starts Thursday! or here for Chanukkah), illuminate winter without reference to creed. But no pressure. You owe neither tastefully wrapped presents, nor plush tables, to anyone. It’s just that taking care of a la few things now now does give you time to choose in something like peace.
In the meantime, if you don’t feel like carving pumpkins, here’s my lazy woman’s guide to jack o’ lanterns. Got your back coming and going, oh yes we do.
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