Monday, November 26, 2007's here

Oh, how I love the Christmas season! And I know I'm not alone on this one, am I? Just last evening I read Chris's post about getting that old Christmas spirit burning. And Melissa had a wonderful idea in one of her recent posts as well (an idea that I'm going to "borrow" shortly here...hope you don't mind Melissa!).

Anyway, Thanksgiving evening always marks the official start for us. That's when we begin two of our annual traditions...watching a Christmas movie/holiday episode/Christmas special and reading a Christmas book each night. And believe it or not, I did actually remember to bring these necessities along to my parents, as that's where we spent Thanksgiving. So far we've watched a couple short kiddie shows, and then Saturday we watched A Christmas Story (Rich lives for that one all year!). We watched another short one yesterday, but then last night Annie and I watched Hogfather. that one is destined to become a favorite in this household, let me tell you! I haven't read the book (in fact, I've never read any of the DiscWorld books...a fact that MUST change soon!), so I can't say how it holds up in comparison. But the movie was a pure treat!

And as for books, we'd been reading short ones each night (mostly ones that feature a cat, thanks to Max). But last night, we started reading When Santa Fell to Earth, by Cornelia Funke. We haven't gotten far yet, but it is absolutely delightful!

And Friday at my parents' house definitely helped stoke those Christmas spirit snowed all day! Didn't end up amounting to more than 3 or 4 inches, but it was gorgeous and very spirit-inspiring! (When we arrived home, we only had about an inch here, so we were definitely in the right place on Friday.)

As for shopping, we definitely avoided the Black Friday crowds. Ewwww...just the thought of braving that scene makes me queasy. Perhaps I just spent too many years in retail. Anyway, I'm one of those year-round shoppers...I have a true weakness for buying gifts! But even though I've got a lot of shopping done, I still have a lot to do. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever been quite so unprepared at this point before. (Yeah, go ahead and rub it in, Mom! She's not only done with her shopping, but almost done with her wrapping as well.) We did brave the crowds and headed out to Barnes & Noble on Saturday...hey, some stores are worth the slight inconvenience of Christmas mobs, right? Picked up a few more items off the old list there.

My decorating is coming along slowly, due to my obsessive need to super-clean each room before decorating it. Why I don't feel this need to super-clean in the spring like normal people, I just can't say. Anyway, I have managed to clean both the boys' rooms. And yesterday we put up their little Christmas trees. It's amazing how many ornaments they've amassed so far in their short lives. (Last year, we even had to get a bigger tree for Annie, because she has so many ornaments now.) Anyway, very slowly, it's beginning to look a bit more like Christmas, too. Should make some progress on this during the week. I'm not sure if I've mentioned before that Annie has been participating in NaNoWriMo. In the Young Writer's Program she could set her own word goal...but since she loves nothing more than writing (except possibly reading), she decided to challenge herself and go with the "adult" goal of 50,000 words. But, of course, this month has not been kind to her. She got next to nothing written during the week after her grandpa died. And then to make matters worse, we had major computer problems while away for Thanksgiving so she didn't get to write at all for those couple of days. She's currently at 29,000-ish words, with only 5 days left to write. But she doesn't want to give up, so I'm going to let a lot of school stuff slide for the week and let her write up a storm. Though it'll put us even farther behind than we already are on the school front, it will allow me to get some work done around here.

Also on slate for today, is making up our Christmas card list. This is where Melissa's idea comes in. I've been wishing that I could send all my bloggy friends cards this year, but I only have a few of your actual addresses. Well, Melissa was smart enough to just ask. (Duh, Debi.) So if any of you enjoy receiving Christmas cards in your mailbox as much as I do, please just e-mail us your address. (rdagmstevens at frontiernet dot net)

Well, I suppose I should stop babbling away here and just go get something done, huh? Hope you're all enjoying the Christmas season, too!


Chris said...

What a great post :) If I wasn't in the Christmas mood already, this post surely would've done the trick. I really can't wait til I have kids...well, I can (knock on wood)...but it must be so much fun to gather with the family and read a story together each night. I look forward to that!

I do the same thing. Thanksgiving marks the time that I start submerging myself in everything Christmas be it movies, music, books, shopping, etc. I had no idea that Cornelia Funke wrote a Christmas book! That's cool! Is it like a picture book or a novel?

And I can't believe your mom is finished her shopping and almost done her wrapping!! That's crazy! Tell Annie that I said to stick with her NaNo. She'll get there and it'll be a great big accomplishment when she does. I know it's just frustrating at this point. I'm just so sick of it now and I'm ready to give up, but I'm at 42,000 words so I'm seeing it through!

Jean said...

Way to go, Debi, letting Annie write "for school" this week. My older son decided over the long holiday weekend that he did want to finish this year. He had about 5,000 words at the time. He's been knocking off 5,000 words a day, and is now at just over 30,000 words. I'm at about 47,600, so hope to finish tomorrow if not today. As I told Annie, I'm having fun seeing how bad I can make this one, story and writing. Annie has been something of an inspiration to me this year. When the going got tough there around the time Travis died and my dad got his formal diagnosis, I kept thinking of Annie and how I got her into doing NaNo. I figured that not finishing didn't exactly set a good example, and did get over the hump. I think if Annie can get over 35,000 words, she'll get on a real roll and coast. Just keep reminding her that she can edit it later. For now, just write and then write some more.

Have fun cleaning and decorating! Want to come do my house when you're done with yours?

a writer's woolgatherings said...

50,000 words??!! American Girl, what did you do by rejecting my query??!!

We are BIG fans of The Christmas Story. The one line that never fails to land us on the floor in hysterics is when the old man, in a fit over his turkey splayed on the floor is, "Sons of bitches! Papa said!" HAHAHAHAHA!! Oh, the pure agony of it!

PS - you are the only one who feel she must clean house before putting up decorations ;-)

Nymeth said...

Annie never ceases to amaze me. I think you're right to let her focus on writing this week, even if it means staying a bit behind when it comes to school. After all, you learn a lot by writing, and how amazing is it that she's writing a novel at the age of 10?

I hadn't heard of When Santa Fell to Earth, but it sounds like I'll have to get my hands on it before Christmas. I was out of ideas about what to pick for my Christmasy read this year, having gone through the classics in recent years. I think this is going to be it though!

I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed the Hogfather movie! I hope I can finally get my hands on it this Christmas. I have no idea how it compares to the book, but if you liked it, you will like the book for sure!

Jennifer said...

It really is here, isn't it? Where did the year go?
I love the idea of reading a Christmas book every night. I guess I need to get some more books!
I haven't started decorating yet - I probably will after this weekend. And although I don't neccessarily deep-clean, I do need for each room to be clean before I decorate! It just makes it less chaotic. So you are not (totally) alone!

50,000 words? That Annie sure is ambitious! What an incredible young lady you are bringing up - wow! I have no doubt she'll make it. Especially since you are giving her the extra time to work on it!

A Christmas Story - that is my hubby's ABSOLUTE favorite Christmas movie. Atually, I'm kind of surprised he hasn't already watched it this week! It's really not my favorite, but I will sit through it at least once each season.

Have fun cleaning and decorating!

Carl V. said...

Wonderful post! Glad to see others besides myself in the throes of Christmas glee! I spent about a week slowly but surely getting Christmas decorations up and finished last night. I did a lot of cleaning while I was doing that yesterday as well.

We've been watching Christmas movies all weekend, starting with two of my absolute favorites on Friday night, Elf and While You Were Sleeping. We also slipped Little Women and Shop Around the Corner in. Many more still to watch, thankfully! Isn't Christmas grand?!?!

That is so incredible that Annie has written that much. Wow! I think it is great that you are working with her and encouraging her. What a great mom.

gail@more than a song said...

Christmas movies and books sounds like fun! I'm being slow in decorating, tree is up but nothing is on it yet. :)
I need to do some cleaning too.
Hope y'all are getting all recuperated.

Dewey said...

Debi! I'm on my way to work and will have to come back to read your post, but I wanted to warn you: Haunted is NOT the Palahniuk book to start with! It's horrifyingly gruesome. Start with something else or you will never want to read Palahniuk again! Not that he's not gruesome in other books. But not to the extent he is in Haunted.

Dewey said...

Annie is amazing. It sounds like you homeschool, is that right? I feel like I should know the answer to that already, sorry.

Melody said...

Wonderful post, Debi! I'm looking forward to Christmas too! ;)

kreed said...

Of course you remembered to bring books and movies to your parents - you always remember things like that. One of the many reasons I admire your organization!

Good luck to Annie...I bet she can get it done!

and you already have my address :)

Debi said...


"I really can't wait til I have kids...well, I can"--You are a wise man! Seriously, that cracked me up!

I had no idea she'd written a Christmas book either, but Rich happened to see it at B&N and of course, scarfed it right up. It's a short chapter book (160-ish pages, I think). We're only about 1/4 of the way through (5-year-old doesn't not have an amazingly long attention span!), but we are thoroughly enjoying it!

Can't wait to hear you've passed that 50,000 mark!


I seriously can't imagine what a high it must have been to "win" yet another year at NaNoWriMo! Congrats!!! How's Don doing?


We love that scene, too! Of course, we love most every scene in that movie...I'd love to know how many times one of us said, "This is a funny part coming up here!" when we watched it the other night.


I hope you get a chance to see Hogfather this season. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Like I said, Annie and I loved, loved, loved it!

And do read When Santa Fell to Earth...we're not nearly finished with it, but it is utterly delightful so far!


So what Christmas movies do you enjoy? I always love to hear peoples favorites.


Oh, I am so jealous that you've got your decorating done!

We love Elf here, too! Definitely one of my favorites. Along with Die Hard (which maybe doesn't qualify as a Christmas movie, but it's worked for us for the past who-knows-how-many years!)


Hey, having your tree up is nothing to sneeze at! I'm not nearly that far...that's usually the last of our decorating around here.


Yes, I homeschool Annie, but the boys attend public school. I know some people think that's weird, but it's really just a matter of us trying to make the best choices for each kiddo as an individual.


I hope you're enjoying the season to the fullest!



And let's just hope I don't screw up and use the wrong address again, huh?

Carl V. said...

Oh, I definitely consider the first Die Hard a Christmas movie.

Dewey said...

It doesn't seem weird to me. I homeschooled for a couple years, and my homeschooling group had several families who sent some kids to school. It really shows good parenting, I think, when you're considering the individual needs of your children. I started out homeschooling my son after his school skipped him from second grade to a 4th/5th multi-age classroom, and it was a disaster. But we had so much fun my daughter asked to join, and of course that was fine with us!