Update on the 2014 holiday fun list

photo-258Back in November, I posted a short list of things I wanted to do to make this holiday season memorable. I’ve been trying to strike the right balance between wanting to rush through it (because I am really tired of being pregnant) and trying to enjoy this season.

I wrote that I was “intrigued by the idea of a literary Advent calendar.” I decided to go for it. I wrapped up about a dozen old Christmas story books I found around the house, and I ordered a dozen new ones. This has been a fun new addition to our season. I’ll try to write a whole post about it later.

I wanted to visit the garden railways around here (Longwood and Morris Arboretum). I did both — the first with the whole family, the latter with my daughter over Thanksgiving.

As for making cookies, that also happened. We had fun rolling out the sugar cookie dough and decorating the resulting cookies with homemade icing and sprinkles.  

I went to the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Christmas concert in NYC. This became the subject of my “Do it anyway” post that got some surprisingly positive comments. I hope others decided to push through some blah moments to do things they knew would be fun. I was tired the morning after, but I’ll always be tired. At least in this world, I heard some beautiful music.

On the list: Going to two Christmas parties we wind up attending annually. One in NYC, one here in Philly. We did both. See my festive red maternity dress in this photo.

I wrote that I wanted to go out for a date night on my birthday. We didn’t wind up going out on my birthday; we decorated our tree instead. But it was OK. We went to dinner at Aquavit when we were in NYC for one of those two Christmas parties, so this was sort of a delayed birthday dinner.

All that’s left on the list is going to a Christmas Eve service, which I’m pretty sure will happen. And I threw in some extra things, too. I went to a black-tie Christmas concert with a friend early in the month, and I wound up taking the kids and my mom to the PA Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker this past weekend. I had two tickets I won through the nursery school silent auction last spring, and the other kids wanted to go, too, so I got three more. It went well, or as well as these things can go when you’re slightly on edge watching a show because you’re sitting next to a 3-year-old. At one point in the second act, I thought we might have to leave. But we made it through, and the kids seemed to like it. Plus my 5-year-old recognized the Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy when he heard it today! Gotta love that one annual chance to hear the glockenspiel.

How are you going on your holiday fun list?

In other news: A reminder that The Cortlandt Boys, my novel, is on sale now! (That link goes to Amazon; it’s available at all major retailers). You can give ebooks as presents if you’re so inclined. Indeed, you can shop on Christmas morning and it will still get there in time!

Photo: 35.5 weeks, closing in on 36…

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