It’s Boxing Day! What Are You Reading? (December 26, 2016)


Merry Christmas to my friends who celebrated, and happy new week (and hopefully day off work) to everyone!  Did you all have nice holidays?  Our Christmas was predictably hectic, but it was great.  I think the kids had a ball – they loved their presents and had a blast playing all day with their new toys.  By the end of Sunday, Steve and I were exhausted from all the hilarity (and the meltdowns that inevitably happen when you combine overstimulated kids with lots of sugar and new stuff).  We’re coming down from the holiday high temporarily – my parents will be here later today, bringing with them a whole sleigh full of more toys and jollity.  It’s gonna be another wild night…

I’m just beginning to dig out of a deep hole that I made for myself over the last week – in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been (which you probably weren’t).  Last weekend I’d planned to spend Sunday getting ahead on my posting and have plenty of fun content scheduled for you, but all of that went out the window when we were visited by a brief but vicious stomach flu.  We’re not sure which of the kids brought it home, but it laid the whole family low – including Nana, who we’d flown down to provide some child care in a pinch while Steve was traveling for his firm’s holiday party.  Sorry, Nana!  Losing the weekend put me way behind in holiday preparations, and while in the end I got everything done, this space got neglected.  Sorry about that.  So here we go, two weeks of catching up on reading and more…

barkskins fox-at-the-manger peaceful-parent

Reading.  The stomach flu didn’t just put me behind in holiday preparations – it put me behind in reading, too.  I didn’t turn a page all last weekend, which was a big problem because I was in the middle of Barkskins, the 713 page epic Annie Proulx novel about lumberjacks (yes, really).  Anyway, I powered through it over last week and finally finished it up a few days ago, and while I respected the excellent writing and epic scope, I can’t say I really connected with it, which was too bad because it was a major commitment.  I was looking for something more Christmassy and sweet after closing the cover, so I picked up The Fox at the Manger, a sweet holiday story to which I’d treated myself, and read it in one sitting.  Now I’m midway through some educational reading – Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, which has been on my to-read list for ages.  I’m making myself read it, but so far I’m not finding it all that revolutionary – kind of disappointing.

Watching.  So many great things!  The highlight of my watching over the last two weeks had to be watching the kids’ joy as they opened their presents on Christmas morning.  There’s nothing like seeing the magic of Christmas reflected in the face of a child!  Other great watching – The Secret Garden musical, at the Shakespeare Theatre with Peanut, last weekend (after she was feeling better and before I started to feel sick – the sweet spot of the weekend).  We loved it, and Peanut is still singing the songs over a week later.  It’s not quite competing with “Hamiltunes” in Peanut’s repertoire, but she sure did have fun.  And I was psyched that she did so well at the theatre – hoping this means I’ll get out to more plays in 2017!

Listening.  Still trying to catch up on my podcatcher.  In my earbuds at the moment – the Sorta Awesome “best books of 2017” show.  By far the best podcast episode I listened to over the past week was the Tea & Tattle Christmas episode.  Miranda and Sophie took turns sharing their favorite holiday traditions and reading aloud from some of their favorite Christmassy stories – including holiday scenes from Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown and Anne of Green Gables.  LOVED.

Making.  Piles and piles and piles of wrapped presents!  And most of them stayed wrapped for less than 24 hours (I left it to the last minute; can you tell?) but I loved seeing them get ripped open.  I’ve got more wrapping to do once I publish this post, too – getting in just under the wire before Nana and Grandad get here.  Also making… progress on a big work assignment while the kids nap this afternoon, a few new blog posts, and (hopefully) a Meyer lemon cake – my traditional Christmas dessert when we’re not traveling.

Blogging.  Nothing last week – sorry about that.  This week, I’m making it up to you with two big Christmassy posts.  (I went through the pictures I snapped during all of our holiday celebrations, and we did so much that I think I’ve got to break the recap into two posts, lest I crash WordPress.)  Next week, I’ll be back to sprinkling in bookish content, along with some 2016 wrap-ups (is it over yet?) and looking ahead to 2017.  Lots of good stuff coming in January!

Asking.  What are you reading this week?  And if you celebrated, how was your Christmas?

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