Tuesday, December 4, 2012



It’s December 4th today, and it’s nearly 60 degrees out. Yesterday, it hit 70. So what, you wonder? Well, we’re in Chicago, where it’s normally frigid this time of the year. Snowing, even. See the picture above, with my girls in un-Decemberly clothes? That was taken yesterday. Mind. Blown.

I had a lot planned for us this past weekend because finally getting to the last month of the year also meant Christmas decorations! Christmas cookies! Christmas crafts! Christmas music! Christmas shopping! In short, holiday on crack.

But we hit a snag. Warm weather. Yes, I’m actually complaining about the glorious 70-degree weather. Well, that’s because it totally messed with my vision of the holidays, like decorating trees in our sweaters, sipping mulled wine, then admiring our effort on our couch, basking in the glow of our beautifully lit tree, and snuggling together under warm blankets.

None of those happened. I was in a tank top, the windows were opened, and we felt foolish being inside the house when we should have been outside, inhaling the unnaturally warm and humid spring-in-December air. Half of me was determined to continue – This is our tradition, dammit! We finish the tree, drink wine, snuggle under blankets, sing carols and admire the bloody tree! But the other half fought back – Are you kidding me? What are we still doing in here?

Thankfully, My Guy agreed with the latter. We left our tree to be continued the next day and made an impromptu trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights. It was an activity we looked forward to every year – an array of Christmas lights in a dazzling display amid animals and kids’ rides, what’s not to love? – but it was always in 30-degree weather, so imagine our delight when our fingers weren’t frozen for the first time since we started this tradition.


The next day, Monday, the freakish weather continued. I picked Little Miss up from preschool early so we could finish decorating the tree. We took a long, leisurely stroll home, with the ground still wet from the rain. Rain! Without cumbersome jackets and mittens, they even held hands, although frankly, that part isn’t new. Thumper, the one-year-old, usually insists on her sister’s hand when we walk together, but being able to take the time to capture it instead of having to hurry back because of the cold was a lovely luxury.

In the same evening, Little Miss also surprised us by clearing the table after dinner, unprompted, while we were on the deck with Thumper, who was prancing without pants. The weather had to be doing some strange things, because pants-less in December is one thing but a table that’s spotless? That’s just too much.

The tree was finally completed that night, three days after we brought it home. This year, we found one that we thought would look fine, except by the time the branches settled, it took up half our living space! We (well, My Guy) had to improvise, moving furniture around to accommodate the tree that ate the living room.


But it’s here, it fits (somewhat), and it’s finally complete. It didn’t happen the way I had envisioned, but I realize now that it’s a good thing. Because – and I begrudgingly admit this – it turned out even better than I had imagined.


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What do you do to prepare for the holidays? Are you as excited about Christmas as we are? What’s the weather like where you are? Any anomalies or business as usual?



This is a Wordful Wednesday post. Check out this week’s links here.