Sunday, December 21, 2008

Frozen Charlottes

I've always loved Frozen Charlottes...little dolls with a big lesson in vanity and disobedience. For Charlotte, you see, refused to muss her dress by wearing a coat to the big winter dance and as a result froze to death en route! I've been poking around Etsy's vintage listings for a few months looking at these little sweeties but am having a very difficult time choosing just one! Throughout all of my ruminating on the topic, however, not once did I ever consider the possibility that I could become a Frozen Charlotte myself!

It sure felt that way last week when our power went out due to the big New England ice storm. I have to admit we do loose power quite frequently in our neck of the woods, but with a maximum outage time of maybe five hours. This time it lasted FIVE DAYS!!! We toughed it out for the first 24 hours and even enjoyed our time spent playing games by candlelight. By day two reality set was really cold! Why we ever bought a house in New England without a fireplace is beyond me...what were we thinking? Luckily the power at my parents' house was restored by then and we were able to relocate up to their place for the duration.

The joy of returning home was great but short lived. In the midst of unpacking my eyes feel upon our calendar and the realization that Christmas Eve was only one week away stopped me in my tracks. With oodles of laundry, a barren refrigerator, numerous unfinished Christmas gifts, and two more major snow storms on the way something had to be done. . . or actually, left undone! And so it's going to be a "make-do" Christmas. I've had to surrender to the fact that our cookies this year may have to come out of a box, our Christmas cards will be mailed in time for New Years and heaven help me I'm going to have to step foot in a mall. Many of my handmade Christmas gift projects have been stashed away to finish for next year, let's just hope I can remember where I put them!
Needless to say in the midst of all this I never did acquire the much anticipated December issue of British Country Living. So in the spirit of "make -do" I adjusted. The 2007 edition was dug out, the kettle was put on, and the last of the Dundee cakes (found thawed in the freezer) was sliced. All in all, I must say it was my most enjoyable tea time of the season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holiday Housekeeping

My Thanksgiving pies (which were previously baking in the oven) are long since devoured at this time. The day itself was deemed a success by all involved and included not only a huge feast but also a birthday celebration and a Yankee Swap. As an extra surprise my mom created an entire Christmas village with a personalized house for each guest to take home (mine is the Piccalilli Patchwork Quilt Shop!) It was so pretty all set up together it was almost a shame to dismantle it at the end of the day. I'm glad we did though because now there's a cute mini village set up at our house.

So cheery and festive was the sight of it in fact, that I was driven to devote the rest of the long weekend to holiday housekeeping. Each year I am repeatedly amazed at how time consuming the process actually is. First a bit of spring cleaning frenzy occurs as each room is dusted, vacuumed, and boogied of lingering evidence of past seasons (this years round up included bike helmets, water guns, wellies, terra cotta pots, a pumpkin or two, and lots of empty Halloween candy wrappers.) Next the holiday boxes are brought down from the attic and opened by a whole troop of helping hands. Fast forward two hours later and the "helping hands" are fighting over the remote control, the wise men are in league with a troop of power rangers, and the now empty holiday boxes have become a fort. At this point I begin to wonder if it would have been more relaxing to go out shopping on Black Friday than to decorate at home.

In the end, however, all is well and by Sunday night we are able to enjoy our first hot cocoa of the season by the twinkle of fairy lights. It was all very peaceful and Tasha Tudor like...until one of them discovered candy canes make great light sabers!