Inspired by the Twelve Days of Christmas, I’ve got some Twelvers (my concocted word for lists of twelve) to share with you this month. As if The Little Magpie weren’t already random enough…
Without further ado:
2. This gift from friend Marti Thiessen. It’s impossible to explain how excited I am about it. She brought it along with a lovely card as a hostess gift for a holiday party at our house. It made me really rethink hostess gifts in general. I love to give (and receive!) a bottle of wine or olive oil, but this was so personal, thoughtful and appreciated. I LOVE the book A Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, so I was immediately captivated by the description. This book is a special treat that I am setting aside to enjoy following the mad rush of the season during the quiet calm of January.
3. Billy Elliot – The Musical. Just… wow. I mentioned we planned to enjoy this as a family holiday treat, and it was absolutely fantastic. You have a few more days (December 6, 7, 8, 9) to catch performances at the Walton Arts Center, and I can’t recommend enthusiastically enough that you make time to see this show. (Parents: the language was stronger than I would have liked for my nine year old, but I addressed it with her and think she was so mesmerized by the show it went in one ear and out the other. Message me if you have questions.) The show was riveting, inspiring and impressive. Please make time to see it.
4. My Quo Vadis. It’s a very basic (yet ingenious) calendar from France (like a Daytimer) that is a pleasure to use. The irony that I use this each year when pretty much everything else in my life is paper/digital is not lost on me. However, I use it less for actual meetings and more as a personal and family planner. That’s all. I don’t expect all of America to run out and adopt them, but for several years it has been a daily pleasure for me to look at the next day’s tasks and errands, and it is always exciting to receive this simple brown package in the mail from Joie de Vivre/French Selections, a company I love and have raved about over on The Food Adventuress.
5. Winter bird-watching. We will be doing our annual tree for the birds this weekend (read about that tradition in this post from last December over on Arkansas Women Bloggers), and we are planning to do the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count between December 14 and January 5. Don’t worry if you know virtually nothing about birds – this is a great (free) family activity. Here’s a great view of a titmouse captured from our living room!
6. Winter craft and baking projects with my girls. And yes, there are projects that require mixing bowls and rolling pins AND stamps and ink.
7. Corny jokes on road trips. Soph: Where are those geese flying? Me: We’ll, they are supposed to be flying south, but [glance at compass confirms they actually have it under control] oh. They are. Well done guys, keep up the good work! (We both collapse into laughter and spend the rest of the trip congratulating animals on their ability to do what they’ve done for centuries without our input. You probably had to be there.)
8. Family walks on cold winter days. Good stuff.
9. Making the official cold-weather switch to tall boots (see item #1), flannel sheets, use of the fireplace and oatmeal for breakfast. Even though I still say nobody online cares what you had for breakfast, there it is.
10. On a related note: requisite and repeated viewings of Elf, The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas.
11. Buttershots. Just saying.
12. My husband’s annual rearranging of the Merry Christmas blocks. I’m resigned now and just place them where he can consider and rearrange them with ease. And I always tell him his clever phrases aren’t funny. And they always are.