We had a borderline-blizzard this past weekend and the temps have been frigid. At one point last night it was 8 feels like 0 degrees! The lowest I saw it go was 6. We did only have a few inches of snow but the winds were so blustery the few inches we received were blown all over and drifted quite a bit.

‘Tis the season to stay in with a warm fire and drink plenty of hot cocoa!

Christmas is a mere 10 days away and I am so not ready, once again. We cut down a tree off of the property – a HUGE cedar – well, it’s skinny, but TALL! We had to cut a few feet of and it’s still like 9 feet high – almost to the peak of the open beam in the living room. It’s pretty – the kids did well decorating it. I tease that it’s a gigantic Charlie Brown tree but it’s really much prettier. I have not made nor purchased a single gift. I’ve toyed with a list. We were supposed to go out shopping this past weekend, but have rescheduled for this Friday. We did send out a few Christmas cards – _His_ thing – though how _I_ end up doing _his_ thing still stymies me, a bit.

Our focus for Christmas, as we’ve gotten better at over the years, is to focus on the more non-material parts of the season. Giving of ourselves more than of gifts, definitely not on the receiving part. My kids are awesome in this capacity. I did request lists from them, and as you go up in age the lists get smaller – even to the point of meager. The boy asked for one thing – and was half joking about it. Nicci asked for a mere 2 things. And so on … but even the younger 2 girls don’t ask for anything big or expensive, or very much. They are mostly giving me options, which I do like. And I also like to find them something that is not on a list – something that I think from observing their personalities would bless them – so I’ll try for that, too.

With _him_ laid-off most of this year and then that fiasco of the job he took that was misleading about the pay until after he took it, which of course cost him his unemployment – ’tis best that we are not materialistic people. It’s been tough. My work is sporadic at best and contractors are well, especially ambivalent this time of year, what with holidays and the ending of a year. I put _him_ to work for me – well, he offered. It’s working out quite well, surprisingly. So we have a seriously *family* business going on around here! Sister and I are managing Mom, my 3 oldest children and now _Him_! First our communal property and now this – yes, you have my permission to call me crazy – I’ve accepted that fact long, long ago. In fact, that reminds me of how funny it always was when people would make comments when they learned that we have 5 children about how they don’t see how we do it – they only have (2 or 3 or whatever) children and they’d go crazy if they had more. I finally started giving the response: “What makes you think I’m not?” That usually shut them up and was mildly amusing.