These things have helped me retain my sanity while I manage a weekend ahead without Dan, a bouncy fourth grader, a needy kindergartner who lost her watermelon-scented smencil on the bus today, and Mr. Clingy Von Clingster, who is teething and miserable:
1. Walmart: Okay, Walmart makes me happy no matter what's going on in my life, but I love it around the holidays when they start filling up the aisle displays with baking items, tins full of gingerbread spice cookies, endcaps with stuffing, cranberries and other holiday foods, and of course the ultimate sign of the holidays: bags of red, dark green and light green M&Ms. Something about Walmart's brilliant marketing and anticipating my needs as a consumer makes me feel... well, like I have to work less to buy the things I want. Because it's right there within easy reach. If only more areas of my life had the same devotion to anticipating my needs. Sigh.
2. Shopping channels: Oh, yes it IS time to start watching HSN and QVC. Last night I was beside myself as I flicked back and forth between Colin Cowie and his brilliant entertaining ideas and Bethlehem Nights Seasonal Lighting shows. All of it, I want all of it!!! And the ideas of how to use the items! So many suggestions! Battery powered LED lights and garlands and topiaries and you can set the lights to twinkle or steady and the indoor fireplace that Colin was touting which you hang on the wall and the co-host who I swear said the word, "LITERALLY!" about 382 times. ("LITERALLY, if you can hang a picture, you can LITERALLY hang this fireplace! LITERALLY!") I am mesmerized by the cheerfulness, the eagerness, the call-ins, the whole thing.
3. Christmas Music: I turned on Christmas music today to listen to while I folded laundry. I know it's early, and many, many people get very sick of Christmas music, but I love, love, love it.
4. Travel: Two weeks from today I will be in Chicago with my brother and his family. Hopefully on my third glass of wine.