Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Small Packages and Big Surprises

I have a friend whom I've known since our first week of college.  She was raised in a tiny Northern California town by two often-naked hippies who bestowed upon her a rather unusual name.  She is brilliant but a terrible speller, a fashionista who can't pass up a thrift store, a self-proclaimed baby hater, and a delightfully amusing weirdo. She also happens to be a NewYork Times bestselling author.

So when this friend emailed me earlier in the summer requesting my address because she had a present for my girls, I was suspicious.  It is a well-known fact that my friend has no desire for children.  She tolerates them now that most of her friends have spawned but she very much enjoys her carefree, childless existence.  I could not help but wonder what the heck was going to come in the mail.

Then the package arrived and well, take a look:







That's when I realized that being weird can be perfect.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Advent Tree

I don't have an official advent calendar because I refuse to pay good money for something I could make myself.  The problem is I never seem to remember to make one before December 1.

A few years ago, I sewed 25 tiny little Christmas bags but that was as far as I got.  Last year, I put the chocolate and stickers in the little bags but there was no official calendar. So, this year-- five and a half years after I had my first child, I created a calendar.  Well, actually, an advent tree.

I took some twigs from the yard and spray painted them red with paint I had on hand.  Then I scrounged up 25 clothespins and numbered them.  I cut up little squares of card stock and wrote my daily idea on each one.  Then I put the cards in the bags, hung them from the branches, and voila:


Our Advent Tree!  It's not the fanciest thing but it does the trick.

Since today is December 1, the girls opened their first card and we made real hot chocolate on the stove.  I think I overdosed on the chocolate myself but the girls loved it. See what I mean?



Yeah, I don't know what is up with the Flashdance headband either.