Thursday Thankfulness, Christmas edition

Flannel pajamas, a scarf wrapped around my neck, a mug of Sleepytime tea…and a brilliantly lit 7.5 foot Christmas tree.

My thankfulness this week is tempered by gnashing of teeth that I seem to be getting sick just before a dinner party (Saturday) and a four-day family visit on Sunday.  There are worse things than colds and I will not complain (much), but…I want things perfect!  (I know.  Everyone is shocked at something so unlike me.)  I popped a painkiller/decongestant that I had leftover from my last cold a few weeks ago, and I’m brewing myself endless cups of tea.  I know I should gargle with saltwater, but that makes me gag.

I know.  I’m being a baby.  A cold is hardly anything to whine about.  When I was younger, I was sick every Christmas that I received pajamas as a gift.  It was never anything serious, but it was enough to make me glad for cuddly new pajamas to keep me warm.  It makes me wish I had new pajamas now.  🙂

All right.  Without further ado, here are this week’s thankfulnesses.  Won’t you join in by adding yours in the comments?  It’s much nicer when it’s a collective effort.

  • A brand-new, 75%-off day-after-Christmas tree in all its 7.5 feet of glory!  I really had no business getting a tree.  It’s an unnecessary expense.  A luxury.  If I had to get one, a small tabletop tree of 12 inches or so should have sufficed.  But am I sorry?  Not one bit!  I got a tree skirt for $2 and a 6-pack of ornaments for $1 at the dollar store, and I picked up 50%-off ornaments and candy canes.  I didn’t want a pre-lit tree, but that’s all that was left.  I was a bit sniffy about it until I brought it home and plugged it in.  Oh my GOSH!  Tons of lights without unknotting a single cord!  Is it wrong of me to like the lazy way this much?  I wrapped some small gifts (little fun things) for my dinner guests on Saturday as well as family gifts for Sunday.  I’ve been grinning like an idiot and staring at my beautiful tree for ages.
    .
  • 50%-off electric candles for the windows!  I put one in each window in the room with the tree, and it’s magical.
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  • Parents visiting on Sunday!  If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that this is a momentous, if not earth-shaking, event.  Both that they are coming and that it makes me glad.  My mom told me on the 15th that they would visit me for a few days on the 30th.  As soon as I hung up the phone, I started organizing, de-cluttering, and deep-cleaning.  I’ve put in several hours a day since then, and although things won’t be perfect they will be as nice as I can make them.
    .
  • I’ve learned all kinds of neat cleaning tricks, too.  (Thanks, youtube and the internet!)  Did you know you can pop the top of your stove up, just like your car hood?  Or that baking soda plus vinegar makes the most amazing scrub if you let it sit for a while?  Or that boiling water with dish soap, lemon juice, or vinegar for 5-6 minutes in your microwave will make it a cinch to wipe off any and all grime?  Or that if you bleach the inside of your fridge (after taking out all the food and racks/drawers), setting a cup of vinegar inside overnight will then remove the bleach smell that lingers even after rinsing?  It’s like having a brand-new home with brand-new appliances!
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  • Sleepytime Tea.  Enough said.  (Please excuse me while I brew another cup…)  Ahh.  Teabag tea is *so* easy to make.  No fuss, no measuring of temperature of the water…just boil and steep.  I’m still a green tea gal, but in a pinch Sleepytime Tea is pretty great.
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  • Kristine Claus @MistressClaus, a great marketing idea proposed by Pao and reinforced by Cara.  I only laughed thinking Pao was being funny, but then Cara showed me it was a good idea.  She only has two followers so far (Pao and I), but next Christmas I’ll get to channel some Mrs. Claus energy and issue threats of wooden spoon spankings to any and all who cross my path.  *evil laugh*  I can’t wait!
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  • Vennie 2 is coming along nicely.  Claire makes me laugh.  When I wrote Vennie 1, I honestly didn’t like Claire that much.  I thought she was spoiled and immature.  But since finding that readers like her (though of course find her bratty and in much need of a spanking), I’ve come to understand her more.  I should be working on two other manuscripts that need revision, but it’s always fun to start something new.  I’m excited to see where Claire and Minelle will take me this time.
    .
  • All the fun and laughter of the Advent Calendar.  Thank you to everyone who made it a far better month than I ever could have hoped.  When I get notes from people telling me how the Advent Calendar brightened their holiday season, it makes me *so* glad that I could be part of it.  I was, to be honest, almost dreading Christmas this year for a few reasons that made it difficult.  Thanks for pitching in, humoring me in my whims and rules, and building a community.  We may “just” be online/blogland friends, but the friendships and connections are real.  No matter how great of an activity I’d planned, it would have been nothing without authors and readers to turn it into a community event.  Thank you.
    .
  • A special thank you goes out to Julia D, who was gracious about a record-keeping error on my part.  She did indeed earn perfect attendance and should have been recognized as such.  I thought I double-checked and triple-checked, but that one slipped past me.  Sue and Sassy Twatter have graciously helped to make arrangements to award Julia a book from Sue as a way to say thank you for her understanding.  “It was never about the prizes,” Julia told me, “but I wanted to be on the list.”  You certainly shall.  You’ll be on a list of your own.  Thank you.
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  • A little bag of “Santa’s Coal” sent by a VERY sneaky, naughty friend.  It makes me laugh every time I look at it.  I have no idea why someone would send me something clearly unsuitable for my innocent home!
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  • VACATION!!!!  Lovely things planned if only my body will cooperate.
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  • Thankful, as always, that I can be thankful.  I used to think that “positive thinking” and “gratitude” were annoying, superficial platitudes of the privileged.  It’s certainly easier to be positive and grateful when life is kind, but it’s also true that many people with much to be thankful for instead only find reasons to complain.  I’ve learned to be thankful even when things and people are not perfect or exactly to my liking, and I’ve learned to be thankful even if I’m not sure that it will last until tomorrow.  I am learning to be thankful here and now, and these days I rarely have to struggle and grit my teeth the way I often did when I began this thankfulness journey.  It’s been 30 weeks of thankfulness.  Wow!  I didn’t know it’s already been that long.  (I had to check.)

Your turn.  What are your thankfulnesses today?

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39 thoughts on “Thursday Thankfulness, Christmas edition

  1. Julia D. says:

    I’m thankful for:
    – Being warm, dry and fed
    – Being able to share the wealth, by affording micro credits to women world wide
    – Being recognised as having attained perfect attendance
    – For all my friends around me and out there
    – For becoming a grandmother again

    Hugs, Julia

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Being warm, dry, and fed is nothing to sneeze at! How do you share micro credits?

      If I had any artistic abilities, I’d make a perfect attendance badge of honor for you to put on your blog. 😀

      Granny Julia…who goes out in corsets and fishnet stockings. 😀

      Like

      • Julia D. says:

        I help give micro credits through Kiva (http://www.kiva.org) and I only support women, since I figure they need it to help their families. I only just started, but I give $25 every month, and pretty soon I’ll be getting back as much money as I’m putting in, not counting the little extra I pay to help with costs.
        I don’t go out in fishnet stockings, though, I don’t like them. Just long, shinty, black ones. 😛

        Hugs, Julia

        Like

  2. PK says:

    I’m thankful that I seem to be getting over my Christmas cold and very happy that I didn’t have tons to do or folks to cook for while I had it. And I’m grateful for my blogging playground and all my friends here.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    PK

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Does that mean you gave your cold to me? Gee thanks, PK! 😉 I guess I should have listened to Minelle when she kept telling me not to overdo things.

      Hope that you got a nice Christmas spanking and can look forward to another on New Year’s. 😀

      Like

  3. Willie says:

    I am thankful that having a cold is so annoying because I am a healthy person.

    I am thankful that I have wonderful friends both here in Blog land and outside my door because my family is so far away.

    I am thankful that my family is so far away….(tee hee)

    I am thankful for my shoebox house that faces a beautiful winter wonderland this time of year, apple blossoms in the spring and a multitude of green shades in the summer.

    Most of all I am thankful for my little men…that even though they may start to get on my nerves as the holidays progress they are here with me, they share our warped sense of humour, and they say being together with family is their favourite part of the season.

    Willie
    Oh also thankful, that you don’t have a limit on how much I can type in the comment box 🙂

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Giggle. I love your last one.

      Thank you for your comment about a cold being annoying because of normal health. I will remember that when I am annoyed.

      I hear you about family being far away. And being thankful family is far away!!

      I hope your shared warped sense of humor brings you much joy. 😀

      Like

  4. Joseph McNamara says:

    I’m thankful friends near and far, a successful year in business, continued reflective love through writing, and for a special woman in the UK who has embraced and enlightened a part of me that has been dormant…..

    Like

  5. reneeroseauthor says:

    I’m grateful for you, as always my friend. I’d be happy to donate a book to julia d.

    I’m grateful for feldenkrais, garlic oil ear drops and hospice social workers.

    Like

  6. pao says:

    I’m thankful for friends who have become family and who accept me for who I am. Although one of them has been quite scary during this Christmas period and she has been telling me to behave every now and then. Strange. And, thank you, Ana for the Advent Calendar 🙂

    And wow, all those discounts! The discounts here are lousy. I have been itching to ask you about Mrs. Claus on twitter…but didn’t know if I should 😀 Awesome! Mrs. Claus is around!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I am only surprised that ALL of your friends don’t tell you to behave, Miss Naughty Pao.

      The discounts here are pretty great, but it’s a timing thing. I did get lucky. 🙂

      Like

      • pao says:

        Maybe because not all are capable of being as scary 😀 Which is good. They may scold but I love them very much.

        Very impressed with the 75%. Does that mean that the crowds in stores are as large after Christmas as compared to before?

        Like

        • Ana says:

          Scolding is love. 🙂 At least for a naughty miss like you! 😉 There are some crowds for after-Christmas sales, but nothing like before Christmas. It’s usually people like me who have a special reason for wanting something for the holiday–or people who plan ahead for the next year.

          Like

          • pao says:

            Deep down I know it is, just when it happens it definitely isn’t fun 🙂 I’m really not that naughty. It’s mostly accidental and they weren’t meant to be there to find out.

            Shopping is stressful! Especially during huge sales.

            Like

            • Ana says:

              *giggle* That’s the line I use on my mini-bio…I didn’t mean to cause trouble. It just happened. 😀 I’m mostly teasing you, you know.

              Mostly I do things online, but for some things it’s nice to see it before buying. I just bought a soap dish that turned out to be nothing like the description. It was annoying.

              Like

              • pao says:

                Right? If only the world understood how accidental all of it is. I know you are 😀 BTW, I’m developing a cold and I’m blaming it on you.

                I dislike shipping charges too, on top of what you mentioned.

                Like

                • Ana says:

                  If you are lucky, you can find stores that don’t charge shipping. Many will waive shipping fees if you order over a certain amount.

                  Now young lady, don’t blame me for what is your own body’s fault. 😀

                  I’m only worried that dinner guests tomorrow will be a bit grossed out at eating food cooked by someone with a cold. Plus, how am I going to taste-test to make sure everything is okay?

                  Like

                  • pao says:

                    You could borrow Mrs. Claus’ spoons 😀 or hire a friend to taste test. Or talk about food before serving to encourage consumption. That’s quite a problem since your sense of smell will also be dulled.

                    Like

                  • Ana says:

                    Or use pantomime so no one has to hear my hoarse, cracking voice.

                    I’m not touching Mrs. C’s spoons. I heard what happened to Cara after she hid them!

                    Like

  7. Joelle Casteel says:

    hm…. I’m thankful for books- including the ones still on my “to buy” list for today and tomorrow. I’m thankful for my post, which linked to this one. I’m definitely thankful for my Kindle. and a calm dog sleeping in his corner.

    Like

  8. constance masters says:

    Hi Ana, I really loved your post and I’m so glad you’re appreciating your new tree! I am grateful that my children and grandchildren are all happy and healthy and that I am about to get a new granddaughter in the new year. I am thankful for my lovely husband and that I got to be with my elderly Mum for at least one more Christmas. I am thankful for my sisters and I’m really THANKFUL that I can now say I’m a published author.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Aw, what a nice surprise to see you here! Yay about the new granddaughter! How wonderful. I am glad that you had a good Christmas, and I understand the thankfulness of being published. 🙂 Merry latte Christmas to you.

      Like

  9. Sassy Chassy says:

    I am thankful for having such a warm, loving, and fun family, for so many advocates, helpers, and love being given to my Dad as he goes through this journey with cancer, I am thankful for my children, their uniqueness, individuality, creative spirit, and enthusiastic nature, I am thankful for yummy food, presents (both giving and receiving,) for warmth on a cold day, for blizzards (even ones that turn out to be snow storms instead,) pajamas, lazy days, my furry friends, and this community!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I am thankful for your list of thankfulnesses that brought a smile to my face. I think sometimes that in the midst of difficulty we find that the precious times are all the more precious. Wishing that precious time for you. Pajamas, lazy days, and snow storms (as long as everyone is safe) are certainly reasons to be thankful!

      Like

  10. SassyTwatter says:

    Such a sweet post. Hope you are feeling better! Take vitamin C in helps. And thank you again for all you did to do the Advenr calendar that is quite and undertaking truly appreciated it.

    Thankful for a wonderful husband who I can laugh with and my family & friends.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I think I might need some cough medicine, too. And more tea.

      The Advent Calendar was fun. Maybe a lot of work, but exciting, too. 🙂

      Glad that your family and friends make you laugh. We all need that.

      Like

  11. Sophie Sansregret says:

    Poor sick thing. My boys are barfy little creatures right now. Sigh. I’m grateful for too many things to record here so I’ll leave it at that I’ve met you and so many others (several on your comments list here) this past year. Also grateful I didn’t really bump off that nasty Elf because a) you would hurt me bad and b) I wouldn’t want to waste that kind of money anyway. 🙂

    Going to go be grateful I live in Canada and can get the nerve damage fixed in my hands next year… shouldn’t have played so much piano this week. OUCH!!!

    Do you yanks have Buckley’s mixture down there? That’s the best stuff for colds. Really excellent stuff.

    xox
    Soph.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      LOL! I’m thankful for your zany humor. I wouldn’t hurt you bad, but I would tell Mrs. Claus. She might.

      Sophie! I didn’t connect your piano playing with your…sigh. You should know better!

      I don’t know what Buckley’s mixture is, but I’ll give it a look. Trying hot tea and painkiller/decongestant for now. I’m trying to figure out how to not sound sick tomorrow so people don’t refuse to eat the food I cook. 😀

      Like

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