Hi hi.

Happy new year.

I am sitting on my couch with my orange blanket over me, there’s a nice little fire going, and Alexa is playing me nature sounds which are wonderful if a bit wet, especially when combined with a huge mug of tea.  Scout the cat looked confused when the beach sounds started and I realized that she’s probably never heard the ocean.  That seems a bit wrong.

My house filled up with big kids over Christmas,  one home from work, one home from university. The one who was already here is packing up to leave on another big trip, centred around rock climbing.  During the holidays they all came and went, catching up with friends, working, and coming together into various configurations of us.  My family.

December before the holidays involved a marathon house painting session of ten days or so.  I knew it was crowding up the Christmas stuff but it needed to be done and it looks wonderful.  Paint is amazing for its ability to clean and freshen up, isn’t it?  I didn’t get all the woodwork done and there are a couple of rooms I didn’t get to so I guess I’ll work my way back into that chaos at some point. Maybe next December.

Two days after a line was drawn on painting a wicked cold hit.  Not outside, in me.  I hardly ever get sick (knocking furiously on wood) but when something occasionally catches me it tends to pack a punch.  Blah.

There was a confusing mix of times acknowledging Christmas was close and I hadn’t started doing anything, going out into the world to try and right this, and wrapping myself up pitifully on the couch and thinking it was ok, there would still be time.  I don’t get sick much but I might be a bit of a baby when I do.

Kids and Christmas got here and Christmas night unfortunately saw my dad miss a step in my family room and have a bad fall just as the turkey came out of the oven. I have a niece who is a nurse and it was amazing to see her take over and take care.  The rest of the family all stayed calm and figured out what needed doing.  I missed that nursing and knowing what to do gene somehow so I went down to the road to make sure that I was the best darned fire engine and ambulance waver downer ever.   It worked and the house filled up with nice people who said the Canadian sorry even though they were part of the solution and not the problem.  My dad showed how tough he is and was able to walk on his own two feet to the ambulance, but stitches and monitoring were needed so he and a few others headed off to Christmas night at the hospital.  Those of us behind regrouped and tried to figure out what to do.  Eventually we decided we all needed to eat, the dinner was pretty much ready if a bit cold, and the table was set for Christmas, with silverware and candles, cedar branches and beach rocks.  The one time I got it set a day early instead of in a last minute rush.  So, with mental apologies to those who feasted on a hospital Christmas tuna sandwich and leftovers the next day (and I’m pretty sure in the end my dad never did get any turkey) we sat down and had, in its own strange way, a really nice dinner.  Nice because we told stories and remembered moments and savoured family with that extra oomph that such a scare can bring.

Nice not because of the gravy that I’d made ahead and last year was wonderful and this year was… not.

I spent a few nights with my mom and came home to a clean kitchen (I love my kids), still some leftovers, and sadly almost immediately no internet.  A few-second power outage left us without a house connection to the internet for 11 or 12 days.  It was definitely not a huge problem, but it felt strange.  In the “old” days the power would go off, no lights, no computers, let’s read a story by flashlight in the dark, OK this is boring, I’m going to bed.  At 8.  This time we had power, lights, heat, even TV.  We could peek at the internet on our phones but that sent us into data problems pretty quickly so peeking came with guilt.  In one way it was odd to figure out what we were missing.  In another we occasionally eyed each other like hungry tigers in a cage.  No, that’s not really true. We did OK and everyone was coming and going, it wasn’t as if we were snowbound in a cabin in the woods.  We did play some games, we did a jigsaw puzzle. We talked. There was talk of reading. I did miss the movie watching we often do over the holidays; last year we went through the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  So it was another odd thing about these holidays, but not horrible.  I have had such a fight with the internet this year, all things internet-y, and I’m trying to find my spot in it. I feel like this was someone saying, “You know what? The internet isn’t so sure it likes you either!”  I do know that a couple of weeks of being mostly removed from it gave me a nice little space to think.  Assuming it’s saying the same about me.  There are such wonderful things about being connected, and there are uncomfortable things for a shy person who creates for a living and sort of wants to show it off but sort of wants to hide. I dropped some balls in 2017 and am hoping to get it all working a bit easier this year, and if you are a ball dropped my apologies to you and thank you for coming back.  🙂

Random thought.  If spiders typed on computers and wanted to make a smiley face they would have to make it like this:    ::::)

So all things Christmas are packed away, the oldest and the youngest have both flown back to Toronto, the middlest is packing up to head out on another world adventure, and the cats are exhausted from sweetly welcoming bodies home while frostily offering cold shoulders and punishing glares for having ever left.

At Pippin we are getting ready to head to January market at the end of the month and getting updates to wonderful Chantal who will soon get all the new designs up on the website.  There are some great ones I think! Tomorrow I’m going to start showing them off here, on the blog, and saying a few words about how they hopped out of this messy brain.  These ones hopped out and fell on the ground!

As always, a good time to think about how much I love what I do, how lucky I feel to do it, and what nice people I meet along the way of doing it!  Thank you for being part of that.

2 thoughts to “Is it too soon to start getting ready for next Christmas?



    • Jennifer Tan

      Hi Mary Agnes. So nice to hear from you. Yeah, that reindeer is awesome. I set it on the windowsill in the bathroom every year partly because he deserves to get off and shine on his own and also as a quirky love/hate thing for the season. “I love you Christmas, but you drive me crazy. Hang out in here for a bit.” I do love Christmas though.


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