Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrapping Up

I've been quiet the last few weeks, and not just here. I've been enjoying the holidays, for sure, but I've also been putting 2011 to bed. I've never been much for New Year's resolutions and all of that because it seems so arbitrary and so... I don't know...forced. This year, however, I'm glad for the fresh start, arbitrary as it may be.

Tomorrow morning, Tom and I are heading to Joshua Tree to bid adieu (or good riddance) to 2011 and to raise a glass to the promise of 2012, Mayan doomsday prophesies be damned. I am really looking forward to welcoming the new year in the great outdoors, under a sky with actual visible stars. A fresh start in the fresh air is bound to be propitious.

Before moving on to 2012, however, we have to wrap up 2011. December provided its usual bounty of celebrations and family togetherness. The past two weeks included a lot of both, and so the year ends on a high note. The pictures are plentiful, so bear with me as I run through a quick review.

Birthdays were celebrated.

{The Grove to see J. Edgar on Tom's birthday. The movie was a disappointment, fyi.}

{Pistol Annies at House of Blues on my birthday.}

And celebrated again.

Halls were decked.

Cookies were baked.

Naps were taken.

Pink showed up at the Hotel Cafe and sang Silent Night. Not strictly relevant to my enjoyment of the season, but probably one of the cooler celebrity sightings I've had since moving to L.A.

Christmas lights were viewed. [Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills, a place that is fun to visit, but I imagine, nightmarish to live.]

{I thought these kids had the right idea, so I went sunroof style too.}
{Tom was quite accommodating.}
{This home was the pièce de résistance of the neighborhood. What you cannot grasp from this photo is that there were speakers hidden amidst the lights that played It's a Small World at full volume over and over and over.}

Baby Jesus was decapitated in a tragic accident.
And Baby Jesus was...recapitated through the Christmas miracle of Super Glue.

Gifts were shopped for, wrapped, and placed beneath the tree.
{The Grove}

Family was gathered together.

{Mike gazing...adoringly (?) at his bride.}
{Midge and I enjoying some quality couch time.}
{Mo gazing...adoringly (?) at her fiancé. While wearing Christmas vests, naturally.}
{The whole clan after Christmas Eve Mass}
Meals were cooked.

{Thanks, Mom!}
And meals were enjoyed.
{Cioppino? Yumbo!}

Christmas movies were watched.
{The Family Man, back when Nic Cage appeared in enjoyable films.}
{It's a Wonderful Life, obviously}
{A Christmas Carol, George C. Scott, obviously.}
{Love Actually, viewed but not documented. Also, Tom and I saw Emma Thompson at a restaurant by our house.}
Games were played.

You're just going to have to take my word for that since my teammates (Meghan, Erin, word.) and I were too busy kicking ass at Trivial Pursuit to document the occasion.

Lucy was awesome and loved on, as per usual.

Saturday Night Live videos were watched. Specifically:

And finally, Christmas day arrived and PJs were worn, presents were unwrapped, mimosas were drank drunk consumed, and the beach was visited.

{Mo regifted a White Elephant win of the Shake Weight to my dad.}
{He was into it.}
{White Christmases are wonderful, but so are Christmases at the beach.}
{All creatures great and small - Lucy makes friends with a teeny tiny Pug and gigundo Great Dane.}
There is actually much post-Christmas fun to review, but it will have to wait until after the new year because I have an outdoor adventure to prepare for...

I will close with the best of Christmas wishes as spoken by Ebenezer Scrooge, courtesy of Mr. Charles Dickens, "'I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me...I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!'

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

From the Thanksgiving to Christmas, it's non-stop celebrating around here. Last week, with Tom's birthday on Monday and mine on Wednesday, was particularly celebratory. We did dinner and a movie (the Counter and J. Edgar) on his birthday and a concert (the Pistol Annies) on mine. The night in between our birthdays we had a cheese and wine picnic in front of the Christmas tree.

 Fruit and cheese and wine and cured meats in front of a sparkly tree? I declare it a new tradition.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

{via Mr. Greentrees Facebook}
So our quest for the perfect tree began last Saturday when we ventured to the Mr. Greentrees lot in Beverly Hills. This was our first mistake. Don't get me wrong, the trees were lovely and fragrant. They were also priced for the neighborhood. In fact, when I did a Google search of images of Mr. Greentrees just now, most of the pictures were of various celebrities picking up their Christmas trees.
 We revealed that we didn't belong when we actually asked how much the trees cost.

This tree was priced to sell...wait for it...$1800. So, yeah, we could have the tree or we could pay rent.
The only trees in our price range were these sad one footers.

Instead of settling for a tabletop tannebaum, we opted to venture outside of the 90210 and into the 91222 (that would be Glendale). So Sunday found us hauling our (Christmas) cookies to the Valley  with hopes of snagging a six foot Noble fir for under a thousand dollars. Based on Yelp reviews, we headed to Mr. Snowman.  Apparently, Los Angeles tree lots are fancy and insist on being referred to as mister.
It was here at Mr. Snowman's that we found our tree, Clarence.
{Tom looks suspect, but he agreed, this was our tree.}
So, we brought Clarence home and set about decorating him.

I have been trying to get this post up for almost a week now, so the pictures of the tree in all his finery will have to wait until tomorrow, but trust, he's sparkly.