Favorite Christmas gift: Fun and games with my kids and grandkids. That cast-iron casserole dish with the lid even I can't break runs a distant second, but nothing else comes close to the joy of putting together a jigsaw puzzle with my adult children on Christmas Eve or helping my granddaughter figure out her new binoculars (which she pronounce binoc-lee-ars), and when the grandson starts up his adorable laugh, everyone laughs with him.
Holiday serendipity: For weeks we've been hunting for my husband's birthday/Christmas gift--a new suit, badly needed. Nearby stores offered prom-worthy suits, suits apparently constructed from recycled Hefty trash bags, and wonderful suits marked way, way down to a price higher than our monthly mortgage payment. So here we are visiting relatives a hundred miles from home and we're looking for a place to get out of bitterly cold wind so we step into a tiny boutique, where I grab a jacket from the rack and tell my husband to try it on, and there it is: his new suit. Perfect fabric, perfect color, near-perfect fit, and a price we can manage--and they're willing to mail it to us at no extra charge after they do some minor alterations. "Seek and ye shall find" is one way to shop, but sometimes it works better to stop seeking and let it find ye.
Why I'm not sending any postcards this week: Normally we head to Florida the week after Christmas, but we went there three times last spring during my mother's decline, so we decided to stick closer to home. So here we are in the cold north, dashing from house to car to little boutique in an attempt to keep the cold wind from transforming us into Abominable Snowmen. My husband loves cold weather, but he's from here. I keep wishing we were walking on the beach--and not on the shores of Lake Erie. But at least we're getting to spend evenings with the grandkids. Their warmth is the best escape from winter's cold.