Cherry Cherry

Sometimes, in order to get motivated, one needs to have a period of complete sloth, and that was me last week. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t work. I did the bare minimum around the house. Basically I spent a lot of time on the couch, with a glass of wine and this:


Between my kids, husband, and mother-in-law, I received fifteen books for Christmas. My husband had wrapped them all but when we got an Amazon delivery on December 23, he decided he had enough of wrapping paper and tape and just handed me the book. It has essentially taken up every spare second I have had since then. I will have much to say about this – the Ingalls family saw much more scandal and poverty than one might think from reading the children’s books – but it will have to be at another time.

On Christmas morning, my husband handed me a small package, saying in a discouraged tone that he wasn’t sure I would like it, and that he did keep the receipt. It’s very unusual for him to be so unsure about a gift, since he normally bats things right out of the park. For example, this was in my stocking:


Santa sure knows how to stuff MY stocking.

Anyway, my husband was uncharacteristically filled with insecurity, but when I opened the gift I couldn’t understand why. This choice shows how well he knows me!


I’m not going to say it’s the greatest Christmas album ever, but it’s definitely close.

So I was mostly slothful and busy eating lots of snack mix and drinking lots of wine, but I had to haul myself off the couch on Christmas day, because I was hosting Christmas dinner. It was my very first that I hosted, and I think it went really well.


After all this relaxation and festivity, I woke up on Boxing Day with a bee in my bonnet. I was filled with my usual urge to rip down the tree and


But for reasons unknown, I had agreed to go Boxing Day shopping with my husband. Every year he takes advantage of the sales to purchase new suits, ties, and other expensive work wear. I had, for some reason – marital harmony, perhaps – said I would go with him while the kids stayed at home and played with their new video games. And I will tell you this: it was a huge mistake. For one thing, since Jacob closed its doors, every other clothing store means nothing to me. NOTHING. While my husband was busily fitting new suits, I was wandering from store to store amongst hordes of people who were foaming at the mouth. I wandered into Guess only to be completely shocked by the clothing. I wandered into H&M and wandered back out when I was confronted by the same black acid wash jeans I had in junior high. I was a person without a destination, which is not the way to Boxing Day shop, as evidenced by the stampede of people at Aritzia. In the end, I was bitterly regretting the one hour I spent at the mall, and by the time my husband was done I was pretty much ready to run home, just so I could clean the house.

The second we got in the door, I took off my “nice shopping clothes” and put on yoga pants, fuzzy socks, and an old waffle-weave shirt and began boxing things up. All Christmas-card glitter and dust was wiped away, the floors were washed, the bathroom scoured, the laundry done. It was, as always, a most satisfying project, Project End Christmas On Boxing Day.

And once again I will remind everyone that there are two types of Christmas Elves in the world, of which I belong to the latter category: 12 Days of Christmas Elves, and Advent Elves. We Advent Elves start Christmas festivities early. We are the ones who finish shopping in November, dig out our Christmas CDs the second Halloween decorations are put away, and fight the desire to tear down the tree at 10:00 am on December 25. 12 Days of Christmas Elves are the ones who keep their trees up into the New Year, who wrap gifts on December 24, and who think Advent Elves are insane. It’s okay! We think you’re kind of crazy too. We can still be friends!

As an important side note: the 12 days of Christmas START on Christmas. They do not start 12 days prior to Christmas.

In any case, around the Boyhouse things are pretty quiet this week. It’s terribly cold, so we are in hibernation mode: the kids playing with their new things, I’m enjoying my new books and clean house, and Barkley is just happy to have things back to normal.



  1. I like the distinction between Advent Elves and 12 Days of Christmas Elves. I’m definitely in the second category, but I agree, we can still be friends!

  2. I need that CD! 😀

    Also, I am both Advent and 12 Days. Yup. Here I am to mess with your tidy divide! *throws glitter on your clean floor* *sings Auld Lang Syne* *leaves cookie crumbs on the counter* *exits while tossing tinsel*


  3. I’m an Advent elf – I like to have Xmas put away when works starts again, so I take everything down on New Years Day. Something in my soul responds to the idea of starting the new year with a purge & clear-out.

  4. It’s nice when your spouse knows you so well…
    I’m reading the Little House books with June now and they seem plenty poor to me, though not scandalous.

  5. Advent Elves vs. 12 days of Christmas Elves: BRILLIANT. I never thought about it before but OMG, absolutely true.

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