It’s a Festivus for the Rest of Us.

I am BUZZING on caffeine. It’s 7:14, I’ve been awake for over three hours, and I have people coming over this afternoon. Whee!

Note: I say this like it’s something unusual but the fact is I am almost always awake around 4, so it’s just like a regular day, with the exception that it is December 23:

I’ve been on a bit of a tear this week, with baking too many things and cleaning way too much. On Wednesday, I had that feeling that all is a shambles and so I recruited the children for some good, old-fashioned housecleaning. You know the kind: scrubbing down the kitchen cupboards, cleaning behind the garbage cans, dusting all surfaces and baseboards, and re-sealing all the granite, all to the tune of “80s Yacht Rock” on Spotify. The children went along with it, probably in fear for their lives.

I am a very organized person and I’ve been “ready” for Christmas for a while – gifts purchased long ago, wrapped weeks ago, baking done (and consumed by the children, so this is more of an ongoing thing). However, purchasing groceries is not something that can really be done in advance, unless you’re into rotten vegetables and mouldy bread. So, yesterday I took a deep breath and went to Superstore.

Holy moly, even in the morning it was insane: the parking lot was packed, people were everywhere. I listened to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch “Good Vibrations” on my way, just to get myself in the right head space. The only way out is through, I said to myself, as I breathed deep ujjayi breaths, maneuvering into a parking spot far from the entrance. I vowed to just smile at everyone I saw, to really embody the Christmas spirit.

The first person I smiled at was an old man at the cart corral. This led to a brief flirtation – what can I say, I’m irresistible to the septuagenarian set – and I noted that there were very few cars in the corral, an ominous sign. The old man wished me a Merry Christmas and said “I hope we all took our patience pills!” as we went in. I’m going in.

It was pretty crazy but I kept smiling like an escaped lunatic who just wanted some nice produce and also some Motrin and tofu. It doesn’t matter how long this takes, I kept thinking to myself as I tried to wheel my giant cart around a crowd of other carts and an employee with a giant dolly of items to restock, It doesn’t matter in the long run. I can be here all morning. What difference will it make? I did make it out, finally, and then I went to the liquor store along with – apparently – every old person within a ten kilometre radius. What is with all the elderly? This isn’t Co-Op.

One of my favourite wines, as I’ve said before, is Middle Sister. It speaks to me, as a middle sister (well, middle child and sister so technically Middle Sister is an accurate description). I love how they often change the labels. My favourite was “After waking up at Stupid O’Clock this morning, I’m looking forward to Wine O’Clock tonight.” which aptly describes every Friday of my life. But they’ve changed the labels again and this is my new favourite:


Santa Baby, just slip a bottle of Cabernet under the tree, for me. Been an awful good girl.

All of which is to say I am now completely “ready for Christmas,” food and all. There were many, many awful things in 2016, but there is much still to celebrate, and I hope you and yours can enjoy a peaceful, joyful, wonderful holiday season, with or without feats of strength and airing of grievances. xo










  1. Stephanie Rodda says

    Merry Christmas Miss Nicole and keep smiling!

  2. We just got back from Hawaii so I had to go to the grocery store yesterday. It was … full. The “it doesn’t matter how long this takes” mantra was probably the only thing that saved my sanity. There’s no rush. I don’t have anything else to do. Deep breaths, etc. that said, I don’t plan on going back until after Christmas. Whew.

  3. Merry Christmas, Nicole!

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