Saturday, December 16, 2017

Getting Ready for Christmas

Though it was cloudy when I rolled out of bed, by the time I was eating breakfast, the sun was coming out. I spent most of the morning getting my cookies organized. Most of the cookies going to various family groups were in small, festive bags from Dollar Tree. Instead of holding them down with tabs, I pulled the tabs off and tied them with curling ribbon. (I tried the tabs last year. They don't really hold the thin plastic bags down well.) A couple of groups had cookies in boxes I got at Target, mostly people who were getting cookies in the mail. The gifts, cards, and and cookies for Anny and her family and Mom and Dad went in the red BB-8 bag. All the remaining cookies and cards went in the Rudolph and Clarice bag.

Watched Christmas Eve on Sesame Street as I worked. The first of five (to date) Sesame Street holiday specials begins with Oscar the Grouch telling Big Bird and one of the kids that if Santa can't fit down those skinny New York chimneys, no one will get any presents! Big Bird recruits Kermit, Grover, and Snuffleupagus to help him find out how he does it. Meanwhile, Ernie and Bert sell the things that mean the most of them to get gifts for their best buddy, only to receive surprises in turn from Mr. Hooper. Cookie Monster tries to get in touch with Santa and tell him he wants cookies for Christmas, but he keeps eating the writing utensils.

Headed out around quarter of 12 to run errands, starting at the Oaklyn Library. They were relatively busy for them, with a mother reading to her child in the kids' area and several people on the computers. I mainly stuck to organizing DVDs.

I realized at the library that I'd forgotten to bring my wallet and coupons with me. Stopped back at my apartment to pick them up, then went back out again. It had turned into a beautiful and sunny, if windy, day. It was much warmer than it has been. Most of the roads were still slushy at 12:30, but were rapidly clearing, even as I headed towards the Acme. By the time I was heading home, half the snow was already gone, and the rest was on its way.

First order of business was dropping off my cookies for the Acme's Christmas Employee Luncheon. It was a much better lunch than eating at the fast food restaurants in the back of the mall. There were meatballs, sausage, shredded pork, collard greens, turkey, ham, Buffalo chicken dip, pasta salad, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, and macaroni and cheese for lunch. A cherry cheesecake, bowl of bread pudding, bowl of mini-Snickers, and another plate of cookies and candy joined my cookies for dessert. I had turkey, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese on my first round, meatballs, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and more greens on the second, and bread pudding, Snickers, and cookies for dessert.

It's a good thing I switched my shopping to today. I would never have been able to get everything I needed in yesterday's crazy weather...and I needed a ton! Took advantage of sales and online coupons to grab conditioner, chocolate chips, peanut butter, tuna, and another bag of clementines. Needed condensed milk, cupcake papers, and marshmallow fluff for the candy recipes I hope to make later in the week. Restocked cream of mushroom soup, yogurt (for baking and lunch), skim milk, eggs, butter, chicken breasts, ground turkey, and apples. Escarole was relatively inexpensive compared to some other fresh vegetables - thought I'd have that this week.

Ran a couple of second season episodes of Perfect Strangers when I got home, and then as I made Cranberry Bread for my landlords and next-door neighbors. In "A Christmas Story," Balki and especially Larry are looking forward to spending Christmas with Larry's family in Wisconsin. Larry's devastated when a storm makes it impossible to get there, until Balki reminds him of what the holiday is really about.

It's "Snow Way to Treat a Lady" in a two-part tale when the duo head off for a skiing trip with their girlfriends Jennifer and Mary Anne. There's only one small problem. Larry is a terrible skier, but he's lied to Jennifer about being a champion skier to impress her. He ends up going the wrong way down a mountain, then gets them trapped in a cabin that's been buried under an avalanche. Larry and Balki attempt to dig their way out.

Spent the rest of the evening writing. Leia introduces BB to the massive Toy Factory and it's head foreman, Poe the Piper's Son. To BB's surprise, he looks a lot like her brother, right down to the glossy curls and charming smile. He's in charge of the factory's operations, but he's worried that they may not be able to meet Santa's deadline if they don't figure out how to make more toys by the next day. Plus, nasty Barnaby Snoke, who owns pretty much everything else in Toyland, is meeting with Toymaker Luke about possibly shutting the factory down and selling out to him.

Had leftovers for dinner around 6:30. Watched Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas as I ate. Set during Belle's time at the castle, she's hoping that holding a Christmas Eve celebration will make the Beast less gloomy. The Beast has his own reasons for not wanting to have Christmas, and he's determined to stick to them. The castle's organ (Tim Curry) wants the Beast to stay the way he is. As long as he's living in anger, he'll pay attention to him and his dreary songs. When the organ realizes Belle and her Christmas party is a threat, he convinces a piccolo (Paul Reubens) to help him turn the Beast against her.

I know most people aren't fond of the flood of direct-to-video movies Disney churned out in the 90's and early 2000's, but I consider this one to be a guilty pleasure of mine. While the animation isn't that great, the music is lovely, including the oft-reprised "As Long As There's Christmas."

Ended the night with The Bishop's Wife. The bishop (David Niven) is in charge of raising funds to build a massive cathedral. He's spending so much time buttering up older women like Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), he's neglecting his sweet wife Julia (Loretta Young), his daughter Debbie (Karolyn Grimes), and their eccentric family friend Professor Wutheridge (Monty Wooley). When he prays for guidance, he gets the impossibly handsome angel Dudley. This spiritual figure proceeds to charm everyone around him, including Julia. When the bishop realizes his wife seems to be falling for Dudley, he finally realizes just how much she means to him.

Sweet tale of faith, enlivened by the glowing performances of its three stars. Grand makes an especially suave angel - check out his quick method of decorating Christmas trees!

No comments: