Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's apparently Christmastime...

I'm going to have to edit my list of the "best days of my life."

The morning was kind of crisp and cold, but it didn't really matter because I had a bunch of indoor chores to accomplish. Ali was finishing her home work project so she could get to my iPad. Jeff was working on the outdoor Christmas lights, I was shopping online and getting a little organized for the holidays.

Ali and I went shopping together that afternoon. It was warm enough that my LL Bean vest and a turtleneck and jeans were all I needed. I convinced Alison to put on a jacket over her much-loved black sweats with one knee gone and her Justice sparkly tee-shirt. Neither of us had showered. Our hair was pulled back but not combed, and we both had our glasses on.

There's a little shop in Broad Ripple called Chelsea's that Ali wanted to go to because she wanted to get something unusual for Jenna this year (sorry Amer, your advice has been pre-rejected.)

Before got there, we stopped at Starbucks. Coffee for me, water for Ali, and then we strolled down to the store chattering away, laughing here and there and pointing out interesting things and people along the way.

It was one of those little slices of life that I hope to remember forever. The weather was just right. My daughter was thrilled to be hanging out with me. We we had nothing to do but be silly and buy stuff for people we love.

While it was lost on Alison (thank goodness) I remember Christmases past when the P.N. Hirsch in Linton, Ind. was a budget buster, so while we don't get crazy, it's a huge gift to me to be able to shop with a focus on making someone happy.

We called to each other across the stores -- "Ooh! Auntie Jen would love that! Look at all of these, Mom. I think Uncle James and David would like these."

We found a few things at Chelsea's including a Magic 8 ball that that Alison thinks Jenna needs. "Why this?"

"Well, I like it and I would LOVE to have one, so she should like it, too," reasoned Alison, echoing my own philosophy.

She tested it out with a question she made me swear not to repeat and then begged, "Please let it say no. Please let it say no."

We examined more than a few things at a shop I like even better than Chelsea's. Just down the street, the Bungalow has have fewer things, but they're more interesting, usually eco-friendly and the people are nicer. The Chelsea chicks seem to expect you to break things. At the Bungalow, I was juggling my coffee and wallet and a few trinkets and looking for more.

Suddenly there was a nice lady with a basket in her hands, telling me she thought I could use this. Sure, she wanted me to fill it up, but I was in similar shape at Chelseas and no one there did anything but raise her eyebrows.

Alison fell in love with some earrings and a little cat jewelry holder at the Bungalow. We couldn't verify the earrings didn't have nickel in them and while she was crushed that she couldn't get them (and act surprised on Christmas morning) she didn't dwell on it or whine.

She'd loved the penguins and the scotties equally but couldn't decide and then agreed that it didn't really matter as she couldn't have them. (The nice sales clerk helped me pull a fast one so Alison should be really happy when she opens them.)

The earrings and cat holder came back up later after we'd seen a dog wearing a sweater, a dog peeing on a garbage can and another dog that rushed by us "Sorry. He just really wants to get to his store," said his owner en route to the Dog Bakery.

That led to a discussion of cat videos and Uncle James and David. "They're cat people like me," Ali said.

We went into a store I'd never been in. Turned out to be a frat boy's garage sale or something like that. We left fairly quickly but not so fast as to be rude.

Out on the sidewalk, Ali asked me if I'd disliked the store. I said it wasn't what I expected but that I hadn't really thought there was anything there we needed. "What made you ask?

"I can just tell what you're thinking sometimes," she said, catching my hand. "It's a mom and daughter thing."

This morning she made cookies while I made my zero-point soup. She likes to spice the soup. She does a pretty good job of it, too.

Her cookie decorating skills have gotten way better since the first time we'd decorated at Auntie Jen's with Grammie.

As we shopped Saturday, we had talked about what we might do in Maine this year and I said we'd probably have to check with Jen to be sure we could do cookies again.

"Mom. It's CHRISTmas. Of COURSE we'll go to Auntie Jen's and make cookies. It's like. Well. It's CHRISTmas."

Of course it is. What was I thinking?

1 comment:

Cas said...

Awwww, Cheryl! I'm catching up on your past few posts and this one just...

It made me homesick.

Some of the others, though, make me wonder how you've been surviving without pie--I'd be chewing shoes dipped in pie filling at this point if I were you.

My mom used to get cans of pie filling at the store and eat them over ice cream. Maybe that's a decent gateway pie for Ali.

Hope I get to see you when I'm in the office next.