Today is Sunday. I went to my happy hippie nondenominational church, then out for coffee and bagels with my friend Rowan, one of the most magical and beautiful people I have ever known. She bought me a bag of local coffee. They were out of the flavor I liked best, so we asked the guy at the register if there was more tucked away somewhere. Sure enough there was a bag from last week’s shipment behind the counter, and we got it for half price since it was “old.”
She also wants to get me a coffee grinder for Christmas. She and her boyfriend, a chef and sports nutritionist, grind their own coffee at home, brewing freshly ground locally-roasted coffee every morning. This sounds delicious. The perfect example of the kind of splurge that I’d never dream of for myself, but find makes a wonderful gift.
Then we went to a combination goodbye party/open house for a potter/yogi friend who’s moving to Chapel Hill to attend nursing school. She was clearing out all her old unsold pottery, and had a $5 “sale rack” stocked with gorgeous things. At least twice I heard people ask her, “Are these really $5?” They were.
I got a tiny creamer, two pretty glazed cat bowls, and a big solid dish in shiny dark brown. I got Rosie a scented-oil diffuser, since she has always admired the one I have. All $5 each!
The we wandered Asheville’s charming downtown for a little looking for a gift for Rowan’s boyfriend’s mom. Of course, Rosie had to go into a sex shop while I silently prayed not to see any of my teachers. Eventually she settled on an art-glass hummingbird feeder and a gift certificate for a pedicure. As I dropped Rowan off back at her car, a song we both loved and that has good memories for us came on the radio. I called her back over to listen, and she smiled. I drove off happy.
Can’t beat a Sunday like that.
Next weekend is Christmas. I have very little shopping to do, as I plan to do very little shopping. I’m buying only a few things new, and will get them next week sometime, along with the ingredients to make homemade cocoa rum balls. Mostly I am knitting, knitting, knitting. Wristwarmers, scarves, hats. Such a pleasure to sit and be homey and creative after being an overworked math student for far too long.
Today is Sunday. Do you know where I did not go? To the college math lab for four hours of calculus homework, as was not my wont but my neccessity for the last few months. It feels so good to spend a Sunday wandering downtown with a friend, in no hurry to be anywhere at all. In December, even working students get a bit of a break.
Next Sunday is Christmas Eve, and winter starts in just a few days. I pray we all stay safe, warm and happy. Here are my gifts to all of you, my friends near and far.
The BBC Online Advent Calendar (Very stuffy and traditional, except for the lovely meditation from a surprising source as the Dec. 16 offering, which I found moving and thought-provoking.)
My holiday music mix. Click to stream. To listen you must download a Rhapsody player, which will take about 5 seconds, not require a sign-in, and allow you to listen to streaming audio of my 2006 holiday mix — and all the other music I plan to stream through this website.
Here’s the playlist:
Christmas Wrapping — The Waitresses
Christmas In Prison — John Prine
Baby It’s Cold Outside — Johnny Mercer
Winter Weather — Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman
River — Joni Mitchell
The Holly and the Ivy — Anonymous 4
Coventry Carol — Alfred Deller
Winter — Tori Amos
Winter Time — The Steve Miller Band
I Believe In Father Christmas — Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Snowbound — Donald Fagen
Christmas Time Is Here — Vince Guaraldi Trio
Snow — Bing Crosby
Here Comes the Sun — Nina Simone