How I Did On My Mini-Christmas Bucket List

Oh my goodness I had such high hopes when I created list list on December 1st. A whole month of lovely activities awaited and I was so excited to add the items on this list to what had already been planned. But then, on December 5, we had our water loss, and with that, 'poof,' my holiday spirit evaporated. I did eventually get it back, but a couple of the items below suffered as a result. Guys, I just wasn't feeling it for a good chunk of December! But, lessons have been learned, and I hope to do better next time, should there be a next time, and remember that a house is just a house, and that it can be repaired in time. Family, on the other hand, is forever, and it's where the true essence of home is found, and that matters more than anything else.

So onward we go-

My Christmas Mini-Bucket List

1. Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. No, I am sorry to say. I was just not feeling it yet when this occurred, just a few days after our loss, and during the time our home was still filled with workers and loud drying fans. I'm adding this to the list of 'lessons learned' instead, and will plan to attend one next year.

2. Bake Christmas Cookies and deliver them to our new neighbors. Yes! I did this on the 23rd, and it was really fun. I made a double batch of chocolate and sea salted caramel cookies, wrapped them along with a card showing our new address and contact information, and my husband and I walked around the block handing them out. In the process we met the last few neighbors, had nice conversations with the neighbors we had met previously but were still getting to know, and got invited to get together for wine with a couple that live just a couple of doors down from us. I definitely plan to do a repeat next year, though I want to be more creative than simply making cookies. I'm thinking along the lines of homemade pesto or hummus, two of my specialties, which I could present with pasta or pita chips, depending.

3. Attend a Christmas boat parade. Yes! My older daughter and her boyfriend came up to attend the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade with us, and we had a wonderful, easy time doing so. The boat parade runs for four days over two weekends, so by the time we attended on the last night, it was reasonably un-crowded, and we had no problem finding a nice viewing spot. We'll definitely do this again next year!

At dinner before hand, with the harbor beginning to light up behind us.

We walked over to a bridge after dinner, and much enjoyed the
fun parade of festive boats directly below our viewing spot.

4. Attend a Christmas Festival. Our planned event occurred too soon after our little disaster for me to have gotten my bounce back, however, we did attend three holiday concerts, so I'm going to cut myself a little slack and call this a 'Yes.'

5. Plan a night at home watching holiday movie favorites while enjoying hot cocoa and a fire. Yes! Nicely, we watched lots of holiday movies: It's A Wonderful Life, The Grinch That Stole Christmas, The 12 Dogs of Christmas, and White Christmas. And enjoyed each and every one.

    And as an added bonus item:

    6. Avoid all shopping malls until 2018! Yes! This was a no-brainer for me in that I loathe the crazy energy of shopping malls in December. I did have to do one Walmart dash for non-holiday items, but I got there early on a workday, and got in and out before the place . . . and parking lot! . . . started to fill up.

    In doing this wrap up, I'm actually pleased to have managed as many successes as I did. But I will admit I'm looking forward to January when everything will be repaired, and I can focus on other things.

    Speaking of which, I'll be back tomorrow with 2017 wrap up thoughts, and goals for 2018.

    Make it a great day wherever you are!


    1. I'm glad that you managed to check off 5 of 6 goals. Christmas is truly a season vs a day for me. I was able to attend Tom Jackson's (singer/songwriter/actor/philanthropist) Huron Carole concert and the Festival of Carols at a church in a neighboring town. I even participated in an elementary school concert through my volunteer role there. I haven't been in a school concert for >50 yrs! I connected with some old friends over the holidays and made plans for a game of Upwords in the new year. I've always wanted to spend Christmas with friends and that's what I did on Christmas Day after breakfast with my mom (I went with my winter outerwear over my pj's). This is the first Christmas in a long time that I haven't let my expectations do me in. That's the best gift to me. I think I'm finally learning. It's been bitterly cold - -42C yesterday morning - wasn't I glad to have a warm house with a wood stove. And yesterday my 2 granddaughters arrived with their dad so that's when the "fun" started. I'm awake waiting for them to get up and see what we can get into today. Life is good.

      1. Life is indeed good, Mona, and the fact that I took our water loss so hard was a wake up call to me that I was placing way too much of my self identity into our home. I've been feeling better and more energetic by the day, and as of right now I am extremely excited about my life as it is right now. Lots of plans have been made for 2018, which I'm looking forward to sharing here.

        I agree as well that Christmas is a season. We had hardly any gifts under the tree in that we had the majority sent to our granddaughter and her family via Amazon. Instead of the focus being on gifts on the 25th, it was on spending time with our family here. We all went kayaking and walking, enjoyed a fabulous meal, an interesting documentary about wild mustangs (the most excellent 'Unbranded') and shared lots and lots of laughs. Exactly as it should be I think.

    2. FYI - I made an edamame bean "hummus" that even the granddaughters liked.

      1. That sounds very interesting! I'll have to search for a recipe and give it a try.


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