After my mom died over ten years ago, my dad was great about picking up my mother's role of sending birthday and Christmas cards, and mailing me a modest but generous check each birthday and each Christmas in place of the gifts my mother would have purchased for me. But once my dad passed away, suddenly there was a void at both of those holidays for me. I used to look forward to receiving both of those checks every December, and I always used them "For Fluff", as that was the wording my dad always included on the memo line of the checks. It was so fun shopping for myself without any guilt!
So, to fill that empty hole and to help keep the memories of my father fresh and alive in my heart, I instituted my own annual Happy-Birthday-to-Me and Merry-Christmas-to-Me shopping tradition several years ago. I know it sounds incredibly selfish and full of commercialism at first glance, but for me it is a very, very special tradition.
This year's selection?
Several books I've been wanting to read as well as some quilting books (what's Christmas without a few quilting books?!!):
Quiet by Susan Cain - I checked this book out of the library at the recommendation of several friends. It's a very, very slow but fascinating read. After renewing it a number of times, returning it, then checking it out again, only to make it one fourth of the way through the book, I decided it was cheaper to buy the book than keep paying the library fines! Even though I love people, I'm a true introvert at heart, and it's been really enlightening to read my thoughts in a book.
Tox-Sick by Suzanne Somers - Even though it makes me nuts to admit that I want to read a book by Suzanne Somers (even the cover bugs me!), I've heard really good reports about this book, and I do know that she is on the right track with a lot of her research and writing. She talks about coffee enemas in this book (sorry to mention such a subject in this post, but I've heard some amazing feedback from people who have had the courage to give this crazy procedure a try!!). I'm eager to read it!
Quilting on the Go by Jessica Alexandrakis - This is a great book on portable quilting projects and where I first heard the term "quilting in public" - don't you love it?! In fact, it makes me want to gather some friends together and meet in public to stitch together for the next "World-Wide-Quilting-in-Public Day" on June 20 (I think that's the date!).
Sara Feilke's Quilting from Little Things - I love Sara Fielke.... I love her approach to quilting - to slow down and do more hand stitching, to savor the process vs. rushing through it. I had the chance to meet her this summer at the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show and see several of the quilts in person that are featured in the book. So, this book was immediately placed on my Christmas Wish List when I got home. :)
Pentatonix's FABULOUS Christmas CD - love, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!
And, some baking helps (items I realized I could have used in the midst of my annual Christmas Cookie baking marathon!):
A "pancake pen" - I never even knew such a thing existed! I plan to use it for distributing the chocolate batter into all those tiny cupcake holders when baking my Black Bottom Cupcakes; it should make that process a breeze.
A Flex Edge Beater for my KitchenAid mixer. I've been wanting one of these forever. The flexible edge is much more effective at scraping the sides of your mixing bowl than the standard beater.
And last, these plastic tubs are perfect for bread dough - the marks on the sides of the containers allow you to tell me your dough has doubled in volume.
I'm thrilled with my purchases! :)