Time has been waxing and waning in unsettling ways all year but does it seem, like, insane to you that Christmas is just a couple days away? (Or depending on when you read this, rapidly fading in the rearview?) I mean the evidence is all there to support holiday imminence — the gifts are wrapped, we’ve seen our favorite holiday movies, the Frasier fir-scented candle has been on deck for weeks, all the pets have been forced to wear the humiliating jingle collar at least once — but I definitely wish I could draw out this particular week for a while longer. The gift anticipation, the twinkle-light-fueled cheer, the part of winter where winter still has good branding before it slumps into the soggy, freezing February-adjacent doldrums.

(Not that it’s been particularly wintery as of late. Yesterday I was wearing thick boots and a giant sweater while I was out running errands and as the sweat pooled and trickled down my back I finally noticed the outside temperature: 65 degrees.)

I suppose I wouldn’t press pause on 2020 even if I could, though. When I went through the process of sifting through photos for our family holiday card I was grateful for all the good memories mixed in with the not-so-good ones, and for the reminder that there were bright moments that happened throughout this terrible horrible no good very bad year — but I’m RULL ready to turn that calendar page.

If you’re celebrating this week, I hope you have a lovely, restorative holiday. See you in 2021, friends.

That last post was wearing some heavy boots, in the language of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, which is a novel I am reading but very slowly because while it is beautiful the story itself has heavy boots, anyway let’s shift gears to an incomplete list of things that have been bringing me joy:

A Keurig coffee maker. During the summer John came home from a yard sale with an old clunky Keurig in tow and at first I was like THIS WASTEFUL AND HULKING BEHEMOTH ON MY LIMITED AMOUNT OF KITCHEN COUNTER SPACE I THINK NOT SIR but after a couple trial days I can’t help it, I love the damn thing. I love its cheery burble, its polite “More water please” message, the oddly satisfying double-pour strategy of 8 oz-plus-4 oz. I’m not sure why it’s somehow more delightful to go through the brewing process each time rather than pouring from a pot, but it IS. (I will say there’s no denying the expense and waste of the pods although reusable ones are an option.)

Schitt’s Creek. You’ve likely either been a fan of this show for long-ass time or you’ve decided it’s not for you but if you’re in the latter category and you’ve only seen a couple episodes let me be the 900th person to encourage you to stick with it a bit longer because maybe the magic will eventually come and you, like me, will eventually be doling out the final unseen shows with the sad knowledge that the end is nigh, like the last few M&M’s from one of those bags that says SHARING SIZE and you’re just like LOOK I DIDN’T ASK TO HAVE MY PORTION CHOICES JUDGED HERE.

You’re Wrong About. I am super in love with this podcast even though they changed their theme music recently which was a damn shame. The hosts are much younger and smarter and funnier than me so I resent them a tiny bit but they are also, like, my best friends?

Dyeing my hair. After decades of having my hair professionally highlighted I started coloring it rose gold this summer, starting with a color mask from Moroccanoil and moving on to a variety of semi-permanent brands before settling on Overtone. My hair is usually somewhere between bright reddish pink and faded rhubarb, depending on washout, and the cool fingerpaint glop of working in the dye never fails to deliver a satisfying combo of nostalgia (those ‘90s era Manic Panic vibes) and anticipation.

A cordless vacuum. I just went for the Dyson v11 and did very little comparison shopping so my experience in this product category is limited but let me tell you that a light, cord-free vacuum is a LIFE CHANGER. Honestly I cannot recommend it enough, particularly for high-traffic pet-clogged areas. Cordless 2020: make vacuuming great for the first time ever.

Bubble baths. I have ended my day with a bath for years and years now, it’s become a sort of start-fresh-tomorrow smudge stick for my brain. I love a good bubble bath product, which can be weirdly hard to come by (even Bath & Body Works, which has bath in its name, only had one in their mega-selection of shower gels, and now when I look online it’s not even listed there) (so if you come across a bottle of “In the Stars” jump on it, it smells terrific) (I also highly recommend their “Sugared Snickerdoodle” candle, man oh man) (also their “Sweater Weather” hand soap OKAY I’M DONE), although here in Oregon you can buy CBD-infused bath salts. I am unconvinced they bring on any sort of effect aside from “I paid more for these so they must be superior” but I occasionally toss them into my nightly reboot-soup like dimes in a mall fountain: can’t hurt, might help.

What’s been lightening your boots lately?

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