The Weekly Digest

Last day of school before the holiday break!

I found this festive photo while poking around on the Marlow & Sons website. These dinners at long tables always held such romance to them. I hope we get to have them again soon! I feel like a lot of our traditions around the holidays have come back this year, with a few notable exceptions—the large holiday party being one of them. Another is the in-person Santa visit. We Zoomed to the North Pole last weekend, which seems to go over surprisingly well with the kids who read him their letters and professed to behaving. We have been seeing our Santa for many years now and he seemed a little sadder this year about missing the children. I confess I always think of the Santa-gig as something done a bit begrudgingly, a la a Macy’s Santa in a David Sedaris story, and forget that we know one that’s more Macy’s Kris Kringle from Miracle on 34th Street.

The kids have been opening their advent calendar activities each morning and I have to put a pitch in for cutting coffee-filter-paper snowflakes if you’ve never done it and are looking for an easy afternoon winter craft. It’s always such a hit! Something about snipping away with abandon (let it make a mess—there’s no glue or glitter so the sweep-up is simple) and the surprise reveal (will you get a snowflake or a donut) is so satisfying! It always makes me feel a little guilty for not doing more crafts with the kids—they love it so much—but it’s hard to find any others as simple as this. The coffee filters are my favorite because they’re easy to cut through and come in packs that last years if you let them.

Any favorite activities to recommend from your home?

Some links of note… 

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The Weekly Digest

I went to a holiday party the other night and this story about the Yule Log Cake came up. It’s been a few years since we made one, but I always loved how they turned out. It’s a lot easier than the traditional, rolled yule cake—but those are fun, too. We haven’t done any holiday baking, yet, but I have made sure to get the Trader Joe’s Pepper Joe-Joe boxes ready before they run out. I panicked a little when Aron told me he’d called around and everyone was already sold out. Luckily the one closest to us was the one store who had them (ha!).

I’ve been posting some photos of recent goings-on on Instagram: highlights have included the Winters Tractor Parade, a night out in Sacramento with friends, and wreath-making with the kids. That was such a hit! We decorated wreaths for the city to hang downtown in a contest and they turned out so fantastic! As it turns out, the city won’t let the downtown association display them (I’m at a loss as to the why), but luckily the kids think they’re somewhere out there for all to admire. And, really, they are because here’s a picture.

In sadder news, my parents’ dog of 14 years, Ruffus passed away this week. He was a loving, miniature schnauzer with the ears of a jackrabbit and the anxiety of Larry David. We will really miss him.

Wishing you a cozy weekend. Some links of note… 

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The Weekly Digest

Happy December! We’ve started the countdown to Christmas—today in the Advent calendar the kids found “open up the holiday books box” (which we hide away for the rest of the year). I need to add some new titles to ours, I think. Here’s an old post about my favorite holiday books. Do you have some I’ve missed that I should consider? That link to “advent calendar” is also a post I like to revisit, for holiday activity inspiration.

On the first day, we decorated the tree and it seemed to go in record time with the kids helping so much. Ever since, they’ve fawned over it and said how much they love it. Skyler, this morning, claimed to want to marry it. I’d say it went well.

Tonight we’re looking forward to a night out with friends: a group of us are going to ride a “brew bike” around a neighborhood in Sacramento that’s known for its light displays. Actually, it’s where the Lady Bird house is. I got my booster yesterday and I’m happy to say that I’m feeling great, so I’m all set to head out and take in the scene.

And yet all the while, I feel compelled to mention, the news feels pretty glum: the other morning was spent listening to the Supreme court hear arguments in the Mississippi case, which will likely end up weakening or even overturning Roe v. Wade. “Depending on the ruling, legal abortion access could effectively end for those living in much of the American South and Midwest, especially those who are poor, according to an analysis updated this week.” “Justice Sotomayor asked whether the court would ‘survive the stench’ of being considered a political institution, a point echoed by Justice Kagan.”

It has been a grim reminder that in his single term, Donald Trump appointed three Supreme Court justices, transforming it for decades to come.

Here are some other, much more fun, links of note…

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