This makes twice in a row that I have failed to make a Weekend Progress Report, mainly because there is little or no progress to report. Sometimes life just gets in the way. It's not as if I have been particularly busy with Christmas preparations. Things will be very low key this year. My daughter will be covering the emergency clinic at the Animal Hospital, my oldest son will not be bringing in his family from the West Coast since they visited so recently in August.
My side of the family will celebrate Christmas Eve at my brother's house ...we all bring a covered dish. I'll either do a Christmas morning brunch for my husband's tiny family [a sister and a first cousin] or we will dine out at a restaurant. My husband and his sister are negotiating the arrangements. My youngest son will join us for both events. Since there won't be any children in the house for the holidays, I'll just put up two small tabletop trees: one in the entry hall and one in the living room. The entry hall tree is already in place. I'll use some of my Christmas candleholders about the place, put a wreath on the door, set up the creche set on Christmas eve. That'll be it: easily put up and easily taken down on January 6.
Since I tend to shop year round as I see things people will like, I am nearly done with my shopping ... just a few Christmas gift cards to buy and some practical clothes gifts for the grandchildren. I did all the fun shopping for them first: toys and books. My 2 year old granddaughter is quite the fashionista and has declared that she wants only "twirly" dresses, preferably pink. My four year old grandson is more like his parents and grandparents, preferring comfort, form and function to fashion. He has asked for "soft" pants [he hates jeans] and will get a couple of pairs of flannel coaches pants and some soft t-shirts.
So I can't explain the lack of progress by any other reason except this: I am, quite simply, slowing down. I have spent the last few weeks reading more and stitching less. For non-fiction, I have been reading The Pope's War by Matthew Fox. Strong supporters of Benedict might claim this book is fiction but it rings true to me once one discounts Fox's embittered excesses. For fiction, I am enjoying a re-reading of Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave ... a lovely novel about Merlin's role in the Arthurian legend. I have also started P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberly ... which only confirms me in my opinion that no one ought to mess with the perfection that is Jane Austen. Even as skilled a writer as P.D. James falls so very far short ... let her stick to what she does well and give us another Adam Dalgleish novel. I have also been spending some of my leisure time watching the Babylon 5 collection and am up to Season 4. It seems I do my most active stitching in Spring and Autumn, garden and travel in Summer, read and hibernate in Winter. I am becoming quite the creature of habit.