Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The week before Christmas 2006

I posted a couple of Christmas tree shots below -I'll try to replace them with ones that are more in focus. Jean-Marie has collected ornaments since she was a child, and We Believe In Loading Up the Tree. So here we are, week before Christmas, Tuesday, 18 December. Jean-Marie and Renee are baking up a storm - pecan bars, almond crescents, lace cookies, chocolate chip, you name it, while watching chick flick movies in the kitchen. Uncle Jack is doing the cross word puzzle. It is 70 degrees out in DC today. I ... well, I am working away at my computer, blogging lightly if at all, not shopping, not doing anything except crank out my UN and global governance book manuscript, which I am turning in to my editors on January 2, with a note that says, don't worry, I'll rewrite. This is in fact the right way to spend this December. It is time to get the dang thing done. But you won't be hearing from me much at all. I'm ignoring nearly any Christmas shopping I can't do online from my computer. I haven't touched my cello since before Thanksgiving.

Truth is, I don't really know what to get anyone for Christmas. Jean-Marie gave me a list of a couple of books she wants, and I've ordered those - mostly Spanish language things related to her teaching at St. Alban's. I ordered her some expensive coffee beans from Coffee Fool. I would get her clothes, or at least gift cards for clothing stores, but I think shopping in Paris at Agnes B this past summer while I was teaching IBT in the WCL summer program made her think (gulp!) this is where she should always shop for clothes. Sober, good for a schoolteacher, very French, she says. She ordered a couple of DVDs and CDs which I will wrap and give to her. At some point it seems like the only way to say I love you is with a gift certificate.

As for fourteen year old Renee, well, she told me she still has birthday gift cards to Abercrombie & Fitch. But it's still a can't-go-wrong, as far as I can tell. Actually, I have excellent taste in 14 girls clothing, thank you very much, and Renee often agrees.

When I was in New York for a board meeting a couple of weeks back, I told her I'd bring her something - she said, some item of clothing I can't buy in a mall in DC. She is not clothes crazy and definitely not extravagant. But walking around with my beloved friend John Ryle, I saw a boutique called Penguin, which I vaguely recalled was an American label from the fifties and sixties - turns out it has been relaunched. So we marched right in - I saw a dress, very slightly fifties retro, but not costumey - just slightly retro - said, this is Renee, and got it. Jean-Marie had a conniption when she saw that I had spent $200 on an everyday dress for a fourteen year old, and in theory I agree, but does Renee really need college after NCS, anyway? Renee was exceedingly dubious when she saw it (I carefully didn't tell her how much it cost and I'll thank you not to let her know), but Jean-Marie ordered her to wear it to chapel when the girls have to wear a skirt or dress anyway - got so many compliments that now Daddy is a hero. Bravo to me and promotions all around. You can see the dress here.

We are not going as we always have to North Carolina where Jean-Marie's folks are - they are coming up here. So we have family here for Christmas. The Lindbergs, Tod and Tina and Abby and Molly, are coming over Thursday night. We're doing a mini- thing with Uncle Jack tonight as he leaves to go to his sister's tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, I am writing and writing and now I have to get back to it. More before Christmas. Christmas cards will be New Year's cards and I am doing them the first week of January. Actually, I may always do New Year's cards - it is a much easier time for me than before Christmas.


Anonymous said...

hello, ken, greetings! espero que te pongas en contacto con nosotros la próxima vez que vengas a Europa. leo tu blog con regularidad. ya veo que compartimos opiniones parecidas en cuanto a muchos temas. me gustó tambien L'homme révolté de Camus - de hecho, hice un tesis sobre el libro - pero Le mythe de Sysiphe es mucho más poético, más verídico y más coherente (pero la verdad no lo son ni el uno ni el otro). ya adivinaste quién soy? Nos vemos pronto, espero. Un saludo cordial.

Sean Carter said...

Happy Holidays. Enjoy yourself. Peep into My Blog for some unique and interesting Christmas related info.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken, Merry Christmas and Happy new year. my best wishes for Jean-Marie and Renee. looking forward to hear from you..Hesham