Last week, we had our ladies homestead Christmas gathering, with a cookie exchange, present exchange and potluck. All our presents were homemade. I received lotion and healing salve, and brought chocolate mint extract, shower tabs, and lemon dill butter. Afterwards, I shopped at Lowe's, and got artichokes for $1.50 ea., brussels sprouts on sale, a favorite wine at less than 1/2 price, and collected stamps towards kitchen knives. I also picked up some cans of local gourmet peanuts that were on sale, to use as gifts for some of the menfolk. J bought postage online to send a package, which ended up being almost $43! I told him to void it, and bought it through Paypal for $13 and change. I'm not sure what program he's using, but I sure like mine better! I walked with the pups, & some days J, for exercise, and made vegetable soup, which used our tomatoes, corn, potatoes, okra, squash, & frozen beans.
Someone gifted this build a snowman to J a few years ago, and we've been having fun changing it around for each other. J put air in my tires, using the air compressor in his shop. I wandered the woods one day, and gathered a few more natural bits and pieces for the door wreath, mostly privet and cat brier berries. Part of my occasional job's duties include some housekeeping. While emptying trash cans from some of the office cubicles, I noticed some pretty gift ribbons on top, so put those aside and used them in my wrapping. I received a gift card for Lowes hardware from my supervisor. We were invited to a birthday lunch at a restaurant, and found out when it was over that our meals were covered. The night before, we were taken to dinner by a friend, and both of us brought home enough leftovers for another meal.
I often drop magazines off at the local library, as they have a basket to pass them on to anyone who comes in. The last time I was there, I noticed an Italian phrase book and dictionary. I've been practicing Italian on duolingo for several months, so was happy to find this in the basket. We invited a neighbor who recently separated from his wife for dinner on Christmas Eve. J cooked pork ribs and chicken, and we had our sweet potatoes and our canned green beans in a dish which also used our garlic and thyme. Though it wasn't as leisurely as some years, we had a Christmas walk with the pups. After the family gathering, we drove to see lights that a friend had told us about, which was free and fun. I feel very blessed this holiday season, and hope you've had good people to spend time with, good things to eat, and activities that bring you joy!