This is our first year really playing Santa, and the first year Charlotte kind of understands what is going on. She’s got a sense that there’s a holiday coming up, but she’s still asking about trick-or-treating and has spent the weekend in her Halloween pajamas and carrying her jack-o-lantern bucket around. Family has also started arriving in town. The plan is to do a Christmas morning celebration as a family of four before heading over to the apartment my parents are renting for a bigger gathering. This is the second year in a row we’re doing Christmas in Boston, and there’s snow on the way.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
Weekly Menu Plan
Sunday: Cauliflower and farro skillet, pan-seared steak tips
Monday: Quick & simple tortellini, roasted broccoli
Wednesday: Ordered pizza with my dad in town
Thursday: Rotisserie chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, and broccoli
Friday: Chicken sandwiches, salad, leftover cauliflower skillet
Saturday: Spaghetti pie, veggie wraps (hosted by my sister, Claire)
What I’m reading and enjoying this week:
More bookish Harry Potter fun.
Title: Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days
Author: Jeanette Winterson
It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a book of short stories (Hillary Mantel’s The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher scratched that itch for awhile). I generally find short story collections unappealing because so many seem to just try to lob little unsettling bombs rather than spark different or even multiple reactions in readers.
I wanted to read Christmas Days because I’d heard good things from other book bloggers, and it also felt manageable to dip into in small bits while navigating the nap and feeding schedule for the baby. No pressure to read absolutely every story, and enough Christmas charm to enjoy the season. The stories are also accompanied by 12 recipes or feasts to mark the 12 days of Christmas. These I skipped entirely. I’m here just for the stories.
The result? Totally enjoyable and likely worth picking up again next year, too. There were certainly elements of the stories that could have been creepy and unsettling (not the reaction I’m necessarily looking for during mid-night feeding sessions), but Winterson’s stories somehow felt more solid. These stories ended up being my favorites.
I found myself comparing a lot of the stories that had supernatural or ghosty elements to something like Dicken’s A Christmas Carol (and her informative intro text on Christmas traditions helped prime my mind for the comparison). While that’s definitely a ghost story, it also has charm and warmth, which I found in Winterson’s stories, too. Reading each story was an enjoyable experience.