Welcome to A Piece of My Mind, where Thursdays are devoted to all things thirteen. I've been taking part in this meme for five years, and today's stop along the Virtual Advent Tour is my 237th list of thirteen things.
1 - The Christmas choir concert. This has been a part of my Christmas since I was a kid, and not having a concert in which to sing this year left a huge hole. I had to leave out going to choir last year in order to finish my debut novel. Something had to give, but I can tell you that during choir concert season I dearly wished it had not been that. Can't wait to go back.
2 - The Nutcracker ballet. I'm a passionate ballet freak, and I'll never tire of this Christmas ballet, not even after having seen it live about 75 times when I worked at the theatre where the National Ballet of Canada performed.
In fact, my sister and I will be attending the live broadcast of the Bolshoi's version of The Nutcracker this Sunday, courtesy of Empire Theatres special events program.
3 - Unwrapping the decorations to put on the tree always feels so magical. This is one of the first ornaments I ever bought.
4 - Decorating the tree. This one went up when we lived in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia for two years, keeping an eye on my late gram when she first began to need someone living in the house with her. This particular tree brings me very fond memories, as my husband and I had a very happy time decorating it that year.
5 - Wearing Christmas clothes. Now's the time, folks! Dig it out!
6 - The Sisters Annual Christmas Lights Decorating Party. We always turn the outdoor decorating into a party, accompanied by Frank Sinatra Christmas songs playing on the front deck, wine in our mugs and lots of laughing.
7 - Christmas sugar cookie decorating party. We've been having these get-togethers since my sister and I were in elementary school. That ends up being four decades of cookie masterpiece making.
8 - Christmas parties at work. I'll be at mine this afternoon, in fact. The one pictured above was a Christmas dinner at the Toronto Simpsons flagship store in the formal dining hall in the late 80s.
9 - Christmas Eve dinner - my aunt's seafood newburg. SO delicious. I literally begin looking forward to the next Christmas Eve dinner the moment I finish the current one.
10 - The musical part of Christmas Eve. I come from a musical family, and after all the catching up, eating dinner and drinking wine, we head into the music room for an enormous amount of fun. This was a piece my mom, my sister and I sang a few years ago, a version of The Night Before Christmas.
11 - Being with family. This year we'll be with my crew, so I won't see my husband's family for Christmas. I'll wave at all of them, pictured above--love you and miss you!
12 - Christmas morning breakfast. My sister is actually looking forward to this most of all. Lots and lots of scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, cheese, sometimes special homemade pecan waffles. Mmm.
13 - The crazy pile of presents. Every year we say we're not going to go overboard. And every year we end up with a pile that threatens to dwarf the tree. This shot was taken in the early 90s at my sister's Scarborough, Ontario apartment.
To visit the other stops on today's tour, drop by:
Chelsea at Book Maven's Blog
Michelle at The Christmas Spirit
Nancy at Bookfoolery and Babble
Thanks to Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and Kelly at The Written World for once again hosting one of my favorite holiday traditions.
You can read my previous Virtual Advent Tour posts here: