24 December 2017

Books and Christmas Lights in Our Hearts

It's almost as hard to sleep on Christmas Eve as it is to sleep on Christmas morning, which explains why we were up at eight o'clock this morning. James thought about making biscuits, but I scotched the idea. If you're going to be stuffing yourself on carbs soon, better save them for the one-time-a-year yummies, and that last word definitely describes Lin's pies and Ron's mashed potatoes!

But we were intending to go out and have a good time anyway.

First we had to start with the adult mundane stuff: that 32 percent off coupon at CVS (and a CVS gift card) made buying stuff we needed, like Band-Aids, Neosporin, and the like a good bargain. Once that was all taken care of, it was off to Acworth, enjoying Christmas displays in front of people's homes, as we go a back way through country roads. I needed one more gift, and there it was at Books-a-Million. James got a few magazines and a game, then we had hot peppermint cocoa to make the trip really worthwhile. 😉

We took a few minutes off to get James' truck some gasoline—why is gas 14¢ a gallon cheaper in Acworth?—and then had lunch at Panera. It wasn't raining, but it was a grey and damp day, so hot soup hit the spot!

Then it was on to Barnes & Noble. Perhaps everyone at the mall doing their last-minute Christmas shopping were in bad tempers, but at both bookstores everyone was full of good cheer. Used my second 20 percent off newstand purchase for a Christmas "Landscape" and a cross-stitch magazine and the "Writer's Digest" yearbook and bought James an aviation magazine.

Headed home in the gloom to find the television still playing Christmas music for Snowy. We sat and relaxed for a while, then when it started getting dark went out to look at Christmas lights. We used to do this after we ate dinner, and it would be like by the time we went out (around 7:30) half the houses would have their lights turned off already. Timers, people, timers! Even if you have to be out, your lights will be on! They don't cost that much!

We were listening to Christmas music from one of the local stations through most of the ride and had the windows down (we were bundled up and it was only 45). We just stayed in Smyrna; went up toward downtown and drove around there looking at the lights, then checked out some side streets. Went down Bank Street with all their delicious new Craftsman-style homes, and crossed Atlanta Road to check out the "Craftsman" units on "old" Spring Road and opposite the railroad tracks. Our final stop was the unusual development near the end of Old Concord Road: the homes are quite close to each other and all have double glass front doors.

Some people still didn't have all their lights on, as late as seven o'clock! Some lights came on just as we were driving by at 7:15! One of our favorite things wasn't there: one of the houses near downtown Smyrna has this swoopy star that looks like a comet, but it didn't seem to be up, let alone on. But we saw two pairs of the same figures: Yoda and Darth Vader next to each other. One set was made of lights and the other set was inflatable, on a tiny lawn filled with inflatables: they also had a Dory, the M&M guys, Santa in a helicopter, a snowman, and more.

Dinner was kinda small. We picked out some shrimp to have as shrimp scampi, with linguini, but we should have bought more shrimp. We were trying to keep costs down, so basically James had nine shrimp and I had eight. This would have been fine if they were jumbo shrimp, but they weren't. I was hoping we had some clam chowder left in the larder, but almost all the clam chowder went away in the Great Sodium Purge, and the one can we did have amazingly seemed to have come from the old house! Neither of us wanted to eat that! We did find some vegetable orzo soup and shared that, and had gingerbread sticks for dessert.

During dinner we watched the Christmas episode of Remember WENN ("Christmas in the Airwaves"). Noticed the costume designer seemed to work it out that when Scott and Betty are next to each other they are mostly in red and green. :-)

For the last story of the night, I played The Little Drummer Boy. I still have my VHS version because the DVD is missing bits of the soundtrack, and it looks terrible to boot ("restored" version my foot). But as always the story is luminous.

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