Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at Pretty Things

It's been a Merry Christmas at Pretty Things.

Rick's older boys drove in a couple days prior, much to the abject joy of Zack, and as at Thanksgiving, they prepared a Christmas Eve feast of turkey, the best mashed potatoes this side of I-don't-know-where, and my favorite -- jalapeno mac-and-cheese.  After dinner the three boys played games together and I basked in the realization that I had absolutely not a thing to do.

The tree in the new addition, the library part of the living room.

Christmas morning, everyone met around the tree and I sat with Zack to watch his face light up at his toys.  He totally charmed me with his Zack-ness when he cracked open a geode I'd bought for him on a bead shopping trip I'd made with Cindy.  (Sigh.  I couldn't wait to give it to him for his birthday).

Zack opened it and was enthralled by the amethyst inside.  Then he looked up and said, "I want to give a half to Ryan and a half to Colin.  Is that ok?"

So that was his present to them.

A gift we'd given to Zack ended up being a present for all the boys -- a huge Lego house kit.  I was in my office puttering around when I heard the three of them happily opening bags and divvying out parts.  They decided who would get Bag 1, Bag 2, and Bag 3, and then looked to see what they got.


Zack:  "Colin, are you jealous I got all the (enter cool neat parts)."

Colin (who is 25):  "Well... yeah, a little!"

finished Green Grocer

The detail is amazing!

Rick surprised me with a couple of things I'd written about in my blog (one thing we'd BOTH actually purchased within days of each other, and the astute seller caught it, so thankfully, I only have one).  To prove again how well we know each other, a couple of days ago I received an order from a book club I belong to and I showed him one of the books....

... and he winced and said, "Can you send that back and act surprised when you get it again?"  I didn't have this book on any wish list at all, but Rick got it because he knew I liked WWII history.  Score one for Rick!

Score ten million for Rick on my other two presents.  Remember my epic blog post about our trip to the Mercersburg Inn and our antique shopping, and my discovering a tiny accordion-style camera?  Rick spent ages on Ebay finding me two others, both serious collector's items.

This one was made by Kodak between 1927-1933 and is called a vanity camera, in that it was made for women, made in colors, and came in a pretty case.  Mine came with the case embossed with the owner's name.  

Then he found another rarity, a Kodak Boy Scout camera, complete with the case and manual -- a real find.  It was made specifically for the Boy Scouts in 1930.

We were supposed to head to Pennsylvania today, but it's snowing, so we're spending a lovely day at home.  I'm catching up on pre-taxes paperwork (the first time I'll be ready ahead of time, an awesome feeling), writing, organizing, and basically feeling peace and calm.  

Peace and calm are all I wanted for Christmas.  I've had Christmases spent overseas, alone in the military; I've had one sadly memorable Christmas abjectly alone in my first house in Charlottesville; so I know the opposite of peace and calm, and my heart is with anyone feeling those things right now.  The holidays can be tough in innumerable ways for many.  So for everyone, no matter how you spent your holiday, know that my heart is beaming out to you, and my wish for you is a new year of happiness and light.

Christmas ornament Rick gave me for our first Christmas together.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.


  1. Merry Christmas Lori! Looking forward to the Bead Soup Sign up in Jan.

  2. Amethyst is my birthstone and I've always been a little amazed by those geodes. Merry Christmas Lori!

  3. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Merry Merry Christmas, dahling! So happy to hear of all the Pretties in your life, in family love and cool gifts that rock!

  4. Hi Lori! Merry Christmas and thanks for commenting on my blog so I could find yours! Great writing, fun and full of pretty things! Looking forward to reading you more! - Tracy Statler

  5. just beautiful lori - and i am so glad that this christmas filled you to the brim with love and warmth...

  6. Lori, What a fantastic Christmas day.

  7. Sounds like a lovely holiday. Glad you found time to relax and regroup. Very cool cameras.

  8. What a wonderful post! Let me know how you like the book--I loved Seabiscuit and want to know if I should read this new book, too.

  9. Beautiful, all the way around. I love the lego house. We were filled with family, my 12 yr old the youngest. All played with the legos (harry potter) and the marshmallow shooter.

    Merry Christmas to you.

  10. It sounds like a wonderful Christmas. How sweet of Zack to share with his brothers. And how awesome of Rick to pick out such great gifts!

  11. Merry Christmas, Lori! Glad you were filled with peace on this holiday and surrounded by all your guys :)

  12. Lovely, feel the peace and calm radiating from your household to mine.. Have a wonderful week and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and Rick and Zack and Colin and Ryan!

  13. Sounds like Zack is a sweet spirited boy... and sounds like his dad is too... you have a nice family. Glad you had a Merry Christmas!

  14. Isn't Life Grand??!!

  15. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy week ahead...

  16. Dear Lori,
    Our Christmas was beautiful, yet sad. I was so glad to have Jud here with me and kat, too. Our neighbors and friends have fed us for the past month and that didn't end. We have tonsnof cookies and candy around and I think I will send it over to Kat's boyfriend! Must get it out of the house. I have learned a lot about love and generosity this month, which has been a touching experience.
    Are you in charge of bead soup? I wonder if it happens before we go to Stanford for special radiation (insurance willing...we are on our third round of denials...say a prayer or send good thoughts)

  17. Merry Christmas Lori, looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

  18. The geode is amazing - what gorgeous amethysts! And how sweet of Zack to give them up.
    So happy to hear you have found some peace and calm.

  19. I'm so glad that you could spend a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Here it was relaxed and great, too. Happy New Year!

  20. Thanks for such a great post, Lori-- I felt like I was actually there with your family! It warms my heart that your little Zack shared his gift with his brothers-- you really have instilled something special in his personality-- generousity, and that's a very rare trait. And I can really identify with your ability to "mind-meld" with your husband-- D and I do that all the time. That's special too. Hey, let me know how the Hildebrand book is-- D would probably love it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! So glad to have met you this year and can't wait to work with you.

  21. I love it when someone finds the perfect gift for you! We had a wonderful Christmas. I played hostess and I think that it what it will be from now on. My family has finally just left and there are plenty of leftovers to be had. We are enjoying all the new Wii games...Just Dance 2 is a hoot that everyone enjoyed playing! And Epic Mickey is calling me!

    I love that lego creation! I love that all the boys played together and what a giver your son is to give away his precious geode!

    Merry merry to all of you!
    Enjoy the day!

  22. Lovely post Lori! Zack sharing his present and what a gift at that! Love the house how precious lol! A very merry Christmas to you Lori and your family across the miles from Texas! xox

  23. It looks like a wonderful Christmas was had by all! I'm so happy to hear that you had a lovely day :-) Those vintage cameras are amazing, lucky, lucky lady!!


  24. Looks like you had a wonderful day. I love the Lego. We bought our little man the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle - soooo many pieces and it took my hubby nearly 3 hours to put together but Spencer loves it!

    Those vintage cameras look amazing!

    Merry Christmas!


  25. Lori, enjoyed hearing about your Christmas Day. Glad to hear it was special for everyone!

  26. So jealous of those cameras! And the Lego house! The Dudes would LOVE that!

  27. What a magical Christmas! Hope you have a wonderful new year!


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