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I’m not a knickknacky sort of person and I don’t collect things, but…I seem to have acquired several pairs of three foot tall nutcrackers that I use on either side of our fireplaces. Well, imagine my delight when I happened upon some life-sized nutcrackers! And, I was with one (of two) of the worst influences ever – one of my children! Why I even bothered asking the rhetorical question, “Should we get a pair?” was beyond me.

The coat is actually a deep, smart navy…

I have a weakness for decorating for the holidays, especially because my two little girls are so young, although this may be the last year where both girls believe in Santa. (Last year, the question of his existence came up from my older child, and when I attempted to disclose the truth, the tears welling up in her eyes had me back-peddling like nobody’s business!) My girls and I do all the holiday decorating together – and have even bargained with me to begin! “If I clean my room, could we then pull out some decorations? After I finish my homework could we at least hang stockings?”

Those are moderately reasonable requests. What’s not reasonable is asking to lay out ALL of the Christmas tree ornaments at 7pm…on a school night. Nice try, sweetheart! (Although I had to respect the child’s moxie!)