Friday, December 9, 2016

'Tis the Season

The Christmas tree at Dairy Queen (love those cone ornaments)...
and my niece Haley's name on a stocking beneath it.
December 9, 2016

Christmas is just sixteen days away, and the evidence is found everywhere we go. Sometimes that evidence is unexpectedly fun and personal. Tonight, Mark and I were out doing errands and decided to stop for dinner (and then dessert) at Dairy Queen, one of Mark's favorites. As usual, we looked around to see if any of my nieces or nephews were at work there (their family keeps Dairy Queen running much like mine does for Walmart), but none seemed to be around.

Then I noticed a long line of little stockings hung along the counter with employees' names on them. The stockings had bunched together in spots, so while we waited for our meals I went over and spaced the stockings out neatly, while also looking for the names of my nieces and nephews. Some friends of ours, Steve and Michelle Daly and their daughter Brianna, were also enjoying a meal at Dairy Queen, and they busted out laughing, teasing me about being so OCD that I couldn't stand for the stockings to be unevenly bunched. I assured them that was only part of the reason I was rearranging them!

The stockings of my brother Jeff, and my nieces Emma and Elsie,
and my nephews Burke and Marcus are in there among the others.

When I was done, I sat back at our table and prepared to take pictures of the stockings. That's when I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up to see my niece Elsie and nephews Marcus and Burke! They'd been pulling in at the drive-through when they saw Mark and me inside and decided to come in for a visit instead. It turned out that Emma was also there, working, but we hadn't seen her because she was in the back. She came out for a few minutes to say hello, too. I also found out that my brother Jeff started working at Dairy Queen over a year ago, just two days a week for a little extra money. His full-time job these days is working security for the local hospital. It's funny that I had no idea my own brother worked at Dairy Queen despite our frequent stops there. I had noticed a stocking labeled "Jeff" but thought it was simply a coincidence!

And so we all enjoyed a good, long visit--something like forty-five minutes--which made for an unexpectedly pleasant end to the day.

My lunch on our table at the faculty Christmas party.
I liked the little "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree.

Another Christmas event that we can count on every year is the faculty Christmas party, planned and presented for us by Student Council. Today was the day, a Hawaiian luncheon with door prizes and entertainment provided by the students. I always look forward to it.

Another table's centerpiece at the faculty party that I thought was cute:
sand and "waves" and Hawaiian "blossoms," with a little Christmas sprig.

My door-prize winnings at the faculty Christmas party.
The bottle is filled with mini candy bars.

Christmas Elf Jacob is on the job!

This is also the season for my daughter-in-law, Danielle, to send me fun little pictures of my son Jacob, the merry Christmas Elf, from his Walmart job in Utah. That's always a seasonal favorite!

My final surprise for the day was the arrival of a little envelope sent by my niece Brianna from the Valley. Brianna recently started up her own business as a consultant for Lipsense, a company that produces some amazing lip products, along with a few other makeup offerings such as eye shadows. I'd never heard of the company before, but the little videos on Brianna's Lipsense Facebook page are pretty incredible. I'm anxious to try them out. If you're interested in checking it out for yourself, let me know and I'll hook you up with Brianna's page!

Christmas presents to myself! The other gift I got myself is flannel sheets
for my king-size bed, in the package behind the Lipsense products.
I ordered them online and they arrived two days ago. Warm and cozy!

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