It's looking a lot like Santa's elves have set up shop in our living room here.
My husband decided he wanted to put together gift baskets for some of his clients by the end of the day. He had part of the gift, a custom embroidered director's chair back. But he wanted to put it together and make it look nice.
These things spark joy for me. I love finding the perfect gift and making baskets, even better.
So creating these gift baskets is my joy # 80.
Of course the parking lots, and crowds of people and lines to pay all while dodging rain could run the risk of ruining the joy.
But I chose not to let that happen.
And did you know I haven't done a single bit of shopping for my kids!!! I haven't been away from them long enough and at this point I'm afraid there isn't enough time for shipping.
So I decided I'd set out on an adventure to The Grove tonight as soon as I got them to bed. If you know me, you know normally this isn't a 'fun and joyful' outing for me. I think I've mentioned before I avoid malls, especially outdoor malls when it's raining, especially when they're a pretty far drive.
But I thought this is an adventure. So what if it's raining. It might be fun. There won't be traffic. There shouldn't be as many people. And it's night so all the Christmas lights will be on and brightly shining.
First I stopped at our local toy store to pick up something the kids really wanted ... shh it's a surprise. ;)
And my favorite vanilla latte from coffee bean. It's a rare treat, but a treat I thought would be perfect to set out on my adventure.
Almost there it occurs to me an old high school friend lives near The Grove and we were trying to find a time to see each other. So I called her and asked if she might want to join me. She was game so I picked her up.
Oh and she is the absolute expert navigator of everything. She and I were co-captains of our cheerleading squad our Senior year. We drove all over together with her always making sure I wouldn't get lost. We fell right back into the same old routine tonight. I was talking and driving and she was telling me where to turn.
Seeing Adriana was my joy #81
It made the whole adventure even more fun. Especially because although The Grove closed at 11, I arrived at the American Girl store to discover it closed at 9. We missed it by five minutes. The other store I wanted to go to was also closed. Bummer. This trip seemed to be a wash, but I wasn't going to let it steal the joy.
Joy #82 When the store you need is closed, step into the bliss that is Anthropologie.
And pick up some adorably colorful latte bowls.
Joy #83 Plan B... Target. The great resource of all things on your list. I knocked out most of my shopping even without The Grove! Yippee. Did you know it's open till midnight right now. CRAZY people. But tonight I was in a crazy kind of mood and closing at midnight was music to my ears.
Joy #84 The drive home took me on Santa Monica Blvd. where I got to see some of the cool Route 66 Christmas lights.
And Joy #85 Discovering a series of pictures taken by one of the little people in our house of a comfy fort they set up for themselves today complete with a reading nook, a light and stuffed animals perfectly aligned. The pictures and the way the pint sized photographer carefully selected their shots made me smile.