One. Maybe you love shopping for Christmas gifts – to me, it’s a chore of Sisyphean proportions I always push to the last minute. In the meantime, I have already been the recipient of a couple of gifts that left me scratching my head or that I just don’t need. I considered them for the re-gifting pile until my husband induced major guilt and shame – frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with re-gifting perfectly good, unused items that might make somebody else very happy, but I guess I will not be re-gifting this year. If you are planning to, here is some advice from John Oliver on the matter.
Two. And, if like me, you are still running around overcrowded stores or browsing the net in a frenzy, you might want to consider Marc Johns, a Canadian artist with a catalogue of the most adorable prints. I don’t remember where I spotted this, on somebody else’s website for sure (and hence my apologies if I pinched the idea with no credit) – I love these absurdist and colorful takes on animals especially, so much so I had to purchase 3 just for me.
Three. As the owner of two large dogs who frequently accompany us on our travels, I am always on the lookout for pet friendly hotels and houses. The Lowes chain of hotels welcomes dogs of all sizes and breeds all over the world and I believe the Kempinskis also do. But to find hotels virtually everywhere, as well as destinations with pet friendly ideas and excursions, enter Bring Fido. Besides being a rich resource guide, you can make most bookings directly from the site.
Four. And when you thought air travel just couldn’t get any worse, welcome to the Last Class of seats on Delta and American Airlines. To compete with budget airlines, Delta and American now offer unassigned, supremely cramped seats (most likely at the very back of the plane, right by the lavatories and the galley) that cannot be changed, refunded, upgraded or reserved in advanced. It’s just a Southwest type of cattle call come boarding time. Hopefully the Last Class passengers get to board first, so that nobody is trampled in the process.
Five. And what better than a dusted off version of the Lemon Drop for Christmas lunch, now that my Meyer lemon tree has decided to bear fruit? For this sparkling Meyer lemonade combine 1 oz of vodka per person with 1/2 oz of lemon juice, 1/2 oz of simple syrup and top everything off with some champagne. Make one in the kitchen just for yourself if you are cooking and voila, Christmas lunch will suddenly look brighter, easier…pleasant even.