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It doesn't take much...

...to make me happy :)

Kathy - happy to say YES, I did get that DVD I wanted - woohoo!!!!

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Mamma Mia was truly all I wanted this year. This movie just makes me happy - the singing, the dancing, the gorgeous Greek Isles scenery, the many entwined connections of the heart (mother-daughter, man-woman, lifelong girlfriends)...I can't ask for more than to feel lighthearted and happy for a couple hours!!

I did get a few other lovely gifts as well, though...

A new camera Whoot!
(Maria may recall me telling her about dropping my old one in Florence and how pieces went flying...it went back together and still worked, but the battery cover kept popping off afterward plus the picture quality was starting to deteriorate, so this new camera from my mom is much appreciated!!)
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A gorgeous tome on Michelangelo
(it includes each of the panels of the Sistine Chapel on parchment paper inserts so the colours really seem true to the original work)
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A fantastic baking stone from my sister:
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A goose down duvet (from me to me!)
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A beautiful and interesting book: Churches of Nova Scotia
(I hadn't realized there were so many gorgeous churches in my province. Or rather, I knew they were there, but hadn't known of their history and stories.)
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And what Christmas is complete without a calendar for the upcoming year:
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(Ok, I confess, I bought the calendar and just stuck it under the tree...lol)


All in all, I had a fairly low key Christmas...we had fewer gifts under the tree than in past years, which also made me happy, in all honesty. My best gift was spending Christmas evening, and then Boxing Day, with my whole family: Dave & the girls, Mom & John, Lynn & my niece, and my grandmother, and Sara's boyfriend also joined us on Boxing Day at mom's house.

And all three Christmas Eve services at church were wonderful gifts too. I was struggling with the blahs in the few days leading up to Christmas, but hearing the young voices at the afternoon children's service began to lift my spirits. I was still a bit down though because my voice was so bad from my cold that I feared I wouldn't be able to sing with choir at the 8pm service, and I was so looking forward to that. But when the time came, I was able to sing reasonably well (or at least my voice wasn't so bad that it ruined any of our pieces!) And the later candlelight communion was really special for me, because this is the first year that both my girls came with me. ♥

In between services at church, I slipped a little gift into Valerie's office. I had decided to leave it for her without saying who it was from. MVH wrote out the card for me. (I can't imagine Valerie would know my writing, but I thought it was cute of MVH to offer!) I don't normally give friend presents at Christmas time, but I'd found something in my favourite (dare I say used?) bookstore and thought it might strike a chord in her Newfoundland roots. It was an autographed copy of a book called "For Maids Who Brew & Bake: Rare & Excellent Recipes from 17th Century Newfoundland" (where she is from and still returns every summer). Unfortunately, I probably will never know if she liked it or not, because I can't ask her without giving away that it was from me. (You might think I'm blowing my cover by posting about it here, but I'm pretty sure Valerie doesn't read my blog unless I call her attention to a particular entry, so I think my anonymity is safe from this angle!)

Comments (20)

Mamma Mia!! Woohoo!! I think of you every time I see the advertisement on TV. Great gifts (every one of them), even the calendar :)

You could always ask Valerie what she got for Christmas that was special.

Anne:

girasoli - oh good idea to ask about special gifts in general, I hadn't thought of that!

Looks like some wonderful stuff! Can't go wrong with a book about churches.:) And I love Pema Chodron - I read a couple of her books this past year and really enjoyed them. And I need to watch "Mamma Mia" all the way through; I saw bits and pieces on the airplane but dozed at times and didn't really get the full effect on that tiny screen with those crappy headphones. :)

Off topic, but I read a novel yesterday that had some parts about the Halifax harbour explosion during WWI. What a sad and devastating event that was...I'd never heard about it. Did you have family living there when it happened?

Anne:

Gasp - Annie! You mean you haven't seen all of Mamma Mia yet? Too bad you didn't live close enough to come watch with me - it's totally a movie that is best watched in the company of a girlfriend!

I didn't realize Pema Chodron was an author. I will have to have a look for her books, I love the quotations in the calendar.

I didn't have family in Halifax at the time of the explosion, but my grandmother said they felt the ground shake at their home miles (and MILES) away. It's a tragedy that still looms large over Halifax, seems we still hear new stories on every anniversary, even after all these years.

I wish we could have a blog girls' night out and watch that movie! What fun!

This is cool...I just pulled out one of my Pema books and it says that she's an American Buddhist nun, but she lives in Nova Scotia at Gambo Abbey in Cape Breton, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners! Pretty cool. She's a wise woman, for sure.

The Halifax explosion...well, I can believe it still looms large. The number of casualties was incredible. The novel I read was making a comparison between it and 9/11, but of course, that explosion happened before TV so it didn't get imprinted on us like 9/11 did. Still, what an incredibly tragic event.

Anne:

I'd never heard of Gambo Abbey before, but was just browsing their website (google is amazing!) I see where they are located and man, that's gotta be brutal in the wintertime!! Very isolated (which I suppose is the point of a monastery!) Apparently Pema Chodron is the principal teacher.

It sounds like a wonderful and peaceful Christmas. BTW, I am another person who has not yet seen Mamma Mia! Shocking, eh? It would be fun to see it with you and the other ST bloggers.

Anne:

Marta, yes that IS shocking! :) I highly recommend it, it's just so much fun!

Let the shock continue... I must admit I have never seen this movie yet either. I had the best of intentions but never got to the movie theater while it was playing. That would be so cool if there was a way we could all watch it together virtually online.

You were very good this year 'cause you got some fabulous gifts. I hope your new camera takes good night shots because your old one did an excellent job under poor lighting.

I too think of you each time I see the cover of the DVD. It reminds me of the very funny post when you revealed how many times you had seen the movie. My daughter got Mamma Mia from her boyfriend who said she could watch it only when he’s not around. I think she’s going to do exactly the opposite.


Valerie:

Anne

Just so you know, your blog happens to be listed in my "favorites" and, although I don't check every day I do check. Having said that I pretty much knew it was from you as K was so interested in my opening it. It is wonderful and somewhat amusing in places and I may even try some of these strange and wonderful dishes. see you on New Years Eve

Valerie:

To all Anne's Blog friends

Not having seen " Mama Mia' really is a sin I am quite sure! You can absolve yourselves though by watching it and Anne is right - it is best viewed with a girlfriend!

Anne:

Oops, busted! Note to self: the blog is not a good hiding spot from Valerie after all :)

Iris:

Oh no I have yet to see Mama Mia, I better put that on my 2009 "To Do" list!!

So glad your voice came back in time to sing Anne!!

Happy New Year
Iris

LOL> I love it that my virtual minister Valerie has given me an order to watch a movie!!! Too funny! I'll add it to my NY Resolution list.

Chiocciola:

Yay Mamma Mia! I love it too! Got the soundtrack - but I bought it right after I saw the movie, couldnt wait! Your other gifts look great too.

sandrac:

Great gifts, Anne! The books all look wonderful and, of course, the essential DVD. I think I'm going to have to buy a copy for myself (so I can sing and dance-a-long!)You're so right, it's all there -- the music, the light on the island, the incredible scenery, the friendships, the hot men.....

Happy New Year, Anne! May you and your family have a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2009.

hugs, María

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Anne, I've been enjoying reading all of your entries. I haven't quite caught up but I just had to find this entry about what goodies you recieved! I loved reading about all the wonderful gifts you got and also the comments! And yes, you did get a little busted didn't you. You take such great photos, so I'm glad you got a new camera. I like how you buy yourself a present and stick it under the tree. I loved that.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Anne:

Thanks Kathy, glad you enjoyed reading it! I am thrilled with the new camera, no doubt you'll see lots of photos in upcoming posts!

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