In the final month of a year where I pledged to post every day I regret the fact that this is just my 5th entry for December. I will try to do better in the coming year.
It's been a memorable Christmas season filled with continuing traditions and new memories.
I've already shared some of the "productions" that got our Christmas season started at the beginning of December.
Unofficially, Paula and I began our "final stretch" of holiday preparation when we went to Nashville on the 13th to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Our shopping itinerary included stops at the Guitar Center store, Green Hills Mall and the Nashville International Airport (details about that coming up later in this series of posts).
A spontaneous stop at Trader Joe's resulted in another couple of gifts in "Santa's bag" as well.
Although we had a fun day together our biggest mistake was trying to go to the Opry Mills/Music Valley Drive area. We spent about 3 hours, if not more, in traffic.
The backup started on Briley Parkway about two miles from the Music Valley Drive exit. We literally inched our way toward the exit for more than 2 hours.
We managed to get to Johnny A's restaurant on Music Valley Drive for an anniversary dinner that included very good food and some live music.
The country cover band was not bad but the highlight of the entertainment was a memorable rendition of "Jingle Bells." It was "performed" by a blonde lady singer whose voice was a clear indication that her best days as a vocalist were behind her. It didn't help that she was drunk off her butt.
After dinner we got back into traffic heading back toward the campgrounds on Pennington Bend. We wanted to see the special lights display.
After a little more than hour in the line and moving less than a mile we decided to abandon our effort and try to head home.
I took advantage of a break in the line of traffic behind us and made some "evasive maneuvers" to get turned around and get back on Briley to make our way back to Smiths Grove.
As it turned out the only light display we saw was this shot of the Opryland Hotel from our car window while on the exit ramp.
Over the next week we put up our Christmas tree. Actually Paula put it up I only added a few of my favorite ornaments.
You'll see what our tree looks like when I focus on our decorations in part 2 of this series.
Our other major shopping trip of this season was on Christmas Eve day. In a day filled with a chilly wind and a cold slow steady rain we headed into Bowling Green to get some last minute gifts and food for our Christmas dinner.
Stops at K-Mart and Sams Club were first. A nice lunch at the Olive Garden helped us regroup before stops at Toys R US, CVS, and Meijer.
Once we got home it was time for the sprint to the Christmas preparation finish line. We had nearly all our gifts to wrap.
With this being the last night before Christmas the wrapping challenge provided the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on some of the Christmas movies and episodes I hadn't watched yet.
But my collection included a lot more movies than there was time to see. I had to pick and choose wisely. I decided on The Honeymooners Christmas episode; the classic "It's a Wonderful Life"; and a modern favorite of mine, The Holiday.
By the time all the gifts were wrapped and under the tree it was about 2 AM on Christmas morning.
We were exhausted but we were ready. In the morning we would do some food preparation but we had time. Our family wouldn't be arriving until after 10 in the morning.
A recap of how we celebrated together will be included in part 3 of this series. Come back tomorrow for, as promised, a post about this year's Christmas decorations.