Feeling some Christmas spirit up in here

When I found out my office Christmas party was today, I was slightly confused seeing as how we still have Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge.  I prefer the office party to be a little, dare I say, closer to the actual holiday we're celebrating.  But apparently we'll be knocking that one out early.

In honor of that, my household is attempting to get with the Christmas program. First up, Clark Griswold made his annual appearance in the tree in my front yard.
My husband was home for several days and our lighting set up was a high priority.  He claims the kids requested this activity to do together.   I'm thinking some kids did more requesting than others because here's the other half of the peanut gallery:
I learned many years ago that my husband equates love to how long you are willing to spend untangling lights and handing him stuff while he's up in a tree.  That's small potatoes compared to the year he had me in the front yard in the dark helping to rig a pulley system to construct a three dimensional tree shaped thing.  So I happily untangled some lights is what I'm saying. 

Later, I flung the tree up.  Naturally, I documented that event by shoving my kids in front of it and telling them to pretend to be normal.  
They're so convincing I might fall for it except I am well acquainted with the depths of their crazy.
We have not been Elf on the Shelfing like the rest of America.  I find the doll semi creepy and I'm far too lazy to successfully remember to move it.  So we're advent calendaring instead.  Once they get the green light on December 1st, that activity practically runs itself.  I went full blown lazy this year and each kid even has their own. No "who's day is it" negotiations required.  Legos for him and a Playmobil Christmas scene set for her.  I'm calling it a win because my breakfast table has been full of happy kids for five days in a row now.

While they were happy I put the peace and quiet to work for me and read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.
I had read Gone Girl and liked it so I thought I'd give another of her books a try.  Thumbs up.  Liked the ending of this one better than Gone Girl (Am I the only one that found the ending of Gone Girl super annoying?). But it's dark.  Hence the title of the book, I guess.  But, for real, if dark creeps you out in a bad way, you won't like it.  But it's suspenseful and the girl can write.  I read it in 2 or 3 days and I'm a girl that knows how to linger over a book that has no suspense. Only downside of finishing a good book is being in need of more good books.  Recommendations, anyone?

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