Today I caught up on some Christmas shopping. Now I hate shopping in general, so that thought never makes me feel happy! But the good thing is that I no longer buy Christmas presents for all and sundry like I used to do. In previous years, as Christmas approached, it was a nightmare for me. I’d be shopping for so many friends here & their kids, as well as family and friends (& more kids) back in the UK. As if the shopping alone wasn’t stressful enough for me, having to find boxes to mail everything within this country as well as internationally, was just ulcerating. Not to mention the ridiculous cost involved.
So two years ago I reached boiling point, I’d had enough. I’d have to start my holiday shopping in October so I could collect everything in advance, and I was beginning to grow into the world’s biggest humbug. So I contacted everyone (except for my sister and parents, and one close friend here), and alerted them to the fact that I was no longer going to be sending presents, but instead would be donating.
I tell you, it was a huge relief, both psychologically and financially. Now my holiday shopping is relatively stress-free.
So today I spent a couple of hours collecting the majority of the gifts that I needed for this year, so I think I’m all set now – just have to wrap them and package them up for mailing. In addition to gathering some presents for my sister, I also collected her some Christmas decorations to send her in advance. She loves the holiday stuff that we have over here this time of year, so I picked up some fun things for her to decorate her home with.
Afterwards I celebrated by hitting the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a coffee! I never need an excuse to go for coffee, especially this time of year while their seasonal pumpkin and gingerbread flavors are out. I just can’t get enough of those in my coffee, and they’re especially delicious in lattes.
And it was such a beautiful afternoon that I decided to take my coffee on a little jaunt around nearby West Boylston. I love the Old Stone Church there, an old baptist church. It sits on Wachusett Reservoir in the town & dates back to the early 1890s when it was built to replace an earlier baptist church that had been destroyed in a fire.
Only 10 years later, it had to be abandoned for the reservoir. But because it was built of stone and was clearly an attraction, the townsfolk persuaded the commonwealth to let it stay.
It stands alone on a point of land by the side of the water, & was eventually declared a National Landmark in 1973. This wall of the church faces the highway & its huge flag highlights its presence in no uncertain terms to passing drivers. I’ve never been able to find any information regarding the history of placing the flag here though. But it’s quite a sight to see.
With the shorter days on board now, it wasn’t long before the sun began setting. The sky had started to cloud over mid-afternoon, and as the sun was setting, it cast some lovely texture into the sky.
A perfect end to a productive day!