December 3, 2012 |  Category:   home life

I had some friends and neighbors tell me a few months ago that we were really good at taking advantage of living in the city by taking the girls to events and planning outings on the weekends and I thought, “really?”. Because it doesn’t seem that way from where I’m sitting. I think like most people, we stick to the same general area, a 10 block radius from our apartment, day in and day out. Most days, we don’t even venture far beyond our 3 block walk to school and back. It’s kind of amazing to not have to leave your neighborhood for long stretches of time if you live in a place that has pretty much everything you need. Even though we live in the biggest city in the country, our neighborhood feels a little bit like a small town and I love that neighborhoods operate this way. It makes the city much more livable.


I’m in one of my hermit stretches. I find that my social activity comes in spurts where I’ll hang out with a lot of people for a few weeks and then I’ll need to retreat for awhile. I haven’t seen a friend outside of a few neighbors and fellow school parents in 6 weeks. I’ve been staying home a lot, listening to music, being by myself. I had an impromptu coffee date with a friend this morning, however, and I reached out to another old friend to meet with tomorrow. I guess I’m making moves to emerge from this hermit stretch.
I also spent part of the day looking around for holiday things to do on the weekend because for the first time in any holiday season we aren’t pulling our hair out from out of our minds busyness. Not yet anyway. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have time to actually do some holiday sightseeing that we never get to do with the girls. I always felt a tinge of guilt about that. I’ll tell you a secret too. I love all the holiday stuff leading up to Christmas, all of it, much more than the day itself which always felt like a weird let down. I’ve always felt that way, even as a kid, so it’s been hard not to have time to revel in all sorts of cheesy holiday cheer the last few years. I think Mark might even have time to go pick out a tree with us this year. I am secretly excited about all of this.


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  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag December 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    For me, Christmas is about all the holiday-ish stuff one does all month long — not the day itself. And the week between Christmas and New Years is my absolute favorite time of all.

    I’ve been a homebody all of my life it seems. Last weekend my husband and I had a date night and we were so wacked out by the novelty of being out of our home, AT NIGHT. I

  • Sewon December 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Living in a city like New York, I am slowly realizing how much I do appreciate those stretches of time I can be a hermit and venture out just to go to my favorite places around the neighborhood. But yes, the holidays in the city! I’m enjoying all the holiday markets that are slowly opening, and looking forward to picking out some good edible gifts for my friends. xx

  • carol December 4, 2012 at 1:47 am

    tucking it in is the winter thing to do. some hibernation—and then some celebration—just to remind ourselves of the sun to come.

  • roxana December 4, 2012 at 3:56 am

    i’ve been so enjoying the days leading to christmas! i think the weather has been so cozy (pouring buckets) here in Portland and its just been nice staying in and enjoying each other. we’ll see how i feel in a week. 😉

  • me December 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

    The 70 degree weather we’re getting in the Northeast makes me glare at mother nature, cuz then what excuse will I have of staying in to do things like have coffee in santa mugs:/

  • RebeccaNYC December 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I love the Advent season, too! So much more than actual Christmas week leading up to New Year. I never have time for much holiday-making, but I do enjoy doing small things…setting up the tree, putting up some sentimental ornaments on the tables… preparing. Which is what advent is, actually. Preparation.

  • Sophia December 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I’m somewhat of a hermit and enjoy being at home a lot. The advantage for me staying at home more is I’m not out there spending money. I think I’m slowly turning into my dad! Haha.

  • Jenna December 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @Sophia what about the internet? You can spend loads of money without ever leaving the house!!

  • Sophia December 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @jenna I know you can. For me, my Internet purchases are usually planned and not spontaneous. My own quirky way of saving and keeping within our budget is to be conscious about those few dollars here and there that seem to just disappear and really add up when I’m not really paying attention. remember that book The Latte Factor? I never read it, and I’m not literally putting those dollars in our retirement plan, but it seems to really help us to keep within our budget..which can be a struggle and sometimes stressful, but gratifying as well.

  • Allison @ The Bleu Whale December 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I feel the same way always this time of year; it’s much more appealing lately to just stay home, cuddle up, and ignore the outside world for a little while (plus it’s nice to stay warm!). Plus, being in hermit mode allows you to finally de-stress from everything. There’s no on to talk to, impress, there’s no pressure to do anything you don’t want to. Of course, that does open the possibly of eating way too many sweets while home alone (:

  • Dancing Branflake December 5, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Just wanted to say that I read about your decision to advertise and I’m so grateful you talked about it. I’ve been thinking of making the jump for a few years now and I still have anxiety over it. I just discovered your blog and I’m glad I did. Thanks for the refreshing perspective.

    PS… totally in a multi-racial marriage, too.

  • hena tayeb December 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

    mmm I love bread.
    we don’t celebrate christmas.. though I kinda wish we did until I hear or read about all the crazyness involved. They I smile and just enjoy all the great shopping deals, hot chocolate and pretty decorations around me.

  • marta December 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I have exactly the same approach to living in a big city, meeting friends + retreating and I love, love, love Christmas. So if you had a “sign if you agree” line somewhere, I’d sign with both hands and both legs, Jenna:) Hope you do get a chance to do all those cheesy things!

  • rebecca December 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    oh girl, if being a homebody is wrong i don’t want to be right. 🙂

  • joan December 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    yay! your biscotti was featured on nytimes!

  • Jenna December 5, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    @joan oh yay! Thanks for telling us!