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Quiet Christmas

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Leading up to Christmas it was relatively quiet for us.

We had a little excitement when Ozzie came into the house after one of his excursions positively drenched in mud. Lookit that messy paper towel!

Moving quickly, we ferried him into the shower and gently hosed him down, which he coped with exceedingly well (although his sister was alarmed by his loud yowls).

Afterwards, we took turns drying him off and cuddling him, which seemed to soothe his spirits.

We still don’t know what he got into, but he seems no worse for the wear from it, which we’re grateful for.

During our lead-up to the holiday, Robin spoiled himself with an irresistible chocolate fig “salami” roll:

Then, on Christmas Eve, we went and hung out on a comfy sofa in the lounge of the Bedford Lodge Hotel, sipping cider and hot chocolate all afternoon and evening. We also dined on some excellent traditional fish and chips.

As you can see, I WAS LIT! (heeeee!)

We were also celebrating our anniversary: On Christmas Eve 2018 we boarded a plane heading overseas to perform our first-ever house-sit in Provence.

At that time, Robin was resistant to the idea of sitting, so we were running a trial sit to see what it was like. I assumed we’d be returning home four months later when it ended to reassess our situation and make our next move.

Instead, Robin got bitten by the sitting bug, and we’ve hardly looked back!

Three years later, we can lay claim to having conducted sits in the UK, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France, Spain, and Cyprus. (I’m still angling for Ireland, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Crete, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Amsterdam, and Poland.) It's been a wild ride!

On Christmas Day, we exchanged gifts.

We got each other something special we knew would be deeply appreciated by the recipient.

Lookit this beautiful box! I feel so spoiled.

This is me feeling ecstatic about my new computer battery! The old one didn’t last even a year, and Robin arranged a replacement for it. (Remember the battery drama from a year ago?)

He’ll install it at a time when I’m off the computer long enough for him to take command of it.

In return, Robin got a jump-starter battery pack! Ozzie climbed aboard his favorite human to inspect this new acquisition.

A couple of times now we have been in the unfortunate position of having a dead car battery, and this gizmo will allow us to jumpstart the car in those disruptive circumstances without having to beg for help. (We like to be as self-sufficient as possible.)

Yes, these are practical gifts—but honestly, we have so much fun during the rest of the year that we don’t actually need presents and the annual joy of Christmas to make us feel happy. We already enjoy an embarrassment of riches and experience delight on a regular basis, so it would be gilding the lily to do more than we already do.

For our Christmas Day celebration, Robin assembled a “charcuterie” spread, which included several different cheeses, a selection of olives, dips, and the pièce de résistance—a large bowl of homemade guacamole! I like for it to be less spicy and lacking tomatoes or onions, and he accommodated my wishes perfectly—his guacamole boasted ample crushed garlic and sage with a dash of lime juice and black pepper to give it zing.

If only we could have had tacos too, sigh. (How we miss Mexican food!)

Robin also whipped up some vegan “eggnog,” which got us into a festive spirit right away.

We then fired up the smart TV and binged on movies all day—a rare indulgence for us. We cuddled the kittehs while we watched “Top Gun: Maverick” which was a worthy successor to the original “Top Gun” movie. We also watched “Knives Out” and “Glass Onion,” both featuring Daniel Craig in his post-Bond persona as Benoit Blanc, a private detective hailing from southern USA.

In order to get into character for these movies, Craig watched several documentaries narrated by Shelby Foote, a Mississippi historian. While giving an interview, Craig said he tried his best to match the accent and cadence of Foote when making these films. It was jarring to hear him speak in this way at first, but after a while it seemed okay. Accent aside, both movies were delightful and entertaining—well written, directed, and acted, with some engaging plot twists.

We also watched “RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt)”—a highly entertaining Bollywood movie. Set in India in the 1920s, it tells the adventures of two larger-than-life freedom fighters, with a couple of other sub-plots woven into the storyline. It was filled with tightly-choreographed fight scenes that rivaled the best Chinese martial arts movies, along with singing and dancing(!). British colonialists were mostly portrayed as cruel and evil, which is probably accurate. The costumes, sets, cinematography, and production design were all outstanding—it's a movie that can be admired solely for its visuals.

It was 3 hours long but did not drag. It was quite a wild ride and definitely fun and worthwhile. Here’s a link to the IMDB entry:

We also had a Zoom call with my fam in Iowa.

My Mom’s 90th birthday is coming up in March—can you believe it? It was lovely to catch up with everyone, and I feel blessed to be escaping the cold spell they’re having there in Iowa.

We’re now planning on a similarly relaxing New Year’s Eve & Day.

I was gearing up to send out another New Year’s End-of-Year Review like I sent you last year, but then I learned from my coach community how everybody is using “YearCompass,” so I’m going to follow suit and offer that resource to you. Click here to download your own copy. (I’ve linked to the version I’ll fill out myself—if you prefer a different format, visit their website or ask me and I’ll send it out to you.)

This highly comprehensive booklet contains an end-of-year assessment and preparation tool for the coming year. I urge you to set aside some quality time to work through the material and do the exercises. It’s elegant and well laid out, with perfect coaching questions to guide you through the process. This is a way of becoming more conscious about where you’ve been and where you’re headed—which is invariably a profitable activity.

It should go without saying that I’m delighted to coach you on what you turn up whilst engaging in the process—or I can also guide you through the process if that would support you. (My own end-of-year assessment should be WILD!)

That pretty much covers all we’ve been up to lately. More to follow in the next missive. In the meantime, watch the cats flip out over my Ho-Ho-Ho headband!

I hope your holidays are likewise happy and relaxing!

warmly, -Dr. Vicky Jo

PS: As part of your YearCompass assignment, I'll also invite you to identify one word you want to represent the coming year... and send it to me! I was fascinated by the words I got last year. And proud of those who chose to play along.

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