Tag Archives: Christmas Shopping

Dress Drama

By Mary

Having so many sisters is a splendid gift. It is a little difficult for me to enjoy the splendid gift of so much estrogen at times though, and Christmas always seems to create static within the female family domain.

This photo pretty much summarizes the way I feel about two things that come up every year.

Thing number one: Shopping with my sisters. Lord have mercy, those girls take FOREVER! I can’t handle stores and sisters, it’s just too much. To be fair, I shall note that they can’t handle me either because I always tend to drift off and get lost. In more recent times, I now do all shopping with my brothers. Shopping with them is a quick and humorous event, largely ineffective, but always enjoyable.

The next issue on my Grinch agenda is: Dresses for Christmas Eve mass.

Oh my gosh, each and every Christmas there is dress drama within the house. I tend to duck out of the commotion if I can. The most memorable dress drama happened the year Kate came home for Christmas freshly engaged and ever so proud. Leading up to the visit home with her husband to be, Kate had put considerable effort into buying the perfect outfit. Naturally all her luggage was lost in translation on the trip here. The meticulously selected trendy sweater dress she has specially brought for Christmas Eve mass…..

did  not make it via airport delivery until the following day. Somehow, Kate ended up wearing a startlingly horrid hot red dress from the 80’s that my mother wore for a dance when I was a preschooler. Kate stampeded her foot and sobbed , and I the Grinch, laughed, until I realized that she actually was able to pull the atrocious red number off somehow. In the long run, we made it to and through mass and back home to enjoy candy and eggnog with rum.

As a seasoned vet of the Christmas highs and lows around the Slattery family tree, I am well aware that it is not in my best interests to offer to go shopping with my sisters or provide (what I deem as helpful) fashion advice. After all, karma bites back. And you never know if one day it might be you wearing the red dress.

Merry Christmas to all you readers!


The Grinch

The Cookie Tour

by Kate

The cookie is a powerful lure.

These tiny fragments of cookies and slips of recipes are a magic spell for the retailers along Butler Street, which serves as Main Street for the Lawrenceville neighborhood here in Pittsburgh. Every year on the first weekend of December, these shops are decked out to the hilt in holiday finery…

and each stop offers a new platter of complimentary cookies and sheaf of recipes for said cookies.

Of course, each shop is also cannily and cunningly stuffed to the brim with a wide array of possible Christmas gifts.

And friendly salespersons in, ready to assist or inform the hordes of customers in any way.

And of course, there are the crucial coffee shops selling lattes to fuel the touring and accompany the cookies.

For there are many, many cookie seekers on this cookie tour, intent on capturing every crumb.

Lots of hip young families- I love this woman’s red coat.

And happy young couples….

Roving packs of friends out for an urban adventure…

And beautiful boots. Women with great boots seemed very drawn to this tour. Often they came in twos.

The woman below was very elegant, from her velvet beret down to her leather boots.

It was a beautiful day for an urban stroll- crisp and bright and beautiful.

It was a perfect day to shop the streets of the post steel  still bluesy now artsy Lawrenceville neighborhood.

I was accompanied not by my husband, who insists that the only couples who attend these events are still in the courting stage of their relationship and would rather have hot pins stuck into his eyes than meander down Main Street with me, but instead by my one and a half year old daughter, who was very stylish in her own right and had no problem at all meandering.

She was a delightful companion, and often led the way in search of more cookies and conversations.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I walked away full of cookies, but also the satisfaction of knowing that I had thoroughly accomplished my goal of distributing flyers advertising my new bellydance class at the Pittsburgh Dance Center in every possible shop along the way.

For certainly after that many cookies, some people might be interested in shimmying a bit after the holiday season? Also, a gift certificate for dance classes would make a fantastic holiday gift- don’t you think?

More posts about my urban adventures are here:

Painting Pittsburgh

Caffe Mona

Pittsburgh is my Paris (A Bibliophile’s Dream)

City Morning

The Downtown Department Store

A City Walk