December to Remember


One can only say so much about food without sounding as if one has issues with food (I may, in fact, have food issues in that I love pork belly a little too much but that’s for another blog post) so I will focus instead on what I did and learned during my Christmas vacation.

A couple of years ago, I made a pact with myself to do no shopping for a 2-month period. It was spurred by a purging episode, an episode which yielded about about 12 very full trash bags of clothes-I’m ashamed to admit, some still with tags on them-shoes, unread books.  It was difficult at first but eventually I became cutthroat in my approach and tossed/donated things I hadn’t touched or worn in the last 90 days.  Because I do a lot of online shopping, I received and resisted the temptation to open countless emails everyday beckoning me to a sale or special discount.  But I would not falter.  I survived 60 days of not buying anything but it was a very purposeful (read: difficult) effort.

So this past Christmas, we decided that instead of buying each other more stuff, we would share experiences.  We began December with a lecture at Nourse Theater in San Francisco by one of my favorite coaches of all time, Steve Kerr.  He’s a true leader with a strength, humility and intellect that have earned him commitment from  his team.  He also admitted that winning helped.


Tiny guy on the left with a big message about teamwork, joy, mindfulness

We continued our experience-sharing with a family activity at Roy’s in San Francisco, a restaurant specializing in Hawaiian fusion and occasionally opens during midday for activities such as sushi making, cooking demos and in December, decorating gingerbread houses.  Lunch was included in the package and we were given supplies, one gingerbread house which came from a kit, which by the way, boo Roy’s–last year, their gingerbread houses were baked and created in house.  As a result, our finished product looked like a condemned property, but it was fun nonetheless.



Gingerbread house in foreclosure



It wasn’t all bad though; check out those smiles

My favorite was family date night at the San Francisco Symphony followed by dinner at the House of Prime Rib.  Each year, the SF Symphony puts on a holiday concert series geared towards families and children.  We treated ourselves to the Charlie Brown Christmas concert at the beautiful Davies Symphony Hall and even though we skipped the long lines for hot chocolate (remember it’s not about buying stuff; yes, hot chocolate counts as stuff), this is a memory we won’t soon forget. I mean, how can you outdo playing Schroeder’s piano alongside that humble, albeit sad, Christmas tree.



We ended the evening with dinner at JJs favorite restaurant House of Prime Rib, which he declared as the best restaurant ever–even better than In ‘n Out.


When asked what he liked most about the prime rib, he simply replied, “The texture.”  I’m not sure he knows what that means.

Best Christmas presents ever–and I didn’t even have to wrap anything.


4 thoughts on “December to Remember

  1. Dorothy

    Congratulations Joc. You have captured the true spirit of Christmas. And you present a wonderful challenge of not buying anything for 2months. You are an inspiration! Dorothy

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