This is such a busy time of year. The shopping. The decorating. The socializing. The (((shudder))) baking (I am so-not-a-cook). So what do my husband and I do on the last Sunday/shopping day before Christmas?

We go sightseeing in Washington, DC.

Living in the DC suburbs almost guarantees that we rarely visit the museums and historic sites in the nation’s capital. You know how it is. The dh works downtown and that decreases his desire to spend weekends in the city. So naturally, when there are about a thousand things we needed to do, we instead decided we just HAD to visit the new American History museum. Here I am standing in front of a Revolutionary War uniform.

The American History museum was closed for an entire year to be renovated and remodeled. And it was a big deal for it to be re-opened TWO YEARS AGO. This was our first visit back.

I had my eye out for something Regency, which I tend to do wherever I go. This was not easy in the exhibits about the atomic age and slavery, both of which seem to take a prominent, but not admirable, place in our history.

But there was a special exhibit on pop-up books.

Here’s the explanation of the book:

The Falshood of external Appearnces
England, ca. 1790
The first movable books for children, developed in England in the 1700s, were called harlequinades, because they often featured the comic character Halrequin. Designed to teach a moral (such as: don’t be fooled by appearances), the tale unfolds as a series of flaps are opened.

(Well, 1790 is close to the Regency….)

I also found a carriage! (a toy one, that is)

And a puzzle toy featuring Regency era scenes.

And I even found Napoleon, although he is a little fuzzy in this photo!

But the very best part of the day was walking back to the car. We passed a homeless man, begging and shivering in the 20 degree weather. My husband stopped and turned back to give the man $20.

Making him my hero!

What have you been doing lately instead of getting ready for Christmas? Have you done something fun? Have you done something charitable?

Don’t forget! The Harlequin Historical Holiday Contest is ongoing until Dec 22. You can enter for daily prizes and I’m still taking entries for the grand prize of a Kindle.