Published December 6, 2010
Tags: Christmas, gifts
So. I got an email today from an in-law of mine. Asking me to please send a Christmas list for the dutchkid. I have been irritated by this all day today.
My dh’s family lives on the other side of the country. The majority of us abide by the “if you aren’t celebrating Christmas here, no need to send gifts” understanding. They don’t send my kid a gift, and I don’t send theirs one either. And every year, unless she’s told very bluntly otherwise, this person decides to take matters into her own hands and force the issue. Of course, because once she sends my kid a gift I feel obligated to send hers gifts. And she has three to my one. Then I start to think, well if I sent hers gifts I have to send everyone else who is there gifts as well. Because I do love my nieces and nephews very much, and I would never want someone to inadvertently say something and for them to be hurt by that. It’s all or nothing with me, either you all get gifts or nobody does. And equal opportunity offender, if you will.
BUT. I realized today that am not equally offensive to everyone, I have a double standard. On my side of the family, I tend to give gifts to my nieces and nephews without thinking about it. Granted, there are far fewer of them, and we’re going to spend Christmas with them this year, anyway. But I like to send them a little something, even if we’re not there. Why do I feel so differently on dh’s side?
Sigh. So I will be sending a small present for each of my nieces and nephews this year. Trying to ease my guilty conscience about how I like my own family so much better. I think next year I’m going to try the philanthropic route and send an email out on December 1st to say, “This year, in lieu of gifts we will be making a donation to XYZ charity in your family’s name.” Or is that just as bad? I don’t know. Sometimes I hate Christmas.
Now if you’ll excuse me, we are celebrating Sinterklaas Eve a day late (ah the joys of a child who has no idea what the actual date is) and I have to go eat a carrot and put candy in some shoes and think happy, festive thoughts. I am sure Sinterklaas would not actually be leaving candy for me, just coal.
Published December 23, 2009
Tags: bokeh, Christmas, photography
a merry little Christmas. Wishing you the best and brightest of this lovely season.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put the finishing touches on a last minute angel costume (it just wouldn’t be Christmas without last minute sewing, would it?)
Why IS it that suddenly after Thanksgiving is over, it seems like Christmas is right here? I inevitably feel like I am merrily chugging along and then smash headlong into the holiday wall.
I put up my outdoor decorations up today, and I’m almost finished sewing the countdown calendar but I keep on thinking of things I have been meaning to get done (like Christmas cards, shopping and loads of other Christmas crafting). I would love to make more handmade gifts, but I am always searching for the right balance of things…. things I want to do because I enjoy them, but also taking into account that sometimes it’s just not worth the stress. Really, though, I think the problem is that it always seems too soon to get started on stuff before Thanksgiving, but then after the big dinner it seems like I’m behind!
The only good part is that by the 10th of December all my school stuff will be done… a concert, a jury and a few exams. We aren’t traveling this year and I’m so glad… I’ll be able to just veg and enjoy doing fun things with the dutchkid (who am I kidding, I’ll be doing all the things I haven’t gotten to yet!).
time for cheer. Time for lots of sewing near.
I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas countdown calendar for the dutchkid. We were traveling last year, so I never got the chance to make one. When I mentioned it to my mom, she said that I was welcome to take the one she still had from when I was a kid. So I decided to revamp it a little bit, it originally had all red stockings, but I’ve added in some others. I think it’s fun to have one that has a little history to it.
I’m not going to put lots of fancy things in it, really…. a chapstick, some candy, other little trinkets, but I hope she’ll have fun building up the anticipation for the big day. I can’t believe thanksgiving is next week, although I’m looking forward to getting out the lights!
Today, the dutchkid and the dh and I went to Krispy Kreme. It’s so much fun to watch the doughnut assembly line where you can see the fat that’s about to clog your arteries. But they are tasty. I have never truly understood the southern obsession with them until we moved here. In other places we’ve lived, people did crazy things like drive an hour or more to get to the nearest one. I mean really, it is just a doughnut. But now that we have one in town, I’ve had the experience of eating one hot off the assembly line. Oh. my. word. That’s why, right there.
However, this post is not really about Krispy Kreme. Afterward we ran various errands, and let me just say it was great to hang out with my dh. His grad school classes are mostly on weekends and so that cuts into our family time. I forgot how much I like him when he’s not being grumpy about homework and papers. The only thing to mar the nice morning was the fact that apparently, unbeknownst to me we have skipped Thanksgiving entirely and gone straight to Christmas. I know it gets earlier every year, but this year seems worse than usual.
The Salvation Army bell ringers were out in force. Not only was there Christmas merchandise already (I’ve gotten used to that part) but the outdoor shopping area we were walking in had all of their decorations up. I’m talking Christmas trees, lights and lollipop lane. To include the spot for pictures with Santa. He’s already made one appearance. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday, so I’m pretty grumpy about the fact that it’s being glossed over. When I complained about it my dh said, “It’s because no one buys anything for Thanksgiving.” And you know what, I think he’s right.
Now I really do like Christmas, lest you mistake me for a scrooge. I just wish that there were some way that I could keep the Christmas machine at bay until at least the day after Thanksgiving but I think that’s a lost cause. I have decided, though, that this year I want for our family to start observing the season of advent. I’m hoping that a focus other than on Santa and reindeer will help me maintain my good cheer. Because otherwise come December I’m going to be jingle belled out.
Just a few pictures of Christmas morning. It was so much fun to have her actually understand the concept of opening the gifts, although she seemed to enjoy the ripping off of the paper more than realizing there were toys in there to be played with. I thought we had managed to keep the gifts to a minimum, except somehow now it seems like we really do have toys up to our eyeballs!
the dogs enjoying their present
the overstimulated toddler look
Published December 22, 2007
Tags: Christmas, Hippopotamus
This one’s for you, baby sis. It’s been stuck in my head since you played it for me last year. Hope you’re staying warm. Merry Christmas!
Just got a card from someone we knew at our last duty station and it’s from the wife and child at a new address, no mention of the husband.
Nothing more depressing than realizing someone got divorced by the Christmas card. I feel like a complete heel for making such a poor effort to keep in touch with them that I was unaware of it and sent our card to them still as a family. Sigh.
As of today, I don’t have any more big commitments before Christmas. It feels so good to be done.
The Christmas program went well both Saturday night and last night. Some glitches reared their ugly heads, but overall people seemed to have enjoyed it. The church was absolutely packed both performances. The little boy who played baby Jesus did wonderfully, he was mesmerized by the lights and the music. The dutchkid would never have been so cooperative at that age, particularly with a stranger. I remembered all the lyrics to my song and the only thing that happened to me was my head scarf slid off last night.
My Christmas shopping is done, my cards are out, the parties have been attended. My piano students are on Christmas break. This week I get to do the stuff I enjoy, like sitting around in my pjs, wrapping presents and baking my Jan Hagel. Ahhhh.