hamming it up

I don’t know what I’m doing here anymore. I pretty much just do bullet posts and photo posts and I’m boring myself. I can’t even imagine how bored you must be. Anyway! Today is Friday so that means bullets. You’re so welcome.

I’m curious, what do you do for Christmas dinner? Do you go all out like Thanksgiving or do you go the simple route with take-out? We have lasagna because it’s one of the few meals Damon likes to make so I get to do absolutely nothing!

blooming cactus

For all of the many years I’ve had a Christmas cactus, it’s never actually blossomed at Christmas. It’s bloomed in October, it’s bloomed in June, it’s bloomed twice in a year instead of once, some years it didn’t bud at all, but it never ever flowered in December. Well, this year it finally did when it was supposed to, and right when I needed it.

Merry Christmas peeps, I hope you all have a little something beautiful in your lives right now too.

xoxo Annette

Santa Claws

I just can’t help myself. Josh has all these little hats from his multitude of stuffed animals lying about the house. I pick them up, look at them and think how purrfectly they would fit on George. And they do. As long as he sits still.

I swear it’s not photoshopped! Damon and Josh witnessed George posing for a good 10 minutes so I could get the perfect shot. Yes, I managed to hold in my lap and take the photo at the same time…

I am an old cat lady.

stress free or stressful?

Everyone around me is frantic. Shopping, wrapping, traveling, baking, planning, cleaning, shopping some more. Some people seem to thrive on it. The craziness suits them. Others not so much, and crankiness abounds.

The complaining; “Oh I have so much to do! I’ll never get it done it time!” Procrastination, resignation, hurry, hurry, one more week. Sigh.

I succumbed to the pressure and stress around me for just a few days last week. And then I remembered. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.

Holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing. Even for adults. (Christmas spirit! It’s not just for kids anymore!) It’s okay to stop trying to make Christmas perfect and instead, actually enjoy it. Your family and friends might thank you for it. Your blood pressure might too.

Edited to add: I completely forgot to mention decorating! How could I forget that? Well. Cause I slap up a fake pre-lit tree, put a couple strings of lights on the porch and call it done!

one last Christmas reflection

I had the perfect New Year’s Day yesterday. We spent the morning taking down all the trapping of Christmas, boxing up our memories in plastic bins, neatly put away for next year.

We then went to Target for yet one last bin, one big enough for the first fake tree we’ve had in years, and one almost as expensive as the tree. Yikes. Then we got our coffee and smoothie respectively, went home for lunch, and took a 2 and a half hour nap. No really, the boy and I had a glorious long winter’s rest while DH was at work.

We did in fact let the boy stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year, the first and perhaps the last time we’ll do that. Not that he was bad, but frankly if he had been in bed at normal time, I’m pretty sure I would have been too. Apparently I’m an old lady. Confirmed by the fact I crocheted again throughout 3 hour ride on the way to the FIL’s today. At one point I said ‘oy vey’ at something DH said and that was it for him. Now I’m not allowed to say little old lady things at the same time I’m working with yarn of any sort. Oy vey. But I digress.

So the decorations are gone, when it felt like we had just put them up. It feels good to have the furniture back in place, and have clean empty spaces again. Another whole year before the Christmas hype begins again. I can’t decide if that’s a good or a bad thing, honestly. A little of both perhaps. It would be nice if we could keep our holiday spirit year round, without all the rest of it.

As I folded up plastic branches and pulled apart the metal trunk of our tree yesterday, I remembered the only other time we’ve had a fake tree since we’ve been married – the year I was pregnant. It was all I could do to get up and go to work everyday. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, could barely walk. I was nauseous all the time and threw up daily though I was far into my second trimester.

Just the idea of Christmas overwhelmed me, buying gifts was impossible, and setting up a tree blew my mind. We were in Virginia, far from our families, just the two of us, expectant, scared, and hopeful all at once. I cried out of helplessness, ordered to lay on the couch on my downtime, not able to create any Christmas spirit, but needing it all the same.

One day, mid-way into December, I arrived home, looked around and cried again. This time tears of joy. My dear husband had dug into our Christmas things, things I thought would stay put away for another year. He’d found our old 2 foot fake tree, leftover from our college days, and set it up with lights and my favorite ornaments. He’d put out as many of my decorations as he could find and waited for me to come home and find it. He’d made my Christmas spirit for me. And he didn’t need a 7 foot tall fir to do it.

That was a good year, so have all the years since, and I hope the next is better than ever.

Happy 2009 my friends. xoxo

holiday $pending

I’m curious.

I know it seems early to ask this, but I’m really curious how everyone is planning to handle their holiday shopping this year. Especially compared to years past.

I made a decision that we’re cutting way back this year. We’ve never done really extravagant presents for anyone, even the boy, but all the little things really really add up. Part of the problem is that I end up getting a bunch of last minute things that I shouldn’t have. This year I’m planning better, budgeting better, shopping smarter, and frankly, shopping less. There will be no new camera, no new iphone, no Wii in sight. (We don’t really have video games around here, and I don’t mind keeping it that way.)

This is embarrassing to admit, but last year, I thought I did really well with my planning for presents for the boy. I found some Lego sets and action figures on clearance in September/October, hid them from him, and apparently from myself too, since I promptly forgot about them. No really, I forgot I bought them, and went and bought completely different things for him in November/December. When I found everything the week before Christmas I was pretty mad at myself. I had enough freaking toys for both Christmas and his birthday in March. Ridiculous.

That won’t be happening this year, that’s for sure.

So here’s what I want to know, how is the current economy affecting your plans for the holidays? Are you cutting back a little, a lot, not at all? Did you already cut back in recent years? If you are planning to spend less, what are your strategies, or tips for doing so?

Have you even thought about any of this yet? Am I too early to even ask the question?

I’m really very curious.

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