Friday, December 26, 2008

Xmas Meme

My friend, Netter, tagged me a while ago, and I've been so out of things (grouchy, petulant, self-absorbed) that I didn't even know til just now! So, here's me, finally catching up. . .

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags? The tradition in my family, for as long as I can remember (so at least 40 years) has been, as much as possible, to wrap box lids and re-use the boxes with fresh (or gently-used) ribbons. Problem this year: we've had Xmas other places so much these last few years that I have no pre-wrapped boxes in the house! Gift bags are nicely re-usable, though.

2) Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I think I've had a real tree, maybe, 5 times in my life. For the past several years we've mostly used a very cheap 4 ft. artificial tree that I got on sale about 20 years ago. It doesn't even come close to fitting all our ornaments, but I like the way it looks in our front window, put up on my grandma's old sewing machine stand. We leave the lights on and store it, with lights, in a big garbage bag. We also distribute extra ornaments around the house on anything that has something sticky-outy and could hold an ornament. I love the haphazardness of it . . . and we have a tendancy to find random ornaments for months after, in odd places where Simon has hung them.

3) When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving, on a weekend when we have time.

4) When do you take the tree down? Usually at or around the beginning of January. One year, when Si was little, and we had a big tree in the livining room and the small tree in his bedroom, we left his small tree up til late Summer or later. Yea, we're just lazy that way.

5) Do you like eggnog? I think I've only tried it once or twice. I think I liked it, but to be honest, it's extra calories I don't need so I never buy it or take it if offered. I'm just as happy with black coffee or straight alcohol. :-)

6) Favorite gift received as a child? I’m not sure … the crocheted afghan my Aunt Ginnie made for me. It is what is now called "Rainbow Blankie" in my house, ever since my son stole it from my bed.

7) Hardest person to buy for? My brother. He keeps his thoughts/desires/feelings very close to the cuff, and is so un-assuming about wanting things that he almost never admits to wanting anything.

8) Easiest person to buy for? My mom. She loves what I love, so it's always a joy to buy/knit for her.

9) Do you have a nativity scene? I would love to have a larger collection of them, but we really have no room. I have 2 sets that are grown-up-ish (one plain stained wood silhouette set, one is the set from my childhood), 2 kids sets (one is almost like little tykes, the other is printed/stuffed cloth that my mom assembled) and a few smaller, self-contained creches.

10) Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Stomach flu - about 6 years ago.

11) Favorite Christmas Movie? I love Christmas movies! I love "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Christmas in Connecticutt", even though they're both pretty schmaltzy. For TV specials, you can't beat "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Charlie Brown". I'm a sucker for shows that highlight the true meaning of Christmas.

12) Favorite Christmas song? Angels We Have Heard on High (I love the Glo-o-o-o-o-o-rias!)

13) Travel at Christmas or stay home? We used to stay in town for Christmas when Si was younger, but now we travel. Each year's agenda is different, but we hit both sets of our parents. This year we're just now ending 3 days w/Mike's parents and heading home. Saturday we'll go to my family's for about 6 days.

14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, why not? I’m all for recycling!

15) Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer hand-made or ornaments with some kind of special significance (like ones we've found on vacation or ones from our childhood). I also have a special collection of pewter ornaments from Wendell August Forge that I display on long strips of red felt, hanging on the wall. I love them so much that I am considering leaving them up all year this year. Mom gets me one each year, and has for over 20 (nearly 30?) years.

Netter said to tag 5 others, so here goes:
. . . and anyone else who reads and would like to do the meme - you all know how I love memes!

I'd love to tag both my moms (Hi Mom! HI MIL!), but neither have blogs. Please, if you're up to it, post answers in comments?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Poetry Friday!

Vacation Day

A peaceful way to knit and play
and move us t'ward this Christmas Day.
A mom's tradition, tightly held
allowing me to clean and meld.
I knit some gifts, the flour sifts,
the gingerbread with tangy wiffs.
My friends can come, the house is done,
contentment when the battle's won.

~ Cat

Several years ago, not able to take time off right at the holidays, I took a week at the beginning of December. It was bliss! Taking a few days off now means that I approach the holidays with MUCH less stress and worry. The house is ready (even though we're not really having guests this year), the gifts are bought (and I'll start wrapping soon), and I have time to finish knitting gifts (don't expect pictures til after they've been gifted!). I'm not baking much this year because of WW, but I will make Dad his sweetroll, and Si will want to make some sugar cookies, I'm sure. That'll happen next weekend. Although this week has been different than in past (had to work Mon. afternoon and Thursday, spent Tuesday with a good friend going through Chemo), it's been a blessing and a joy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Quick post since I'm tired tonight:

  1. I found the perfect edging for a thing I'm making for someone I love, and I did it by experimenting . . . all by myself (and abandoning all the tricky patterns I'd gotten from The L.
  2. Chocolate chunk cookies, warm for when Si arrived home from school.
  3. Both DH and Si enjoyed the marinade I put on the chicken - several "mmms".

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Deco and Bolo

We've decorated for Christmas! We might still try some outdoor lights, but the indoors is about as decorated as it will get, short of all the gifts being wrapped and under the tree!

It takes us about an hour to deco. We have a small artificial tree that we just pull out of a garbage bag, with the lights still on from year to year. Then we put as many ornaments as can possibly fit on (hanging 2-4 per branch and some from the bead garland, too).

We put Christmas music on the computer, decorate the tree, and then Simon, the self-proclaimed "crazed 14-year-old decorator" ran around the house hanging miscellaneous decorations wherever there's a place to hang something (ornaments on the lamps, etc). He also set up all the nativity sets (I have several - I sorta collect them).

I did hang some holly boughs on each of our doors, though, as our outdoor decos. It looks pretty, but the ugly, dirty screen doors sorta dull the effect.

The Bolo Ceremony
Today we went to a banquet for Simon to be awarded his special bolo for leadership training. Actually, it wasn't just going through the week of training in August, but to earn the bolo, the boys needed to set some high goals back then, and meet them (and have leaders sign off) by the end of October (or something like that).

I'm very proud of him for doing all of that! His goal was to work with his Bible Study leader to increase attendance at their gatherings, and he did!

Don't you just love handsome men in uniform?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Poetry Friday!

Christmas is so close now
I feel the deadline looming
I must do all my shopping,
the cleaning and the grooming.
There's so much still to do,
I can't quite fit it in.
So now I must prioritize,
Make lists and categoricize,
Knit this, clean that, now knit a hat
I wonder if it's this boy's size . . .

Or maybe what I need to do
Is focus on what I know is true.
This holiday is ringing clear,
Spend time with those that you hold dear.
Don't worry about each speck of dust.
Baking more sweets is not a must!
Find time to nurture, time to hug,
Slow down and spend time close, and snug.
Presents are nice, and cookies, too
But more important, is being with you.

~ sappiness brought to you by Cat, herself.