Archives: Christmas

The Christmas Spirit

Child with Christmas Present

Right about now is when – as a kid – I would get uncontrollably excited for Christmas Day.  So my guess is that right about now is when parents hit THE WALL.  You’ve been standing in cash register lines for what feels like centuries.  You’ve spent more money than you earned in all of your 20′s on toys that will give you migraines through all of your 40′s.  You will have to sell your ’03 Corolla just to afford enough batteries to power their endless whirring and beeping.

So to you, I just want to say – everything you’re doing matters, no matter how big or small.  So give yourself a moment to breathe.  Your children might not realize it now, but they will know how much you loved them when they think back on these years.  That is bigger than any gift you can give.  And it isn’t the big piles of presents under the Christmas tree that they will remember.  It’s how much you must have loved them to have gone to Wal-Mart at all ever.

*Photo Source: Nina Leen*


The New Yule Log

At first I wasn’t sure if this cat was real – she’s got the big round eyes of a ventriloquist’s doll.  But she is real – due to various genetic anomalies, Lil Bub is a “perma-kitten” – she will stay kitten-sized for life.  And that tongue!!!  (I will find her and make her mine.)  Enjoy an hour of her yule log debut replete with purring, slurping, and snoring – you’ll never watch the Channel 11 yule log again.


Stocking Stuffers

Santa Clothesline

I was just laughing to myself (I’m a one-woman show over here) about some of the funny traditions we had around Chanukah and Christmas in my house growing up.  I know that they say “when you stop believing in Santa, you start getting underwear in your stocking.”  But I believed in Santa until the ripe old age of 11 (this is consistent with a lifelong trend of believing in dead-end relationships), and I got underwear the whole time.

On the second night of Chanukah, my mom always gave us socks.  My mom had a depression-era sensibility (despite having been born in 1948), but I still have some of the socks I got in college, so she really has saved me a lot on sock money.

Also we always got Reese’s peanut butter trees in our stockings.  To this day, my sister and I would trample a class of kindergarten children to get to the last Reese’s Christmas trees on the shelf at Target.  We take no prisoners.

I would love to know – what are some of the funnier gift traditions in your family?

*Photo Source: Unknown*


Christmas Caroling

I know it’s only Tuesday, but I’m a gambling woman (not really), and I’m willing to bet the house (I don’t own one) that I’m not going to find anything funnier than this video this week.

So, ladies and gents, I give you this week’s Ha-Ha Moment of the Week.

Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler go Christmas caroling around NYC.  Amy is at turns sweet, then aggressive, then sweet again.  And Billy is outrageous as usual.

Does anyone in NYC actually go Christmas caroling?  If so, can I come???  I’m usually the one moving her mouth but not making any sounds.


12 Cookies of Christmas

photo 4

Happy Monday, everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I did 20 hours of baking and discovered one very important thing about myself: I do not like rolling dough.  I fear this rules out several possible career paths for me, but I will learn to live with that.  For now, I need to put a hot compress on my neck and my feet in a salt bath.

BUT I did it!  I baked 12 different cookies (a la 12 Days of Christmas) to share with my favorite peeps just like my mom used to, and it felt really good.  I don’t, however, recommend trying to bake them ALL in 2 days unless you have replacement body parts on-hand.

Photos from my kitchen and recipes – AFTER THE JUMP!


Santa(con) is Coming To Town


One of my favorite days of the year is coming up this weekend …MORE AFTER THE JUMP!


The Big White Elephant in the Room

Donut Seeds

If, like me, you’ve got a White Elephant party coming up at work and are feeling intimidated by the spending ceiling (for ours, it’s $20), check out these two gift ideas lists (this one is marginally classier than this one, which is mostly funny).  Help me decide – which are your faves?!

Don’t know the White Elephant rules?  Here you go!

Let the stealing begin!


Secret Santas

I don’t even care if this is a plug for the evil airline empire!  It’s also a plug for kindness and generosity (everything is better in Canada).  I dare you to watch without sniffling as Canadian airline, WestJet, plays Santa to an entire flight of unsuspecting passengers in what is, by far, the most moving holiday video I’ve seen this year.

See more about this awesome Christmas miracle (including a Santa blooper reel – who doesn’t love blooper reels?) at Mashable!

Are you planning on playing any Christmas surprises this year?  My mom used to like going to her local department stores and anonymously paying for people’s layaway purchases on Christmas Eve.  She figured that if they hadn’t picked them up by Christmas Eve, they’d probably decided they couldn’t afford them and would be extra surprised to get a call from the department store that they were paid in full by a secret Santa.  That might just be one of my favorite things she ever did.


Tacky Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Christmas Sweater

I’ve never owned a tacky Christmas sweater, despite the best efforts of a provincial childhood.  So as with all things I was denied as a kid, I now want them in spades (this includes sugar cereals and late bedtimes).

This year, I’m thinking about throwing an ugly sweater holiday party for some girlfriends (where we’ll make ugly sweaters together) – I suspect I won’t get my act together on time, but here’s some fun inspiration, in case you do!

22 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas – food, decorations, and, you guessed it, DIY sweaters!

A Video to Inspire Your DIY Ugly Christmas Sweaters

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book

*Photo Source: John Keatley*


All I Want for Christmas

Christmas List

This is the best piece of journalism I’ve read all year.  Writer Drew Magary walks us through his 7 year-old’s “Insane Christmas Wish List (Annotated)“, which includes:

  1. A little thing that can turn into anything at anytime;
  2. 5 North Face jackets; and
  3. 1,000 bucks.

This is an aggressive list, but his take-down of each item one-by-one should be etched in stone and kept on Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments.

Growing up in my family, we weren’t allowed to make wish lists or say “I want X-Y-Z for Christmas.”  Of course, this just turned into me dropping hints like, “Hey, Mom.  You know what I DON’T want for Christmas?  The Barbie Motor Home.”  (Because, in fact, I wanted it so bad that even the trailer park in my hometown made me envious.)

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Also – I’m not ashamed to say that this is the best Christmas song ever written: