Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All Wrapped Up!

Baby it's cold outside here in the lovely state of Michigan! Subzero wind chills, a blanket of snow, and bright blue skies makes this lady wish she had more than a fluffy cat and a greyhound to cuddle this afternoon. As I write this I could really stand to be wrapped up in a blanket, but that does not allow for very efficient typing. Here is where a Snuggie may come in most useful. Really being wrapped in a blanket is not my focus, wrapping presents is my deal today. I love a pretty wrapped gift. Ribbons & bows, lovely paper, nice corners, just the right amount of tape on the box of wonderment. However, lovely wrapping of gifts is a generation skipping talent in my family. My mother can wrap anything, and make it look wonderful. A kitchen broom could be transformed by her advanced wrapping prowess. Large or small, that glorious woman can wrap them all. I struggle to even care if I have a box for an item. I have wrapped countless shirts by rolling them in paper and tying ribbon on each end like a tootsie roll. No shirt box, means roll it up for me. My mother would never, NEVER, roll a shirt and present it as tootsie roll, EVER.

As I mentioned this a generation skipping talent, and the next generation of super-wrapper is my very own daughter. Yesterday school was closed because of snow and I put the present wrapping prodigy to work. She wrapped gifts of all sizes and shapes with ease. Every now and then she would call for more tape, a specific type of paper or ribbon, or her "special scissors". I would oblige her wishes, as to not upset the gift artist at work. I brought her snacks and beverages, so she could keep up her strength. At one point I felt I may have been taking advantage of her when I almost made her wrap one of her own presents that was in a nondescript shirt box. Something stopped me, it may have been my conscience, but more likely my belief that she would peek in the box and spoil a perfectly good Christmas surprise.

Do I miss not having the gift wrapping gene? Not really. I am blessed to born into a time where gift bags are the norm, and can easily be purchased at the card store. However, if I could enjoy wrapping like my mother and daughter seem to, it sure would make this time of year more fun. Happy wrapping my little elves!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five for Friday

Five fast and furious findings from this week...

  1. Doctors offices can leave you on hold forever and you will take it because you feel awful. Any other place you would hang up or be an real pain in the a** when the person finally picks up the line. However, you are sick and desperate, they know it and take advantage of your weakened condition. It is not right, it just is.
  2. Real, measurable snow has fallen in my neighborhood. I have a very happy six year old. The dog now spins out when she corners, just like a fast car. Unlike a fast car, she just gets up and keeps on tearing around doing her "hot laps". Then she comes in the house and promptly falls asleep.
  3. How many presents have I wrapped? Exactly zero. Which strangely enough is the same amount of cookies I have made, and outside lights I have strung. I am three ghost visits away from being Ebenezer Scrooge. I need holiday spirit in a bottle, perhaps a Shiraz will do it.
  4. I am suppose to go to a show tonight because I am married to a rock star (that sidelines as an engineer). Unfortunately, I am currently in a very claustrophobic mood, so the thought of standing in a crowd makes me have heart palpitations. However, I fully plan on rallying and going. If you see me there and I am antsy, it is not you it is me. I have my quirks and they come and go in waves.
  5. I cheated on my hairdresser yesterday. I was in need of a haircut, really just a trim of the bad ends so I went to the local beauty school and got a $10 student cut. That is one quarter of what I generally pay my regular stylist. This has all been justified by my fervent belief that since it was just a trim and not a full cut & style change, my real stylist can forgive me. She is a mother of two and I am sure that she also feels the budget tighten this time of year. I do not like to stray from my set budget, but I also to not like having split ends. Its all about choices.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wicked Wednesday

Instead of being snarky everyday of December, I am only being wicked on Wednesday. My passion of alliteration makes this a good fit. Today I am taking aim at holiday songs that drive me nuts. I say "holiday" because few, if any of the songs I despise actually have much to do with the true meaning of Christmas. However, these songs seem to permeate the air in the shopping malls, department stores, and even Home Depot and Lowes (I hoped for sanctuary at a home improvement store...alas, none to be given). If I never here the following songs again, it will be too soon.

  1. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney and Wings. The back beat, the tune, the whole thing makes my jaw tighten. The mood is never right for this song. I say this as a person that loves The Beatles, and Paul. This song just sucks.
  2. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. The little girl voice, the words, pretty much everything about this songs gives me the creeps. I get that it supposed to be daddy dressed as Santa, and that disturbs me even more. If my spouse gets in a Santa suit and even looks like he is going to kiss me, there will be trouble.
  3. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Just awful. Enough said.
  4. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. WHY??? Hippos are huge, poor tempered beasts that will charge and kill you. Also, the annoying kid singing (again).
  5. Jingle Cats and Jingle Dogs. I lump them together because both are simply wretched. I see my dog and cat actually cringe when they hear these songs. It must be the animal equivalant of the American Idol audition where the tone deaf person is belting out Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. I cringe, and cry for that person's pride. Clearly, animal cruelty. I am sure several animals were injured or killed in the making of those two songs.
  6. Holly Jolly Christmas. I do not like Burl Ives.
  7. Santa's Beard. The Beach Boys. To much repetion, to contrived, gets stuck in my head and that is never good. The Beach Boys should have stuck to surfing and car songs.

Those are the major offenders in my world. Thank you for indulging my wicked rant. May your holiday be free of songs that make you miserable. Just be thankful it is only for 4-6 weeks of each year.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Seasonal Disorder Disorder

We have all heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Attention Deficit Disorder, (ADD) and a variety of other disorders that have snappy letters to represent them. I am going to introduce you to my disorder, Seasonal Disorder Disorder (SDD). It is not listed in the DSM IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), so do not bother checking your copy. SDD is a very special affliction that only lasts about four weeks, and it typically starts the day after Thanksgiving and all symptoms disappear on December 24, strangely right after the mall closes. The symptoms of SDD may include the following...
  1. Sweating and/or severe shakes when more that three catalogs appear in the mailbox at one time.
  2. Stomach cramps when seeing a carton of egg nog.
  3. The urge to actually deck someone when the song "Deck the Halls" comes on the radio.
  4. Hives when coming within 10 feet of a Christmas sweater.
  5. Avoidance of all friends and relatives that have been done with their holiday shopping since the day after Thanksgiving.
  6. The urges to, or fantasies about stabbing inflatable lawn decorations.
Somehow, while the rest of the world boasts of how well their shopping, decorating, and party planning is going, I being a slow spin and work my way to a full whirling dervish by the week before Christmas. I have a friend that has four children and she creates a spreadsheet to keep track of the gifts for her kids. A spreadsheet is not technology that is out of my reach. I can make a spreadsheet, and I have half as many children as she. However, my SDD does not allow me to use technology to make my gift tracking easy. SDD requires me to write things on slips of paper and place the papers in a pouch in my purse. At some point during the holiday season SDD robs me sleep so I sit in the middle of the living room at 2 am sorting pieces of paper into stacks that represent the people receiving the gift. My SDD has not found a planner or any other organization tool that can tame it. The only comfort is knowing that somehow it all works out by December 24th.

As much I sincerely believe that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, and not about decorations, gifts, and the other secular things, every year I become frenzied and disorderly. I have prayed about being better. I have learned to lock myself away, or take a walk, or read a book when I get frenzied instead of taking it out on my family. If you suffer from SDD, you are not alone. Many highly competent, intelligent people suffer along with you. We may never be able to fully find the tools and stability to manage this hectic season. Alas, Christmas will come, and all will be right with the world. Lets just hope we are not too dizzy from all the whirl of activity to enjoy the important things.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Six for Saturday

This was suppose to be a "Five for Friday" post, but I got busy and Friday is quickly edging on Saturday. God willing, I have six musings, rants, or takes that are worthwhile. If not sorry, its the holidays, cut a girl some slack. So with my glass of red full, lets hit this...
  1. Confession is good for the soul, here is my confession. Cleaning for company is the only way my house gets super clean. Yes, I regularly clean bathrooms, the kitchen, vacuum, and dust, however, I shirk my "heavy cleaning" duties unless we have company coming. Then I pull out all the stops and move furniture and down to the nitty grity. Perhaps I need to entertain weekly? Maybe that can be a "possible resolution".
  2. I am giving up sugar after the New Year. January 2nd to exact. My birthday is the 1st so I am not ruining that day, getting older, and constant football is punishment enough. The reason I am quitting the sweet stuff is to try to tame my sweet tooth and to see if I can do it. Hopefully health benefits will follow that will make it worth all the suffering. However, I am not calling this a New Year's resolution, because I decided to do this back on October. I just chose a start date that would allow me to enjoy dark chocolate peppermint bark...a holiday must. Yes, I do have my priorities.
  3. Christmas shopping. UGH. I formerly liked shopping. Going to the mall and just browsing the shops was fun and even a bit relaxing. Somewhere along the way I discovered that ordering things online is far simpler. The mall makes me manic, it is just too much or everyting. I still shop, from the comfort of my own home. The only store I still truly like to visit in person is a bookstore. I can spend hours in a bookstore, especially if there is a coffee bar.
  4. The first snow fall has hit the area. Granted, it can only be called flurries, no real accumulation. Snow is a delightful thing for me. I grew up in an place that had lots of lake effect snow from Lake Michigan. Sledding, shovelling, and making snow forts are some of my favorite things. Hopefully, we will get a good dumping of snow soon. I am in a minority being an adult that loves snow, but hey, I am what I am. What do you expect from Baby New Year?
  5. Neck tattoos. Ouch and more ouch. I am pretty okay with tattoos, below the neck. Lately I have seen more and more face and neck tats. It used to be that just face piercings that gave me the willies, but now I must add face and neck tattoos. Maybe I will get a tattoo in 2011? That is not really a resolution, or even a good idea unless it is significant and below the neck.
  6. Harry Potter 7 (aka The Deathly Hallows). Rocked the house. I am a Potterhead. We caught this bit of cinematic and CGI wonderfulness over the Thanksgiving holiday. Loved the books, and now the movies are finally keeping up with the books. The first couple movies in the Potter series were lacking, but it is evolving. I am very excited to see the conclusion in July 2011. I am also sad to see the conclusion because this book series is truly magical for readers bothyoung and old.

Cheers! Have a great weekend. This was a one glass post, so I am heading off for a refill.