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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ready or not..

Christmas will be here in no time flat. Only 18 days left. This month will fly by, as it always does, and as usual at this point in the year, I've done very little to prepare.

I guess it would be different if we had a bigger (or closer) family, if there were any kids involved, or if we were religious. Since it's just me, Gregg, and our houseful of pets the celebration is usually pretty limited. Buying and putting up a Christmas tree seems kind of pointless, since no one will see it but us. I had looked forward to my friend Marla's baby this Christmas. Little Alice would have been nearly a year old by now had she lived and I had made plans last year to put up a tree and lots of lights just for her. It's strange to miss someone that you never got a chance to know. How I would have spoiled that little girl! And of our nieces and nephews, the youngest just turned 21 years old and is away at college. I doubt we see her at all this holiday season, or her brother and cousins. Too much decorating just seems like a big drain of time and resources under the circumstances.

I did go through the closet where we store holiday stuff and pull out a few things that were easily set up (and will be easily taken down) yesterday. Here's one of them: a lighted wreath for our dining room table:

I also strung a big string of colored lights above the dogs' bed in the garage for fun. We always use the garage as our main entrance so it's cheerful to see the lights once it gets dark. Ginger, George, and Marco all have stockings that we will hang up by the fireplace on Christmas Eve . (Their daddy always brings home tons of treats and toys from the pet store to fill them with). Gregg and I usually try to buy one big mutual gift together at Christmas to save the extra stress of shopping for each other--this year we're planning to buy a new, nicer tv. We always do small gifts for friends and coworkers, something inexpensive and preferably consumable like wine or cookies or a candle. One good morning out, and I can get all of our shopping done relatively easily. And I just picked out our Christmas cards and started preparing them to send. That's one holiday tradition I enjoy and wish more people took part in. I love holiday cards!

How are you all preparing for the big day?

16 comments:

  1. I put up the tree and a few other decorations although it's just for me. The lights cheer me up. I've mailed some gifts and cards but haven't finished addressing cards. I also have one more gift to send. A migraine stopped me short. I took my meds and already feel better.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Oh, migraines are awful. I hope you're feeling better.

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  2. I love the Christmas tree the best, so ours will be boughtthis weekend. It is usually small and I just put in in a bucket into a nicer pot. My homemade gifts are lagging but I have bought a few for friends. So is stringing light on the outside of the house. The clear ones stay on all year but the color ones get taken down.
    Daughter and friend will come on New Years and stay for my birthday.
    I have gotten the cards back from the printers but trying to get the international ones out tomorrow.
    Since you like cards and so do I (I have worked for almost every card company ) send me your address and I will send you a card.
    My decorations are favorite cards from years ago and my snowglobes.

    Hey Janie I have a migraine right now too ! feeling very iccky and nauseous.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. What's with this epidemic of migraines?! I hope you're better, too. I'm glad we're exchanging cards!! I wish I could do so with more blog friends around the world. I adore Christmas cards.

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  3. I can remember Paul and the girls always coming home with the biggest Christmas tree they could find and trying to squeeze it into the house. I used to let them decorate it in their own haphazard and enthusiastic way. They would sing to it each night before bedtime and chocolate coins would magically appear overnight. Sorry, I'm getting nostalgic.

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    1. I love hearing about other peoples' holiday traditions! Singing to the Christmas tree sounds nice. :)

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  4. I just sent a Christmas parcel to my brother Robin and his mistress who live in France near the Spanish border and another parcel to my late brother Paul's family in Ireland. The cost of postage hurts these days but I still do it. Last night I ordered four books from Amazon - all carefully picked for my wife, my son, my daughter and her boyfriend. Yes - Christmas is coming.

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    1. Books make great gifts! I wish people would still buy me books or else gift cards for books, but since I started working in a bookstore no one does anymore. It's a shame...I love to read!

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  5. I shall chop down, and bring indoors, our tree on the 19th Dec. It will be decorated with all sorts of bits and pieces that we've had for years, and will be removed again on Jan 6th. Very traditional, even though it's only the two of us who will see it. We also dress our huge fireplace with Holly and Ivy.

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    1. Chopping down your own tree sounds wonderful, and I like the sound of dressing the fireplace with holly and ivy! Your life in France always seems so idyllic.

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  6. No tree in my flat, as my sister and I celebrate Christmas with our parents, and they have the tree. It is always lit with real candles, and it is a ritual for my sister and my mother to put the ornaments on together.
    My packages to the family in Yorkshire have been taken to the post office on Monday morning. They and the first batch of cards were just over 30 Euros in postage. That's not cheap, but they are worth every cent I spend for them.
    Presents for O.K., my parents and my sister have all arrived in November and earlier this month and are just waiting to be wrapped.
    At our small company (just RJ, Ralf and myself), we wrote 11 cards between us for our best customers.
    No presents, but we share home-made Christmas cookies, chocolates and fresh fruit at the office.
    Another batch of cards I wrote last night at my kitchen table, while the carrot-and-spuds-soup was bubbling on the stove.

    I meant to ask already weeks ago after baby Alice's parents, how are they?

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    1. Real candles on a Christmas tree must be absolutely lovely. How nice that you have your mother and sister to decorate the tree with. It sounds like you're very prepared with your gift purchases!

      Alice's parents are doing fine, although I know this Christmas will be tough for them.

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  7. Today 8th is a public holiday in Italy and it is the day I decorate for Christmas. Every year, a big red poinsettia gets put out at the entrance and a wreath on the door. No Christmas tree anymore. A few Christmassy things on the mantlepiece, and that's it. I make Christmas cards and send to three dear old ladies and a very special card to send (even if she lives not far from me) to my disabled niece.
    Verona celebrates Santa Lucia on the 13th December - gifts are brought by a blind lady on this day and, only to children. Then Christmas - gifts for adults (and children!). On Epiphany, 6th January, there is the Befana, an old witch who brings gifts or a sock filled with eating goodies. The day after all decorations come down.
    Greeting Maria x

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    1. I want to hear more about the holidays in Italy! I've heard of Santa Lucia celebrations before, don't young girls wear a crown of candles on that day? And of course I knew that Epiphany is the day that many people receive gifts, but I'd never heard of Befana!

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  8. Jennifer, your Christmas sounds so much like ours. We have absolutely no family at all - no brothers or sisters, no children, no parents, and all our cousins live a long way away and have their own families. Just us and our two dogs, so we don't make a great deal of fuss ! Like you we don't bother with a decorated tree (just a modern tree shape made up of lights) and our decorations, such as they are, are easily set up and taken down. I love your lighted wreath for the table - it looks beautiful.
    Our dogs will not be as lucky as yours, as one is plagued by allergies and is forbidden any treats at all, so the other little girl just has the occasional sneaky treat, when no-one's looking !
    Here, in Spain, 6th of January is Three Kings, (the equivalent of Befana, I should imagine) and used to be the day when all the good children received their gifts. Nowadays they also expect gifts on the 25th too !

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  9. Reading your blog and some others today, I'm getting inspired to finally take out some Christmas decorations.

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