Last year, I wrote my Tis The Season blogs about 3 weeks earlier in the year. Now here we are less than two weeks away from Christmas, and I haven't even told you all how I'm totally in the Christmas spirit already this year. Yes, 2008 has been the year of suck, but it's drawing to a close now, and I feel like Christmas '08 will be what makes it go out with a bang. A bang of awesomeness and rocking, I hope. After all, Tis The Season!
Let me explain for anybody who wasn't around last year. "Tis The Season" became my catch phrase for about a month and a half before Christmas last year. It really works in many ways as an all-encompassing, witty, and brilliant response to most questions, statements, and situations that may arise around the holidays. Examples:
Cashier at Target: I see you're buying some Christmas gifts!
You/Me/Person Responding: Well, Tis The Season!
Boss at Work: Oh, you're a few minutes late...
You/Me/Somebody Awesome: Well, Tis The Season! What can you do?
Bartender: Drinking alone again, eh?
You/Me/Geniuses: Tis The Season, Jackass! (this should be said whilst sloshing your martini glass about, sloppily)
And such and such. "Tis The Season" can really be used at any times. My favorite times are, as mentioned, whilst in the company of a martini or other alcoholic beverage. See what you can do...it's a great catch phrase.
So besides celebrating the Reason for the Season by bringing back my awesome catch phrase, here are some other things I've been enjoying...
*The phrase "Don we now our gay apparel" makes me laugh every time I hear it or think about it. And it makes me think of fancy Christmas sweaters and other totally gay apparel.
*While teaching all the holiday songs at work, I get to have the following songs in my head:
Deck the Halls with Gasoline
Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Joy to the World, the Teacher's Dead
We Three Kings of Orient Are - tried to smoke a rubber cigar - it was loaded, it exploded - Then I don't know the rest of the words! Can anybody help me with this??
*I may just change my myspace profile to have a Christmas theme...you won't know until you check it out! Last year it was "A Nicholas Cage Christmas." How can I even top that asshole? (Okay, I just tried to change it, but it wasn't working. Don't check right this second. Give me a few days. It will rock, I promise)
*Going to see the lights at Olin Park. I've been four times already. Five, if you count the fact that when I went through with my friend Laura and her son Miles, we got to go through twice. Yeah! I will most likely go about ten more times before they take them down. Never alone...I always need company. Hint hint...
*Awesome and hilarious and thoughtful gifts from The Kids. So far I've received over $40 worth of gift certificates for coffee (all local, no Starbucks! Yay for Madison kids!), a school picture of the naughty seven year old, a snowman tin filled with chocolate covered pretzels, a thing of trail mix, and a gift card from Panera that also came with a tub of blueberry "body butter." The kid who gave it to me presented it in this way:
Um, Miss Reem, um, I picked out the smell of that stuff for you because I thought maybe you could go to Panera and get a blueberry muffin, and then also the smell of that buttery stuff is also blueberry. Merry Christmas.
Brilliant. I'm anticipating more. I'll let you know what happens.
*Aaron Neville doing "Please Come Home for Christmas" on the radio. Even better than the Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire one. "Bells will be ringing...the gla-a-a-a-a-d news...oh what a christma-a-a-a-a-as...to have the blu-u-u-u-ues." Beautiful!
*And last, but the least of the least, decorating the Christmas tree at my parents' house. Last year, we left it to the last minute and ended up decorating it on Christmas Eve. This year, however, we were organized and proactive. Totally Christmassy. We put up the tree after Thanksgiving and decorated it as a family. My mother and I always have an argument about certain ornaments that are hidden away in the large storage boxes. There's easily over two hundred ornaments in there, some from before my older sister was born. There are these tiny little felt animals in crazy colors that are from my parents' first Christmas together in 1974. Mom argues that we don't need to put up all the old ones, and also that we don't need to put up every single ornament. I argue the opposite: of course we need to put up every single ornament in the house, and of course we're putting up the 34 year old ornaments. They're part of the family!
One year, BFF Sarah was visiting and helped us decorate the tree. When I told her about these old animal ornaments, she got all sentimental and hung them all in a giant clump, right at the top of the tree in the very front. I think her mindset was that "they deserved a little recognition" or something like that. I wholeheartedly agree. And this year was no different - the 34 year old ornaments are up in the tree!
About a third of the ornaments on the tree were made by my fantastically artistic sister (I'll take more pictures when I go visit for the holidays and post them later). Some are more recent - the silver spiders, which symbolize the story of the family that was too poor to afford an ornaments, so the spiders crawled all over the tree and became ornaments themselves. The icicles she made with the old people she volunteered with in a retirement center, the tiny silver snowflakes...they're all beautiful. Then there are the older ones, which are just kind of random. Like the Christmas Penguin, or the sled with the word "MOM" written on it in puffy paint, or the ball with sticks stuck in it, or the bear playing the drums, covered in sequins...
Or the lovely round thing that's silver and blue and pink...
I love each of these ornaments, and as long as I'm around, every one will go up on the christmas tree every year.
There is one ornament that stands out to me this year, and it's mostly because of the story with which it is associated. There's a little hanging Cinderella mouse named Jaq that Sara remembers getting in a McDonald's Happy Meal the first year we lived in that house, which was 1984, I think. She remembers it well because, at the time, there were limited edition special holiday dipping sauces that came with the chicken nuggets. She remembers something to the extent of Apple Cinnamon and Cranberry Spice. I've been searching forever to find out anything about this, but to no avail. I did find this interesting page on Wikipedia about McDonalds in other countries. Crazy foreigners...
Now, speaking of crazy foreigners, I'll leave you with more pictures of the beautiful tree and my classy parents:
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