It’s been a full year, eh? If you still have a burning need to keep watching Christmas programs and you have Prime, I suggest two of the shows I watched today.
- Tudor Monastery Farm at Christmas – I love documentaries, especially those explaining what normal life was like for our ancestors. Or other people’s ancestors. The part of the show that makes this a more atypical holiday show is the amount of time spent covering butchering a pig and cleaning and pickling the head.
- Winter Wonderland Train Ride – The “story” is that your train has to deliver ham, wine, bread and toys to some location, maybe on a mountain? In a snowy place. This is a 4 hour video (!) of the view from the point of view of the engineer. Nondescript Christmas carols play along for the full, nearly-endless 4 hours of endless video following track wending through the snow-covered countryside.
I could lie and say we watched all four hours of the train video, but fast-forwarding was our friend, and the 15-20 we did watch was just enough. Also, we’re entirely unsure why they needed the ham/wine/bread/toys backstory as not once did you ever “drop it off”. We did pick up passengers with suitcases. Unsure if the suitcases contained hams.
After the ice storm Saturday I was very aggressive about cleaning off my car. Very aggressive. Sunday, after all the stores had closed, Tom and Michael found a piece of the plastic part of the wiper blade frozen to the hood of my car. The holiday meant I couldn’t replace it and would have to bag out on my only plans for Christmas Day. Boo.
Yesterday I finally was able to get it replaced by the girl working at Auto Zone after I announced to her “I would like whatever is your very best wiper blade” like some kind of blade-needing royalty. (She put it on my car so fast wrote her into my will.)
It was so nice to leave the house! Buy floor cleaner! Have a guy explain how I can install my own replacement floor on top of my current one, which seems like more work than just using floor cleaner!
There are a few things in life that are worth paying any price to have, and both are for wiping: soft 2-ply toilet paper, and wiper blades that can handle New England winter road muck. Splurge and wipe well.
The thing I, and many others, forget year after year is how rarely Christmas lives up to our expectations or memories. As adults we subconsciously expect Christmas to somehow be as wondrous as it was when we were young children, but that’s pretty unreasonable.
As adults, many work tirelessly to try to hit some picture perfect Christmas experience we think we’re supposed to give our families. Until we scale back our expectations, plans changing, illnesses, or other forces kicking in and controlling the holiday can be devastating.
If the Hallmark channel made realistic Christmas movies, they would mostly be people spending December 25th eating brownies over the sink, avoiding specific family members, or napping. Our best holiday moments may actually happen with friends and family in the weeks leading up to the 25th. THOSE are the holiday moments to treasure. December 25th is just the day you can finally relax because you made it through the season for another year and the pressure is off.
Take pleasure in being off work, watching anything you want, and eating things you might normally avoid. Leave the Christmas lights up until YOU don’t need or want them any more. My tree may come down, but I have candles and twinkle lights in my living room that I’ll light for a few more weeks, because *I* want that.
If you are having a bad or mediocre Christmas: you aren’t alone. And if you had a great one, that’s worth treasuring. Maybe use this as a reminder that any year could be the one where you wonder where things went wrong. If you do some advance planning to account for the expected or unexpected, you can spend December 25th spoiling yourself. And that can make all the difference to surviving the season.
Hugs to one and all. I raise my glass of eggnog to each of you. Excuse me while I finish this brownie.
I know it’s after Christmas, but you know you very much want to hear the story of how a photo of me posing with a shark and an Ewok was my official Christmas Card this year. You have your cold beverage ready? Okay.
So a million years ago or two or so years ago (one of those) my sister and her family went to Disney during the flower and garden festival. They posed in front of a Miss Piggy topiary that a person that may or may not be my boyfriend confused for an Ewok.
So I used an iPhone app I owned (KnockOut) to “fix” it after my sister said “I was looking to see if there was an Ewok in the photo with us and Miss Piggy. This combination would have been fabulous and makes me laugh just thinking about it.” So of course I had to add one to that photo.
I added him to a lot of additional photos from their vacation. They started leaving space for me in the photos, so I added myself (and others) because they didn’t take me with them.
Apparently one of my sister’s co-workers (Cathy) was very amused by me adding myself to their vacation photos (something I continued to do on subsequent vacations). In fact, she started asking where I was when my sister or her husband posted new ones. Here I am on a rope swing in Hawaii, I believe.
This December, Cathy, a person you will remember I have never met, posted a photo on FB showing the first three people who had sent her a Christmas card. Because my sister was tagged in the photo, I saw it. Now is it my fault she left a giant hole right in the middle, inviting someone like me to fill it? So I ran to the Knockout app, found a background of something Christmassy, added myself and and ewok, then added it all to her photo.
My sister’s neighbor Beth saw it and demanded “I HAD BETTER GET ONE OF THOSE!” so I had to print them out and stick them in cards for people, my first Christmas cards in years. And that’s the real story of the Happy Holiday Shark. And Ewok.
I recently added a cello to my Amazon wish list, because I think it’s good to learn you suck at as many things as humanly possible. Starting to feel cocky about yourself? Here, let’s see how you do with this set of oil paints, Vermeer. (See also: the tap shoes I bought myself.)
This is the cello.
Seriously, how COOL is that? I could hang it up as art when I invariably realize I’m not a cellist!
That wishlist is more just a way to bookmark stuff I might buy myself later than a list I think people will actually use. I have zero expectation that my fan club members will pool the change in their car consoles to get me a home electrolysis system. I mean, unless my unsightly knee beard is really bothering them. Which, really, will be an interesting conversation that we must have as soon as I can find the time to spend with someone PRETENDING to be a fan.