mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (retro-style holiday lights)
I'll get around to doing the last Music Advent post sometime this week, but one of the videos was "Careless Whisper" and that just makes me sad all over again about all these people dying this week. Then I looked at the phone earlier and there was a breaking news e-mail about Debbie Reynolds being rushed to the hospital, and so it was like, aaand here we go again.

It occurred to me that I didn't mention much about gifts in my last post. As I've said before, Rob and I are terribly pragmatic about gifts. We usually give each other some small surprises but we pretty much pick out the larger gifts so as not to waste money on stuff we don't want. (He gave me some nail things, for the surprise, and I bought him an Ohio State shirt that I had found on Amazon.) We got a couple of nice gifts from my cousins - a pair of those large stainless steel travel mugs (my cousin actually apologized because they were Sam's Club brand and not the name brand, and I said, "Honestly, I don't care at all about that, I like them") and a very pretty wreath that I can put out on my balcony. And my aunt gave us gift cards, as she nearly always does. I gave all the females who are old enough to wear makeup little gift bags full of sample stuff - everybody really seems to like those. I also gave some Star Wars stuff, which of course also goes over well. As for me, my big gifts were my planner - I like Erin Condren's and they are not exactly cheap - and I got a Kindle Fire when they were on sale on Cyber Monday. (I had a regular Kindle - in fact I' on my 3rd one, I think, but I'd never had the Fire.) (Rob wanted - and went and picked out for himself - a weight vest. To each his own.)

We went to see the Pixar movie Moana this afternoon - I knew it was supposed to be good, and it was - and on the way home we went down this street with a lot of big houses to look at the lights. In particular this one house has a gigantic oak tree in their yard that is completely covered in blue lights. Something about it is just mesmerizing, I love it. Also it always makes me happy when people still have the lights up the week after Christmas. There's something depressing about it when all of the decorations disappear on the 26th. (I do think it's fair game to take stuff down closer to New Year's because I know a lot of people have to go back to work right after the 1st. I don't insist they stay up until Epiphany or anything.)

We are watching one episode of Stranger Things a day. I figured out that this will get us finished on Sunday, just in time for Rob to go back to work on Monday. Some of the episodes have big cliffhangers, though, and sometimes it's really tempting to just keep going. But so far we haven't. (Episode... I mean "Chapter" 4 - they don't call them episodes - is called "The Body" so I think you've gotta say that's a direct Stephen King callout there. I also still think it's very reminiscent at times of early Spielberg - the thing where the lights kept going off and on reminded me a lot of Close Encounters - with a big heaping dose of X-Files and maybe even Twin Peaks. All of those are good things as far as I'm concerned.)
mellicious: blinky lights (holiday lights gif)
I forgot to say that this came from a Holidailies participant named Pearl (who I don't think is anybody I was acquainted with previously, unless she's disguised herself well). I always feel like I have to do at least one of those during Holidailies. So here you are. I'm sure I've answered most of these questions before, but the answers tend to change from year to year, anyway.

1. Do you know what you want for Christmas already?
Hmm, yes and no. I know what I'm getting, for the most part, and I'm happy with that. I couldn't think of much that I really wanted. I think it's maybe part of getting older, that THINGS don't matter so much to you? I dunno.
2. Have you done any Christmas shopping yet?
Yeah, I'm done, basically. I started buying stuff early. (Lots of Star Wars merchandise passing through this house; I figured that was a proven winner, especially this year.)
3. Do you like Christmas?
I'm somewhat iffy about it these days because it feels now like it belongs to a religion that's not mine. But I was brought up celebrating it so I still have a tie to it. And I adored it for most of my life.
4. At whose house will you celebrate this year?
Probably my aunt's, although it's still up in the air. (I told this tale a week or so ago, so scroll backwards in my journal if you really want to know!)
5. Is there someone in your family you are not looking forward to seeing this Christmas? If so who, and why?
Eh. I have so little family left that I treasure them all, even the ones I didn't always care much for!
6. Do you decorate the tree early, or late?
We don't have anything up yet except a wreath on the balcony, so I guess we're on the late side.
7. Do you use tinsel?
I'm kind of nutty about tinsel. I don't use the old tinsel icicles, though, if that's what this is referring to - can you even buy that any more? (I'm probably dating myself by even asking.) Tinsel garland feels kind of old-school tacky now, too (it's the fat kind I'm thinking of, if you know what I mean), and I don't really use that any more, either, if I ever did. But I have a whole tinsel tree, now, actually. We quit putting up a green tree (fake or real) because it was too much trouble.
8. Do you own any antique Christmas bulbs?
Real ones? No. I'm fascinated with them, though; I have jewelry in that shape, and Christmas cards decorated with them, and stuff. (If I remember I'll put my icon up for this!)
9. Do you put a star or an angel on the top of your Christmas tree?
I've had both at various times. As I said, I don't really do the kind of tree that you have to decorate these days, so it's not an issue any more.
10. Do you hang stockings?
We have them (with our names embroidered on them and everything) but we live in an apartment so we don't have a mantel or anything to hang them on.
11. Do you drink eggnog?
Ugh, no.
12. Have you eaten a candy cane this year yet?
Actually yes, because one came in a box in the mail (with some nail polish, I think it was) and I ate it. I'm not that much of a fan of candy canes that I go out and buy them especially to eat, though.

2015holibadge-blue.gif
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Xmas - purple star)
I saw the prompt from a few days ago about Christmas crafts, and it got me to thinking. The thing is, my mother was an elementary school teacher, and we grew up doing LOTS of crafts. It was how she kept us entertained, quite often. I'll have to go see what I can find as far as pictures. I know I used to have some of that old stuff still around. And well, I've looked, now, and I can't find pictures of anything that was one of my mother's projects, so far. I know that one thing - probably the oldest I remember - was pasta glued onto cardboard and spray-painted gold. And those were hanging around for a surprising number of years. And I think maybe there were some salt-dough ornaments, and I know there were some felt birds that were mostly Mama's doing, because they date from before we were old enough to have been much help, there. I'm pretty sure I still have at least one of those birds around somewhere.

I don't put this in the "Mom craft" category because I'm pretty sure that these came from Sunday school (where they likewise had a huge arsenal of crafts to keep everyone occupied). I'm not sure if I made this one or my sister did, but I found it in with my mom's Christmas stuff after she died:
toilet paper clown
Not the nutcracker, the clown. Recycling (I won't try to call it upcycling) toilet paper rolls is not a purely recent idea.

Read more... )

holi13badge-snowflake
holidailies.org
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (fall leaves orange)
I'm still stewing about holiday decorations, to a remarkable degree - especially when it's still not even Thanksgiving. I bought another string of solar lights at Sam's today, quite expensive ones, because the ones that I got before hadn't ever been working, even though I"ve had them out on the balcony soaking up daylight all week. Then I went out on the balcony after dark tonight and figured out why they weren't working. The little solar panels have a sensor on them so they know when it's light and when it's dark, and the lights only come on after dark. Only there's a big floodlight right outside our balcony - it's around the corner where it doesn't shine in our window much, which is why I hadn't paid much attention to it - and it was shining right on the solar panels. The minute I moved the solar panels where that light wasn't blazing right onto them, the lights came on. So now I have to decide whether to take the Sam's ones back. The Sam's ones are big sort of old-fashioned looking (LED) lights, where the other ones (which came from Target) are little tiny things. And the big ones are pretty cute, so now I'm waffling about this again. I may experiment around with them next week and see which I like best in the field, as it were.

Let's see, what else? I also bought I am Legend at Sam's - it was under $10 and Rob liked it pretty well, so I figured that'd make a pretty good gift. Oh, and I bought  a Christmas cactus. They had really pretty ones and I have a weakness for plants, anyway. I did bring two plants home from work that belonged to me - in a way I was being petty, I was like, they can decorate the outer office for themselves, dammit. But I figure a bit of pettiness is allowed. And I like those plants, although whether they'll survive the winter on the balcony is rather iffy. I am spoiled by Galveston weather and never bring my plants in. (And the weather 20 miles inland is different enough that it may make a difference - the few degrees between a hard freeze and no hard freeze, at least.)

I am feeling much better today, and I did do a few useful things, in between the trip to Sam's and watching Shakespeare in Love (which I bought on iTunes for, I think, $4.99, if that interests anybody) and playing WoW. I tried to make a doctor's appointment, even, although whoever was watching the phones at the clinics today couldn't make appointments, which makes me worry that all the real employees were off somewhere finding out who was getting laid off. Still one more day of layoffs to go, too, on Monday. They sure are ruining a lot of people's Thanksgivings.

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