Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ramblings and a Christmas Meme

Today was a lazy day at home during a cold, rainy afternoon. We had planned to go to the YMCA for some open gym time, but the momentum wasn't there. We watched Wind in the Willows on DVD, layed about, and the boys played some pretend Star Wars games upstairs while I did some baking.

A few days ago I found a Lord of the Rings Monopoly game at a thrift store for $4 with all the pieces and cards intact. I felt like I struck gold! It was fun to lay it out on the table and have them find it there. After playing it through once by the rules, they brought out more toy figures and made up other games and stories with the board. My oldest was more patient than usual with my youngest while they played and while there were some tense moments, they did okay. I find that it is easier if I remain on the outskirts for support rather than playing, as they all tend to be very sensitive to my advancing at their expense in any way. The dynamic just doesn't work right now.

When the weather is cold and rainy, I sometimes get antsy for outdoor time, but it's early yet, and I find I am enjoying the slower pace of indoor time. The time for quiet and blankets. Movies, board games, baking, and the sound of three boys stomping through our house, using every inch of it. We are enjoying the lead-in time to Christmas, anticipating gifts, hiding surprises, and decorating. The boys love their advent calendars with the daily chocolates. We have paper snowflakes on the windows made by the middle boy and me.

This is a Christmas meme I found over at Frank's blog. Take it and run with it if you like.

1. Real tree or artificial? Real. I enjoy the ritual of picking out the tree at a local place with the kiddos. Many memories of my Yankee Dad fretting about how much water the tree was drinking or not, as an indication of how fresh it was and ultimately, the quality of the deal he got on the tree.

2. When do you put up the tree? Earlier and earlier it seems as the kids have gotten a bit older and its more fun to have it up.

3. When do you take down the tree? After New Year's. Our town has a bonfire of spent Christmas trees on the Epiphany (Jan.6th). I'll try to blog photos of it this year. Nice big blazing fire!!

4.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly paper, but gift bags are very alluring. Pop it in and you're done. Santa uses different wraps than I do. I did use Trader Joe's re-usable bags last year for some gifts. They are festive and red.

5. When do you start Christmas shopping?I am always looking for cool things that the kids like. I have a hard time waiting to give them things that I get in August or September. I really can't wait that long. So, I start restraining myself and saving Christmas gifts in November.

6. Who is the hardest person to buy for? My husband and my Dad.

7. Easiest person to buy for? My Mom. She likes everything, and she likes to be surprised. It's like giving a gift to a little kid. As much as she gives, she is also a wonderful receiver.

8. Angel on top of the tree, or star? A pretty tin star.

9. What is the worst Christmas gift you ever got? Anti-wrinkle cream. Yes, really.

10. What is the best gift you received as a child? When I was very little, I got a baby doll that I loved and (s)mothered. I was also very fond of a pink velour sweatsuit I got when I was seven. A little older, and I remember tickets to an ice show that was magical and special to me.

11. What is your favorite food to eat at Christmas time? Church window cookies made by my MIL.

12. What do you want for Christmas this year?(Frank's answer, which I love): I want the Constitution back! I think I might even get it, starting after January 20th. I can never have enough warm, fuzzy socks either.


Frank said...

Hey! Thanks for playing along. I love the holiday season!

I'm 60, heading for 61 in the Spring; you could send me that wrinkle cream! (grin)

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

Do you feel like your answers have changed over the years?

This year, nothing is the same as in past years. With my husband and son's birthdays in the first week of December, I usually have the trees up before or shortly after Thanksgiving. A real one and an artificial one.

This year: Nuthin.

I'm missing the predawn cup of coffee beside the twinkle lights, though.

debra said...

#2 daughter's birthday is December 21.
We generally get the tree up just before her birthday. We have a gallery along with our pottery and are usually pretty swamped. We got an artificial tree one year---gave it away the next. It's live trees for us.This year we'll plant it.
I have such fond memories of the days when my girls would make up games to go along with the ones in and out of the boxes. Thanks for the reminder :-)

Sandy Feet said...

Frank, thanks for the meme. I was resentful of the wrinkle cream, but not blinded by denial. I used it. :)

Laura, Definitely, my answers and attitudes about Christmas have changed over the years. I am calmer now, knowing it works out no matter what, really because we are together and marking the day however we do. I used to get anxious about "traditions" and such, but I realized after being sick one year, that my family being together, laughing, eating candy for breakfast...that's just fine enough. The joy is still there without the trappings.

How about put up some lights by your computer and enjoy your coffee? :)

Debra, I do appreciate the practicality of an artificial tree and there is probably one in my future, but I agree that there's nothing like the real thing. Hope your gallery is hopping!

Anonymous said...

LOL Anti-wrinkle cream...NICE.