Making memories: the ‘C’ word

The ‘festive’ C word, that is. I’m not sure I can bring myself to say it yet. C… Chr… Christmas. Aargh!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-Christmas. I love this time of year. I love the darker nights, the frosty freshness of the morning air on the school run. I love seeing the people who clearly don’t have 6 cats putting up their Christmas trees up as soon as Halloween is done, and the scrooges who take to social media to lambast them for ruining the spirit (the irony of arguing over it which is far more spirit-crushing IMO apparently lost on them). I love the planning and the Christmas socials, especially the ones that end in someone getting terribly drunk and stripping off for Santa (usually me).

I love it, but I am not ready. I have bought one single present, which needs a very important “other part” which I can’t find enough detail on to purchase. I haven’t even thought about what the kids want this year, let alone what I can actually afford to buy them. My social calendar is packed with at least two events a week between now and New Year which is drastically reducing planning time, and I’m just not ready. However, despite this total lack of preparedness, this year feels different somehow…

I don’t know if it’s because it’ll be the first Christmas the kids are at home since Gaz and I got married, or because I’ve finally reached that stage of general comfort and ‘at ease’ with my life that has been lost for so long, but I decided early on that this year I was going to do a many of the things that I’ve always wanted to do as possible. When I feel like I’ve hit “peak Christmas” I want to immortalise the whole lot in pictures on canvas, to join our baby and wedding canvas prints, which eventually might become one of those trendy photo walls that you see all over pinterest. Truprint even have 8×8″ sizes available, which they reckon is great for showing off Instagram photos, which appeals to my lazy side & would fill in the big gaps on our wall:

So, I bought a real Christmas tree. It was actually a spur of the moment purchase on the way to Glasgow last weekend:

But I’ve always wanted a real Christmas tree and although this isn’t the grand 7ft beautifully decorated tree of my dreams, it will hopefully serve us well this Christmas and can then be put outside in its pot until next year. I feel like I’m being somewhat optimistic given the aforementioned six cats (and the fact that it’s already shedding needles in our probably-too-warm living room) but it’ll be fun to see what happens.

While that is settling I’ve been looking at sourcing terribly kitschy Christmas decorations that I remember from my childhood, including these beauties:

Partly just for the fun of nostalgia, and partly because I’ve invited friends around for 70s themed Christmas drinks and if I can decorate for both in one go it’ll be perfect: another lazy box ticked. I actually put some paper decorations up for Izzy’s birthday recently, which is turns out is also a big 70s thing, so I reckon if we can find some more they can even stay up too.

I want a big Christmas feast, which is unlikely to pose a problem as I always overcook anyway. My sister and her partner are coming round to help us eat through a week’s worth of food in one day, and I will (as usual) extend the offer of Christmas dinner to any locals on their own this year.

Oh, there are so many things I want to do. I want to start traditions this year; stuff that we can do every year because we want to, things that the kids will look back on in 10 years time and remember as being a part of Christmas. Things that they’ll want to do with their kids. I want to make memories, and I want the kids to feel a part of something. I want them to feel that even though our Christmas might not be 100% conventional — split between two homes, with multiple factions of family to share their time with — that it was always about love, and laughter. I want them to be able to look back at the pictures of these times and feel like it was the best days of their lives.

No pressure.

Chaos

As you may have figured out from my sporadic blogging of late, I’ve been a wee bit busy. Cramming in ALL THE WORK before Christmas so that I can have a proper holiday; trying to get kids in the right place at the right time for nativities and dinners and parties and this, that and the other; car disasters (mid section of the exhaust fell off, brakes and tyres buggered); home disasters (dishwasher keeps flooding the kitchen, oven is still fucked from last Christmas, tumble dryer jams the timer… nothing like a fire risk to keep you on your toes) and all the bits in between.

I’m only blogging now because technology has chosen THIS MOMENT, where I have literally got more things to do than minutes to do it in, to have a dick fit and completely fail to work. My internet connection is sporadically dropping to the speed of dial-up and my once trusty & reliable laptop seems to have decided it’s had enough and is mysteriously ramping up RAM usage and dying on me every 4-6 hours. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m TERRIBLE at making back-ups I’d have taken a bloody hammer to it by now.

I have done very little in terms of Christmas prep, given the bare minimum of thought to my kid’s presents (basically throwing any old crap into my Amazon basket and hoping for the best) and even then not bothering to unpack it when it arrives: my hallway looks like Santa’s bloody grotto and I daren’t open any of it because if I do that I have to find somewhere to hide what’s inside. The only problem with this method of storage is that I have genuine non-Christmas deliveries somewhere (pet food amongst others) which is kinda necessary for my animals but could be in ANY of the boxes… and knowing my luck, the last one I investigate.

Oh well, it’s nearly Christmas. Ho ho ho. Now where did I put those mince pies…

Ho ho ho! Merry Crimbo

Merry Christmas to all those who’ve stuck with me this year ;) Looking forward to another year of neglecting my blog posting frequently :D All the best for 2014!

Christmas Presents for Men

Am I the only one who struggles to buy Christmas presents for men?

It’s that time of year again (and right up there with birthdays and anniversaries); normally I spend weeks trying to think of the perfect present and still end up buying books, socks and/or smellies. I struggle to think of anything more imaginative.

Karl and I have been together 9 years… by this point I think I’ve given him pretty much everything he needs anyway. Then there’s my brothers, who just grunt at anything I buy (hard to tell from “yeh. great. wow, socks.” whether or not they like what you’ve got them.)

I’m thinking lump of coal in stocking at this stage…

Merry Christmas, Interwebs!

I just wanted to quickly post to wish you all a merry christmas 2009, may it be full of fun, frivolity and fat stuffed turkey. Unless you’re a vegetarian of course. I hope Santa brings you all what you asked for. On that note, I’ll end with…

Twas the blog post before christmas,
And throughout the blogosphere.
Traffic was down on websites,
As Christmas time was near.

Read the full christmas poem, by Rhys

Ho ho ho, and all that!

I am sure if most of you took a guess at what I’d been doing for the past 5 days since I last blogged you’d probably say something like “spending Christmas with your family!” Of course, it’d be a huge lie; I’ve actually been playing Animal Crossing non-stop for about a week.

After doing the brief family thing on Christmas Day/Boxing Day eve, Karl and I returned home to play with the goodies Santa brought, and relax away from noise and children (much the same thing, honestly). Talking of which — goodies that is, not children — I am now the owner of a Fujifilm FinePix S5600 which (compared to the previous camera) is an absolute beast. (Thank you Mummies!) I’ve not had chance to really play with it yet, but rest assured I’ll be filling up my web space with gratuitous shots of boring crap shortly.

Amongst other gifts, I received a gorgeous smelling leather camera bag and 1Gb xD-Picture card from Karl (lots of “cuddles” for him :9 ) and plenty of chocs from my brother (Kristofer) and sister.

Material obsessions possessions aside, I think one of the best moments this Christmas was watching my niece open the Tickle Me Elmo X. For those who’ve not had the opportunity to see it (the Elmo), I direct you to YouTube. She immediately starting copying it — lying on the floor kicking her legs and patting her belly. It was hilarious, and if I didn’t have a hatred for children being exploited for cheap web hits you KNOW I’d upload the video.

Right. My potatoes are boiling over, so I must dash.. safe to say I’ve had a jolly Christmas so far, only marred by the lack of my father. Heyho, maybe next year!

Feeling of Relief

I am feeling just a little bit relaxed this evening. Work has finished and I don’t have to worry about it again until January 2nd. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my job, but these past couple of weeks have been very busy. It’s not going to change — I have a major project to complete in the first month or two of the new year, and new jobs coming in constantly!

Still got Christmas shopping to do, a mass of e-mails to read properly and reply to and sod knows what else. I haven’t even linked to the participants of the q*bee blog day either, which I really need to do. I’ve noticed a lot of familiar faces applying btw — it’ll be great to see you in the club and I hope you find it as cute as I do.

I’ve tried to get round and leave individual Christmas greetings for lots of people today. If I haven’t got to you yet, please don’t be offended because it’s not personal. Likewise, if I end up not getting to you — it’s not because I don’t want to, but rather because I’m bound to miss someone.

Right. It’s late, and I’ve not even eaten yet. I should probably go and do that, then rest my weary head. Happy Holidays!

Christmas is Coming!

I saw mince pies and Christmas cake in Tesco (supermarket) today. I don’t know whether to be giddy with excitement that Christmas isn’t far off or cynical about Christmas stock appearing on the shelves already. That said, at least I’ve not seen any snowmen Christmas decorations yet…

Edit (20:46): Programs that try and sound good by talking about computers really piss me off. I’m just watching NCIS on TV and the supposedly super geeky DNA chick starts searching for a match on a finger print. All of a sudden windows start popping up and there’s supposed “code” flowing down the screen Matrix style. Her and her weedy colleague start hitting random keys on the keyboard in an effort to stop the hacker (yah, that always works) while saying stuff like “omg I’m being hacked! I’ve never seen code like this!” … why the hell did they not just pull the network cable out? No connection, no way for the hacker to get to the computer. Idiots.

ho ho ho!

Christmas was good. Karl and I didn’t get much sleep on Christmas Eve because of my excited fidgeting and the fact we were sleeping on one of those crappo airbed thingies on my Mum’s front room floor, and the kids (my younger brothers & sister) wouldn’t stop bickering.. but I got some great presents for which I’m incredibly grateful, and Christmas dinner was just delicious. Nothing beats my Mum’s roast potatoes, I swear.

I feel somewhat spoilt this year because Karl got my three quite ‘big’ (not size) presents — a new watch, a big book on crochet stitches and patterns and a bottle of my absolute favourite perfume (Chanel No. 5; I’ve expensive tastes). I also got a set of crochet hooks from Karl’s mum (from 0.6mm — 5.5mm) which is awesome, because I only had two before. My Mum got me a Perl book (which I asked for) and some other bits and bobs including one of those Galileo thermometer thingymajigs with the little glass blobs inside that float up or down depending on the temperature. It’s pretty and practical! Then there was my other stuff which I’m not going to mention because you’re all bored already.

The best part of Christmas was just seeing the family together this year without all of the big arguments and having to choose ‘sides’ to be on. I got to see my niece Charlotte opening presents at my Mum’s — and see her running around excited shouting “hello hello” and counting on her fingers like I’ve been teaching her. She’s one smart little kid. :) Dylan slept through most of it, heh. I think Karl would have too if he’d had chance — he looked knackered on Christmas day.

Boxing day we did the “family thing” ..going to see Karl’s Aunts/Uncles and his Nan and then going back to my Mum’s. We had a laugh, but unfortunately seemed to have developed a minor cold along the way somewhere. Oh, and I’ve got no coffee in so I’ve got to go shopping today. Heyho.. best go and make the best of the rest of 2005!

Boss’s Orders!

My Boss told me before I left work this afternoon that I had to blog about how he has educated my musical tastes over the past two days because he’s been playing some old Christmas music. I actually want to blog about how much I’d love to shove the CDs somewhere not-so-CD-shaped because now I can’t stop humming Oh Come All Ye Faithful and Jingle Bells. However, as I know there’s a very good chance that he’s reading this I’m just going to pretend that his obviously superior taste in music has brightened up my Christmas.

So, thanks Boss. Merry Christmas to you too!

Remember The Snowman?

Remember when I saw a flashing Snowman in August? Well, I went in to Shrewsbury again with Karl at the weekend and couldn’t see it at all. I think they’ve got their a bit seasons mixed up. Oh, did I mention that my next-door neighbours put their tree up in the middle of November? That’s not normal. Well, unless you’re American, I guess.

My toncils are swollen up.. and I think I’ve a cold coming on. Just what I needed.

Merry Christmas!

I know I’ve already done this once, and individually for many, but I wanted to re-post a ‘Merry Festive Season’ notice for all. Whatever you celebrate (if you celebrate), have a good one. Remember to have fun, drink responsibly, don’t feed your pets ‘off’ turkey. ;)