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Eggnog or hot chocolate? This is a tough one because I like them both, but I have to say that hot chocolate wins.  Eggnog is just so heavy sometimes.  Plus I am a chocoholic!

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? Our Santa presents were always unwrapped with bows and name tags on them.   That’s how we knew they were the Santa presents.  Plus a lot of times they were bigger objects or weirdly shaped, and wrapping them just wasn’t an option.

Colored lights on a tree or white? We always had colored when I was a kid, but now my parents have switched to plain white.  Mine and T’s tree has colored lights – I just love them so much!

Do you hang mistletoe? No, I didn’t.  I really should.  I think I just forgot.  Next year though…

When do you put your decorations up? We put ours up after Thanksgiving/in early December.  I like the way the house feels when it’s all festive.  It adds a whole new level of coziness!  I also like to leave it up as long as possible.  Who doesn’t like coming home to a twinkly tree?

What is your favorite holiday dish? Oh jeez, that’s hard.  We never eat the same thing on Christmas because it’s Little S’s birthday too, so she always gets to pick.  I guess I would have to say the German Christmas cookies my mom makes.  American cookies ain’t got nothing on them!

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? My family usually opened one on Christmas Eve, especially if we knew someone received a board game.  Since we do Christmas early with my family because we go to NY to see T’s family, we open our presents the weekend before Christmas.  In NY, we wait to open the presents until Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have a few strands of colorful lights, a variety of ball ornaments in blues, gold, silver, purples, greens, some special shaped ornaments – little Santas, stars, a UGA football player, and cat friendly ones – aka non-breakable for the bottom of the tree.  We finish everything off with a thin red garland and a silver (I think it’s silver – all of a sudden I can only picture the one we had growing up that was purple) baubley tree topper.

Snow: love it or hate it? I heart snow, especially around Christmas.  It makes everything feel so magical and wintery.  Unfortunately it doesn’t snow in Georgia.  When I lived in NY it snowed one Christmas Eve, which was awesome.  Fingers crossed we get some while we are there this year.

Can you ice skate? Yes, but I’m not amazing.  I can skate around and not fall, but that’s about the extent of my skills.  T used to play hockey, so his favorite thing to do to me is skate at top speed backwards while dragging me around.  It’s fun but scares the crap out of me.  I tend to injure ankles easily…

What is your favorite holiday dessert? Anything chocolate.  In reality, I’m not picky!

What is your favorite holiday tradition? When it was just the 4 of us (mom, dad, Little S and me) we’d always make sauerkraut for Christmas Eve dinner, then play board games.  After that, we’d watch A Christmas Story a few times, then head to bed.  Until I got married and started spending Christmas in New York, Little S and I would always sleep in the same room so we could get up together and go see the presents.  We started doing this as kids, and it still stuck into our 20s.  I’m still figuring out the new traditions with T and his family, since last year was my first Christmas with them (except when we all lived there).

Candy canes: yum or yuck? I like them, and they are fun to eat.  The fruity ones are good too!

Favorite Christmas show? I don’t really have a favorite Christmas show, so I’m going with movies.  These are my top ones in no particular order – Home Alone, Prancer, A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott), A Christmas Story, Elf…I’m sure there are more but I’m drawing a blank at the moment.

So all of you married or serious daters, how to you do Christmas when you have families in different states (or cities)?  Do you alternate each year?  Or always go to the family you see less often?

So, T and I are heading to NY to good old Po-town to spend 6 days with the family tomorrow after work.  Fingers crossed that all of the airport drama from this weekend’s storm is sorted out by then.  I don’t know how much I will be posting up there, but I want to wish all of you lovelies a Merry Christmas and safe and happy travels! 🙂

Until then adieu!

A few weekends ago, I had a pretty fun-filled weekend.  It consisted of cookie making, movie watching, tacky Christmas sweaters, and Cavalia.  As the weeks have passed, I just realized I never updated you guys on all that fun that was had.

Let’s just say, our Christmas cookie baking and movie extravaganza turned out to be a little more like get hammered and have the worst hangover of your life on Saturday.  We did bake cookies, and some of us tried to watch movies, while the rest of us sat on the patio in 30 degree weather drinking and smoking like champs until 2 a.m.  We were frozen.

I’m sure the hangover wouldn’t have been so bad if I had not decided to try a new festive holiday cocktail – the poinsettia.  This lovely beverage is a mixture of equal parts cranberry juice, champagne, and vodka.  Let me tell you, adding vodka to champagne is a bad choice.  It seriously intensifies the normal champagne headache by about 10,000.  Don’t get me wrong, it was good…damn good.  But I was hurting the next day.

I finally did recover from the living hell I was in.  This was aided by copious amounts of Gatorade (red, the flavor of champs) and a KFC extravaganza that included the grilled and original recipe bucket (the grilled is super tasty), mac-n-cheese, coleslaw, green beans and biscuits.

After JD and I bounced back, we got to work on updating covering up the stains on our Christmas sweaters.  Since they are handmade and include an assortment of non-washable items – ornaments, gift bows, foam gingerbread people – they can’t be washed.  And they are white.  This means that stains are very visible.  And what do you do when you can’t remove a stain?  You cover it with more festive decorations.  After we updated them and covered ourselves in gold glitter hairspray, we were definitely the tackiest people at the party.  Gotta love it!

JD and me in all of our tacky glory.  I even went extra festive with red and green coordinating pieces.

That’s one thing about JD and me, we don’t do anything theme related half-assed.  Along with our sweatshirts, we also made shoes, bought socks with Santa faces on the back, yard candy canes as accessories, and holiday gift bags as purses.  Our earrings are also homemade – candy cane ornaments attached to earring backs!

Would it be weird to take my sweater to get dry cleaned?  I’m just saying….

That Sunday we went to Cavalia, which was really amazing.  Some of the acts included a woman commanding 10 white horses to move in a variety of synchronized moves.  They would all run around the stage, horse hug each other (one horse put his muzzle on the next horse’s back), they would run in concentric circles in opposite directions (I always worried they’d crash), and they’d all stand in a straight line and bow.  It was cool.  Other tricks included guys standing on 2 horses at a time as they ran full speed around the ring – one even jumped off the horses’ backs, over a pole and landed again.  One act featured 2 girls on white horses mirroring each other’s movements.  It was so in-sync, that in the beginning I didn’t realize that they weren’t performing in front of a mirror.  The show also included a lot of cool Cirque-esque acrobatics.  Trapeze work and ribbon and rope work.  If the show comes to you, I recommend that you go see it.  It was one of the coolest things I have witnessed performance wise between humans and animals.

I’m wishing all of you a wonderful weekend!  Got anything exciting planned?

Normally, I like Christmas commercials.  They are cute or funny, and make you all tingly with the Christmas spirit.  But this year, I’m finding the commercials to be super annoying.  After reading Jess’ post about the ridiculous Lexus ads, I got thinking about which ones are getting on my last nerve and are taking me out of the Christmas spirit.

The one that I hate the most features the little girl and her mom, sitting on the stairs.  The little girl tells her mom they are working on their lists for Santa at school.  Then the little girl starts spouting off all of these things she wants, and the mom zones out, obviously panicking about the amount of money she’s going to have to spend.  Then she imagines Big Lots’ little Christmas elves and how they will help her get everything on her daughter’s list.

You may be wondering why this commercial pisses me off so much.  Well, it’s because it is insinuating that Santa doesn’t really exist.  If Santa was real, the mom wouldn’t be freaking out over the cost of presents.  I know Santa is a ruse, but imagine being a young kid who is beginning to doubt the Claus and seeing this commercial.  It basically is telling you that Santa is fake and your parents are the ones buying the presents.  Way to ruin Christmas for the kiddies, Big Lots!

It saddens my heart that all companies care about during Christmas is making money.  They are going crazy, hawking their cheap prices and encouraging people to buy everything in sight.  I know that stores are struggling too in these tough economic times, but when did the meaning of Christmas get so lost and turned into consumer mania?  This is supposed to be a time about giving and caring, helping out others and being with family and friends.  Not buying bratty and spoiled kids every gift they have on their damn Christmas list!

Even though the Big Lots commercial really annoys me, I do love some Christmas ones.  My favorite are the ones for Garmin.  Carol of the Bells is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and I think it’s so clever how Garmin (or their advertising company) has come up with cooky and funny lyrics.

Last year’s commercial

This year’s commercial – I heart squirrels

I don’t have a GPS, but if I were to get one I might have to head toward the Garmins because the commercials are so funny!

What Christmas commercials are you loving or hating this year?

I’d like to thank everyone who said kind words about my friend’s mom yesterday.  I appreciate the thought!  🙂

Yesterday was a sad day.  My friend’s mom (Ads) who had the heart attack last week, passed away.   Since she’d had the heart attack, she’d had no brain activity and was on life support.  Since she knew she had some issues with her heart, she’d discussed being taken off life support with her family if that was the only thing keeping her alive.  Ads and his dad received no good news from the doctors the entire week, so yesterday morning they met with the hospice counselor and decided to unhook life support.  Mrs. S passed without suffering.

She was such an awesome person.  I’d only known her for a few years, but as soon as you met her you felt like you were apart of her family.  She always welcomed all of us in with open arms, making sure we were always well-fed and enjoying drinks on the patio with the family.  If you weren’t able to make it over to their house, she’d always tell everyone there how she missed so-and-so and wished they could have made it.

Since all of their family lives out of state, Ads and his dad had all of their friends over.  Everyone was bringing food, desserts, and drinks for them to help lift their spirits.  We all gathered around and reminisced how wonderful Mrs. S was, and we told our favorite stories about her.  For the most part, we all held it together pretty well.  We were trying to be strong for Ads and Mr. S.

Even though it was a sad occasion, it was nice to see how many people came out to support Ads and Mr. S.  We all wanted to be there for them with hugs and lots of love, but also we wanted to be there for Mrs. S, like she’d always been there for us.

I can’t even fathom the pain that both Ads and Mr. S are going through right now.  Mr. S had known Mrs. S since they were children.  They grew up together and were friends.  When they were in their 20s, they reconnected and realized they were each other’s “one.”  I can’t imagine having to be in the position to hold my significant other’s life in my hands.  Being the one who has to make the decision to turn off the life support machine.  In Ads case, I can’t imagine losing my mom at age 27.  His family is super close, especially since it’s just the 3 of them.  Having her not be there is going to be so painful.

What I learned from this situation is that when I die, I want all my friends and family to get together and celebrate my life.  I want people to be laughing, joking and smiling through their tears.  I want people to remember the happy times, not the sadness.  Like we all did for Mrs. S yesterday.

Mrs. S, you are loved and you will be missed!

Yesterday on my way to work, I was listening to the radio and the morning show DJs began talking about the creepiest Christmas song ever.  I was driving through Atlanta, racking my brain to figure out what it was while they were on commercial.  Sadly I couldn’t think of anything.  When the show came back on, they announced that Baby It’s Cold Outside was the creepiest Christmas song of all time.

I ran through the few lyrics I knew in my head and still wasn’t quite sure what the DJs were talking about.  Then they started reading the lyrics and my jaw dropped.  If you take the lyrics out of the cute Christmassy/wintery context, they are pretty sketchy.  The girl keeps saying no and she has to go, and the guy is trying to force her to stay.  He’s forcing another drink on her and won’t listen when she says no.  It’s fairly date rapish when you think about it – and we consider it a cute holiday song.

Here are some of the lyrics that are scandalous:

The neighbors might think – Baby, it’s bad out there
Say, what’s in this drink – No cabs to be had out there…

I simply must go – Baby, it’s cold outside
The answer is no – Ooh darling, it’s cold outside
This welcome has been – I’m lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm – Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious – Man, your lips look delicious
My brother will be there at the door – Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious – Gosh your lips are delicious
Well maybe just a half a drink more – Never such a blizzard before

So after getting a new view of this classic song, I started thinking about some other songs that have a bit of a scandalous undertone.  For example…

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – This song is basically saying that mom is unfaithful and her small child saw her hooking up with Santa.  She’s tickling under his beard.  She didn’t see her child creep…

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night.
She didn’t see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep;
She thought that I was tucked up
in my bedroom fast asleep.

Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white;
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – I know this song is supposed to teach kids to behave and listen to their parents, but damn are the lyrics creepy.  It’s like a horror movie (or a peeping Tom) when you think about it.  “He sees you when you’re sleeping.  He knows when you’re awake.  He knows if you’ve been bad or good.  You better watch out!”  It makes you imagine an old guy hiding behind your curtains watching your every move…

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer – This song is hilarious, but definitely not very family-friendly.  Grandma was too boozed up on the ‘nog to have common sense to not walk home.  Then she stumbles out the door and gets killed by Santa and his sleigh.  Then grandpa is trying to move on by drinking beer and watching football.  The family’s not feeling too festive and they’re all dressed in black.  When you think about this song, it’s really freaking morbid.  And the family may be slightly alcoholic…

I’m sure there are more scandalous or sketchy holiday songs out there, I just can’t think of any more at the moment.

What are some Christmas/holiday songs that you don’t think are quite as cute as they’re intended to be?

Ho ho ho and Happy Hanukkah!

The other day I was at Wally World buying some additional Christmas lights, when I stopped in the pet aisle to get some litter.  While I was there, I found myself drifting toward the cat toys.  Since the kitties are my babies, I decided to get them a little early Christmas present.  I ended up finding this colorful 12-pack of mini mice named Kitty Frenzy.  I thought they’d be something that the cats would have fun playing with, so I bought them.

When I got home, I showed Zoey the package, let her sniff it, and she went crazy.  So I took one out and tossed it at her, and she went ape shit.  She batted, flung, chased and carried that little mouse all over the place.  She’s not as playful as she was when I first got her 4 years ago, so it was great to see her acting like a kitten again.

And then I realized that she was eating the damn things!  That first night, she literally devoured about 2-3 of them.  She chews the tails off, then gnaws on them until they split open.  Then she’ll either keep playing with the empty casing or try to eat that too.  She is a fat kid at heart.  I really hope they aren’t poisonous – the package says they contain catnip.  Fado’s batted it around a few times, but he’s nowhere near as enthusiastic about the mice as Zoey is.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some videos of Zoey going crazy for the mouse crack.

Today I found out that one of my good friend’s mom had a heart attack on Sunday morning, and she’s not doing well.  My friend woke up that morning because he heard a crash, so he went to investigate and found his mom unconscious on her bedroom floor.  He performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

She’s been at the hospital since Sunday, and the doctors says it’s not looking good and for the family to prepare for the worst.  She has no brain activity and hasn’t woken up.  She has low EKG voltage readings, and they can’t keep her heart rate down and her blood pressure is low.

I’m not an overly religious person, but could you guys say a prayer for her?  She’s an amazing woman, who I know you would all love if you met.  She’s only in her 60s and deserves a long future with her family.  Please send all of your good vibes her way because she really needs it!

Thanks lovelies! 🙂

This has been a long week!  I haven’t made it to bed before midnight this whole week.  I’ve been crawling, half-dead, into bed between 12:30-1 a.m. at the earliest.  I’m too old to not be sleeping more!  Anyway, I’m so glad it’s Friday.

As I stare the first weekend of December in the face, I realize that I have a lot of stuff planned in the next few weekends, starting with this one.  Tonight we have decided to have a little holiday film festival chez moi.  We’re picking out some of our favorite Christmas movies and will watch them while we create some delicious holiday-themed cocktails and bake some cookies to munch on.  We’re talking about making hot buttered rum, but I just don’t know how I feel about butter in my drink…ick.

Tomorrow we’re gathering with our other SEC friends to watch the SEC championship game.  Sadly I don’t like either team, but I guess I’d rather go Bama than Gator (ugh, Tim -Jesus- Tebow).  After that, we are going to a birthday party featuring my favorite holiday theme – tacky Christmas sweaters!  A few years ago, T, JD and I all made our own, and they’re always a big hit.  Since they are 2 years old, some of the tacky crap is falling off.  That just means we’ll have to glue some new stuff on them tonight!

My homemade tacky sweater complete with shoes – this is from 2 years ago when it was freshly made.  This year I will take some pictures in it!

On Sunday, the whole family is going to see Cavalia. I’m so excited because I am fascinated by people who can do crazy acrobatic tricks and I love animals.  What more could you want?

So, I’m just hoping the rest of this day will go by quickly so I can jump right into my fun-filled weekend!

Do you have any exciting plans this weekend?  Are you going to any tacky Christmas sweater parties?

It’s that time again, where you share a little bit too much about yourself with thousands of strangers.  To read about everyone else’s horror stories, go to LiLu’s TMI Thursday page:)

Have you ever really given a thought to how odd it is to use public bathrooms?  No…well, I’ll give you a minute.  Ponder over how many bums have rested (or unsuccessfully hovered) there before you?

Isn’t it kind of a weird thing when you really stop and think about it?  I’m sure you are wondering where this all came from.  Well, when T and I went to see New Moon, I decided to go to the bathroom before the movie started.  I rushed in and headed straight to the stall to do my business.  As I was sitting there, it hit me how weird it was to be peeing in a bathroom filled with strangers.  Here I was tinkling with about 5 other girls standing in front of the mirror (right outside my door) primping and chatting.  I’m not weired out by that type of thing, but it just struck me as very odd.  These girls were giggling and laughing, and I was practically peeing in front of them.  Of course there was a door, but how much privacy does it really offer?

As I was heading back to the theater, I was thinking how glad I was that I am not a guy.  Peeing in a little stall with a stranger right outside the door or next to you is odd enough.  I can’t imagine having to stand next to someone while having my man parts out and peeing, being close enough that you could practically rub elbows in the process…creepy!  Honestly, if I were I guy, I’d be pretty pissed (ha ha) that I didn’t get my own separate stall.  Who wants to answer nature’s call with some random dude right next to you?  Definitely not me.  And on a gross thought – we all know how bad guys are at aiming…what if there’s a splash back from your piss pal beside you?  Nasty…

After I pondered the oddity of going number 1 in public, I started thinking about number 2.  Why is it that a bathroom is always empty, except when you have to drop a bomb?  Like seriously, Murphy’s got something out for you if you go number 2 in public.  There is nothing worse than having an upset stomach and having to use a strange toilet, and then meeting a group of ladies in the bathroom on your mad dash to the pot.

I don’t know about you, but I get stage fright in these situations.  Plus I don’t want these strangers to hear me fart or to hear a splash.  That is utterly mortifying to me.  The other horrible situation is when you are mid-deuce, and people come in to the bathroom.  Even if you courtesy flush, the room is not smelling like roses.  Then there is the shame of exciting the stall and having someone go right in after you.  I always pray that they don’t get hit with a wall of poo stink.  Fingers crossed…

Even though it’s odd, nothing will stop me from going potty in public.  I have the bladder of a squirrel, so there is no way in hell I can go all day without peeing.  And don’t even get me started on my jacked up stomach.  When you gotta go, you gotta go!

Last night, T and I finished putting up our Christmas tree and other festive decorations.  I am proud to say that we didn’t have a repeat of last year’s slack fest. I’m so glad we didn’t bah humbug out again this year.  I love how the living room looks when it’s all decked out.

We would have been finished with the tree on Monday, but we had a little bit of drama.  T got home a little later than expected, then we cooked and ate dinner.  By the time we were done, it was around 9 p.m.  I was almost to the point where I didn’t want to mess with the tree, but he insisted.  So we did some minor living room rearrangements and began assembling the tree.  Christmas Vacation was on, so that helped set the mood.

Once we got the tree assembled, I began to string the lights onto it.  We usually use 2 strands.  While I was weaving the first strand around the tree, T was untangling the second.  Luckily for us, he decided to plug them in first.  That’s when we noticed that only the middle of the strand was working – both ends were burnt out.  We tried replacing bulbs and switching out the fuse, but nothing worked.  So, we were having a bit of a Griswald Christmas with our light drama and had to call it quits.

Last night, I bought a few more strands of lights and some cute candles, and we were good to go with the decorations again.  While we decorated, we watched Bride Wars – not very Christmassy but it came on after Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead and I got sucked in.  It was kind of corny, but it had us laughing at a few parts.

Now the living room is all cute and festive, and I’m happy!  As soon as we got the tree all set up and in its place in the corner, Fado dove underneath it to sleep on the felt tree skirt.  I really hope he doesn’t knock it over because it’s not the sturdiest tree…

Our little Christmas tree

All lit up – it looks a bit like a Charlie Brown tree in this picture

My cute little Santa and trees that I got from Germany

Candy cane candle set

Vanilla scented candles make me crave cookies

The bookcase that doubles as a fireplace mantle during Christmas

Have you started decorating for the holidays?

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