Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas 2010

This Christmas was a little…slimmer…than Christmases in the past.  Being unemployed, I had less money to spend on my family and friends.  Hopefully, I made up for it in creativity and thoughtfulness.

I gave three Groupons.  Cheap?  Maybe.  But I gave two friends surfing lessons in Charleston, which I thought would be fun, and I gave my mom a groupon for a canvas print.  So, still thoughtful, hopefully.

I gave my parents “coupons” for food – while I’m in town visiting, I’m making my Mom some tomato basil soup, and my Dad some eclairs.

I also made a lot of gifts this year, and impressed myself with my ingenuity.

I made my sister this necklace:

I made this necklace for East of the West:

I bought several glass icicles and added pretty beads to them:

I made wine charms for my mom:

And little bean bags for my mom:

Merry Christmas to all, and I’m a Crafty B*tch.

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The Beginning (AKA Part 1)

On December 21st, I was super excited to see The Pilot after a very long absence.  We went for sushi (yum!) and had a wonderful time.  I asked him if he wanted to go ahead and do Christmas that night, or wait.  “Let’s wait,” he said.  “I still have one more thing I want to get you.  I wasn’t sure about it, but I think you’ll like it.”

Well, that got me excited about Christmas, finally!  I hadn’t really been feeling the Christmas Spirit, but I was instantly excited, and got more excited as the week went by. 

On Christmas Day, we wished each other Merry Christmas, via technology, but never actually got the chance to talk.  The Monday after Christmas, he texted me about midnight, said it had been a long day, but he would call me the next day.  I didn’t get a call, but I didn’t think much of it.  I sent him a couple of texts that week, and just after midnight on New Year’s, I texted him a Happy New Year message, expecting to get a response back.

I didn’t.

On Saturday, Jan 2nd, I left him a voicemail that I was getting worried about him, because I hadn’t heard from him.  I texted him several times the following week, and emailed him, because I was really worried that something had happened to him.  I was literally nauseous – like, head between the knees to keep from throwing up because I was so worried. 

On Friday, Jan 8th, I had the cable guy come out, and when I went to get my extra key off the hook to let him out back, I found The Pilot’s copy of my house key.  I tried calling him again, and his phone had been disconnected.  Well, now I was really freaked out.  I messaged a friend of his on Facebook, asking if he had heard from him, because I was really worried. The response I received back: “He’s fine.” I logged out of facebook and logged in under my fake name, and found The Pilot on there, so he had evidently unfriended and blocked me.

(Stay tuned for Part 2…)

Gift Cards are the New Fruitcake

(title totally stolen from this MSN article.)

I have a love/hate relationship with gift cards. I love them. They’re great. They’re easy. They’re “free money” if I get them. I hate giving them, because I feel they can be a cop-out. That’s not to say I haven’t given them, I just don’t like to.

My uncle used to give me a gift card to Best Buy every year for Christmas. The only present from him to me was “wrapped” in a white business size envelope and placed on the tree, as if it were an ornament. It was usually a substantial amount – enough to buy a digital camera, or a DVD player, or stereo. My uncle (God love him) was…lazy. A gift card was the easiest thing he could do. I think one year he actually gave me cash, because he couldn’t make it to the store. And I always appreciated it, as I could get exactly the camera I wanted (which was his point – “I knew you wanted a camera, but I thought I’d let you pick it out”). But there was never the anticipation of unwrapping the gift, of finding out what he had bought that made him think of me. It was always very impersonal.

I actually enjoy finding “the perfect gift” for people. I can’t wait to give it to them. Sometimes I’m more excited to see their reaction than they are with the gift. (Quite the let down, by the way.) I buy them things I really think they will enjoy. Sometimes I’m wrong, but hey, at least I put the thought into it. I have bought gift cards before, but only for specific reasons. Examples:

  • My sister is 10 years younger than me and much more fashion-conscious. For her birthday this year, I bought her a shirt I thought she would like, along with a gift card from the same store. I figure she can buy something she likes for herself, and it would be better than me buying her more clothes that would probably just sit in the corner of her closet until she gave them to Goodwill.
  • I often give my dad a gift card to Barnes & Noble. I have no idea what he has read, or if he’s already bought the book he was talking about wanting to read two months ago (he’s notorious for this). So, the way I figure it, I put the thought into the gift by getting it for something specific (books) while giving him the freedom to read what he wants.
  • A few years ago I gave a friend a gift card to the USNWC. Essentially, the idea was to give him a kayak run, but you can’t buy a kayak run. So I gave him the card so he could get one himself, or ride the zipline or climb the wall. His choice. But it got him there to do something fun.

The point is, even though I may give a gift card to someone, I actually think about it and give them something I think they will appreciate and put to use.

Earlier this year, I was determined to do better about sending out cards to people, for birthdays, anniversaries, or just because. Not too long after that, I started making cards, just for fun, but now I’m giving more and more handmade cards instead of store bought ones. I think it makes the person feel even more special, because I made the card with them in mind.

It really is the thought that counts. A gift card can be thoughtful. It can also be crap.

It is WAY too freaking early for this shit.

In the past two weeks, I have seen Christmas-themed movies on tv three times.

IT’S FLIPPING SEPTEMBER.

And people wonder why I hate Christmas so much.  Soon, I’ll be hearing Christmas carols, and that will really piss me off.

Pa Rompa bom blah

I’m not a big fan of Christmas music.  It kind of puts me in a bad mood most of the time – maybe because they start playing it before Halloween.  There’s just so many times I can hear Jingle Bell Rock before I want to shoot myself in the head – twice is about my limit.  And don’t get me started on Little Drummer Boy – those “pa rompa bom boms” make me want to dig out my eardrums.  But there are a few songs I like – mostly guilty pleasures, because most of them are of questionable origin.  So I’ve decided to make my own playlist of Christmas songs, the ones I can listen to and enjoy.

Wham!: Last Christmas.  I can usually get away with this one, because everyone else likes it, too.
Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas.  Cheesy, but again, most people like this song.
New Kids On The Block: This Boy’s Letter to Santa Clause.  Don’t laugh!!
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 (often misnamed “Carol of the Bells”)
Santa Baby (I think Eartha Kitt’s version is the best)
Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You.  Possibly the sole Mariah song I like.
Jimmy Buffet: Christmas in the Caribbean.  Hm…palm trees or snow…tough decision….
Jose Feliciano:  Feliz Navidad.  Prospero ano y felizidad.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – not sure I have a favorite artist.
Winter Wonderland – again, not sure I have a favorite artist.