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Author Topic: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?  (Read 10710 times)

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What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« on: November 12, 2012, 01:48:38 AM »
I usually don't look forward to the holidays.  I want to be different this year (I think I said that last year, too and it didn't work.   :P)
Anyway, I have decided not to sneer at the stores for having their seasonal stuff up too early, and today I bought a pretty little Christmas mug.  I'll be digging out the Christmas CD's and am looking for a Christmas table cloth.  I want one with red poinsettias on it.
I'll be doing some ornaments, too, and maybe cards.  I think I say that every year, too, don't I?  One thing I definitely will not do is bake cookies.  I'll just make a piece of cinnamon toast for the fragrance.
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 02:58:42 AM »
With all the election noise in the news, I lost track of the time, and the season seems to have crept up on me.

Never fear, my wife starts knitting and buying gifts for next year as soon as the previous holiday season is over. And somehow, this year, I got the most incredible (but affordable) gift ideas for her that I've ever had - she's gonna love this stuff!

May I throw out a suggestion to those with simple Photoshop skills? Some months ago, Zazzle introduced a line of "custom gift boxes". They're lovely rich-looking wood, nicely lined, and the top frames a nice tile on which they will print any design you want. I found a cute photo of a sheep with a lamb and added "Happy Birthday to EWE" and gave it to my wife as a jewelry box, and she adored it. You can make your own design online on Zazzle's site. The largest is around $30, smaller ones less. I caught one of their regular sales and had a great unique gift for a great price!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 07:35:47 AM by magician5 »
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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 03:10:27 AM »
I love Christmas carols. I'd listen to them all year, but I restrict myself until November, so I'm getting in the spirit that way. And DD is in a serious gluing phase, so I'm getting her to glue shiiny paper on cards for our Christmas cards.

I'm 3/4 done buying gifts (I don't buy many). And I'm planning treats to cook later in my head. The planning is in my head, not the cooking.

I seriously walked past a Christmas display in the shops here in August. Not even mid August, but early August. I'm all in favour of doing Christmassy things, but August is a bit much.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 07:39:15 AM »
I'm going to be following this thread closely, because I'm having a really hard time getting motivated this year. This time of year used to be my favorite, but it seems like some of the magic has worn off. I used to love love love T-day, but this year we're going to DH's family's, which I dislike simply because food is not important to them so the meal is just too ordinary for me. I've been thinking about having a meal for just our small family, but I just can't decide if it's worth it. Plus, I've got a shower to bake for this Thursday, DD's preschool is having a fundraiser this Saturday so I need to bake for that, our workplace is having a bake sale next Tuesday, and I need to bake something for DH's family's T-day. I'm tired already and haven't baked a thing yet :(

I want to start decorating but it seems like we don't have room anywhere for our trees. Sigh.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 07:49:48 AM »
For the second year in a row, I'm staying home for Thanksgiving. I am having one or two friends, so I'm cooking a small meal. Looking forward to that.

For the first time in 5 years (since my dad passed away on Christmas Day) I actually feel a little excited about the holiday. Before it was just ho hum, but I bought a few things; a bit sparkly red and gold bow to put on my door (no one but me and whoever comes to visit will see it) and a cute doormat with pine cones and pointsettias. I have always put up my tree, but this year and actaully exicted to do it! I leave on 12/15 to spend the holidays wiht my mom, so not sure what we will be doing, but I'm looking forward to it.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 09:25:45 AM »
I am so mad this year.  By now I've usually at least *started* Christmas shopping.   I'd have done most of my Thanksgiving shopping, and plans for holiday decorating would be in full swing.  But I was in a car accident a month ago and my poor old body hurts too much to do all those things that I love.  My husband had to do my Halloween decorations for me this year.  It was very nice of him to do it for me, but it's something that I love to do.

So what will I do?  I guess I'll shop online (boring).  Supervise the Christmas decorating (also boring, and frustrating).  Plan a modest Thanksgiving dinner that won't render me useless for 3 days afterward.

I do plan to break out the Christmas CD and listen to festive music.  That always makes me happy.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 09:29:29 AM »
My family does handmade/regifted stocking stuffers and a white elephant exchange, which is often more of the same. I've bought my plane ticket home so sometime in December I'll pick up a tree to decorate and I'm done!


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 10:02:49 AM »
I'm about to start making Christmas candy, now that it's finally gotten cold here. That smell always makes it Christmas for me. :)  I'm off work today, so I'm going to try to get some shopping in.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 10:08:50 AM »
We aren't hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I'm actually getting an early start on holiday decorating and such.  Our holiday cards arrived over the weekend so I'll be addressing and writing them out over the next couple of weeks, so I can send them come the beginning of December.  I'm making cookie dough and freezing it this week as I have an abolute TON of cookie to make and this way I can just defrost a bag of dough and get to work when I need to.  Next Wednesday the kids are off of school to begin the Thanksgiving holiday so I think I'm going to shuttle the decorations down from the attic into their waiting hands :).  At some point here I need to get to Starbucks and get a bunch of gift cards for the UPS guy, trash collectors, dance teachers, Girl Scout leaders, etc.  We've started gift shopping and at least have a list, even if we haven't bought it all.  No clue when that will be finished, nor when I will wrap everything.  Thanks for this post -- this mini-list-making is helping me!


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 10:17:20 AM »
I'm not big on the holiday season, so I try to plan everything in advance.

We are staying home and cooking Tday dinner for us and a couple friends. I wimped out in telling my family that we wouldn't be there for Tday, so we are going over there briefly. I have a delicious menu planned for our dinner. Champagne turkey (someone on here posted the recipe), bacon-wrapped green bean bundles, stuffing, champagne gravy, DH's favorite potato casserole, corn, and homemade yeast rolls. Our guests are bringing wine and dessert.

I have 90% of the Christmas shopping done, and the rest is planned but not yet bought. It's a relief to have that out of the way!

I don't decorate for Christmas. We have a lovely Christmas tree; last year I never got around to putting it up. This year I think we will put it up; DS will enjoy it. Other than the tree, I don't have any Christmas decor or anything.

I do appreciate the excuse to do some baking, so I will make some festive cookies closer to Christmas.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 10:33:40 AM »
The old stuff thread reminded me:
Growing up in the 80s, we had a record of Christmas songs that I loved and we played over and over.  It was Santa teaching Christmas carols – he would introduce each song with a little story and recite the lyrics, then invite the children to sing along together.  It’s probably a very famous voice of Santa, but I wouldn’t have known it back then.
(I wish I could remember the name so I could at least search for it.  The sleeve was red and fairly plain.  My parent’s record player is long gone but that record might still be around somewhere.)   

Normally I dislike seeing the holiday decorations too early, but this year, seeing the Christmas stuff come out weeks before halloween made me feel so happy.  I have turkeys up in my windows, and am fighting the urge to try the Christmas lights too.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 10:40:10 AM »
Most of my shopping is done. I only have to order one more thing and then get gift cards for a few people. Those will wait until after my credit card billing date in December so I can pay for them in January.


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 12:58:12 PM »
What gets me in the spirit is my Christmas baskets.  I love making these things but they can get really pricy if I don't pay attention to costs.  So I've been scoping out sales, including Amazon's warehouse stuff. 

Somebody here at EHell discovered Pine Bros cough drops being sold again, and this is a must have for a couple of my baskets.  I can't wait to see their faces when they open them.  But it's usually an assortment of sauces, candy, smoked salmon, etc and personalized. 

My one must-have is cold weather.  I'm just south of Denver and the bone chilling stuff finally arrived. 


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 06:00:23 PM »
Oh, I adore Christmas. I am lucky, I suppose, in that I do not have a lot of onerous obligations at Christmastime -- it's just me and my friends and no pressure to celebrate a certain way or to celebrate at all. So I like to recreate the feeling of being a kid on Christmas.

So far I haven't done much, apart from present shopping which I do throughout the year as I see things I think would be perfect for certain people. I did buy a fold-out snowman for my apartment door (I don't know what you call them - like this but a snowman), and I'm crazy about baking so I've started preparing for that - I invent a new fruit cake every year.
I think I have just perfected my 2012 cake which is a spiced tea loaf with mulled wine-infused caramel. :D


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Re: What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 06:25:32 PM »
Aussie here, so no T-day to prepare for, and our Christmases are usually on the warmer side.

On the weekend I cleaned off the deck, re-oiled the ginormous 8-seater square Kauri outdoor setting.  I need to get some kitty litter for the barbecue if I intend to use that.  And there's firewood aplenty if the day isn't as warm as it could be, and we need to eat indoors.

I've started a hamper for someone. 

Most gifts are purchased already, just 3 to go.

I've started buying festive extras when doing the grocery shop - dried fruit (hey, my sugar free fruit cake is on a permanent request list!), trimmings for the ham, things like that.  Spacing it out over a few shops is less shocking at the check-out.

I've got a friend visiting for nearly two weeks, sorting out the spare room is on the agenda.  Mental note, need to try to organise a borrowed motorcycle for him while he's here.

I already have a metric crapload of wine (why yes, that is a real measure, I think!) so no need to get any more.  Might get some beer in, now the new fridge has arrived to store it in.

I don't have to buy any gifts for the furbies, I won a silent auction of a pile of dog and cat treats and toys, so that's going under the tree.

Housemate is big into making cards, so she has card duty.  I don't do cards, haven't for some time.

Housemate has already started watching the Christmas movies and listening to carols, but she'd do that 12 months a year if she could!  :-)

And we went to an invitation only Xmas do at our local pharmacy the other day, where the local choir sang carols, lots of prizes given out, and oodles of brilliant things on sale (giftware, perfumes, etc).  Did a fair amount of damage to the shopping list that night.

Wow, I sound waaaaaay more organised than I feel.

Out on the patio we'd sit,
And the humidity we'd breathe,
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.

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