You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Christmas’ tag.

Dear People of the Web,

I’m falling into my hibernation period and snuffling around for something new to keep myself occupied in the cave until the world thaws and the crocus sprouts.  So I’m wondering, how do you do Christmas? If you would be so kind, please pick a question or two and share your answer in the comments below:

What holiday songs do you have on repeat?

What Christmas movies are you binge-watching?

Are there fattening recipes you’re making that we need to know about?

What wish-list books are you gifting or re-reading or hoping Santa brings?

 

 

Δ My Answers Δ

Δ Music Δ

As for songs, I can’t help but love The Murdering Crow’s version of the Snow Miser Song:

Δ

Δ Movies Δ

I haven’t made it through the movie The Year without a Santa Clause yet.  Maybe this is the year.

The Nightmare before Christmas gets played nearly every year. Lines are quoted; songs are sung.  “There Goes Christmas” is what we tend to say around here in a cartoonish voice at the slightest disappointment or provocation. It never loses its funny.  I’ve also been known to mechanically chant, “Making Christmas. Making Christmas. Making Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiistmas….” with a blank stare while wrapping presents.

Δ

Δ Food Δ

I don’t cook as a general rule, but when I get a wild hair around this time of year I make my Kiki’s banana bread.  When inspiration really strikes there could be pumpkin pie or banana pudding.

Δ

Δ Books Δ

“It makes one’s mouth hurt to speak with such forced merriment.

–David Sedaris

David Sedaris’ Crumpet the Elf from Santaland Diaries is fun and available on NPR.

Last December, my near-and-dear read me nightly bedtime stories from one of his childhood books, The Animals’ Merry Christmas.  Published in 1972, its pages had a rich and musty scent and were embellished with drawings, dialogue, and musical notes from his 7-year-old hand. The Animals Merry Christmas.jpg

My favorite character was Pussy Cat Smart.

Come here Lion

It was a super sweet gift.

Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays!

This treasure showed up in my in-box today and I must pass it along so you too can enjoy holiday happiness in the form of goats dancing to Jingle Bells:

 

 

Every year  for a long time now I’ve been asking Santa to bring me Goaty Goodness. The ducks have a new pen, which means we finally have goat space! Now I just need the goat.

Goaty Goodness

Can’t get enough goats? Me either!!  Check out the goaty goodies below for more pictures and videos:

Goaty Goodness Christmas Campaign I

Goat + “Yoga” Ball = Goaty Goodness

A Gentle Reminder

The Devil

The Devil

“Why do you call your husband that?” It’s usually the folks that don’t know him doing the asking.

People in the know make him identity bracelets with “The Devil” spelled out in beads.

He’s also been lovingly refered to as “Squidward” by a self-identified “Patrick” who dubbed me “Spongebob.” If, like me, you need a reference point for these accusations, I give you two:

The Devil can be grumpy for sure. Naturally, he’s a bit of a Grinch about Christmas.  This year in a rare moment when he wasn’t complaining about how ridiculous the holiday is, and how stupid all the shoppers are clogging up the traffic home, he asked for “kill shirts.”  Kill shirts, as in the shirts TV serial killer, Dexter, wears. It was a sincere request.  Not that he’s going to kill anything; the Devil is a vegetarian.

He’s the kind of guy who listens to Heavy Metal, Death Metal, and who watches the Vegan Black Metal Chef.

His lounge-wear reveals his devilishness clearly:

EL-D

He often conceals his dark nature behind various disguises.  When we make public appearances (because, you know, we’re rockstars), it’s customary to see each other on the way out the door and wonder aloud who exactly the other is supposed to be in regard to the costuming, then to promptly answer our own posed question.  It goes like this:

I’ll say, “Who are you going as tonight, a literature professor?”

He’ll say, “What are you supposed to be, a woodland fairy?”

We tend to create the most unlikely pairings: country gentleman and baglady, serial killer and Sporty Spice.

We are always so different, even when we’re exactly the same.  When I morph into Lilith he suddenly becomes Michael the Archangel.

In our relationship’s default settings, I lean towards a chirpy sort of joy while he does all the moody brooding.  We remind me a lot of these two:

But somehow underlying it all is just this…

Tulsa October 026

Our First Christmas at Peace. Love. Home.

We put up a Christmas tree this year, which is noteworthy because it is only the second time we have done this in 19 years. Nanook was completely beside herself over this new development. Nearly every other day she burst in here like a bandit, brandishing her glue gun. I threw my hands up in the air in surrender while she added more bling to the tree or embellished this and that with some sort of glitzy thing.   She bedazzled the banister with poinsettas, ornaments, tinsel, lights, and sprigs of unidentified festive objects. She hung bells, tied up mistletoe, and spangled stars around my light fixtures. She decked the halls with bows galore. Seriously. There are bows on every available surface of the entry hall. There are bows on surfaces that aren’t so available.

Christmas Pup

Moo-Moo’s confused expression over Nanook’s exploits

 ~*~

Xmas 2012 009

With so much tragedy and violence to face this month in the community and arugula, spinach, strawberry, walnut & mandarin orange saladnation, we opted for a Christmas without the slaughter. It is a small thing, but I believe in the good of doing small things. We hosted vegetarian dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The menu included chili; cornbread; arugula, spinach, walnut, strawberry, and mandarin orange salad; a vegetarian version of Hiram’s cheesy macaroni; potato salad; green bean casserole; sweet potato cookies; sugar cream pie; and German chocolate cake.  Thank you family for being so sweet and accommodating!

Food is not just fuel. Food is about family, food is about community, food is about identity. We nourish all those things when we eat well…In your choices about food, you express what matters to you.

— Michael Pollan

hohoyoga tree

HoHoYoga! Christmas “Tree” and Tea

 

Healthcare is more than just prescribing pills and procedures. [It is] personal stewardship of the wonderful bodies given to us by God.

–Church Health Center

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who donated to “HoHoYoga” this month.  It was an evening of bendy goodness and tastey flavors of warm tea.  We created “yuletide by the fireside and joyful memories there.” With your donations Church Health Center received $222.00.

Know that your presence and giving is greatly appreciated.

To those who were not able to attend, but who dropped off donations – thank you. The stories you shared about how the Center has helped you or someone you know, confirm how well and widely the Center serves a need in the community.

I leave you with a few songs (Christmas and otherwise) from the evening…

Dec 2010 037

A couple years ago, after a several year streak of holiday grumpiness, I decided to take charge of my own Christmas experience. Once I changed my approach to the holiday I found that it worked so much better for me than my old way of relating to the season.

My former approach could best be described as a frenzied scramble to meet the desires and expectations of others (or at least my perception of them) combined with my own unrealistic notions about what the season should be.  You may even be familiar with the old routine — the frantic shopping for the “perfect gift” while simultaneously complaining about the commercialism and crowds of Christmas; the furtive listening to news

Peace was a blurry, distorted vision...

Peace was a blurry, distorted vision…

reports of people being trampled on Black Friday with a secret little twinge of schadenfreude; the excessive spending of money on gadgets and gifts too quickly forgotten; the overabundance of food, family, and friends at near-toxic levels.

Mixing and mingling with that off-note jingling was the most stressful time of the year in the life of an academic: the semester’s end.  By December, college students are as high strung as the lights at the Rockefeller Center’s annual Christmas display. They come to your office shedding tears about their grades and their grandmothers — or worse, they sit and cry silently without telling you why at all. In class they band together and plead for another extra credit assignment, in spite of the fact you’ve told them repeatedly there will not be extra credit this semester.  If you stick to your word and practice “tough love” you get creamed on student evaluations. You are an ogre and a curmudgeon and administration frowns. If you have a kind heart, extra credit makes double the work for you as you scramble to invent something for students to do at the last minute that is educational and relevant…and then scramble to grade it along with the mountain of grading you have for final projects and exams before the grades are due. After all that you’re still just as likely to get creamed on student evaluations.

It wasn’t exactly what I would call the most wonderful time of the year and definitely not the happiest season of all.  Obviously, things needed to change.

So, I started working on me and my own inner Scrooge to align my deeper values with my behavior. This required a little soul-searching to work out exactly what my deeper values were. The process revealed a few changes I needed to make.

First off, the “perfect gift” ideal had to go. I had to break the shopping bag shackle to find more fulfilling experiences to share.   This act alone opened up considerable space. Once I reduced the time spent in stores, and online shopping, I had more time and energy to think about and deal more productively with the end of the semester angst of my students.  Freeing up that time also allowed me to pursue a much more relaxing pastime – knitting.  The manual arts have a meditative, calming effect that work wonders on my disposition.  I knitted in much-needed solitude and I knitted surrounded by knitwits and nutters (aka SoKaN), who provided a social support group, not to mention entertainment.  Of course the manual arts also result in tangible and useable things – a happy byproduct.Dec 2010 089

I also came to the conclusion that I needed to give in ways that honored who I am at heart.Dec 2010 072 On the gift-giving front, I admit, I have become a bit more selfish. For example, *I* wanted to take a holiday carriage ride in downtown Memphis, so I forced the parents to go with me for their “present.”  But maybe Ayn Rand is right and there is virtue in selfishness. In the selfish spontaneity of this carriage ride adventure, a meaningful and memorable moment unfolded.  We unintentionally wound up at the place my dad proposed to my mom and I heard this story for the first time. Of course, we are talking about Nanook the Barbarian and the Angry Russian here, so their story was couched more in terms of Archie Bunker comedy than romantic rhetoric.  In fact the two did not agree upon what happened at all, which is no surprise really if you know them. Theirs was not quite a love story, but it was a story of a unique love, and a Christmas gift I’ll always treasure.

The most devastating blow to my inner Scrooge came last year when I refused to listen to media reports about 12-11-2-12 011Christmas mayhem in the community and decided to start expanding my own sense of community. One of my holiday highlights last year was wrapping presents at a local bookstore for contributions to Literacy Mid-South, a local nonprofit organization that helps increase the literacy rates of adult learners.  There are 125,000 adults in Memphis who read below the third grade level.  Literacy Mid-South and their volunteer tutors are helping reduce that number.  I have served with them in the past, but time and logistics were a barrier to continued service, so I jumped at this chance to wrap presents for donations. I drug the Indentured Servant/Resident Teologist and Nanook along for the ride and it was a beautifully wonderful morning of do-gooding awesomeness spent surrounded by books! We were all up in other people’s present buying business, wrapping gifts for stranger’s grandkids, and drinking coffee. It was GREAT! Nanook told me to pick out a book for her present to me, so I scored a copy of Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, which mom wrapped so pretty that I couldn’t bear to open it on Christmas. It stayed wrapped for a whole year before the story called to unwrap it.

Nanook's got present wrapping skillz

Nanook’s got present wrapping skillz

This year, I am all about Christmas…but that, dear readers, is a different post.

So how about you? Any stories of Christmas past – or Scrooge slapping you have to share?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

tonysbologna : Honest. Satirical. Observations

Honest. Satirical. Observations.

Hate to Love You (Reviews)

All My Charms are Wards

Celestial Goodness

This is a space of love and positive vibrations. It is a safe space for uplifting one’s soul.

John Wreford Photographer

Words and Pictures from the Middle East & Balkans

Artistcoveries

Discovering the joy of art

OCA learning log

Carlota Betlinski

P e d r o L

storytelling the world through travel & books

Before I Forget

STORIES WITH NO BOOKS

BEN TROVATO – Durban Poison

Columns. Letters. Rants. Stuff.

Stitched in Stone

Based on True Wives Tales

THE GODDESS ATTAINABLE

The Goddess Attainable Blog is an inspirational portal for a goddess way of life.

The Druid Herbalist

An ongoing journey with the healing power of plants

The Fledgling Belly

The Adventures of a Discerning Bellydancer

It's Just Life

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Down the Forest Path

A Journey Through Nature, its Magic and Mystery

Project: Motion Blog

Modern. MOVEment. Memphis.

The Human Rights Warrior

"There is some good in this world...and it's worth fighting for." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

The Tragic Life of Frank

Around five minutes ago I had this sudden revelation; that my life is quite sufficiently, tragic.

zona pellucida

...blinded by the light

Donna Mejia

Dance Artist/Scholar/Cultural-Creative

Beautiful Day Traveler

It's a beautiful day to dance with words on this journey called life.

shimmymobmemphis

dancing to change the world

samrarose

Just another WordPress.com site

Peaceful Hands Reiki

Where love flows

Job & Career News

From the Memphis Public Libraries

LibrarianShipwreck

"More than machinery, we need humanity."

couldreads

I read these books and you could too?

Mark Coakley

Author of "Hidden Harvest" and "Tip and Trade"

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

CultFit

Form, Flow and Grace