Christmas Eve

In Martie’s thirty-eight years, we have spent two Christmas Eves away from each other.  Only two.  The first time was the year that I lived in Colorado.  I was working two jobs and lived a million miles away and there was neither money nor time for plane tickets or family visits.  I had a lot of friends to spend the holiday with but it just wasn’t the same. I know Martie didn’t like it.  She was quite vocal about it. 

The next time we spent Christmas Eve apart was the first year that Coach and Martie were dating. Coach’s family does their big Christmas shebang on Christmas Eve and as his official girlfriend, Martie was invited.  While they were at the family event, the weather took a turn for the worse and Martie had to spend the night at his parents’ house.  There was no driving home.  Martie called to tell us, frantic.  She wanted to be with her family and sleep in our room, staying up all night talking about boys and family and what we wanted to be when we grew up and wondering if Coach was ever going to propose. 

Poor Coach.  He had no idea what he was getting into with her or this family.  Early the next morning, as the sun was just peeking out of the clouds, he and Martie rolled up in his giant man-truck.  The roads were slippery and icy yet he braved the weather to get her home.  She sprinted from the car, slid her way all the way up the driveway and rushed into the house, hair askew and clothes wrinkled from sleeping in them.  She was slightly wild-eyed and shaky.  Coach’s eyebrows were all up in his hairline.  He said, “I thought we were going to have to call the Rescue Squad to get her here in the middle of the night, she was so upset.  I’ve never seen anything like it.”

He learned the rules fairly quickly after that.  Martie and I spend Christmas Eve together.  We take literally three to four hours to unwrap every gift on Christmas Day.  We leave everything spread out across the entire living room so we can play with it all day.  We don’t cook a big meal.  Instead, we make finger foods and snack until we go to bed.  If we get out of pajamas it’s only because guests are coming over but sometimes not even then.  And we always go shopping the day after Christmas. 

I guess Coach is accepting.  He married this family after all even after learning all of our traditions and idiosyncrasies. 

What are your family traditions? 

I Nearly Forgot!

Way back in April when I found myself in a state of unemployment, I began the laborious process of cleaning out my office space.  I am a firm believer in moving right into a work environment and what I don’t store at work, I like to schlep back and forth on my person or in my car.  I have, at minimum, a purse, a lunch bag, a computer bag and a makeup bag with me every day.  You never know when you might need any of those things.  And in my car I have a bag of clean Ziploc food containers, a Bible, a book, a sweatshirt, an umbrella and some tote bags.  Those are my everyday items.

Currently my non-everyday car items include: a wooden canvas frame, a stereo which is the last remaining gift my ex-husband gave me (we divorced in 2004), school books from when I volunteered at the Adult Literacy Council (have not done that in two years), a bag of towels, a ceramic sheep, shoe cleaner, Tigger’s car seat and some twine.  (I don’t know either.) (I don’t have the toilet handle in my car anymore because we used that.  And my potty still works!)

Also, and this is where this gets important, my car still contains every item I had stored at my last job.  The day that I was delivered the news that they could not keep me (and their loss, btw) was the day I started packing.  What a process that was.  If my car items are any indication, you can only imagine what I stored in my office.  Unfortunately, there was much crying and wailing with cloudy tear-filled eyes as I packed my car so most of that stuff was unceremoniously flung into the trunk with a few curse words but no planning.  I haven’t given it much thought since then, mostly because I don’t want to.  I don’t like reliving that. 

Every now and again I’ll have a vague notion of something I am missing.  I’ll remember having a really nice tape measure or the cutest picture of Pooh, and then I’ll remember that I had it at my former office which will cause me to lose any interest in finding it because I will remember what my trunk looks like. 


However, Christmas.  It rolled around like it seems to do every year.  I am decidedly not in the Christmas spirit this year.  I do not have a tree decorated.  I do not have snowflakes hung.  I do not have my Christmas baking items out.  I do have some snowmen salt and pepper shakers on the table, though, because they were in a closet and I ran across them one day.  Until Sunday, I had baked no cookies or treats and I only did it on Sunday because I had to for a party.  I am a Grinch.

Two weeks ago I thought I would bite the bullet and dig in the trunk of my car for something.  I have no idea what because as I was digging for it I caught a glimpse of pink glitter. 


Oh!  Oh I was so excited!  Glitzen!  I dug him out and he is now standing proudly at my desk, bringing Christmas cheer. 

Like last year, my new co-workers are appalled.  My new boss, who needs a name, was discussing Very Important Work Items with me and as we were conversing she kept flicking her eyes from me to my reindeer.  It don’t know how she didn’t give herself vertigo, it was so fast and furious.  Finally she whispered, “What is it?”

I tied a jaunty bow around his neck this year.  His horns are a little worse for wear, being smushed under all that stuff I threw into my trunk in my hissy fit rage.  But he is here, warming hearts and bringing some much needed color.  If I am going to be a Grinch, I will at least do it in style.


 Merry Christmas, y’all! 

Christmas Décor, Taken Seriously

Remember last year when I posted pictures of my neighbor’s house all lit up in its Christmas glitter?  Remember how that was February?  Those neighbors put lights up the night after Halloween and took them down right before March.   I was really hopeful that I would be able to share with you this year their décor but as of this morning they still have their Thanksgiving scarecrow hanging from their front porch and no Christmas lights at all.  Those are some fun neighbors.

I do, however, have other neighbors that have decorated for the season.  I took a few pictures. There is something here for everyone. 


Penguins.  Very nice. This is for those of you who like the cute stuff. 


For you sporty types, a golfing reindeer. 


Mickey and Minnie.  A Disney Christmas.


A Teddy Santa and his faithful giraffe.  I have no idea. Animal lovers, perhaps?


Oh, look, a dinosaur!  I just . . .  I don’t know . . . .


Babe!  I loved that movie!


Surely that isn’t a peacock?  Is it? 


Flamingos.  Okay, a tropical theme.  I can embrace that.


Santa on a polar bear!  Traditional!

So, a wide variety of Christmas cheer, posted here for you.  Want to know the best part?  Every single one of those is in the same yard, and I didn’t even get half of them in a photo.  I believe that is what you call overkill. 


 Merry Christmas, y’all.  

The Pink Dragon

Is everyone ready for the holidays?  I am.  You all know that my tree is up and my house is decorated and that Seamus is having a love affair with the tree.  I have gifts under there now and he still picks his way over them to wad himself up in the back under the pretty lights.  I think he has been very delicate as I have yet to find a shredded present. They are all still very much intact.

At work, we began gearing up for the holidays at work long about the day after Thanksgiving.  Just last week we had Goodie Day.  Goodie Day brought catered food from a local restaurant and assorted food contributions from everyone in the office.  The amount of food available was mind boggling.  We all stood in line, filled plates, ate well and then staggered around the office in a carb-induced stupor.  We were worthless and our billable rate plummeted for the rest of the day.  Lazy, yet festive.  We have also decorated the office with lots of standardized trees, ornaments, lights and whatnot that give us the assorted feelings of warm fuzzy and holiday cheer.  And finally, we have my desk: 


This is a glittery pink reindeer (or some such animal) that was given to me as a gag gift a few years ago and you know, I just can’t keep it to myself.  EVERYONE gets to experience the glam so I bring him to work for all to enjoy.  Isn’t he cute? 

Unfortunately, it seems that I’m the only one who thinks he’s cute.  Most everyone, when seeing him for the first time, says something along the lines of, “Oh . . . . isn’t that . . .  nice . . . .  Where did you find that thi- um, him?”  And then they grin weakly at him and tentatively reach out a hand to touch him which means that they will promptly and completely be covered in pink glitter and have to explain to their wives and husbands that it really was a hideous pink reindeer on a co-worker’s desk and no, they did not go to the Brass Stables for lunch!  Anyway.  I brought the reindeer in on a Monday and on that next Tuesday, I came in to find this:


Since then, Always Keith has renamed him The Pink Dragon and every day when I arrive at work, I have to search for him.  He and The Hulk hide him somewhere close by, usually near the men’s bathroom or in a break room.  My favorite was the day he was packed up in a box and delivered from the mailroom. 


Today I came in to find this:


Merry Christmas to you!  I’ll have a more serious post on Christmas Day, I’m hoping, but for now, safe travels to you all and happy gifting.  Presents are fun!



Unexpected, Take Two

Do you guys remember this post?  Go on back and read it.  I’ll wait.

 You done?  Good.

 Now, lookit what was left on my desk for me.  Isn’t that nice? 


I still don’t know who did this to me.  I think it is hilarious but I wouldn’t it be great if I could get revenge?