Christmas is a’Comin

And the goose may or may not be getting fat, but tragically, I am bloated because I kicked off the season by making my family’s version of Chex party mix which requires twice the amount of butter, and garlic, onion and celery salt. And extra pecans. I woke up this morning barely able to get the rings off my sausage like, bloated fingers. If I hadn’t gone to the pool last night, the rings probably would have to be sawn off.

Christmas was a way bigger deal in my youth, when we had advent calendars and candles, carolling, extra church services, pageants, and Christmas Eve parties with my mom’s family – featuring chicken salad, a bewildering array of molded jello salads, and a raft of cousins to play with before the gift exchange. And Christmas Day with my dad’s family which was more of the same (except they weren’t into the molded salads – it was all 20 kinds of Christmas cookies with them).

Of course there was the Christmas when Charlie backed over Grandma Charlotte, and had a fatal heart attack, and Grandma was in the hospital with a broken hip, and that put a damper of the whole season, but I was in my teens then and pretty self absorbed, so I don’t remember all the details.

Nowadays, Christmas is about …. well, not anything really, except habit and nostalgia. We always get a real tree, because they smell so good. I always bitch about putting on the lights after Mr. GG bitches about sawing off the trunk, and getting the tree to stick up straight in its’ red and green stand.

I have a collection of vintage bottlebrush trees I put up, and another collection of Kunstlershutz, tiny, flocked animal ornaments from West Germany, that are no longer made. My favorite is a hedgehog, but I have lions, deer, bison, cows, goats, bears, lambs, elands, elephants and monkeys. Those little animal ornaments make me really happy. If we ever had a fire, they are one of the first things I would grab – assuming I could find them. Hmmm. Maybe this is the year I organize the epic collection of ornaments.

You could pull out my nails and waterboard me, but I will never go shopping on Black Friday. Never. Instead I use the internet, which has it’s own problems, since some places offer free shipping. Of course, usually it is “get free shipping when you spend $79.95” – which sucks, when all you wanted is a $9.95 toy, and you don’t want to pay another $8.50 in shipping, so you have to google your item and see if you can get it for less at some other site. Or you have to find a bunch more stuff at the first site to make the free shipping minimum.

I use the scattershot method of gift giving. I go for quantity. I buy lots of little stuff and wrap it individually, hoping in the mass of gifts the recipient will find at least some little thing they like. I’ve been doing this for years. And I’m here to tell you that you can overspend your budget by continually buying one more “little” thing as Christmas draws nigh. It would probably be more cost efficient to buy one really good item, but then you would have to know what that item was, and there is only one really good item universally approved, and that is CASH. And if all we were gonna do is give each other money, we might as well just keep the bills, and checks, and chocolate coins and save on the wrapping and shipping.

What a Scrooge I can be. I notice I say “Bah, Humbug” a lot in December, but this year, maybe I’ll blog it out of my system. Right after I go find some gag gifts for Mr. GG’s office party.

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