Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve... What Are You Listening To?

Just a drive by post... I still have presents to wrap... But I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite Christmas songs. I don't have many...

6. Deck the Halls by SheDaisy - It came out when I was a teenager and I loved their arrangement. The round at the beginning. The mix of a few different songs. I loved it.

5. Mary, Did You Know? by Rascal Flatts - Again with the arrangement... But the harmonies on this one get me. And the line "When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God." I believe that's true of every child. All children are the faces of God. It seriously makes me tear up every single time. It's a beautiful song of praise and wonder. And it's a song every mom can relate to.

4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlin - It's upbeat. It's fun. It makes me happy. And anything she sings on is just MAGIC. Plus it's clever.

3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by M and Me - We've been singing it to G this year and he loves it. It's so fun to sing and make dramatic.

2. Jingle Bells and Deck The Halls by G - He's been watching a lot of Christmas specials on Netflix and these are his two favorite songs and he sings them all the time. So cute.

1. Oh Holy Night by Lea Michele - When I first heard this version last season on Glee I was literally moved to tears. I keep it in my players all year round. I really consider it more of a praise song and less of a Christmas Carol. The lyrics never, ever fail to move me. Praise His Holy Name.

So those are my favorite Christmas songs... Tell me your favorites in the comments.

And... Merry Christmas to all of you!


Friday, December 20, 2013

10 Things I Love About Christmas Shopping

I like shopping. It's fun. It's interesting. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

I'm a shoe, handbag and jewelry nut. But I'm also a Christmas shopping nut.

So below is my list of the top 10 Things I love about Christmas shopping.

10. The time I get to spend in the car singing with the radio. I love to sing almost as much as I love to shop. So anytime I'm in the car by myself I plug my phone in to the stereo, turn the volume UP and sing at the top of my lungs. Christmas shopping provides me with plenty of opportunities to sing. Loudly. Cheesily. Awesomely.

9. Also related to music... I love Christmas music. My favorite songs are O Holy Night by Lea Michele, God Rest Year Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings by The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlin, Mary Did You Know by Rascal Flatts and Deck The Halls by SheDaisy. I'm also fond of She & Him and a few others. But those are my go to songs. Christmas is an excuse to listen to them. Christmas shopping allows me to plug my ear buds in and jingle all the way while finding gifts.

8. It's fun to rush around. I love it. I play games with myself to see how many shops I can get to in a designated amount of time. Malls only count as one. Today I was able to get to five shops in 2 hours. And I got some great stuff. Win!

7. I love all of the things I find in my wanderings through shops. Things I would never think to buy without having seen them before. I have found fun games, cute notebooks, and so many other things.

6. I enjoy being what feels like the only "nice" person. Everyone else is rushing around, scrambling to get the best deals and as a result they end up being rude. I never get upset. It doesn't do any good. Shopping should be a fun experience. Low stress. I refuse to stress about it. If I start feeling stressed I go home and wait for the next day.

5. I love doing themed presents and then tracking down the items for the theme. One year I did a guitar theme for Husband-Man. I bought all kinds of guitar gear that I knew he needed. Stands, capos, a really nice tuner... Even some Hula Girl picks to honor our love of Hawaii. This year I'm doing a theme for my stepdaughter... I can't tell you about it yet. But come back after Christmas and I'll show you.

4. Deals. Deals. Deals. I LOVE them. I have so much fun finding the best price for the things as am looking for. The best is when something is listed as one price and ends up being another. For instance... This year I decided G needed a Mr. Potato Head. So when I was shopping at Walmart I found a bin with them in it and a sign that said $10 but when I rang it up it was $5. SCORE!!!

3. Have you ever had someone on your list that you just can't figure out something to get them? Every year. Seriously... Every year. But the feeling when you are out and something catches your eye and you just hear angels sing and a beam of light falls on it while a sign unfurls above it with the name of the person it's for. Best. Feeling. Ever!

2. Sort of along the same lines as 3...finding everything you wanted to find for everyone. Knowing that you were able to get everyone you love exactly what they wanted or needed is such a great feeling. 
1. The anticipatory feeling I get when I shop for others. I live for the thrill of seeing the people I love open their gifts. Every time I put something in my cart I feel a frisson of anticipation. "How is Husband-Man going to react when he sees this?" "M is going to pass out when he opens this!!!" I love that feeling. I love shopping for the people I love. I love giving to others and seeing the joy in their faces.

So that's it... Those are the things I love about shopping for Christmas.

I'm almost finished with my shopping this year. And I'm literally on tenterhooks waiting to see how my darlings like what I've found for them.

Hurry Christmas...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Santa...Ho Ho Ho!!!

First...I want you to know I have a few new tutorials coming. As well as a post about my latest obsessions, from hair (I totally can't wait to share this one with you!!!) to TV, to book,s to all kinds of other things. I'm pledging to become so much more better (ha ha) at this. What's the point of owning the blog if I'm not going to keep it up? New Years resolution time. 

But for now...let's talk about Christmas.

Husband-Man's family is Jewish. They do not celebrate Christmas. Which is cool because hey, at the holidays no one is complaining that we didn't spend enough time with them. WINNING!!!

I don't have any family to spend Christmas with so no problems there either. For years its just been me, the Husband-Man and the kids. Which is cool. We had traditions. Sushi. Karaoke. Movies. Presents. FUN!

There were a few years we even traveled for Christmas. Let me tell you. Waking up in Disney World was awesome! If you ever get the chance to do it...DO IT!!!

For years though, I have longed for the "traditional" Christmas holiday experience. You know...the one where everyone gathers together at a family members house, usually Grandma's, and everyone spends the day wearing ridiculously horrible Christmas sweaters and drinking egg nog. Inevitably there is an uncle who has a little too much nog and he passes out in the corner. The kids play with their toys on the rug in front of the fire and the adults stand or sit around telling stories of past holidays and laughing and loving each other. Does that even happen? Seriously..if it does please let me know in the comments. I think this is just a fantasy I made up.

I dream of this. 
I yearn for this. 
I love my family so much. I'm so blessed. 
I know that I am. 

But sometimes I just want the hectic insanity that everyone else has. I want to feel a part of a huge family unit. I want to have a grandmother who loves me, buy me socks and underwear and a mom to bake pies and cookies and cakes with. I want to have siblings who are genuinely interested in each other. I want them to love me and each other and be supportive and goofy.

I have none of that. 

But I will. Oh I know I will. 

One day I will be the Grandma. One day it will be my daughter baking cakes with me and my sons laughing and joking and snatching cookies from the cooling racks. One day I will have a hectic Christmas to end all hectic Christmases (seriously...is there a plural for Christmas?). 

One year Husband-Man and I will be so driven crazy by the planning of this event that he will say "Never again!!!" and I will pat his wrinkled and liver spotted hand and say "Yes, dear" and then start planning the next year.

I have to tell you. I have so many fantasies about that day I'm not sure it will ever live up to it when it finally comes. But that's OK. The memories will.

Until then though...I want you to know that I have the most loving and wonderful friends. These are people who adore my family as much as we adore them and their family. I may not have family family, but I sure do have a family of friends. This will be our second year being with them and I am looking forward to it so much. We plan to have Italian food and everyone will be bringing a dish of some sort. I've been designated to bring my fabulous green beans (You want a recipe? Keep coming back to the blog) and I know there is going to be baked ziti. I'm hoping for some canoli. This gathering is going to be epic and fun and full of love and laughter. Exactly as Christmas should be. 

I'm counting down the days.

Until then though, I'm going to leave you with some fun pics of G with Santa and some toy soldiers. Looking at them puts me in the holiday mood. I hope it does the same for you.

G posing with his new "friends" at our Lodge's Kids Christmas Party. He walked into the room and saw them and refused to be parted from them.

He played with them and moved them and carried them.
And refused to let any other kids play with them. They were HIS. He's normally really good at sharing...but not this time.

G on Santa's lap. He didn't cry or get upset. But he didn't want to look at Santa either. 

You can see the anxiety in his little hands though. We tried to prepare him for this Santa visit by showing him pictures of other kids (not crying) on Santa's lap and talking about it with him. It seems to have worked a bit.

In the end though, he was so tired that he decided he and his "Toy Soldier Friends" needed to take a nap. So he grabbed Brudda and made him lay down with him and his "friends" His little hand was patting the soldier on the back to help him get to sleep. Sooooo cute!
What do you long for at Christmas? Quiet? Noise? For it all to be over? For your house to be filled to bursting? 

Do me a favor and have a very Merry Christmas!!! Be safe! Be loving! Be filled with grace.