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Buffy's Commentary

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Conflicted about Christmas

HerNameIsBuffy

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So why am I talking about Christmas before Halloween when I hate that?  Because we moved over the summer and I'm seeing a different side to this new neighborhood.  It seemed like a nice, normal, stereotypically suburban neighborhood when we got here which goes to show you should never move to a neighborhood without first checking it out in Holiday season.

Within two square blocks we have a dozen or so excessively decorated houses for Halloween.  I don't mean a couple of window decals...I mean full on lights, yard scenes, and enough inflatables to rivals Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  I can only image we'll be visible from the naked eye from the space station in December.

So I kicked off my annual 'let's skip the whole Christmas thing this year' a little early.  My proposition is always: no decorating, no trees, no holiday movies...I will do one weekend of baking (no sense punishing anyone by denying them homemade kolachkis, cranberry bread, etc.  I'm not completely without a soul.)

The thing is ...I'm torn.  I blame my parents.  They were, in most ways, polar opposites.  My mom was perpetually cheerful, optimistic, sunny, extroverted, and genuinely, inherently kind to everyone family or stranger alike because she truly saw the best in everyone (even when it didn't exist).  My dad was....none of those things.  He had many fine qualities - just not those.  

Their differences were particularly striking when it came to the holidays.  My mom was all about the personal attention and extrodinary effort to pick out just the right gift which shows how well you know someone.  My dad's philosophy was that thoughtfulness was for people who didn't have money.  Why knock yourself out trying to figure out what people want when they already know what they want so you can just give them cash?  And if they want gifts to open fine...they can make a list complete with stores, item #s, etc.  Less Santa and more like ordering from a catalog.  

With dad's way you were never surprised or emotionally moved, but you also didn't get the sometimes epic fails when Mom got it wrong.  Was nice to have a mix.  They divorced when I was very young so the dichotomy of their decorating styles affected me as well.  

Dad's idea of decorating for Christmas:

 

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There.  Happy now?

Where Mom would have thought these people were off to a good start...

 

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And if she had thought of it, I absolutely would have been picked up from school in a station wagon version of this...

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In most ways I am my father's daughter.  I am not a fan of people, fuss, exuberance makes me emotionally itchy.  And I want to opt out of the Christmas stuff because I do the lions share of the work and I'm never rewarded with those Normal Rockwell moments.  My kids bicker when helping set up the trees, complain about my baking their siblings favorite cookies before theirs, mercilessly mock my holiday penguin collection, and even though all young adults still can't manage to buy for each other or their father without involving me (unfortunately we don't have enough money to make my dad's solution workable so we have to do the effort thing.)

And asking for the three of them to get together for one nice photo...you'd think I was suggesting taking out their organs with Bactine and a butter knife to sell on the black market.  But the second I suggest not decorating?  

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But I'm going to try to stick to it this year.  Not caving to those faces - they know where the Christmas things are and can have at it if they like... but except for two days of baking I'm opting out.  No cheer, no desktop wallpaper of pets in holiday outfits,no buying every penguin item I see, no shopping and all the extra free time I save will be my gift to me.

this will not be my wallpaper...

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nor this...

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This...

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this..

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this...

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or this...

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none of that cuteness.  I mean it this year, I'm sitting this out.

 

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

hmmm...you're right...i can't find it either.  Looked like we have some that still need to be put into categories, but I couldn't find it in the old file either.  But I don't have my glasses on and am only into one cup of coffee so I'll look later when i can see.  :32:

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halcionne

Posted

Aww, don't worry about it. I wanted to use it here, is all. It's one of my faves.

Thanks for removing the video so my comment doesn't make sense, btw. :pb_lol:

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted (edited)

Aww, don't worry about it. I wanted to use it here, is all. It's one of my faves.

Thanks for removing the video so my comment doesn't make sense, btw. :pb_lol:

I didn't remove the video?  I just fixed some formatting on this one....lemme check.

 

the video is a stand alone entry - previous one.  And yes, talking kitty says bad words!  His language is nsfw but I love him!

Edited by HerNameIsBuffy

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Destiny

Posted

I fucking love you and your blog and you are my hero buffy. Thank you for making me laugh this morning. I needed it.

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Cartmann99

Posted

I love Christmas, but on my own terms. I don't have children, so some of my choices are easier than for those with children. The whole decorate the house within an inch of its life and spend lots of money on gifts is not me. I have two small ceramic Christmas trees that I set out, some homemade stockings that I tack up on the wall, and a wreath for the front door. Our gift gifting is very scaled down. We only buy a small gift for our mothers and the local nephew who is still a kid. We watch some Christmas movies, I bake some goodies for us and for a few other folks, and on Christmas Day I make a nice turkey dinner.

If someone gives me a Christmas present, I thank them and mail them a handwritten thank you note. I don't get upset if it's someone that I didn't buy a gift for. If they get upset, that is on them. I don't expect gifts from people, but I can't control what they choose to do.

I really hope you are able to have the Christmas that you desire. :my_shy: The holiday season can be very stressful for a lot of people.

 

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CallmeChaCha

Posted

Ummm, I have that Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it.  It's perfect. :snooty::hand:  In fact, sometimes I think it's too much, what with having to find a place to store it.  Annoying as hell.  :kitty-wink:

I've never heard of or seen inflatables for Halloween.  That's very... festive. 

Errr... we have this? :tw_elephant:

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halcionne

Posted

Aww, don't worry about it. I wanted to use it here, is all. It's one of my faves.

Thanks for removing the video so my comment doesn't make sense, btw. :pb_lol:

I didn't remove the video?  I just fixed some formatting on this one....lemme check.

 

the video is a stand alone entry - previous one.  And yes, talking kitty says bad words!  His language is nsfw but I love him!

Hmm okay. I'm not firing on all cylinders today, sorry about that! :my_blush:

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

Ummm, I have that Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it.  It's perfect. :snooty::hand:  In fact, sometimes I think it's too much, what with having to find a place to store it.  Annoying as hell.  :kitty-wink:

I've never heard of or seen inflatables for Halloween.  That's very... festive. 

Errr... we have this? :tw_elephant:

yeah, last couple of years it's become a thing around here.  I'll grab a pic next time I'm out.  Not my thing but I do prefer a giant inflatable cartoony ghost to the people who hang 'bodies' from the trees ...the ghoulish stuff is creepy.

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VelociRapture

Posted

Just commenting to say I want to steal all the doggies in those pictures you posted - but mostly that Pug wearing a Christmas hat that looks like it works for, "The Ministry of Silly Walks." :pb_lol:

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Eternalbluepearl

Posted

I loved this blog post. I have no children, but I can totally understand your feelings. Your efforts feel unappreciated, am I right? I one hundred percent think it's ridiculous that the young adults need to involve you in gift buying for each other. I would totally remove myself from that as well. They can bake their own damn cookies too! Sorry, I get overzealous. 

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Our neighbors across the street used to go all out for Halloween. 

Huge inflatables, lights, the works.    They had an inflatable headless horseman in a black carriage, an inflatable spooky guy playing an inflatable organ, a vampire lifting up the lid of his coffin and poking his head out, stuff like that.

Now their kids are grown and they don't decorate for Halloween any more.

I'm embarrassed to say I kind of miss it...

 

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted (edited)

I loved this blog post. I have no children, but I can totally understand your feelings. Your efforts feel unappreciated, am I right? I one hundred percent think it's ridiculous that the young adults need to involve you in gift buying for each other. I would totally remove myself from that as well. They can bake their own damn cookies too! Sorry, I get overzealous. 

Totally appreciate the support!  But on the cookies thing though...I like cookies and they will be yummier if I make them.  :)  Actually, I do enjoy baking quite a bit and I absolutely love Christmas baking so I'd do that even if I didn't have kids.  Although I'd have to accost random strangers and force treats on them against their will.  

My mom was an amazing baker...adequate cook but she could bake things you couldn't believe were created by a mortal.  (She always said baking =/= cooking and they are two very different skill sets.  Baking is science, cooking is art.)  Anyway, she's been gone over 20 years and I miss her every day but when the ache gets more pronounced nothing makes me feel better than trying to kick ass at her specialties.  I know how much she would adore my kids if she were here now and it kind of feels like she's loving them through me when I bake her stuff.  No changes, no additions, no substitutions for the classics.  

  • Chocolate eclairs (everything from scratch.  Pate a choux, creme de patisseriechocolate ganache.)
  • Kolachkis
  • Soft ginger cookies (jinger?)  (Gramma)
  • Spritz cookies
  • Candy Cane cookies
  • Cranberry Bread/muffins (that's all Gramma, though)
  • Brownies
  • Vanillekipferln (Almond crescent cookies)
  • Pfeffernusse (still haven't perfected)
  • Pizelle 
  • Turtle candy
  • Honey candy 
  • fudge
  • pflamenkuchen (not even close yet - I totally suck)
  • Pecan Shortbread
  • Pecan Rolls

I've added to the list with recipes I've just found but they beg for...nothing traditional or special but as long as made with love...

  • chocolate chip cookies with/without:  pecans, dried cranberries, both, neither
  • white chocolate chip cookies with/without:  Macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, both, neither
  • crinkle cookies (essentially brownies but more of a pita to make)
  • Almond snowballs (thank you Rachel Ray - her basic recipe but I tweaked it and made it better (sorry RR!)  replaced my mom's macaroons in the line up as close enough flavor wise but way easier (sorry, Mom!)

There is an ingredient which keeps coming up...I feel a blog post coming on...

 

Edited by HerNameIsBuffy

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