Heater, Mother of Lance

Featured community question wherein I get my Scrooge on

This one comes from member Gettysburg Mom:

Let’s start with the glass half full, shall we?

Favorite Things

– Sliding across the hardwood floors in wool socks.

– The smell of wood-burning chimneys even though I know they are terrible for the environment. You know what else is? My butt.

– Really gaudy Christmas light displays, especially ones involving giant blow-up versions of cartoon characters that have nothing to do with the holidays. Like a 15-foot tall SpongeBob. That shit is Christmas.

– Donnie and Marie Osmond.

– Cinnamon.

– That one animated version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer because it “creeps” Leta out.

– The look on Chuck’s face when he sees me approaching with an enema a string of garland.

– Witnessing my kids explode with excitement and remembering how electrifying that used to feel.

– Christmas ornaments from my childhood.

– Watching The Wizard of Oz as a family in our bed after all the presents have been opened and then assuring Leta that green witches do, in fact, exist.

– Moments like this morning when Leta asked, “You know how Santa, like, is always aware of when I’m bad? Well, then why doesn’t he just know what I want for Christmas?” And because I hadn’t even put on my clothes or had my coffee, I hesitated a little too long. So she answered her own question, “I just have to say it out loud so he can hear it, right?” I’m pretty sure she’s safe to raise herself from here.

Least favorite things (here’s where you read my website, and then when you meet me in person you’re like, “I thought you were going to be so mean!”)

– Christmas music in stores.

– Christmas music in the car.

– Christmas music at my mom’s house.

– The ceramic Christmas rooster at my mom’s house.

– Wrapping presents. (What? That’s your favorite part? Then you can come over and wrap mine. I’ll give you pizza.)

– Figuring out what presents to buy for everyone. This is Jon’s most favorite part, so Christmas shopping is the most harmonious part of our marriage. We happily skip through stores, and then I stop and punch a giant Christmas bear in the face.

– When people ask me why I still celebrate Christmas when I stopped going to church. Last time I checked, the church doesn’t have a monopoly on the desire to spend time with your family and generously give to those who are important to you and those who are in need. Or sometimes I’ll just be ornery and say, “Because Santa died for our sins.”

Scraping snow off of the car. Oops, sorry. Broken record.

– When my mother purposefully gives my children toys that make loud noises without an option of volume control. Inevitably, those toys mysteriously end up crawling into traffic.

What about you guys?

  • grad.nauseam

    2011/10/26 at 2:26 pm

    I love wrapping presents, and I like my pizza with sausage and onion 🙂

  • Anita Scotch

    2011/10/26 at 2:28 pm

    In our family we have a tradition of going to my mother in law’s house on Christmas eve with the other childless siblings and do a puzzle, play games and eat junk food all night long.

    The best though, is the omelet’s on Christimas morning. 🙂

    Also, I do actually enjoy wrapping presents. What time should I be there?

  • dooce

    2011/10/26 at 2:33 pm

    Since I usually put off wrapping until Christmas Eve, it looks like you guys will be spending the holiday with me!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/10/26 at 3:05 pm

    Favorite Things
    – Christmas lights
    – Christmas trees
    – My children’s anticipation during the season, and excitement over all of the stuff they got, which they think is free, because Santa brings it. BWAHAHAHAH! So cute. Sort of.

    Least Favorite Things
    – Snow
    – Ice
    – Cold
    – Did I say snow?
    – Paying for all of Santa’s “free” gifts.

    Also: I can handle winter through the holidays. I like it as a backdrop. But I’d be happy as a clam if Dr. Conrad Murray propofoled my ass from January 2nd until about June 1st.

  • jen.yaya

    2011/10/26 at 2:41 pm

    As a recovering perfectionist, I attempt to steer clear of wrapping presents around the holidays. But I’d still totally wrap 8 gillion presents for you if I lived in Utah, because it’s my crack.

    But I’m with ya on Christmas music. It’s the devil.

  • mommica

    2011/10/26 at 2:46 pm

    Love: The glow of the Christmas tree, snow (as long as I’m inside, looking out), hanging the stocking by the window sill with care, kids opening presents, special Christmas jammies, strawberry pancakes, a house full of people and food. Hate: Wrapping presents at 1 a.m., Christmas music EVERYWHERE starting Nov. 1, snow (when I’m on the outside, wishing I was in), hearing my husband complain about how much the damn Christmas tree costs, drawing names for Christmas gift purchasing. I used to be in charge of that for my side of the family. This year, I relinquished my duties. Heck yes I did.

  • lcarilo

    2011/10/26 at 2:54 pm

    Favorite thing… living 1500+ miles from in-laws and missing their holiday extravaganza of a houseful of obnoxious people on Christmas (attendance expected of their spawn & grandchildren; refuse and you are considered the anti-Christ… Yup, that’s me.)

    Least Favorite… living 1500+ miles from mom and missing a lovely, serene Christmas in company of people who adore you and who you love being around, doing nothing special really, except it’s Christmas.

    Both parties mentioned are within walking distance.

  • ellapritch

    2011/10/26 at 3:00 pm

    Singing “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” at the top of my lungs
    Christmas morning cinnamon rolls
    Pumpkin Spice Lattes

    Buying presents for fringe family members out of obligation
    The “Christmas Shoes” song (i’d rather stick a boiling hot rod in my ears, thank you very much)

  • KatR

    2011/10/26 at 3:08 pm

    I think we need an entire post dedicated to “The Christmas Shoes”, hatred of.

  • i.delia

    2011/10/26 at 3:15 pm

    I grew up in upstate NY and Christmas never varied. Breakfast with one set of grandparents, lunch with the other, and dinner with the same family friends. Every year was pleasant, but without surprise (except for the presents, of course!)

    When I left NY after college I moved to Tucson where Christmas was white lights around through saguaro cactus and watching snow fall on the mountains while swimming in the pool.

    The last 15 years have been spent moving with the Marine Corps. We have celebrated Christmas all over the country, sometimes playing beach volleyball with neighbors in southern California, sometimes quietly at home in North Carolina.

    Due to all the moves, I rarely spent Christmas at the same address more than once and each year is a new experience of decorating. Nothing has a set place, but everything has a home.

  • joansy

    2011/10/26 at 3:20 pm

    peppermint cocoa,
    peppermint chocolate bark
    peppermint schnapps

    making and then burning a yule log – with just my husband and 2 kids

    sending the kids to the Four Seasons to make gingerbread houses (the houses are great, no mess in my house, and the entry fee goes to charity)

    winter break from school for the kids

    buying crap we don’t need

    dealing with my husband, the photographer, as he sets up lights and backdrop for the annual photo card

    dealing with my kids as the pose for the annual photo card

    the guilt trip from my mom on the years that we don’t drive from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City

    buying trinkets for people at work that they do not need or want

    people who get offended at “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” – no one every says “Festive Winter Solstice” to me and I don’t get bent out of shape.

    There’s more. That’s enough. I can’t believe it’s only 2 months away. Ugh.

  • ChickWhitt

    2011/10/26 at 3:40 pm

    There isn’t much about the season that gets me down. Even when it is sucky, the idea of Christmas makes my belly all warm like I just did shots, and I feel like the world is good, people are good, and we just all love each other.

    My favorite time is turning on our fake fireplace, turning off the lights, and listening to Christmas music in the living room while the tree glows, and just enjoying that moment.

    I try my best to not make it stressful, because it doesn’t need to be. If I don’t make candy, if the tree doesn’t go up until the 23rd, if my presents are wrapped in Target bags, it is still a great time to hug someone and tell them you love them.

  • sylla_asylum

    2011/10/26 at 3:48 pm


    Baking with my kids over several evenings (school nights!), gorging on cookie dough and wine (wine’s for me, not them… duh) while watching same annual lineup of videos like “Elf” and “The Bishop’s Wife” (Cary Grant version) and… (wait for it) shamelessly/predictably sobbing through “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

  • ssburnette

    2011/10/26 at 4:31 pm

    I love everything about Christmas really, making traditions with my kids and making our house look magical. What I HATE is that we can’t really afford Christmas, and it put me into credit card debt for the first time last year. I try to keep it simple but legos aren’t cheap!!

  • JulieK

    2011/10/26 at 4:43 pm

    Favorite Things
    -Peppermint Bark
    -Wrapping presents, yes wrapping presents. I love the whole process, from finding the perfect paper and ribbon to hiding in my sister’s bedroom on Christmas Eve to wrap gifts while we drink hot chocolate and watch movies.
    -Exchanging gifts with my husband. We don’t have much money right now so it takes a lot of thought and creativity to save money and find the perfect gift.

    Least Favorite Things
    -Obligation to do anything because it’s Christmas.
    -Not having money to buy gifts.
    -Missing out on holiday fun because of school. I really don’t get the time to enjoy the holidays until the semester ends.
    -When the Southern California weather makes it feel like Christmas in July.

  • gandhimom

    2011/10/26 at 4:52 pm

    I was clinically depressed for several years. Every year around Christmas, we’d watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” except I called it “It’s a Wonderful Lie.” There was no way people could be kind or care about me.

    I am better now. I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every year and I weep with happiness, not only because I love Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed’s dress at the end, but because I’m mentally healthier and, indeed, I’ve found a path to wonderfulness.

  • tgibson

    2011/10/26 at 4:58 pm

    God, I LOVE the movie ELF! I’m nuts but I also love the frenzy at all the shopping malls! I don’t necessarily partake in the shopping frenzy but it’s SO fun to watch!

  • stationaryrunner

    2011/10/26 at 5:05 pm

    I understand why you might not like the ubiquitous Christmas music… but I don’t understand how you can love Donnie and Marie Osmond. Maybe you are being sarcastic. Yes, that must be it.

    Love: Christmas lights, hot chocolate, decorating the Christmas tree, the holiday cups at Starbucks, holiday cookies with sparkly sprinkles (even though I can’t eat them), the anticipation, watching movies like “Love, Actually” and “Elf”

    Hate: Buying presents, having my family camp out on my couch for an entire week

  • prestonk9

    2011/10/26 at 5:18 pm

    – All the twinkly lights
    – My trees. I have 3 fake trees of different sizes that look like douglas firs, that I decorate with different themes.
    – Watching Elf and Bad Santa
    – I love Christmas music! I like the non-traditional ones best though (Sufjan Stevens anyone?)
    – Watching other people open presents I gave them
    – Our annual Christmas photo card – I try to be creative and funny
    – Buying new ornaments for next year!

    Least Favorites:
    – Shopping. I’m not good at it and it stresses me out
    – Wrapping present. I always think I’ll watch a movie while I do it and it’ll be fun! But it’s never fun. I like the results though.
    – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, In Debt Wednesday…
    – The day after Christmas blues.

  • Jan

    2011/10/26 at 5:21 pm

    Least favorite things
    -Inflatable yard ornaments!
    -Greedy, spoiled and ungrateful kids
    -Having to buy an adult something they don’t need or probably want
    -The TV puppet version of Amahl and the Night Visitor… or really, any version… I don’t know why.
    -People who believe that Jesus was born on December 25 and refuse to listen when you tell them the early church in Rome probably selected the date in the early 4th century to replace winter solstice and Saturnalia celebrations. Since we don’t know the real date, what’s wrong with a symbolic one?
    -The dress my mother made me out of unlined red wool with narrow sleeves when I asked for green velvet that flared out at the wrists
    -Taking down the tree ornaments

    Favorite things
    -The look on kids’ face as they race downstairs to the tree
    -Really gaudy Christmas light displays, just not including inflatables.
    -“Granma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”
    -Lying under a lit-up, real Christmas tree in the dark
    -Listening for the sound of bells at night even though I haven’t believed in Santa since I was four years old
    -Finding unusual items for other people’s stocking stuffers
    -The chemistry set I got when I was seven, although I mostly made invisible ink and a liquid that predicted clear or rainy weather (blue or pink)
    -Putting on the tree ornaments

    So agree with the comments about not being able to afford gifts and the economy and general excess. Really prefer no gifts among adults unless handmade, and not giving the kids a lot of plastic junk.

  • Jan

    2011/10/26 at 5:28 pm


    I realize that some of my comments in the two categories contradict one another, but that’s nostalgia vs. current reality. Oh, and I never got a Creepy Crawler kit either.

  • cassidy.stockton

    2011/10/26 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t have kids, so no doubt this will change as time goes on…
    -smell of pine needles
    -breaking out my childhood ornaments
    -baking cookies
    -eating cookies
    -Harry Potter

    -freezing rain
    -the feeling like you overspent on the holidays and the debt is going to crush you with its evil dollar signs…

  • Kristina

    2011/10/26 at 5:44 pm

    I love to wrap presents. Especially with that bendable ribbon, but I heard Utah gets more snow than Michigan, so you’re on your own.

    Fresh baked cookies. My husband makes fantastic cookies.
    The smell of Wassail brewing in the crock pot.
    Finding that special ornament to get for my son Dylan. He gets a new one every year, that represents something special from the year.
    Arranging presents under the tree so they are just right.
    Wrapping and decorating presents.
    Getting cards every day in the mail.
    Using sealing wax on the envelopes of the cards I send.

    Least Favorites:
    Blow up decorations.
    Fake trees.
    Fruit cake.
    The mess my husband leaves after he makes his delicious cookies.
    Not being able to get more and do more for my children.
    Driving on snow or ice.

  • jaimalaya

    2011/10/26 at 5:55 pm

    I’ve always loved Christmas so, so much. It was always the family and the food (lasagna and fried chicken in my house)and the time spent together. It’s the cookies and lights and even the music. Yes, I love Christmas music.
    And as my kids have gotten older, though I will never, never have one in my front yard, I’ve learned to appreciate the giant, blow-up decorations, if only for the joy they can bring to my son’s face.

  • full contact knitter

    2011/10/26 at 6:15 pm

    Half full:
    lobsters and mother-in-law’s onion dip
    putting baby jesus from the manger set at mother-in-law’s house on the roof and a sheep in the bed. Or putting a camel on the roof just to hear her shout, “Who keeps doing this?!”
    Lindt chocolates
    Peppermint bark
    The Xmas ornament of a fish wearing a set of antlers and a red Rudoplh nose

    Half empty:
    working in retail
    Xmas music on November 1st
    finding new routes to the mall to avoid traffic
    Having to point out to people that Xmas movies are designed to rip your heart out, make you cry and then finish by saying everything is fine (Life is better than death, the angel gets his wings, Scrooge forced to love Xmas, Gift of the Magi). Xmas movies are cockteases.

  • wilbers82

    2011/10/26 at 6:43 pm

    I HATE Christmas music. Ten years of retail work will do that to ya. Oh, also Christmas stuff in stores before Halloween is over. I used to say Thanksgiving, but that’s just a losing battle.

  • Corey

    2011/10/26 at 6:53 pm

    –The homemade stuff I boil on the stove that smells like Christmas time
    –My daughter’s excitement (this is most likely her last Santa year)
    –Some Christmas songs, when I want to hear them. Not forced upon me!
    –Seeing the lights
    –Shopping for good gifts when I know what I want to buy
    –Smell of our tree

    –The radio station I have to listen to at work that plays non-stop horrible Christmas music
    –Shopping for crap people don’t want or appreciate
    –The frenzy that goes along with it all
    –The extra traffic (where do these people come from)
    –Cliche, but putting the MFing lights on the tree
    –Putting away all the decorations after Christmas

  • Jeca51601

    2011/10/26 at 7:35 pm

    “Because Santa died for our sins.”

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha :-))))))))))))!!!!

    Do you mind if I use this when somebody asks me “How can you celebrate and be an atheist at the same time?”

    It is “brilliant!” as Jeremy would say :)!


  • honeydunce

    2011/10/26 at 7:49 pm

    like: getting christmas break off work(a perk of working at a university)

    -seeing my niece opening presents, witnessing the magic that it still is for her.

    – christmas cookies. because they are delicious


    – the way people act and/or treat each other around this time of year. everyone is in a rush, or grumpy, or taking their problems out on others, cutting in line, yelling at customer service individuals, etc. sometimes the “christmas spirit” turns out to be a lot less fluffy and a lot more rude than the classic tv shows let us believe.

    -it’s a personal thing, but i don’t have the greatest memories in relation to xmas, especially looking back on my childhood. sometimes the stuff comes back to bug me a bit.

  • cipsi

    2011/10/26 at 8:16 pm

    Given that I’m Jewish my favorite things about Christmas are Chinese food and sleeping in (sometimes in that order).

  • poopinginpeace

    2011/10/26 at 8:24 pm

    Favorite things:

    my kids being so excited
    Christmas dinner
    Christmas eve dinner(I make a big homemade ravioli dinner)
    putting up all our decorations
    the Yankee Candle -Home for the holidays-smells so good
    fires in the fireplace
    Christmas trees
    homemade Christmas cookies

    Least favorite things:

    The stress from making all the Christmas cookies, ravioli, putting up the decorations and buying Christmas presents. I need some serious Xanax this time of year. Also, and I know all of you people living in the cold climates are going to hate me when I say this but, I don’t like when it’s 75 on Christmas day. I live in Los Angeles, but am from the East Coast. It’t Christmas-it’s the one day I WANT the cold.
    I also hate wrapping presents, so I will bring mine to your house Heather, and chip in for the pizza.

  • debbasd

    2011/10/26 at 8:49 pm

    LOVE: – Elf, The Grinch (old one and new one), and Home Alone

    -Rugelach, especially because no one else in the house likes it…and Spritz

    -Egg NOG, oh Egg Nog

    -The anticipation of my kids…they’re bouncing from T-Day on.

    -Having Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve so I can stay in my jammies all day on Christmas Day

    DON’T LOVE – wrapping…one particular Christmas Eve when we were up until almost 3 am doing it cinched that for me forever.

    -being the one to buy EVERYTHING and trying to keep track of receipts

    -Figuring out the Christmas picture and how to make 4 kids ranging from 19 to 6 and husband happy and in one place at the same time

    -when it’s hot on Christmas (live in San Diego)


  • carepackagegirl

    2011/10/26 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks for the Christmas spirit!
    I missed mine last year.
    Where should I send the cookies, jam, brownies, quick breads, and pies?

    That’s my favorite part- baking for 100 in a kitchen the size of your closet and wrapping everything up all pretty.
    And watching Elf, White Christmas, The Year without a Santa Claus (Heat Miser!) and Muppets (Emmet Otter and Muppet Family Christmas) while making paper snowflakes.

    No, I’m not seven, but I get to act like it around the holidays.
    Maybe that’s my favorite part.

  • tinacolada97

    2011/10/27 at 12:04 am

    My husband and I are professional musicians. That means we like Christmas music because we get paid to play it….

    I used to like it. Now it’s just a chore because I associate it with WORK.

    But I’ll wrap presents for pizza! Count me in!

  • tinacolada97

    2011/10/27 at 12:06 am

    Oh yeah. And least favorite things?

    #1: driving around to all my husband’s family gatherings EVERY EFFING YEAR because his parents divorced and no one gets along so we have to drive a hundred miles (literally) to see everyone….

    After kid #2 I’m putting my foot down.. if they want to see us they can %^$%#%#$ drive the 200 miles down here.

  • apostate

    2011/10/27 at 1:50 am

    I CAN’T STAND IT when people act like I shouldn’t celebrate Christmas anymore now that I’m an apostate atheist. Maybe this could become your new Christmas music.


    I really love family time and family meals but I hate how my MIL (who has hoarding tendencies) goes nuts on dollar store “stocking stuffers” for my children. Every night of December 25 we arrive home with boxes upon boxes of “gifts” and they get scattered around the house and I feel too guilty to just throw everything out or give it to DI. It’s suffocating. So I start dreading Christmas in August each year just because of MIL’s inability to get us each one moderately priced gift instead of craploads upon craploads of cheap toys. She really enjoys shopping and picking things up but it’s really about her enjoyment mor than anything. There I said it. I’m a bitch.

  • Chloe

    2011/10/27 at 4:10 am

    Love: the eggnog we used to make and drink when I worked at a winery whose name began with M and ended with avi. This stuff was a family recipe, full of rum and bourbon and eggs and whipped cream and then aged in huge demi-johns for a few days before it was consumed at the Christmas party with more rum and bourbon drizzled on top. One year there was enough for me to take a bottle of it home whereupon my mother commandeered it and my children referred to it as “Grandma’s milk”.

    Love: Any South Park Christmas episode – Mr. Hanky anyone?

    Hate: Pah-rum-ah-pum-pum. Can handle any other Christmas carol except that

    Hate: It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve only seen it 1x and my life turned to sh!t for the ensuing five years. My life is great now and I refuse to jinx it.

  • sybann

    2011/10/27 at 6:16 am

    I EFFING HATE Christmas music! Given that the first seventeen years of my RADIO career I spent working the day of and playing that shite over and over it’s no wonder.

    I do like the traditional churchy stuff or Bruce Cockburn’s versions – but I swear if I meet Springsteen I will punch him in the face for his version of “Santa Claus is coming to Town.”

  • Lex Lemon

    2011/10/27 at 6:21 am

    I have come to think of the modern Christmas as a more American holiday than a religious one. I grew up with a Jewish mom and a lapsed Catholic dad, so I got to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. We never went to any sort of church or temple service, I was pretty much brought up with as little religious connotation to the holidays as is possible.
    I celebrate Christmas now as a chance to let everyone I know how much I appreciate them with fun gifts, lots of cookies and holiday cards for all. I really enjoy decorating trees, hunting for unique ornaments and eating cookies. I do believe that Christmas music is best saved for childrens’ holiday concerts though.

  • REBottoni

    2011/10/27 at 6:28 am

    Re the wrapping – two words – Gift Bags
    If I buy the ones with tags I use a post-it on the tag so the bag is a gift too!

  • waitimaprincess

    2011/10/27 at 8:03 am

    The wrapping! The wrapping is one of my favorite parts. I wrap on Christmas Eve as well. With tequila. After midnight. Who gives a fuck about crookedness; they’re gonna tear it off anyway. I love the smell of a live tree in the house, the feel of the wood-burning, hell for the environment fireplace on my feet. Tequila. Nat King Cole anywhere — store, car, house, not my husband’s mouth b/c he can’t sing! What I dislike? Christmas commercials before Halloween. Adults expecting gifts (buy that shit for yourself. I have procreated way more than I should have, so all my pennies go to them). Ungrateful family kids who aren’t tactful enough to not show disappointment that yes, that actually was the last gift for you. Make that face again I’ll snatch that shit back.

    (Here is where I reread what I wrote and realize that Christmas makes me evil. I kinda like it).

  • Big Mo

    2011/10/27 at 8:23 am

    I’ll be negative first. I hate the fact that we’re already talking about Christmas and Halloween hasn’t even frickin’ passed yet. Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday (all of the love, food and family togetherness without the accumulation of crap or stress about what kind of crap to give people who have all the crap they need and want), and it pisses me off that it’s turning into Christmas Part One.

    My favorite thing is novelty/comedy Christmas songs. Not the same recycled carols you hear every year, but stuff that puts a different spin or makes it funny. Top of the list: Stan Freberg’s “Nuttin’ For Christmas.”

  • Aprilisin

    2011/10/27 at 8:36 am

    Love Christmas music!! You just don’t like it because you never danced ’round to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlyojhBs_24

    I used to swing my sisters around to this and now I swing my son around…

    And don’t forget John Denver’s “Please Daddy don’t get drunk this Christmas” It’s a little embarrassing to hear the kid belt this out though…no, really, he doesn’t mean us.

    As for wrapping…I don’t even try to compete with the little Christmas wrapping queen…throw it in a bag, let my son wrap it any way he can, but the best is trying to disguise the gift in some weird shaped vessel.

    Dislike: the extra pounds that come with the holidays no matter what. I gain in relation to how many pounds of butter I purchase during the holiday.

    Dislike: trying to find perfect gifts..I suck.

    Dislike: having to travel on the holiday and staying at other people’s houses when I’d rather be home curled up on my own couch.

    Ok, breath, there’s no way to stop the calendar…it’s coming anyway!

  • utahbeach

    2011/10/27 at 9:16 am

    – Keeping my ear open all year long for gift ideas for my sons and wife and purchasing throughout the year to avoid the Christmas rush.
    – Making the kids wait at the top of the stairs while we turn on the tree lights and Christmas music. Its torture for them, but the way it builds their excitement is so fun.
    – Bloody Marys on Christmas morning
    – Bisquick, sausage and cheese balls. The picture in this recipe makes me salivate: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/sausage-cheese-balls/6a2a7890-c685-4991-b699-743fd880486f
    – Taking the week BEFORE Christmas off to have the house to myself while my sons are still in school and my wife is at work.
    – In aforementioned week, taking my time wrapping presents all while blaring Rob Zombie.
    – Working the week of Christmas when the commuter trains are empty and the workload is very light.
    – Having my own childhood Christmas memories flood back when I hear Bing Crosby sing or when I read The Night Before Christmas to my sons like my dad used to to my sister and me as one of the last things before we went to bed.

    – The Christmas Present Lottery my wife’s side of the family does where you pull a name of a brother- or sister-in-law out of a hat that you need to buy a present for. It’s a waste of money, as there is nothing they need or want.
    – Spending the majority of our recent Christmases at my brother- and sister-in-law’s home, which is drafty and cold.
    – The flotsam and jetsam left after the toys are unwrapped. Seems just one or two plastic wrapping pieces fills my recyling bin. So, spending Christmas away from home could be considered a benefit for this fact.
    – Putting away the pile of Christams gifts.
    – Living in Boston while my parents and sister live back in Virginia.

  • HeySweetie

    2011/10/27 at 9:21 am

    LOVE: Rockefeller Center. “Scrooge” the musical. That I listen to “Feliz Navidad” year-long is excusable for a month. Listening to the New Kids on the Block Christmas album (tradition). My boyfriend’s family who are super festive and have a big ass party. (I have a small family – 3 people.) Those years when I actually buy good presents. Looking back on great Christmases from my childhood. Looking forward to having children of my own and bringing back Santa. I’ve missed you, dude!

    HATE: WRAPPING. Those years where I buy crappy presents, with $30 Extra Speedy Shipping because I forgot to shop until December 22nd. My boyfriend’s obligatory visit to my parents’ house which is always awkward. The fact that when I turned 18 my mom happily said “Christmas is for children” and won’t decorate or celebrate anymore. Although on the plus side, she just writes me a check for a present.

  • Daisee

    2011/10/27 at 9:38 am

    I would have to say that favorite would be reflecting on last year: Christmas 2010; all my girls were home & healthy; it was so incredibly special and significant; decorating the house, baking with everyone – wonderful!

    The incredible generosity of “angels” in the community: you know who you are! Back in December 2009 my daughter was very ill; we spent Christmas in a hospital room and had a festive occasion with Chinese Food for dinner! We basically lived at the Ronald McDonald house for the month of December then & I will never forget how the community, hospital staff, RMDH staff made it so incredibly special for my daughter – it is something I will never forget as being away from home was tough enough, the generosity of so many to make it bearable for us was astounding. It has made me yearn to go back & help out/give back especially during the Christmas season.

    I love the smells; real trees, clove stuck oranges, cinnamon, again: baking…
    White lights everywhere

    I also agree with many about the pushyness & crowds in stores, I avoid it at all costs.
    People at work that are typically nasty all year long all of a sudden get so nice & sicky sweet then change back after the holidays. Just be nice all the time peoples!

  • Chez Sanderosa

    2011/10/27 at 10:14 am

    I actually love almost everything about the holidays and especially Christmas! The food, camraderie, cheer, music, good spirt… However, my husband and I moved several states away from his side of the family and our friends , so when we visit during the holidays, we spend a good amount of time in the car going from one family to another. I REALLY dislike that part. I’m also horrible at picking gifts, so while I really like giving gifts, there’s a lot of ridiculous stress in finding the right thing at the right price. And last, but not least, due to timing and circumstances last year and this year, we haven’t been able to afford gifts for anyone. That part sucks way more than the stress of finding the perfect gift.

  • CourtneySue

    2011/10/27 at 10:15 am

    I LOVE Christmas music. I feel sad when January 1st rolls around and I finally give it up.

    I hate taking down the tree and the decorations.

    As for wrapping gifts, I find those paper gift bags stuffed with tissue paper a perfect alternative to wrapping. The majority of my gifts from my parents when I was a kid were “from Santa” because those came unwrapped.

    This will be my first Christmas as a parent, and I am very excited, even though he’ll only be 11 months old and won’t remember any of it.

  • Zerojet

    2011/10/27 at 12:12 pm

    I feel like we should start a Gift Wrapping Anonymous for all the happy gift wrappers, I being one as well. I can put martha stewart to shame thanks to my mom.

    ♥ the smell of fresh cut pine
    ♥ baking a room full of cookies for gifting
    ♥ the neighbor down the street that has an old ass Winnebago in the driveway and decorates like it’s the Griswold house
    ♥ the fact that at 34 my mom still sends me a Christmas stocking
    ♥ Christmas crackers with the paper crowns in them
    ♥ Christmas movies/music from the 1930s-50s
    ♥ snow days where I work in my pjs from home
    ♥ decorating and dinner parties, this year I want to do a turn of the century xmas theme

    ♥ Stores getting all holiday decorated in September
    ♥ The movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’… really. It’s depressing and I live in Seattle. Nuff said.
    ♥ Holiday radio, complete with sappy stories.
    ♥ Knowing that my grandmother may not be around for next Christmas and that I’m not going home this year. 🙁

  • Lonestar1177

    2011/10/27 at 12:19 pm

    When I was a child my mother would play Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving – it has made me loath Christmas music of all types! That and the fact that no matter how many times you remake any Christmas song its still the same annoying song!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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