Friday, December 24, 2010

0days 7hrs 28mins 30 secs...

Wow, it's hard to believe that this will be my last post for the Christmas Countdown.  I guess I will have to actually put my brain to work and think of some interesting posts to put up here without the help of the holidays or the season.  Anyways, I just wanted to thank everyone who has been reading my Christmas posts, and I hope that you all have enjoyed them.

My brother is extremely excited for Santa to come tonight, and can hardly contain his excitement.  My parent's anniversary was on the twenty-second.  They've been together five years now, and am pretty confident when I say that they will be growing old together.  After that, my mother's birthday is today, Christmas Eve.  I've tried to make it special every year, firstly because she is my mom, but secondly because having a birthday around any holiday is a bummer because it's so easy to overlook it.  So amongst all the Christmas decorations, I put up balloons and pink streamers, making our house look pretty interesting.

A few weeks ago, I was worried that we wouldn't have a white holiday, but my worries were put to rest after a nice little blizzard, and then again today with a beautiful snowfall.  I don't think anything is prettier than fat snowflakes floating down, not to mention it was pretty easy to scoop!  My brother and I haven't built any snowmen yet, but there is still enough winter left to do that.

I'm signing off for now, but just want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

04days 23hrs 50mins 33sec...

Wow!  I can't believe that it's only five days until Christmas and I still have to finish my shopping and wrapping.  Last year at this time, my shopping was done almost a month before, and brightly wrapped bundles were crowded in my closet, waiting to be opened.  I'm not sure what it is about this year, but the season has seemed to just fly by, with barely enough time to enjoy it.  Pretty soon, I'll have to drudge up the boxes from downstairs and pack away all the pretty lights and fragile ornaments.  I will once again try to cram our Christmas tree back into its original box (an almost impossible task!).  The living room furniture will have to be rearranged and swept under.

Before the actual day of Christmas arrives, our family will have celebrated an anniversary and a birthday.  This will be my parent's fifth wedding anniversary on the twenty-second, and my mom's birthday on the twenty-fourth (I won't tell how old she will be)!  I am very happy and grateful that my parents love each other as much as they do, and am glad to celebrate with them.  Five years doesn't sound like a lot of time together, but it's hard to imagine life before they were married.  As for my mom's birthday, I think she is silently freaking out a little bit.  She doesn't like the fact that she's getting older (not that she's old, but she thinks she is).  I want her to know that she's still absolutely beautiful, inside and out, and that I am proud of her for all the hard work she's done in her life.  I hope that someday, I will grow up to be just like her!

After those festive events, comes New Year's Eve.  New Year's Eve isn't a big deal in our house.  I usually spend it with my best friend, staying up at my house and eating a bunch of junk food, waiting for the ball to drop.  The past few years, my little brother would crawl up on my bed and try to stay awake to see the ball drop with us.  Sometimes he succeeded, and sometimes he didn't!  This year will be a little different, but I'm sure it will still be fun.  I know one thing for sure: I will not be eating pepperoni, crackers, and cheese at midnight (gross story...don't ask).  As far as resolutions go, I don't think I will be making any this year.  Instead, I will try to make the most out of everyday.  I know that sounds a little cheesy, but somehow it seems more realistic than making a bunch of stupid resolutions that never pan out.  Anyways, that pretty much concludes the festivities for one year and begins it for another.  At the moment, I don't want to think about next year.  Instead, I'll just sit here a while longer, staring at the beautiful Christmas tree with her twinkling lights.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

13days 02hrs 08mins 17secs...

"Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

Frightful indeed.  My car is currently stuck in our mall's parking lot, no doubt buried in a pile of snow.  After getting stuck once already this morning on my way to work (thankfully my dad was out to give me a push), my boss's husband gave me a ride home after we closed up shop early.  We decided it wasn't worth the risk of me trying to plow through the frozen drifts, and navigate around messy corners.  The wind hasn't stopped blowing all day long.  I say "blowing", but what I really mean is that the wind is so fierce, it feels as if an atomic bomb has been dropped on our front doorstep (without the heat, of course). 

When I went to bed last night, it was raining and there wasn't a stitch of white, fluffy stuff to be found.  It was a different story as I woke up this morning.  A good six inches had descended to earth, and it was still going strong.  I'm not even sure what we're up to now.  As I sit in my cozy, Christmas-lighted room, I silently thank God that it's the twenty-first century and houses are sturdy and sealed up tight.  I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like if we had to live in a mud hut or a log cabin on the prairie.

I am both dreading and looking forward to tomorrow.  I'm dreading the task of rescuing my car from the mall and trying to get it safely home again.  It shall be interesting.  Besides that, I'm excited for tomorrow also because my mom has decided to do a bunch of holiday baking, in which I get to partake!  Tarts, cookies, and chocolate snowballs are on the menu, along with a good dose of holiday cheer!  Sorry, that last part may have been a little cheesy :)

I'm signing off for now, but will leave you with this interesting Christmas fact:

"Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

16days 09hrs 47mins 53secs....

"How many more days are there now?" asks my little brother.
"17 more days" I reply.  These are the first words from my brother's mouth as he wakes up in the morning.  Right now, his only concern is how long it is before Christmas.  17 more days, I think to myself.  Holy cow, I need to get my shopping finished.  On top of that, I'm fresh out of creative ideas for this season, it seems like.  My parents drop hints every now and then about the cool presents thet got me, and how I'm going to love them.  This makes me feel a bit guilty and adds to the pressure of finding a good gift for each of them.  The holidays aren't too crazy around here because we don't have a bunch of family and friends over, but we do have a lot of important dates to keep up with: 22nd is my parent's anniversary, 24th is my mom's b-day, and of course the 25th is Christmas.  Like I said,  a little busy!  I have to go to work pretty soon, but I thought I would sneak in here for a quick post (it's been a few days, sorry).

  • Witches and Evil spirits are the greatest broom thieves. The Norwegians once believed that witches and devious spirits were likely to steal their brooms on Christmas Eve. Who knows maybe a mischievous prankster stole a few brooms during that period and the legend stuck.

  • Forego throwing out your Christmas tree and make it lunch. The Evergreen is actually edible, well most parts of it anyway. In addition, it is nutrient enriched, so if you take the advice stated previously you'd be getting a good source of Vitamin C and roughage. Don't mind that you will be eating a tree; it's just one step away from any other vegetable.

  • Christmas was illegal in England from 1647-1660. This was enforced by the then leader Oliver Cromwell who believed it was immoral to hold celebrations on one of the holiest days of the year. The celebration of Christmas was therefore a criminal offence which could lead to an individual being arrested if he or she was found guilty of condoning any revelry during the period.

  • All facts taken from the following site:

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    20days 10hrs 20mins 27sec...

    She had awakened to silence.  It was so quiet, it was deafening.  She had only meant to take a little snooze on the couch, but apparently her body decided it would sleep longer.  It was now dark outside, and a bit chilly inside.  Slowly peeling back her blankets, Emma walked to the fireplace and started a healthy blaze.  There, she thought, it will soon be warm.  She hated being cold, especially in her own house.

    Walking over to the corner, she plugged in two strands of lights.  Almost instantly the entire tree, along with half the room, lit up in a glorious display of twinkling lights.  Ornaments gleamed, and the room suddenly became cozy.  The air's a bit dry.  Emma was proved right after a quick glance in the mirror showed her static, messy hair.  Time for a little of mom's magic, she thought.  She took out an old pot, filled it with scalding water, and placed it on the glowing stove burner.  After selecting Allspice, Cinnamon, and Ginger from the spice rack, she dumped a handsome share of each (except for the Ginger: it was her least favorite) into the water and stirred.  Eventually, the water would boil and evaporate, and thus humidifying the room with a rich scent.  Her mother had taught her this trick when she was a little girl.  She remembered how good it had smelled when she came home from school to find the boiling pot on the stove top.

    The door banged open.  A cold gust of wind gushed in, along with a bundled up figure.  Emma rushed over, closed the door, and turned around to face the figure.  "I thought you had to work late," she said.
    "So did I, but the deal went better than expected and we finished early."

    Smiling, Emma brushed the snow from his hair and hung up his coat.  She looked outside and realized that it was snowing.  Big, white flakes floated lazily down to earth.  It was the pretty kind of snow.
    "Whats for dinner?"
    "Candy canes," she said as she plucked one from the tree.  He slid his arms around her.
    "Mmm, nice and sweet," he said just before kissing her.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    23days 09hrs 10min 38sec...

    Today is December 1st.  That rolls off the tongue sweetly.  It seems like I've been waiting a lifetime for December to show up, and now it's finally here!  I can safely talk about Christmas, decorations, and presents and nobody can tell me to shut up or scoff because it's too early "for that kind of talk".  Our recent dusting of snow adds to the holiday atmosphere, along with seeing more houses twinkling at night.  I put up our tree and decorations yesterday.  It felt good to lug up those boxes from the basement and dig through them.  It was like recovering buried treasure every time I unwrapped a Christmas ornament from it's newspaper shell.  The tree was adorned with its usual colored and white lights.  My mom and I compromised when it came to the tree:  she likes white lights the best, while I like colored lights.  I have to admit that the mixture of the two on the tree look better than either color by itself.  After the lights, I sent gold and maroon ribbons cascading around the tree.  Glass bulbs and lots of candy canes polished the whole thing off.  By the way, candy canes surprisingly still taste pretty scrumptious after two years!

    Normally, once I've finished decorating, our living room looks like Christmas threw up everywhere.  This year however, I had to put the kibosh on that method due to the fact that our cats seem to break everything by knocking it over.  I made up for the lack of decor in the living room by sprucing up my own bedroom.  Colored lights and bulbs hang around a rough perimeter of the ceiling, with my hand made ornaments dangling down.  Christmas candles perch on every available space, and a great maroon bow adhered itself to my bookshelf.  Some may think it looks tacky, but I absolutely love it.

    Today's Christmas Countdown tid bit is a game called Dirty Santa.  Now I've never heard of this game before (although I think I'm in the minority on this one), but I thought it sounded like a lot of fun.

    How to Play Dirty Santa

    1. Everyone playing the game brings a wrapped gift so there is no indication about what is inside. Place the gifts together under the tree or on a table.
    2. The host writes a number on scrap pieces of paper for every gift and places them in a basket, bowl or hat.
    3. Each person draws a number. Getting a higher number is actually better because you will have more opened gifts to choose from.
    4. The person with #1 picks a gift to open from the pile. The person with #2 can choose to open another package or steal the gift from #1. If a gift is stolen, the person who had it then steals from someone else or picks another gift to open.
    5. The game continues like this until everyone takes a turn opening or stealing a gift. The last person to go can steal from anyone in the game or open the remaining gift.
    6. Once a gift is stolen three times, it is retired from the game.