Archive for Christmas

A tradition I can’t figure out why I haven’t quit yet

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , on December 23, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN #427

The bleepin’ Gingerbread House. Looking good here.








Five minutes later. I want my money back.


More lessons on men

Posted in Mars and Venus with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 371

Surprisingly, I’m learning a lot about men this week. I have two lessons to share.

The first is that men are much smarter than we give them credit for.

Women are always saying men don’t listen, that they don’t get it.

Actually, I think they do.

I was at the dentist last  week, who just happens to be my brother. After copious warnings to Tyler about how Uncle Dave would find a cavity if he didn’t brush well, Uncle Dave found a cavity in my mouth. Which Tyler thought was hilarious. Frick frackin’ kharma.

Anyway, Uncle Dave was filling it and while we were waiting for me to numb up we were talking about the Christmas presents we’d had to return.

“I had to return the sweatshirt Jerry got me again this year; it was a medium,” I said. I went on to explain that while the thought of a medium was nice, I’m not really a medium.

I mean I can stuff into a medium. But I feel like I have alligator arms, pinned to my sides because the sleeves are too tight. Life is just too damn short for that nonsense.

My brother just nodded. “I never buy anything larger than a medium in clothes or an 8 in shoes for my wife.”

“What?” I asked, only it was really more like “Whuf?” because half my mouth was numb by this time. “Eben if you know it bon’t vit?”

“Of course! It doesn’t matter if it won’t fit. That’s the rule.” Apparently, he understands paralytic mouth.

So every year I and countless other women must head to the mall and exchange stuff our hubbies knew wouldn’t fit. That seems stupid.

Or does it? I tried to imagine my reaction if Jerry gave me a sweatshirt in an extra large.

“So. You think I’m an extra large? Do I look extra large? Last year you gave me a medium. Thanks a lot!” I’d say, muttering “Ass!” under my breath as I walked away.

I’d like to think I wouldn’t react like that but I’m getting old enough to be partially honest with myself.

And he’s gotten smart enough to know that size matters and it’s the thought that counts.


Stay tuned for lesson two. It’s a doozy.

The (not so bad) daily grind

Posted in So true with tags , , , , on January 3, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 345

Well, now that all of the holiday hoopla is over, it’s back to the daily grind.

Can I admit that I’m kind of relieved? Is that terrible? It’s not that I actually prefer work over the throngs of family and festive obligations, but work is calmer, quieter, more predictable and, frankly, I don’t have to clean nearly as much.

Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoyed Christmas this year. Tyler’s excitement on the Big Day was just incredible. As I sat watching him open his presents and scream with delight, I thought “remember this, remember this.”

It was the work that almost killed me. I washed more laundry and dishes than I thought I owned, ate an obscene amount of food, and found a variety of ways to rip and squash boxes so that they fit in the recycle bin. I vacuumed until my arms hurt. And if I find one more of the twisty ties used to package toys, I’m going to kill myself. I have dishpan hands, a bloated figure and a splitting headache.

Ah, but I’ve survived. Here in my office, post-holiday, the silence is sublime. Tyler is in camp as I write this. And my office chair seems to be saying: Welcome back.

Forget jolly, sometimes Santa’s just scary…

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 339

I know it’s three days past Christmas, but I had to post this picture.

My friend Michelle’s son was fine with Santa as long as he didn’t come too close. Being picked up by Santa was clearly a violation.

PS: This is no mall Santa…it’s his grandpa!

To regift or not to regift?

Posted in So true with tags , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN #325

Ah, the time is upon us.

Every year I say I’m not going to go overboard on gifts. And then I end up looking cheap. So this year I’ve gotten something for everyone. Like it or not (and you better!) you’re getting gifted.

Gift giving is hard, though, seriously. I now buy my own gifts for myself and put them on Jerry’s credit card. I know. It’s not romantic or surprising. But his dad gave his mom a paper shredder for Christmas one year so I know what’s coming.

Regift or not? I say, “Why not?” (Actually I say, “Hell, yeah!” but don’t tell any of the people I’m giving gifts to this year).

Seriously, re-gifting is the ultimate in recycling.

AND…may I be so bold as to suggest giving White Elephants?

This is blatant re-gifting. You’re not trying to pull one over on anybody. I’ve done it with friends and my mom and sis. You basically give what you already have. Maybe it’s something another person has always admired or something you don’t use anymore that you think the other person would like.

The bonus with giving White Elephants is that it’s always fun (and funny!) and really cost-effective. Each White Elephant comes with its own story–why you picked that gift, where you got it, why you don’t use it anymore etc. My mom uses the White Elephant giving to pass things down to my sister and me.

Two years ago at our family swap, I received the Lexus talking badger (from those funny commercials) and I brought it back to the swap last year. I thought it was hilarious! Others, not so much.

So, if you’re gonna regift, have a sense of humor about it–and hope others do too–especially if you mean it to be obvious. The laugh itself is worth way more than a brand-new coffee mug, candle, hand lotion and all that other crap we give each other every Christmas.

One more thing. And this is important: if you don’t remember who gave you a gift, DON’T re-gift it. It’s too risky.

I’ve seen someone re-gift a gift to the person who gave it, forgetting she was the giver and trying to pass it off as new (does that make sense?).

It wasn’t pretty.

And it makes you look like a dumbass.