Okay I have two things to post about today.
The first is to give myself a pat on the back because yesterday I ran my first 9km since taking 5 weeks off to heal my horrendous shin splints. It’s a double success because as anyone who enjoys exercising can attest — taking a month off (even though you know it’s right for your body) can be a very frustrating experience. So that fact I managed to do that and am now better for it is a huge reward. Hopefully I can keep the dreaded shin splints at bay from now on!
And secondly I must post about the hilarity of taking public transit or even just walking around downtown on the weekend before Halloween. Seeing people on the subway engage in what they feel is a completely normal conversation while wearing a massive teletubby get-up or sporting eyeliner drawn scars on their faces is pretty hilarious. Also, seeing the amount of people who I’m sure would proudly announce their costume to be a “sexy _____” really just look like very cold, under-dressed hookers is a little humorous as well. Because let’s face it, a mini dress that has “Diet Coke” written on it does not mean you are a bottle of coke — it just means you’re wearing an itty bitty dress on a cold night. But hey, to each her own!
I myself will be enjoying a quiet and peaceful Halloween. Rather than donning a creepy Halloween mask, my friend and I will be sporting the moisturizing kind as we enjoy a girls’ night in this evening. And then on the actual day I will be engaging in the joyful experience of handing out candy to little tots. Sounds like the perfect combo to me!
In a desperate attempt to accomplish every kitschy Christmas tradition that exists – a couple of weeks ago I forced my sister to help me track down chestnuts. I was determined that even if I couldn’t roast them on an “open fire” as the song suggests – I was darn well going to roast them and hear them pop. Unfortunately, other things got in the way and the chestnuts, tragically, went unpoppped.
But I wasn’t going to let them rot in my mom’s pantry so I brought them back to my place and set out on a journey to discover how to properly cook chestnuts and this is what I discovered.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wipe down chestnuts with a damp cloth and lay them on a tray, flat side down.
2. Cut an X into the tops of the chestnuts.
3. Cook the chestnuts in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
4. When they’re done most of them will have popped open at the X.
5. Once they have cooled a touch, peel the shells off the chestnuts. Some of them might be dark and hard – those ones are bad and can be discarded. But the ones that comes out a light brown colour are ready to be eaten!
I’ve often speculated about what it means to be a grown up and when you finally feel like you’ve made it to adulthood. I’ve considered some serious possibilities such as when you start really taking responsibility for your actions or when you break off from your parents and pay every one of your bills yourself. But this Christmas shone new light on what it means to be an adult. I discovered that you know you’re a grown up when…
Organizational gifts thrill you to your very core
Sounds ridiculous but I feel there’s some accuracy to it. Ten years ago receiving a file folder would have been rewarded with the cold shoulder, a labeler would have been ignored all together and a spice rack would get a curt nod and a taut smile. But not anymore!
A jewelry box sends me into an excited frenzy of all the ring locating possibilities. Which drawer will contain which bracelet is debated upon for days and finally getting them moved from sitting scattered all over a desk to in their respective places is an accomplishment to be revered.
Things you didn’t even know could be organized can be organized. Did you know there was such a thing as a tea displayer? There is and damn doesn’t it look good!:
Now, you might think my excitement is simply early signs of an emerging OCD disorder and only time will tell if that’s the case. But until the test results are in I’m going to take this new found love of organizing as a sign that I really am a grown up!
Well it is officially Christmas Eve and my child-like mind has of course woken me up at 7 in the morning. Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. Because this brings us to the final item on my weekly countdown of why I love Christmas:
When It’s Finally Here!!
The average person might spend a few days, maybe a couple weeks getting excited for the holidays – but when us Christmas enthusiasts spend the better part of two months listening to carols and watching Frosty the Snowman on repeat – there is an intense appreciation for when the day finally arrives. This appreciation is so intense that, like a 6 year old, I likely won’t fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning tonight and be up at the crack of dawn.
I think what excites me most about when the actual day arrives is all the traditions finally unfolding. You can get excited about them all you want before hand but it isn’t until the day arrives that you really get to experience them. And sure, things always change and they don’t necessarily unfold just how you think they will. For instance, our usual calm, slow unwrapping of the presents was paused briefly last year after my two year old niece spun herself in circles proclaiming “I’M NOT TIRED!!!” before collapsing face first and conceding “I’m ready for my nap.” But these unique occurrences only add to the stories of how awesome Christmas is for years to come.
So I wish everyone a very merry Christmas Eve and hope you are all just as excited as I am for tomorrow!!
Well, there’s no denying it – I’m stressed. Not Christmas related stress – I don’t believe in engaging in Christmas related stress. I don’t care how many presents I have to wrap or cookies I have to bake or pounds of turkey I have to defrost in a minimal amount of time – I will not let holiday festivities turn me into a bundle of nerves. However, tomorrow is filled with consecutive stressful activities that I want to have go well and that makes me stressed. Not to mention, I have a tickle in my throat which keeps warning me that I have been pushing myself too hard and if I don’t slow the heck down and rest up, I’m going to wind up sick on the big two-five – which would be absolutely disastrous. So yes, my friends, things could be going better.
However, knowing that once I make it through tomorrow I will be surrounding by my loving family is quite the relief inspirer. And so to take my mind off tomorrow’s stress I am going to continue my weekly countdown by being a complete hypocrite and contradict everything I said last week about presents not mattering. Haha I’m kidding…mostly. Because today’s great thing about Christmas is…
Still present related but in a very different realm than the getting of presents, I think. It’s funny because I can still remember when I was little asking my mom or dad what they wanted for Christmas and having them reply “It really doesn’t matter, I just like watching you and your sisters open your gifts”. To which I promptly thought – “Ha! I don’t buy it for a second!” But I will concede now and admit that perhaps my parents weren’t in fact lying as I once thought. Because it really does seem that the further I get from the days of Barbie Dreamhouses and Magic Kits, the less getting presents matters to me – and the more that giving presents starts to take precedence.
I literally dream about what my family member or friend will exclaim when they open the gift that I selected just for them and I do a little seal clap when I finally come up with the perfect present for that really hard-to-buy-for person. The visa bill slowly starts to stack up and the cash keeps flying out of my wallet but that’s okay because I know what will come of it is waaaaay more important.
So getting presents may not matter to me anymore in my wisdomous older years (I refer to myself as old since I was called “mam” twice at work today and can therefore only assume I have crossed the threshold into spinsterdom…I’m not bitter) – but giving presents sure still does. So get excited family and friends reading this because I’ve picked some real winners this year! And I hope anyone else reading this is equally excited for gift giving this season because it’s just 10 days away!!!
Well with Christmas being nearly two weeks away, it’s about time my weekly countdown delves into the absolute best parts of Christmas. And I think many of us can agree that the real best part of Christmas is…
Seeing Friends and Family!
I am often asked why I have such an intense (verging on unhealthy) obsession with Christmas. And from my past countdown posts you can certainly tell that I have an affinity for it for many reasons. But over the years I have slowly managed to piece together why my love of this holiday is so extreme. It’s because I get to see my family.
Being the youngest of three girls – I witnessed my sisters move out and on with their lives at a young age and perhaps developed somewhat of an “empty nest” syndrome myself. But Christmas was always the one time that my family would return from the far corners of this continent and we’d get to spend a blissful week or two in each others company.
It’s funny because my giddy bounces when “Frosty the Snowman” comes on the radio at work or my frantic clapping when I see a new Christmas decoration go up is often met with the question “Why are you so excited for Christmas? Are you expecting some really great gift?” And the interesting thing is – I honestly couldn’t care less about the presents involved in the holiday. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there was a time where the thought of getting the new heart shaped Polly Pocket or gymnastics Barbie sent my heart aflutter. But that’s not what excites me anymore.
It’s the prospect of having a whole family to bake cookies for, and the promise of a home cooked meal around the usually quite empty table. It’s sitting around with people you know and love watching The Christmas Carol and The Grinch on repeat. It’s having voices and laughter constantly echoing through what is typically a very quiet house. And it’s about being thankful for the fact that no matter how stressful and hectic the majority of your year is, you get this one period of time to come together with the people you love and celebrate that you have them in your life.
So for these and many more reasons I say – Christmas can’t come soon enough!
Can you believe tomorrow is December 1st!? Considering I started this countdown over a month ago – it certainly seems hard to believe that the month of Christmas is almost here. In that spirit I feel it is only fair that this week’s Christmas countdown item be…
The Advent Calendar!
I mean, seriously, who was the genius that came up with this creation. What could be better than knowing when I go to bed every night I am one sleep closer to my favorite day of the year? I’ll tell you what: Getting a chocolate that tells me I’m a day closer to my favorite day of the year! My glorious mother surprised me with my very own 2011 advent calendar and I can’t tell you how excited I am to open my very first little paper door tomorrow.
But it isn’t just no name brands that provide us with 24 secret treats anymore – Lindt and Kinder have some crazy dressed up versions as well:
No quarter sized chocolates behind these souped-up doors. Nope, it’s Lindor balls and Kinder Surprise Eggs all the way here. Now I just might stop by Shoppers and picky myself up a second advent calendar tomorrow – but I think I’m most excited about opening the one my mom surprised me me with – it’s just like the ones I opened when I was little. The chocolates are almost guaranteed to get stuck in the plastic molding and you have to bang the box repeatedly against your hand until it deigns to pop out and the fight just makes it that much more fun.
And as if that isn’t cool enough – my sister sent me an internet card advent calendar that will provide me with a new cartoon every day of December. The ingenuity of people!
So even though we may have gotten our first snowfall today and the coldness has arrived – if it comes chocolate coated I say bring it on!
Well, life is all about the peaks and valleys and today definitely had both of those. My mom and I planned on cutting down our unnecessarily large Christmas tree today a while ago. So for weeks I’ve been pumping myself up for the epicness of today. The ride up to the tree farm listening to radio trivia, the trek through the wilderness to find the one that is just right and the hours of decorating and Christmas music listening that would ensue.
Now, many of those events did take place – but not before a darn big ditch of life came our way. My lovely mother, on her way to pick me up for our day of merriness was hit by another vehicle. She is completely okay so no need to panic on that front. But as anyone who has been involved in an accident knows – the stress and effort that is involved in dealing with a car post-incident is no fun. Fortunately after exchanging information and what not we deemed the car safe enough to drive and we continued on our way to treeland.
We found one that was absolutely perfect – just tall enough that we could manage it on our own and lots of bushiness to hold our extremely massive quantity of ornaments. Plus we did it all on our own so there is something extra to be proud of!
So without further ado, I present to you our 2011 Christmas tree:
It is not fully decorated due to the unfortunate unforeseen delay but it’s a beauty! So, lesson of the day: life comes with it’s ups and downs. But a month from now this lovely treasure will still be standing and (hopefully) today’s car troubles will be but a distant memory.
Well – since we are officially a month away from Christmas as of tomorrow, I think it is about time this weekly countdown celebrates…
Now, I know a lot of people get cranky when the radio starts blasting Christmas music weeks in advance, but as someone who hums “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” in mid June, official Christmas music cannot come soon enough. It’s just so upbeat and perky! So without further ado, here are some of my favorite Christmas tunes that you should totally start listening to:
“Angels” – All Angels
“Carol of the Bells” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
“Frosty the Snowman” – Burl Ives
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” – Elvis Presley
“The Nigh Santa Went Crazy” – Weird Al Yankovich
“You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
There are lots more that I’m sure I will share as the big day approaches. And if you have any you swear by, please let me know! I am always looking to grow my Christmas music collection!
P.S. A big thanks to the higher ups at my job that bring on the Christmas music as of November 15th – makes my day infinitely jollier. Plus customers get to see my heinous dance moves. Win – win.
Alright everyone – my weekly countdown to Christmas is getting very close to the month mark and that is extremely exciting. This newfound proximity to the holiday brings something wonderful with it – Christmas themed everything.
Last night I came home to the awesomeness of this collection my roommate had put together:
I didn’t even know holiday themed dish detergent existed! Genius! As far as I’m concerned the more things that have cartoon snowmen on them and are peppermint scented – the happier I am!