Cinnamon Groove

The Holidays' Thread (or The Christmas Ribbon)

138 posts in this topic

Lord Groove, 9th Echelon, High order of Mages, School of Necromancy

Thread wasn't dead, just stored neatly in a box in the attic next to the air conditioner and the coats we don't wear anymore.

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LET'S SEE.

Well, this year was supposed to be good. My cousin and I were planning to go on vacation, but turns out the rest of my family is actually having a meet-up, and I assume he is going to go with them because he tends to migrate to the better things instead of hanging out with his cousin and- and-

Am I venting?

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This is my season. Or at least it will be, I wait til December for Christmas-y things.

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Pre-checked all the lights yesterday. Got replacements for the bad ones.

Good news: The LED strings of lights are getting cheaper! They still cost almost twice what a normal string of the same size or style would cost, but if they save on energy and (supposedly) last longer, I'm all for it. Plus you can safely plug up to 42 standard strings of LEDs together, as opposed to about 6 or 7 or the standard light strings.

I'm currently slowly phasing to LEDs, at least for outside.

This weekend I plan to hang the outside ones up.

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Oh, yeah...

So I got the lights (mostly) up this past weekend. I say mostly for two reasons.

1) I wanted to wait to put the musical bells out till thanksgiving, when I'll start turning the whole thing on.

2) Btw, protip (which I usually follow, but was in a hurry): If you're buying lights, make sure to find an outlet in the store to test them all. I figure about 1/10 strands I've ever bought were bad right out of the box. That being said, I have to go take some lights back to Lowe's to get replacements to put up that last strand.

Also installed hooks in the living room wall for the upcoming addition to our indoor decorations. It goes like this:

Quill has her own (secondary) Christmas tree on a small round table that sits near the door. It's a 4 ft white prelit that we customized the lights on to look like flowers. She hangs exclusively "clippy birds" from this tree. Her clippy bird collection has outgrown the tree. We considered a bigger tree, but the next size up in white trees is 6 1/2 ft, and far too big or the table as well as the room.

Inspiration struck, and we got some white garland with flexible "branches" at the craft store. She got some hollyberry shaped lights to string in it, and It will hang above the doorway to our TV room, i.e. the room we're always in. This garland will now hold her overflow clippy birds.

I feel pretty confident about this project, and anxious to see how it turns out.

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Getting excited for Thanksgiving weekend.

I consider it a great kick-off to the Holiday Season as a whole. I have a lot of family stuff going on this year. Adding to our Thanksgiving get-together at mom's house, I am running another game of the Heroquest/Lego Heroica hybrid I'm developing for my nephews. Then hitting Black Friday with Pepper Snap, and putting up the tree. We'll finish decorating over the weekend, then Monday we're making our annual pilgrimage to The Christmas Factory. My mom is finally able to come this year, after about six or seven years of asking her.

So much to do though. I need to build the 'maps' for the game, as well as expand the rules to make it a bit more involving, and add new weapons and armors for sale in the shop. We also need to do our final major cleaning of the house before the decorations go up, kind of like a fall cleaning. Hoping the game stuff comes easy once I sit down and concentrate on it. Feeling slightly overwhelmed.

Also, the garland we hung Wednesday looks good! Will get pics once the decorations are all up.

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Okay, update time:

Sorry I haven't been more active, especially in this thread. Been in an odd mood wher I haven't felt too chatty online. Also been rather busy.

Anyway.

Our tree went up Black Friday. Got it up early enough in the morning that when Quill got off work, we could continue right into decorating. Got it all done in one day! Usually we put the ornaments up the next day, as the whole process is long and can be tiring. Someday I need to get a count on just how many there are. It took a good two and a half hours for us to put them up, though. It used to not be so many, but every year we find a few more each that we like enough to bring home, and mom always makes us a bag of hand-made ornaments to add to it, so it's become quite an endeavor.

Went to our annual pilgrimage to The Christmas Factory last monday. It was a nice trip, though long. My mom was able to come this year, as well as Quill's, so we had some nice family time. We hit a snag during lunch, though. After waiting about 45 minutes for our Sonic Burger food to arrive, we ate, then tried to leave. I say tried because that was the precise time the battery in Quill's van decided it would die. Fortunately, there was an Advance Auto Parts store just behind the Sonic Burger, so we got a new one installed right there. There was a Cluck-U Chicken restaraunt alongsde the store, and Quill got an awesome Cluck-U t-shirt for only $3!

This weekend was Cookie Weekend, when we make all our cookies. It turned into Cookie Day, as we finished earlier than expected there, too. I made the Gingerbread Men Friday evening, trying to get a jump on it and give us more time. After the friday night grocery run with Pepper Snap, he and I started baking, from about 2am till 4am. Quill got up then, and Pepper and I both went to bed (not the same one).

I got back up at 8am, and came down to the kitchen to find Quill squeeing with delight that the dreaded spritz cookies had actually come out right! The official recipe for them never seems to work with that damn cookie press that we use to make them. I can remember mom practically cursing hers out from my earliest childhood. Quill researched it this year, and found a recipe from someone who had the same problem, and it worked perfectly. So we actually finished baking cookies in the early afternoon.

I filled her advent calander friday night, as well. Unfortunately, guys, I just can't think of a theme for one to post on here this year. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Other than all that, I guess pics to come of our decorations, just as soon as I get off my ass and take some. Hopefully I can get better ones than last year as I am a bit more familiar with this camera now.

Happy holidays everypony! (holiday preparations, too)

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Haha, you get any sponsorship money from that post?

Still haven't done much yet, looks like it's this weekend when the decorations'll go up. Til then I'll just idle my computer on http://betamaxmas.com/

Oh, and the store hasn't started up the music yet. Slow start this year.

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Haha, you get any sponsorship money from that post?

Just thought I'd add pictures, without bogging the post down with actual pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I got some of the tree and our decorations. I'll put them up as soon as I get the motivation to upload them.

I'm thinking of starting a new tradition this year. Currently, we drive around town after we leave my family get-together christmas eve night, looking at people's christmas lights. Quill loves this tradition. I plan to add to it. We plan to make small 'gift bags' with a few pieces of candy and a handmade ornament, and we'll leave the bag with a card at several of the houses we found especially pretty while on our drive. It will be a sort of show of appreciation and good cheer to those bright houses.

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Okay, time for those pics!

(spoiler'd for size)

Here's our Christmas tree.

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Here is Quill's tree that she fills with clippy birds, as well as the garland we hang so that she could put up even more clippy birds.

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The doorway there is also where we hang our stockings. Pepper Snap's stockings hang from the stair rail.

Some more decor:

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Here are our avent calanders. The one on the left is the one I made for Quill and fill each year. The one on the right is the Lego one she always gets for me.

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Also, a photo of our wedding pic -cough- somehow -cough- got in here...

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Thereyago.

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Okay, one final belated update from me for this thread.

 

Christmas eve went well. I am always concerned with what to give to my neice and nephews, since two of them are adults now. Especially my niece, who had just gotten married. I remembered a few years back, when her mother told me she was always a bit jealous that her little brother got a candy pooping animal from me while she got some cutesy stuffed animal with candy thing. So this year I got her a candy-pooping animal. I was overjoyed with the sheer enthusiasm and glee she had while opening it.

 

 

I made seven ornaments to give out to well-lit houses this year. That went well. I drove, while Quill got out to deliver the gift bags. She decided she wanted it to be a bit more anonymous, so by the third stop she was just kind of sneaking up near the porches, tossing the bag on the porch, and skittering back to the car. That was fun and we plan on doing it more next Christmas.

 

Christmas day went well, as usual. Nothing remarkeable comes to mind, but it was nice.

 

New Years' was. Quill had to work, Pepper was visiting his G.F.'s so it was just me and a snack tray and Lego LotR. Don't even think I stayed up till midnight.

 

I left the tree up and the lights on outside. I began celebrating Christmas as a twelve-day event. Mostly for luck and prosperity, as a sort of superstitioin. So I will leave the decor out through January 5. Which means I plan to start undecorating this Sunday.  Had the last two weeks off from work, so the vacation was nice as well.

 

That about wraps it up for me this year. I kind of have an idea for a fantasy-adventure story loosely based on legends and accounts of the life of Saint Nicholas. May work on that this year.

 

Hope all of you had a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.

 

Till the start of christmas 2013...

 

 

Stay gold, Ponyboy.

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