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Thread: The 2012 Christmas Thread

  1. #76
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Solstice orders out

    For years my brother created a custom calendar, always using photos we'd submit by about Dec 10 (arbitrary date). The year dear ol' dad died, and the sisters went ballistic, he decided that was enough. I think he did it for 25 years.

    So I picked up the reins, using Vistaprint's custom layouts. (Bro would invariably mess up the date grid, starting on the wrong day of the week, putting namesake niece's b-day on Father's day although it floats, etc. No issues with the pros.)

    Just got done scanning and uploading and placing and arranging the 2013 edition, and the most aggravating part was placing four orders (typing my credit password again and again. They are direct-shipped.

    This year's edition:

    --a great pic from maybe her middle school years of youngest sis in the teacup ride at an amusement park; she looks adorable

    --photo montage, three vintage pics of our mama, one labeled Charity Hospital, New Orleans on the back. She was hot. I completely understand the "what's your blood type?" thing...and also explains much about the issues my father had with me. (I look like her. 'nuff said.)

    --Final photo of my Blanchie, and one of the earliest photos of her successors

    --Stalked the nieces' FB walls for great shots of them, intermingled with childhood adorableness

    --Several times this year, professional photogs have caught me playing music or talking to the media. I included those.

    --One my mother took of her two then-living sisters (we lost one early) and niece, all now gone, and my two sisters, each weighing about 120 lbs.

    This is my favorite gift these days. They'll use it every day, it contains images of people they care about, and if anyone's offended by my usage of early-year pictures, too bad!

  2. #77
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    All of the gifts have been purchased. Now I just have to plan the holiday menu for the 4 of us. The tradition is for a huge spread, more than you can possibly eat , with no specific mealtime - i.e., we eat all day long. I definitely need to include some healthy options!
    It's just us this year - hubby and pets make 4 - so I'm doing it up small:

    -dogs will get a little wet kibble mixed with their usual kibble
    -turkey breast in the crock pot, with herbs & spices
    -stuffing, potatoes, rolls, corn and maybe green bean casserole
    -wine
    -ice cream for dessert

    Presents will be opened midmoprning while the turkey cooks. Afternoon saved for napping, reading, watching football, etc.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  3. #78
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    At my sister's for Christmas Eve and then driving the 3.5 hours home on Christmas Day.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  4. #79
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
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    Western Pennsylvania
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    3,114
    I'm about out of patience with the home-made gifts. My 40 year old sewing machine won't sew, and the 10 year old machine I borrowed from my niece isn't performing well. I'll take a break and give it one more try tonight. After that, the pressure's off. If it works, fine. If not, there won't be any home sewn gifts. There will be a basket of home made preserves for my family to choose and take.

  5. #80
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    For years my brother created a custom calendar, always using photos we'd submit by about Dec 10 (arbitrary date). The year dear ol' dad died, and the sisters went ballistic, he decided that was enough. I think he did it for 25 years.

    So I picked up the reins, using Vistaprint's custom layouts. (Bro would invariably mess up the date grid, starting on the wrong day of the week, putting namesake niece's b-day on Father's day although it floats, etc. No issues with the pros.)

    Just got done scanning and uploading and placing and arranging the 2013 edition, and the most aggravating part was placing four orders (typing my credit password again and again. They are direct-shipped.

    This year's edition:

    --a great pic from maybe her middle school years of youngest sis in the teacup ride at an amusement park; she looks adorable

    --photo montage, three vintage pics of our mama, one labeled Charity Hospital, New Orleans on the back. She was hot. I completely understand the "what's your blood type?" thing...and also explains much about the issues my father had with me. (I look like her. 'nuff said.)

    --Final photo of my Blanchie, and one of the earliest photos of her successors

    --Stalked the nieces' FB walls for great shots of them, intermingled with childhood adorableness

    --Several times this year, professional photogs have caught me playing music or talking to the media. I included those.

    --One my mother took of her two then-living sisters (we lost one early) and niece, all now gone, and my two sisters, each weighing about 120 lbs.

    This is my favorite gift these days. They'll use it every day, it contains images of people they care about, and if anyone's offended by my usage of early-year pictures, too bad!
    What a great gift idea!
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  6. #81
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Happy holiday season to all Cyburbians.

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  7. #82
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Happy holiday season to all Cyburbians.
    Echo. And to all ya'll from the Florida panhandle.

  8. #83
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Merry Christmas from the Glass City!
    Occupy Your Brain!

  9. #84
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Shout outs from the base of the mitten
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #85
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Merry Christmas from soggy Big D!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  11. #86
    Merry Christmas you old Cyburbia forums!
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  12. #87
    Cyburbian
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    Merry Christmas!

  13. #88
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Previous mention of a virtual friend's unhappy holidays. His live-in GF experienced health issues, he took her to the hospital, and...she died (age 58).

    Early this morning he posted this (excerpts below). All these references to the Dickens Fair made me look it up. "A Victorian Christmas card come to life," four weekends of re-created fun, including a dance hall (my type of dancing) called Fezziwig's. So this morning I spent a pleasant hour perusing their website and thinking about what I might do next year, maybe combine it with a bicycle tour. The last sentences truly epitomize what the holiday season should be all about.

    Sunday: Dressed in black trousers, black shirt with white pinstripes and white collar, black plush tie, dark brown waistcoat (with coppery highlights), black sack coat. ... headed off ... to Dickens Fair....

    More friends and acquaintances; more waltzes, more fun. Met someone in person I'd only encountered electronically and had a nice waltz with her... Meet an old waltz partner at the end of a set... Had an extremely nice schottische (words rarely spoken) with [name]. Bailed out on the Royals set and escaped to Mad Sal's to see the last show for this year of the Broadside Music Hall. Was introduced to [event organizer]; didn't have the wit to thank him for organizing Dickens Fair. High levels of goofiness going on; at one point I saw a gang of Dickensian zombies rampaging through the food court.

    Last Fezzi's set went half an hour long. (Got in a four-couple Roger de Coverly which we turned sideways to the other sets, and it was pretty cool.) Had a dazed, wonderful, cramped but magical very last waltz of Dickens. Stayed through Hallelujah Chorus; accompanied the very kind Beth on caroling out - a parade through the mostly empty halls. I was prepared finally to leave at about 8 pm when Dave invited me to stay for the after-party. Didn't have to ask me twice!

    (I had no idea how many of the ladies would shuck their outer garments as soon as the big curtain fell! But it had become backstage.)

    I probably had too much champagne and then too much gin punch. After speeches and presentations and reminiscences, Dave threw the floor open for other toasts. After hearing several - a graceful tribute to the working-class heroes among them - I decided I wanted to speak.

    I'd meant to talk about how Fezziwig's is the best thing in the world; how it's full of people being kind and watching out for each other, sharing the joy of music and dance with all comers and trying their best to leave no one out, and I meant to say how much I appreciated not just the kind ladies who danced with me, but all of them who kept this wonderful thing happening. I started out saying that unlike the other speakers I wasn't a cast member, but like others I'd had major losses this year, that I'd been coming to Fair since it was on the pier, and that Fezziwig's had always been my happy place - which was where I thought I was going to say what was so great about it, but what happened was that I started crying and barely held it together enough to say "thank God that Fezziwig's has been here" and closed with "Happy Christmas," by which time I was being hugged by three people at once with a fourth unable to find a spot to hug (so I hugged her later). And then Josh started chaffing me for having said I wasn't part of this group, of course I was, and David put me in the class of spiritual Fezziwiggers, and the whole thing left me moved beyond description.

    (I was not a popular little boy, and most of my experiences prior to science-fiction fandom made me think that not only nobody liked me but that if they acted like they liked me they were doing it to set me up for something bad. This makes me usually pretty slow to move from acquaintance to friend, dubious about accepting concern and help, prone to keep some emotional distance, and leaves me vulnerable as hell to Sally-Fieldism - "You like me. You really like me!" when something like this happens. I'm having, now, to trust people who want to help me, and to let them figure out what's too much to ask and not spend so much time figuring out whether we are on such terms that what they're offering is too much to accept. I'm writing right now about the Fezziwig's cast, but I've been getting, and appreciate, tremendous amounts of support from other communities and getting to be more open and engage more open-heartedly.)

    ... tried to process all of that. I'd learned that some things I've done have come back to me to great benefit - Dave told me that his first exposure to the historical(ish) dance done at Fezziwig's was dancing to my calling of Regency dances at science-fiction conventions. I was and am thankful that Dickens Fair existed, that so many people - old friends and new ones - have been kind to me during the run of the fair, that I've met new ones and deepened friendships with people I've been acquainted with a long time. I hope I can stay as open-hearted as I find myself now, and accept and connect with other people on this kind of level (without being the walking-wounded person I kind of am now).

    And all of you still reading this: I hope that for you too, that you have more people who care about you than you know, and that you find out about it and can accept it. Be excellent to each other. Happy Christmas.

  14. #89
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Merry Christmas from the Dirty Jerzey.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #90
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Every year on X-mas, RJ dons nice slacks and a button down shirt. Every year on X-mas, I don a Homer Simpson X-mas tee the kid outgrew, old jeans, green X-mas Reindeer socks, and tacky X-mas earrings. It's not like we're going anywhere!

  16. #91
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Merry Christmas Everyone! We're on the road headed for CA. Tonight we're staying in the metropolis of Pecos, TX.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  17. #92
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Thankfully, it's over. Put a lock on this thread.

  18. #93
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Merry Christmas Everyone! We're on the road headed for CA. Tonight we're staying in the metropolis of Pecos, TX.
    I know where that is! Hope you had a good drive, and that fair weather be ahead of you for the rest of the trip!

    We have about 2 inches of snow here, and a hard freeze tonight. Tomorrow's looking very cold (at least for us!) and I'm glad I'm taking a vacation day!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  19. #94
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Happy Christmas! Ate too much, laughed a lot and tolerated family discussions about poverty, choice and opportunity. Also watched a bird feeder rather than the tv. It was a good day. Tomorrow my sister and her family arrive for Xmas part deux.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  20. #95
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra View post
    We have about 2 inches of snow here, and a hard freeze tonight. Tomorrow's looking very cold (at least for us!) and I'm glad I'm taking a vacation day!
    You had more snow than we did!

    We celebrated Christmas with the family on Sunday. I spent Christmas Day napping, reading, and snacking. I also took my dog for a long walk.

  21. #96
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    It was a nice Christmas. Next year, we are going to TX to see my family!
    Occupy Your Brain!

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