Friday, December 21, 2007

Is anyone tired of holiday-related posts yet? If so, I apologize.

First off, a note to Noelle (and to anyone else with a non-Blogger blog who is still having trouble commenting but hasn't been as vocal about it as my good friend on the Christmas tree farm has)... I just saw the following update on the Blogger dashboard, which should (hopefully for real, this time!) fix that pesky "Why can't I leave my damn link?" issue. Blogger says...

Unregistered commenters can once again provide an auto-linked URL... We apologize for having broken this feature for you. Your blogs and Help Group posts showed us the true extent to which you used and cared about this feature, so please let us know if it's still being problematic.

Damn straight, Blogger. Why you be making life difficult for my WordPress friends? I just checked it out myself and it seems to be the real deal. I very much hope I'm not leading you astray by telling you that yet again.

With that little bit of housekeeping out of the way, on to the Friday Five. I am highly anticipating getting the heck out of Dodge (and by "Dodge," I mean my office, of course) for a while, and since the primary reason for this getaway is Christmas, for better or worse the holiday season is on my mind. Let's start with the worse.

Five Christmas-related things I could really do without:
  1. The sound of children singing. Specifically on professionally-recorded tracks getting radio play and being featured on television commercials, I mean--I'm sure your kid singing is angelic and adorable.

  2. Those damn giant inflatable lawn decorations. Specifically the super-sized snowglobe one and Snoopy as the Red Baron. What does Snoopy have to do with Christmas?? (Don't answer that, Aaron. I promise I'm not hating on A Charlie Brown Christmas with this.) Every day on my way to work I pass a house that has three such inflatable eyesores in their yard. Every night, they are fully inflated; every morning, they are lying flat and lifeless on the snow. I'm convinced a neighbor who's as put off by these as I am is responsible for the sabotage. I swear it is not me.

  3. Candy canes. Tell me, do these multiply inexplicably when we leave the room? Why are there so many of them around? And does anyone ever actually eat a whole candy cane? I surely haven't. You have to eat them all in one sitting or you get that sticky mess of tangled wrapper, and really, who wants to hold on to a half-sucked candy for later anyway? I realize I am overanalyzing this. Nevertheless, if you are buying me any Christmas candy, skip the candy canes. More Ghirardelli, please, instead.

  4. The phrase "stocking stuffer." Actually, if your family is German like mine, you know that stockings aren't even supposed to be part of Christmas. You get goodies in your stocking on December 6, for St. Nick's Day, not on Christmas. I don't mean to be a stickler about that; feel free to choose your own traditions, of course. It's just that corny phrase I could do without.

  5. Diamond commercials. No one is buying me something very special in a burgundy box; no one is telling me I am his with the diamond Journey pendant; and no one is giving me a gift that prompts me to blurt out "He went to Jarod!!" to all of my friends. I honestly am fully OK with that, but I don't need to be reminded constantly anyway. (Incidentally, this is another reason I so very heart The Current and its member-supported no-commercials format.)

I am not a total Scrooge, however, so here are some things about the holiday season that I really do quite enjoy:

  1. ELEVEN DAYS OFF IN A ROW!! Yes, I have to spend nearly half of them in my parents' house rather than on a warm beach somewhere or even in my own home enjoying peace and solitude, but still--eleven consecutive days with likely no alarm clock is a very good thing indeed.

  2. A Charlie Brown Christmas, which I plan to watch with my little sister at some point while I'm home. (See? Like I said, nothing against Charlie Brown and his holiday special; I just don't think the Red Baron belongs on our lawns.)

  3. Presents. Duh. Yes, I am a grown-up and should be above and beyond such frivolities, but come on. Don't we all still love getting surprises in wrapped packages? To quote Sally in the aforementioned Christmas classic, "All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share..."

  4. The excuse to wear ridiculous socks, which fall into a completely different category than appliqued vests and festive sweaters (in that holiday socks I will wear with no apologies while vests and sweaters I will not). I shall have to take a photo later of the excellent Christmas striped socks I am wearing to a party tonight.

  5. "It's the holidays!" is a perfectly valid reason for a cocktail.

I'm sure I'm forgetting several very important things on both of those lists. So what's on your love/hate list this festive week?

Edited to add:
I knew I was forgetting something important... Gingerbread lattes! Yum. Which reminds me, I saw a supposedly very tasty recipe for gingerbread cookies on someone's blog recently... I remember the author mentioned it being a good excuse to use the molasses that's been in her cupboard for ages, and I thought, "Hey! I have molasses to use in my cupboard, too! And I was going to make cookies for my snow-blowing neighbor anyway!" And then I promptly forgot whose blog it was and hence, have lost the recipe. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? If so, please fill me in. Thanks!


Badger Reader said...

The movie of Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman" is my favorite for getting in the holiday mood.
I am pretty sure most people put those HORRIBLE inflatables on timers just like the other christmas lights, otherwise the motor that keeps them inflated would be on all night - yikes. I know if my neighbor left his running all night, I would be guilty of sabbatoge. I think the molasses thing was on Noelle's blog, because I thought the same thing and want to use mine up too!

Stefanie said...

I think you are right! Thanks! :-)

And I don't think I know that movie; I'll have to look it up.

Also, why didn't it occur to me that those things had a motor that would likely shut off at night?? Me=dumb (or at least not thinking things through). Clearly I have never investigated those inflatables up close.

Pam said...

Someone in my neighborhood has one of those light-up lawn ornaments. I've normally seen reindeer, or Santa, or some other holiday-related object on their lawn. This neighbor has an elephant. An elephant.

A friend told me that maybe it's because elephants are a sign of good luck. And that it's on sale at Walmart. But really, anyone else know why an elephant would be apropos? I should mention that it's just one of about 10 lawn ornaments for this property.

Stefanie said...

Pam--I forgot to mention my other least favorite inflatable... The Packer ones. You probably don't see those where you are, but I'm sure Badger Reader can back me up on this. I have nothing against the Packers, but they HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS! But then, since when have Packer fans not taken any opportunity to show their cheesehead pride in the most outward and obnoxious ways possible? ;-) (I say this as a Wisconsinite born and raised, of course; I can make fun only because I am from there!)

lizgwiz said...

I HATE those diamond commercials, too. When I'm watching TV with New Guy and one of those comes on, we both sort of awkwardly groan and roll our eyes at each other. Heh.

11 days off? I think I hate you. (I kid. You know I love you. ;))

-R- said...

I hate those jewelry commercials. Especially the radio ones. Except those are year-round.

I hate the obnoxiously busy stores, but I love all the Christmas sales.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the holiday- and travel safely! If things get terrible, email me- we can go out for cocktails. I live within a reasonable drive from Sheboygan.

steve said...

I vote for photographic evidence of ridiculous socks in a future holiday post.

Paisley said...

You should try the ginger snap recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. You know, the one even your grandma had. :) I make those every year and people call to THANK ME while they are eating them. Yes, they are THAT good. And moist. And yumzers. I use the dark molasses.

Have a super duper 11 days off!!!!!

badger reader said...

The Snowman is only about 20 minutes long, but often they play on public TV in December. (We had a very worn out VHS that I finally upgraded to DVD a couple years ago.)

I can totally back you up on the Packer obnoxiousness that over-runs Wisconsin. Been here all my life, but apparently I am missing that obsession in my genes. My football-loving boyfriend found out that I own NO Packer apparel, so I am kinda dreading opening my Christmas gifts.

I also second (or third or fourth) the hatred of the jewelry commercials.

As for the ginger snaps, I have used the BHG recipe many times as I enjoy them moist and delicious. Mom, on the other hand, questions why they are ginger snaps if they are not hard and snappy. I can never win....

Enjoy your 11 days off, I am super jealous!

Whiskeymarie said...

While I love gingersnaps, I never make them, so it wasn't me.

Not so big on the gingerbread lattes, but the egg nog lattes and peppermint mochas make me way happier than they should.

Aaron said...

I was going to go through these point by point, but the fact is, I agree with all of them. Mental high fives all around.

And listen: no offense taken on the Red Baron thing. Because seriously, one, I hate, hate, hate those stupid inflatables (I was just having this convo with someone last weekend), and two, Snoopy is my least favorite part of the Peanuts specials.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to post this before I even read the post to see if it's fixed.

Oh, and FYI, I am just getting around to reading blogs here at 9:45 PM, so I guess great minds DO think alike.

Anonymous said...

It was me! And I still don't like blogger, it is like an old lover that spurned me. I don't like that I can't leave a comment as "Noelle," and I have to type in "dailytannenbaum" every time I leave a comment, so if I misspell that (which I do a lot) I lose the entire comment because it thinks that I'm a spammer. It doesn't even give me a second chance.

I don't like candy canes, either.

Sarah said...

Can we add the car commercials to the item number about the diamond commercials? I want input on a purchase as big as a car, dammit! And just out of principle, I'm *never* buying anything from that damn Jareds place.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Ah, Stefanie. You hit the nail on the head with this one. A perfect symbiosis of love and hate for the holiday season. Also, how have I not tried gingerbread lattes? I love gingerbread like I love pumpkin.

Good thing I got a couple o' Starbucks gift cards from my richie rich little children at school!

Stefanie said...

Liz--You can't hate me; you just gave me A Major Award! :-) My company decided to be extra generous and give us Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as holidays this year, which means I had to take only three vacation days to get the eleven days off. I figured I'd be a fool NOT to do so! I am ridiculously excited about this.

R--True. Shortly after the Christmas ads stop, the Valentines ones will start.

Monkey--It never even occurred to me that Sheboygan's probably midway between my hometown and you! (I'm actually from about 20 minutes north of there.) I don't know how much of my time will be allotted to family stuff, but that's definitely a good plan to have in mind!

Steve--I'm working on it...

Paisley--I was going to say you underestimate my family's cooking history, but I should check my mom's cupboard to see if by chance she actually DOES have that book before I do that. (She may actually have it, though I doubt she's ever used it. The woman cooks less often than I do... and you people wonder where I get it from...)

Badger again--OK, now I am thinking I need to try the BHG one instead. Chewy sounds good to me. Also, I am smiling about your potential new Packer wardrobe... :-)

WM--I don't think I've ever actually tried the egg nog ones, but I definitely think I need to.

Aaron--Snoopy is my least favorite part of the specials, too. Seriously, are you the male ME?

Noelle--Argh. I am sorry. I really thought Blogger had it fixed. Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't remember how to spell Tannenbaum. It's YOUR BLOG and you don't know either! :-)

Sarah--I actually think I might want input on a diamond purchase, too. I mean, if "a diamond is forever," shouldn't I be sure I LIKE something I'm going to wear for eternity? There is something to be said for surprises, though. Someone can surprise me with a new Prius any day.

NPW--You must try the gingerbread lattes! (And I must try the egg nog ones.) Yum.

Lara said...

I abhor jewelry commercials too. They make it look like love is all about diamonds. Especially that one where the couple is shopping for a tree and the guy says, "oh, this is the tree...and it comes with a gift!" and she's all "this is the one!" while looking at him. Bleck.