Monday, November 29, 2010

Fun Monday - Christmas Shopping

Today's hostess is Julie from Another Chance Ranch and this is what she wants to know -"When do you start your Christmas shopping? On Black Friday? Cyber Monday? And, who is the hardest person to buy for?"

My Christmas shopping is insanely easy. Years ago, when all of the grandkids were little, I started giving hardback books for Christmas. No toys, no clothes, no gift certificates, always books. Some years this was very easy. The kids were divided into 4 households and similar age groups so I did get to buy duplicates and thank you, J.K. Rowling!

This year's gifts are currently awaiting pickup at the post office. I ordered them all online last week, including duplicate versions of my friend Laurie's book.

My shopping is always done before Thanksgiving so that I can actually enjoy the holidays. With all of my shopping done, once Moose and I do the Angel Tree, I do not have to venture into retail hell at all.

The hardest person I have to buy for is my husband. If he sees a book he wants, he buys it. So generally, and please don't tell, I buy a book that I want and just put his name on it!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our best tradition

Today - actually yesterday now - was my favorite day of the year. One day of the year I gather up my youngest grandson and we visit our local mall. We shop together, sometimes with Grampits also and sometimes with Mom and sometimes with his sisters but always with us two. We buy pants and shirts and jackets and shoes and a toy and always, always, always a book. We buy things that Moose would like - although last year he accused his mom and me of trying to "geek" out a kid just because we like argyle. This year he wanted to leave a note with his purchases laying claim to the praise that goes with buying cool stuff.

When we are through shopping, we take our purchases back to the table from whence the "order form" or "wish list" came. We give the bag(s) to the volunteers at the Salvation Army Angel Tree table and go to find our cocoa and cookies. This year it was gingerbread and coconut slushie. Not my choice, but the Moose had made good choices all day so I just let this one slide...

Now, no matter what happens, or doesn't, before Christmas, my holiday is golden and filled with love and generosity and angels and smiling children.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fun Monday - New Traditions

Julie would like to know, this week, about our Thanksgiving meals - what we serve, any traditions, and possibly recipes.

Thanksgiving at my house is NOTHING like Thanksgiving at my mother's. My mother, who worked the graveyard shift, always cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Not just any Thanksgiving dinner but one with a turkey and a ham. My sister didn't like ham. I don't like turkey. The appropriate sides accompanied both entrees and dessert only served to spoil us further. There were always at least 3 options since at least 2 of us refused to eat any one thing.

Fast forward 40 something years. My husband and I drove truck for years and were never home for the holidays. We ate our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals either with friends and family if we happened to be delivering in their neighborhood or at truckstops. I lost the habit of cooking.

Now, I work graveyard shift and my daughter also works shift work. This year she will be working 4 to midnight. Our solution? and our tradition since this is at least the 4th holiday we have done this?

Yep. Everyone gets what they want and the amount that they want. No dishes, no cleanup, just the enjoyment of each other's company and thankfulness that restaurants are open for people like us. If you want the recipes, some of them are available on line.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun Monday - Go Vote Now!

Fun Monday this week (and, in truth, this month) is hosted by Julie at Another Chance Ranch. Here's what she had to say: I try not to get too political on here. I've learned that you don't talk religion or politics with people. That is just my general rule. It's just not good. But, we are supposed to vote the very next day, and I am curious about something. I want to know your opinions. I want to know what you think about the state of our country. Or, is there a particular issue being voted on that you feel strongly about? What are your thoughts? Keep in mind, I don't want to know whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. I am just curious as to what is going through your mind.

I have already voted. Here, in the great state of Texas, early voting is the norm and makes it SO easy to fulfill your civic responsibilities. My daughter and I usually vote together and then have lunch. It gives us an excuse to see each other and to make an occasion out of something we both consider important.

I am blessed. I live in an agricultural area and, while I am not saying we are recession-proof, we seem to be doing better than a lot of other areas in this country. We have not lost any major businesses and our small businesses, while not necessarily thriving, are not closing either.

Having said that, the economy is what was on my mind when I voted this year. No matter what the President says, I do not believe the recession is over and I do not believe we are on the road to recovery. That "we" would be the national "we". Locally, we are all right. Not great, but all right. Our local officials, those up for re-election, were all running unopposed. This says a great deal about our local government and the choices we all made during the last few elections. The main race we were voting on is the gubernatorial race.

I never listen to political ads. If I were to believe the political ads, Satan is running against Beelzebub. I follow the news during the year and make my choices accordingly. This is another reason I love early voting. By the time the ads get truly vicious, my ballot has already been cast.

Now, go visit the other participants and then, tomorrow, GO VOTE!
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