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21 December 2015

Monday Christmas Countdown 3-Point Update [More:]
1. I have two weeks off work - hooray! - and so for me I feel as if Christmas has already begun.

2. Last night I went to the Royal Albert Hall for Carols by Candlelight. It was wonderful, all the orchestra in 18th century dress so it was very atmospheric. The first piece the choir sang was the first section from this oratorio, so I was in seventh heaven right from the start.

3. Today is a sort-out day. A charity put a plastic sack through the door for donations, and they're collecting tomorrow. So I'm going to go through my clothes and have a good clear-out. What isn't good enough for donation will be taken to the recycling centre.
1. I need to do my xmas shopping.

2. But, I also have work today.

3. And, it's pouring down rain here all day.
posted by Thorzdad 21 December | 07:48
1. My office will be closed both Christmas Day AND Christmas Eve. The Day closing is an annual given, but the Eve closing is a nice surprise.

2. Weather not very Christmas-y, but I don't really mind. This is my first Christmas without any parents so everything feels a bit weird and blah. I will go find some more Christmas music to post after I post this.

3. I got this in the mail from my brother. I do not know what to make of it.
posted by JanetLand 21 December | 08:52
1. We are basically done with Christmas shopping. My dad insists he doesn't want anything, except perhaps a convoluted scheme whereby someone else pays for a subscription to the New York Times that comes to the library in his new (small) hometown and still gets counted as a donation. I can't figure that out.

2. Along those lines, my parents are FINALLY getting cable/internet installed sometime this week, hopefully. They moved in in early June and have had spotty phone service at best since then. It has been a long saga with construction people taking their time and a woman from corporate finally calling me and saying DON'T CALL ANYMORE (and I was like, "Seriously, ma'am, I wouldn't have to call if you had any kind of system to track interactions, because you are missing the fact that two or three loooooong phone calls and one field tech visit have taken place since the last time you say your company was in contact with us.")

3. I really need to buckle down and find a new job.
posted by Madamina 21 December | 10:10
1. Up in cold and rainy California instead of cold and rainy Pennsylvania for the holidays.

2. In-laws' Internet connection keeps dying which is a little frustrating since we're sort of trapped inside due to the weather.

3. On the plus side, we're eating some great food and local wine.
posted by octothorpe 21 December | 10:48
Senyar, an old university friend was playing in the Albert Hall last night - she posted a view from her seat on Facebook. It was a special event for her too, even though she goes from place to place playing the bassoon all the time.

1. Finished Christmas shopping. Mostly failed to do cards, but then I do that every year.

2. Still working. Was hoping to be finished by now but hey ho.

3. This may be the first Christmas the kiddo actually remembers. We haven't done a very good job preparing him for what is to come, but he is excited about seeing the extended family.
posted by altolinguistic 21 December | 10:48
1. Christmas is not a time of gifts here in the NL. Since we already have Santa Klaas on December 5th. The traditional thing is to visit your family on one day of Christmas and ones partners family on the other. Since I don't have a SO for me it's visiting my very old parents on the first day and visiting my daughter on the 2nd day. My ultra-orthodox jewish ex-father in law will be joining us. Which makes for interesting dinner challenges. I hope we'll get to do a bit of biking. My 7 yr old daughter just got a big girl bike. So biking to the dunes together or something like that would be fun.

2. my old mother proposed to make a stew for dinner on Kerst. That's very uncharacteristic since she used to make very ambitious 5+ course meals with the fine china, damask tablecloth, silverware, crystal glasses etc. So this is a sign that she's getting so old that she doesn't feel up to it. Which is fine with me as far as the food goes. I'm just a bit sad for her that she has to let go of another thing that matters a lot to her.

3. I've started a personal tradition of doing stuff with good friends around Kerst. After all; as you approach middle age your old friends become as much of a kind of familiy as your biological family. I have a little theory that Christmas is less of a religious holiday here than in the US. Both because the word Kerst doesn't sound much like Christus (even though ethymologically it's exactly that). While the English word Christmas obviously contains the word Christ. And because the days in December are so much shorter and darker here than in the US. The joy of huddling together in the warmth and artificial indoor light is a universal human experience in this latitude in my opinion. That's why it made me happy that during the Kerst lunch at work, where everybody brought something, there was f.i. mint tea being poured from a moroccan tea pot and there were moroccan style cookies. Colleagues from a muslim background just fell back on their sugar feast traditions. Which feels very appropriate to me.
posted by jouke 21 December | 11:57
1. All the shopping is done, and all the wrapping is done, but for one final giftie for my Bear which is supposed to arrive last minute so it will be in good shape when he opens it. Aaah.

2. I finally paid for all the holiday movies we watch every year at this time, because it just got to be too difficult to find them and record them this year. So last week we saw Scrooge, the amazing Alistair Sims version of A Christmas Carol, and as usual we cried at the end. On Saturday night we watched the Polar Express, and on cue I cried at the end when he mentioned how the bell still rang for him. And last night we watched Its a Wonderful Life and my husband teared up at the end. Thank goodness the last one we'll see this week is the (original) Grinch That Stole Christmas, because I think I can make it through that one without weeping.

3. The bunny cards keep coming and they are wonderful. Plus I am truly looking forward to our usual Xmas Eve tradition of driving around and looking at lights and giving stuff to food bank drives staffed by very cheerful people.

I'm a secular humanist and Jewish too but this is certainly a fun time of year.
posted by bearwife 21 December | 11:57
1. I am done with shopping and almost done with wrapping, but still waiting on two gifts to arrive. One may or may not make it.

2. I am working working working - this is one of my busiest times of year (yay, accounting) and so I am starting to feel incredibly stressed as everyone else is talking about taking additional time off. (I am still taking a couple days, but will work from home some as well.) I will make up for it later - we have two trips planned in April and June.

3. On the plus side, I think I've decided on a last-minute (for me) trip to Raleigh for NYE/NY Day to see my best friend, since she is off NY Day and I haven't seen her this year. (She works retail, so her schedule isn't fixed, and I haven't been to see her.)
posted by needlegrrl 21 December | 12:12
1. My MeCha cards are in progress .. they are coming, bunnies!

2. Ordered a last-minute gift for mr. init that is shipping from the UK. Hoping it arrives in time!

3. Am planning to make Martha Stewart's mac and cheese, apple pie, and beef stew over the break. I work at an academic library and we all have off from tomorrow until Jan. 4. A true 12 Days of Christmas!
posted by initapplette 21 December | 15:57
1. Shopping done, all gifts wrapped, cookie making on lock.
2. I am working on a huge project, it has tight deliverable deadlines and no end in sight. I will be working through the holiday.
3. We are spending Christmas with my in-laws in Virginia Beach for the second year in a row. My SIL is flying in from Seattle, so it will be great to have her around. We have plans to see the new Star Wars, and watch lots of sports. We will also be pushing the boundaries of diabetes and alcoholism, which is always a good time.
posted by msali 21 December | 22:48
1. Kissed my wife.
2. Didn't kiss no other hotties.
3. Scratched Whitey Ford's tummy.

A very good low key day.
posted by arse_hat 22 December | 01:14
1. Struggling with holiday melancholy. Some of my family who were coming, now can't. And I'm worried about my job. And I overspent already, though it was on stuff we have needed a long time.
2. It's raining.
3. I need to feel better.
posted by Miko 22 December | 11:48
Second three point list:

1. In-laws' house is insanely hot, I keep going out into the unheated garage just to breath.

2. Everything in this house is set to the loudest possible setting that my ears are ringing.

3. Now that the fog has lifted, you can really see where the forest fires hit the hills around here a few months ago.
posted by octothorpe 22 December | 15:00
Hugs, Miko. You will prevail over this gloom and wetness.
posted by bearwife 22 December | 16:28
Robocall tech is getting scary better || Here's a whole Christmas album.