holidays

And So this is Christmas

December 28, 2016 - 9:23am -- swingbug

And here we are again. The tree in the living room is getting crispy and I'm back at the office. It's the fourth day of Christmas, coming up on the fifth night of Hanukah I think, and three days to go before we say goodnight to 2016.

The general sentiment of folks on the internet seems to be good riddance on that score. Truth to tell, I'm more worried about what the new year will bring us this time around. I feel my patented brand of optimism slipping.

A Retail Scene

December 18, 2016 - 11:42pm -- swingbug

I'm in Cost Plus on a Friday evening at 5:30 pm, nine days before Christmas. Normally, I would be playing hockey at this time. In actuality, this scene isn't that different.

I approach the counter with various Christmas purchases in my basket, which include a bottle of wine. (The wine isn't actually a gift; it's for me. I have a lot of wrapping to do tonight.)

"May I see your ID, ma'am?" asks the young clerk.

I beam at her and hand over my license for inspection. "Thank you for asking," I say, conspiratorially. "I haven't been carded in ages."

But I'm Catching Up

December 13, 2016 - 5:35am -- swingbug

Tuesday morning. 5 a.m. Airport coffee and a plastic chair. Tinsel on the airport art. Fa-la-la-la-la. 

Life's been a blur of work and Christmas. Throw in a new hockey bruise and you're up to speed. 

Every time I switch on the news, my stomach turns over. I keep switching it on though. I'm starting to wonder if I do it out of social responsibility or as a rubbernecker watching a slow-motion car wreck crash into Washington. 

The best I can do is take a deep breath, resist the urge to panic, and look to my local community for ways to help. 

Making a Playlist and Checking it Twice

December 23, 2015 - 12:38pm -- swingbug

Christmas music is one of favorite parts of the season. I look forward to it every year, and over time I've curated a rock and jazz collection of holiday tunes of which I'm very fond.

I never let myself listen to Christmas music before December 1st if I can help it. (I can't forbid the grocery store from playing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on November 1st. Yet.)

Festive

December 8, 2015 - 4:27pm -- swingbug

I had my yearly festive "Oh crap it's only two weeks 'til Christmas" panic attack yesterday. Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la.

It's alright. It wouldn't be the holidays if I wasn't buying candles for the advent wreath two weeks in and then burning them down preferrentially to make it look like I had been on top of it from the beginning.

Game Face

December 28, 2014 - 5:08pm -- swingbug

So it's the fourth day of Christmas. We ran the Bay Area traffic gauntlet, visited friends and family, and landed back home in time to have two full days of loafing around the house. Probably the last thing I should do, full of Christmas food as I am, but, my, did it feel good.

Mickey's Christmas Carol

December 23, 2014 - 3:00pm -- swingbug

On Saturday morning I woke up and went to brush my teeth. There was a high-pitched sort of electronic buzzing sound in the house, similar to the sort you get when you have an auxilary cable plugged into a stereo on one end and dangling loose on the other with the volume cranked. At first I thought my ears were still ringing from the night before (the band at the company Christmas party was Awesome) but as I moved about the house I found the sound had a directionality to it and it pulled me to a corner of the house where we keep our server cabinet.

Now Dash Away All

December 16, 2014 - 8:35pm -- swingbug

Christmas crafting with the youngling:

"Mommy, your reindeer isn't very accurate. Reindeer aren't predators. They're prey so their eyes are on the sides, not in the front."

What I didn't say: "Except for Santa's reindeer. They are carnivores. Hmmm, I wonder what they eat...."

What I actually said: "That's a fine point, kiddo. So the fact that these specimens are red and white striped and one-legged doesn't trouble you?"

"No, I'm using my imagination."

"Ah."

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