Making Christmas

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Children, Christmas, Family, Parenting, Traditions | Posted on 05-12-2016

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You know the well-intentioned sentiment from The Nightmare Before Christmas, where Jack Skellington and the Halloween Town folks “make Christmas” as best they can? That’s what it’s like around here during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Full of preparation and excitement and good intentions. It is my job as a parent to make a nice, fun, and memorable Christmas for my family.

Making Christmas
Time to give them something fun
They’ll talk about for years to come
Let’s have a cheer from everyone
It’s time to party

My husband and I have made Christmas for our children over the years. A combination of family traditions: cutting down the tree, baking cookies, Christmas movies and music, setting up the nativity scene, putting up lights, donating presents and time, counting down with an advent calendar, decorating the tree with ornaments from childhood, and visiting the mountain where there’s guaranteed snow.

This year, our Christmas tree was cut down, brought home, and dressed in lights. Then it sat for a week. Nearly naked. With no ornaments. Maybe this will be the year that lights will do. Why bother with ornaments this year?

Then. Guilt hit.

What about the hundreds of sweet ornaments collected over the years and so carefully wrapped in Chipotle napkins? Stuck in a bin for another year? I simply could not let this happen. The ornaments needed to do their part to make Christmas special.

What about the homemade ornaments our children have made over the years? The beaded candy cane. The teddy bear with the googly eyes displaying a photo of my son taken in Kindergarten (he is now 17). The Star of David made with popsicle sticks. The snowman made from a cinnamon stick. The Snoopy with the googly eyes made by my husband when he was in Kindergarten. What??!!

What about the special gifted ornaments? The starfish with pearls, gifted to me by my mother-in-law when we were in San Diego. The little drummer boy gifted to my husband at his birth. The glass icicle gifted to me by my husband. The painted horse my mother gifted my daughter while visiting Phoenix. The coyote “couple” singing hymns we were gifted when we got married. The glass frog ornament with a tutu I gifted my daughter in 2003. The set of three yellow Labradors my daughter made for me from clay. Angels. Owls. Mittens.

What about the prized purchased ornaments? The pea pod with the three smiling pea faces representing each of my children. The dozens of tin ornaments my mother and I bought in Mexico. The pickle my daughter and I bought at the mountain general store. Mermaids. Frogs. Poinsettias. A dolphin. A tomato.

Each ornament has a story. They are filled with memories that reemerge every Christmas season.

On Saturday night around 11:00 p.m., we had an impromptu family celebration. Let’s have a cheer from everyone. It’s time to party. We ate Skittles and hung our ornament–both by the handful.

All the while, making Christmas. Together.

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Christmas in July

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Christmas, Holidays, Love, Magic | Posted on 30-07-2016

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Talk about Christmas in July!

On a recent vacation to Branson, Missouri, we heard there was a Santa Claus convention, bringing in jolly old fellas from across the country and around the world. In fact, many of them stayed at our hotel! Even without their red and white suits, they were easy to spot with their friendly smiles, white beards, and twinkly eyes. We proceeded to be on the lookout for the real Santa Claus.

One winked at us in the lobby. Maybe he was the one? One argued with the front desk clerk about his pillows. Definitely not him.

The next morning, one thousand Santa Clauses were to be in a special parade at 8:00 a.m.

You know how the early bird catches the worm? In our case, the early riser catches the Santa Claus. My eleven-year-old son and I practically ran, hand-in-hand, with giddiness. (My oldest son and daughter opted to sleep in instead…their loss!)

Seeing so many Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses, and elves was quite a magical sight! But which one was the one? It was like Where’s Waldo.

Smitten and with a bit of boldness, we greeted the nice gentlemen one by one and asked to pose for a photo. How could they so no to my sweet boy? They could not.

My son wished them Merry Christmas and many said see you on Christmas Eve. One showed my son a special Hawaiian signal. One showed my son his compass hidden in his sock. One let my son hold the special sleigh bells. One gifted him a magic candy cane.

After our encounters, we narrowed it down to three Santa Claus possibilities.

We left with happy hearts, curious minds, and shit-eating grins.

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Merry Christmas

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Holidays, Humor | Posted on 24-12-2015

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Or.

Have yourself a merry ginormous Christmas.

XO,
Pippi

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

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My Christmas List

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Christmas, Family, Relationships | Posted on 23-12-2014

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All I want for Christmas is you.

XO,

Pippi

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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Nuts!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor | Posted on 17-12-2014

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When I was a child, there was always a giant bowl of walnuts at Christmas–with nut crackers and picks–ready for enjoyment. Getting a snack in those days required hand strength, agility, and patience.

On Christmas morning, my stocking would be filled to the brim with walnuts, an orange, and a candy cane. I wrote about my Great Depression-like treats here.

On a totally unrelated note, I went to The Nutcracker last weekend, one of the highlights of the holiday season. The music! The dancing! The costumes! The…um…men in tights!

We could not help but stare and giggle. And this year, it looked like Channing Tatum was one of the dancers. So yeah, total highlight.

Maybe these two memories are related after all…Christmas stockings, packed with nuts. 🙂

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Simply Christmas

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Christmas, Holidays, Memories, Mothering | Posted on 25-12-2013

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You can take your imported, glass-blown, fancy-schmancy ornaments.

I’ll take my ornaments made from chubby little fingers and glitter and yarn and glue and frozen orange juice lids and pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. Each was made especially for me.

Merry Christmas!

#Christmas simplicity

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#Christmas simplicity

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#Christmas simplicity

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#Chrsitmas simplicity

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#Christmas simplicity

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Hate Hate Hate

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Christmas, Holidays, Humor | Posted on 09-12-2013

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I love love love the holiday season.

But here’s what I hate hate hate about it:

  1. scented candles that smell like pumpkin pie
  2. infinity scarves
  3. robes
  4. scratchy turtlenecks
  5. Christmas movies with fake snow
  6. people that walk slow in the aisles
  7. Santas with fake beards
  8. The Little Drummer Boy song
  9. spicy gumdrops
  10. making sugar cookies
  11. candy canes that aren’t red and white
  12. Mannheim Steamroller

#Chrsitmas simplicity

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A Christmas Quote

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Celebrations, Christmas | Posted on 24-12-2012

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Andy Warhol once said “I think everybody should like everybody.”

Yeah…that’s not possible.

So I edited it.

“I think everybody should like everybody on Christmas.”

-Pippi

Merry Christmas!

 THE PEANUTS GANG REJOICES IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

10 Things NOT to Buy Your Guy

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Christmas, Humor, Ideas, Men | Posted on 07-12-2012

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The gift giving season is upon us. Here are 10 things retailers make you think your man wants.

However.

If I gifted any of the below to my guy, he might just punch me in the nose.

Ya might want to think twice before purchasing any of these things:

  1. Cologne
  2. Tie
  3. Robe
  4. Electric shaver
  5. Wallet
  6. Pajamas
  7. Nose and ear hair trimmer
  8. Christmas sweater
  9. Anything monogrammed
  10. Tire gauge*

*Thank you @Keeferdog for the brainstorming!

Our Griswold Christmas Tree

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Holidays, Memories | Posted on 05-12-2012

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On our annual trek to the local tree farm, we sought out the best–and biggest–tree we could find that could fit on top of my Subaru.

The kids spotted “the tree.” Fifteen feet tall. And nearly 15 feet wide.

Kinda like The Griswold family tree. Where the top is so tall, it bends into the ceiling. Where the branches bust through a window.

Bungeed down on the top of my car, we were set. With that warm fuzzy Christmas feeling tingling in our toes.

As we drove off, we kept watch on “the tree.” Bouncing along, flop, flop, flop…and then slide, slide, slide…and then…

QUICK! PULL OVER, PIPPI! THE TREE IS SLIPPING OFF!

Folks. Consider this foreshadowing.

Whew. After the tree was rebungeed and anchored down, I proceeded to drive 35 m.p.h. all the way home. On the freeway.

Precious cargo.

Fast-forward to the top-heavy tree screwed into the teeny tiny metal tree stand. Standing tall Leaning in our home.

Yeah that.

Now, picture “the tree” attached with rope to our stairs. Ah, Christmas memories.

If only “the tree” would stop drinking so much water. It’s getting heavier by the day.

Yeah. That’s “the tree” right behind “the kids.”