Thanksgiving Menu Scheming

Appetizers:

Dinner and Sides:

Dessert:

  • Pumpkin pie (per the Libby’s label, sub in ginger snaps for graham crackers)
  • Pumpkin ice cream (perhaps swap with caramel eggnog ice cream)
  • Jell-o Mold (a family tradition)

Early Holiday Window Shopping

I do my Christmas shopping as much in advance as possible. In addition to preventing total budget meltdown, it means I get to avoid holiday traffic. And that’s magical.
I also just did ads for Black Friday and I’m working on a holiday gift guide at work, so trust me.  It’s seasonal!

I’m a notorious internet window shopper, so I figured my powers might be used for good by showing you guys some cool stuff I’ve seen about the interbutts lately. Maybe it’ll inspire some gift ideas for you!

Sephora by OPI Perfect Reds Set – $39
I normally don’t advocate owning an array of the same color. But this kit is clever. You’ve got a playful hot tomato red, a deeper cherry, chunky red glitter, metallic red and a deep wine. That’s pretty much a red for any mood. I haven’t seen any reviews on how these particular shades wear, but Sephora by OPI is usually pretty reliable. Plus, a set of red polish is festive without being something you can only bring out once a year.

More after the jump!

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Five Things I Don’t “Get” About Christmas

I’m getting in the pre-holiday spirit already.  I keep cruising Pinterest, staring at the holiday section.  I want to DIY everything and set up the tree and start baking.  And it’s August.

But the more I search, the more I realize there are a lot of things about Christmas that just don’t make sense to me or totally confuse me.

1.) Elf on the Shelf (and other forced traditions)

Elf on the Shelf is a little toy elf with some sort of clever little story that you’re supposed to read every year to give your children warm, fuzzy memories.  There are all sorts of Elf on the Shelf activity ideas on Pinterest to ensure that your kids get maximum exposure to this weird little doll.

Rules of the Holiday: you can’t force a meme tradition.  You might be lucky with a tradition you want to start; it might just take off and go.  But if you have to stick a doll in a sink full of shaving cream or fill your toilet with goldfish crackers to get someone to notice the “tradition”, it ain’t a tradition.  It’s like a weird prank gift that keeps on giving.

2.) “Keep the Christ in Christmas”/”Jesus is the Reason for the Season”

Look, it’s called Christmas.  You’re going to read excerpts from Luke all season long.  There are carols.  You’ve got a nativity in your living room, on your drive to work, at your church.  There are Christmas plays, church services, birthday cakes for Jesus (one of our family traditions.)  Christ is pretty IN Christmas.  If you’re feeling a lack of Christ in your Christmas, I seriously suspect there’s a lack of Christ in your daily life, as well.  If you’re feeling a lack of Christ in other people’s Christmases (or winter holidays,) you’re everything that’s wrong with your religion.  Relax, and let it go.

PS? X-mas is actually a MORE Christian way to write it, not less.

3.) “Perfect” Christmas

You know the pictures.  Christmas trees with perfectly-coordinated ornaments, each branch laden with some little sparkling treasure. The perfectly-frosted cookies, the perfect dinner spread, the perfect dusting of snow outside.  It looks like something out of a magazine, modeled perfectly after a picture in a magazine.  I’ve been in these houses, so heavily, flawlessly decorated that they feel like some sort of freakish museum.  Seeking perfection in anything is ridiculous, but seeking perfection in a holiday strips it of any meaning or purpose in your life.

4.) The Friggin’ Cookies/The Santa Lie

Some things really just burn your ass in retrospect.  Did my parents seriously get me to leave out cookies and milk every Christmas Eve so they could have a snack while they brought out the garbage bag full of presents?  I mean, I guess being Santa shouldn’t be a thankless job.  But seriously?  Parents, man.

And when you finally figure out that Santa isn’t real, you’re just supposed to be okay with the fact that your parents lied to you.  While still believing everything they say to you from then on.

5.) Holiday Anxiety/Apathy

Look, I get that the holidays can be stressful.  But it’s not my problem that your in-laws are crazy or you’re “not a holiday person.”  So don’t try to get me down with your Grinchface and don’t get weird on me because I want to celebrate.  I’ll leave you to your misery if you’ll just ignore my glee.