December 29, 2012

Our Slightly Wonky Christmas Part One

Just about everything about Christmas was different this year. To begin with, we knew we were not going to be able to spend very much because we have so many bills to pay. Our little baby is a running, climbing toddler now, so a lot of our normal decorations (and Christmas activities) had to stay in the box, as it were. Add in some sickness and you end up with chaos.

I guess the very first thing that was different this year was that my husband and I decided that we should only spend $20 on each other. I was worried because I knew that it would be unlikely that I could find anything at that price that would make him happy, Doldin being an electronics guy. So he suggested that we each choose our own gift, which was a first for me. He wound up getting parts to make an arduino (and no, I didn't know what that was until he explained it to me), and I got this. Yes, it is a children's product, but it will be very useful to me in my paperdoll designing. I even got it $2 cheaper with the aid of a coupon.

Though I like my choice, I found it somehow sad to be buying my own gift. Maybe I'm just old fashioned?

Another thing that was different this year was that we attended our church's Christmas Eve service rather than going to my parents' house. Unfortunately, Doldin was feeling awful and The Precious was very sleepy, so they had to leave before the service really got going and I spent the rest of it alone. At least I didn't mess up when it came time for me to bring up the wine. I had never been an oblationer before and was pretty nervous, but as I said, it was fine. After church I got a ride home from a friend who really needs to do a blog of her own--she's incredibly talented! Just look at the gorgeous gift basket she gave us! And believe me, the contents taste even better than it looks.

We didn't get the tree decorated until Christmas Eve. Or perhaps I should say, I didn't. My husband put up the tree and got the lights on, but there were no decorations except a paper chain I made from old Xbox magazines until the very last minute. After the service, I decorated the tree feverishly while poor Doldin snored on the couch feverishly. I could only decorate part of the tree because The Precious thinks that ornaments are toys. Most of the ornaments that I have had since I was a child were breakable, so they were left off. Instead, we ended up with a tree covered mostly in handmade ornaments and those painted Styrofoam balls from the dollar store. The star would not go on straight either.

So, not our most glorious Christmas tree, but at nearly midnight on Christmas Eve, I didn't care.

But the tree wasn't all that I had to work on! I still had gingerbread to make and a hat to knit for my new baby nephew, and Santa still hadn't arrived.

So I stirred up my gingerbread, which baked

while I knitted and did festival quests on Lotro!

I also tried to get caught up on dishes and laundry. At two AM on Christmas morning, I gave in and fell into bed. The hat still wasn't done.

Thankfully, I woke again full of Christmas spirit, largely due to the smiles of my sweet baby and husband. It was wonderful to see how much The Precious enjoyed her new gifts!

Santa knew she'd love a xylophone!

The Precious unsheathing the sword Santa left in her stocking.

She has never seen a sword wielded in a movie or anything, but she knows what to do with one anyway!

She enjoyed sitting in her new (used, but new to her) chair and unwrapping a gift from a relative.

She was so full of joy she just had to stop for a cuddle.

Of course the cats had to play with the wrapping paper, and Moonbeam found a box to sit in.

In my family, it was a tradition that each of us kids receive an ornament every year to save for our future Christmas trees. We decided to continue this with The Precious, and found her a lovely porcelain angel made by a local artist.

I got some great gifts from friends and family too--I'm going to have to do a whole blog post about my new jockey cap soon! And I have a feeling that the Jane Austen calender is one I'll be using for wall decor even when 2013 is past.

Where was Doldin during all of this? Photographing and filming when I couldn't, of course.

There were lots more presents and way more photos than I could fit in here, even splitting this into two posts! So, friends and family, you will find a link to the rest of the photos soon. Just please be patient. All three of us are sick at the moment!

Part Two coming ASAP.

December 27, 2012

Thank You, Everyone!

I have not felt very well and have avoided the Internet for a few days, but I wanted to say that I have just been overwhelmed with the generosity of my family and friends this year. It has been a very rough year for us financially but at this difficult time of year, thanks to you (and you know who you are!) our cup runneth over. I am truly blessed to know such good souls, and I pray that God will bless you as you deserve.


PS. There will be Christmas posts coming soon. Late, yes, but they will be here.

December 26, 2012

A Tribute to Helena

I've been meaning to make a treasury like this for ages: a treasury inspired by Helena Bonham Carter and her fashion choices. I finally got around to it today and the results are pretty good, I think.

Helena Bonham Carter Treasury

Please check it out, click on your favourite items, and give it some love!

December 24, 2012

The Doctor is in my Little Golden Book

While reading one of my childhood books to The Precious this morning, I made a startling discovery. The Doctor has been there all along.

"I wear a candy cane now. Candy canes are cool."  His bow tie is under his collar, but it is there.

The Doctor does look pretty jolly and I love his silly legs.

And here is the book that held the Christmas surprise.

Now we know where the Doctor was in 1974. But of course, it's what he was doing in Victorian England and how he met a certain Clara Oswin that we are all dying to find out, and tomorrow, we will!

A Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night. :)

December 23, 2012

Nerdy Quote of the Week

This week in honour of Christmas, I give you a piece of A Christmas Carol that is always left out of the movies. To me it is special because my childhood largely featured feeling alone except for the characters in my books, who seemed so real sometimes that it was hard to believe that the kids around me were the reality and the characters mere fictions.

The Ghost of Christmas Past has taken Scrooge back to his childhood and showed him his old school, with the young Scrooge left alone, reading in a cold schoolroom when the other children have gone home for the holidays.

The Spirit touched him on the arm, and pointed to his young self, intent upon his reading. Suddenly a man, in foreign garments: wonderfully real and distinct to look at: stood outside the window, with an axe stuck in his belt, and leading an ass laden with wood by the bridle.

"Why, it's Ali Baba!" Scrooge exclaimed in ecstacy. "It's dear old honest Ali Baba! Yes, yes, I know! One Christmas time, when yonder solitary child was left here all alone, he did come, for the first time, just like that. Poor boy! And Valentine," said Scrooge, "and his wild brother, Orson; there they go! And what's his name, who was put down in his drawers, asleep, at the Gate of Damascus; don't you see him! And the Sultan's Groom turned upside-down by the Genii; there he is upon his head! Serve him right. I'm glad of it. What business had he to be married to the Princess!"

To hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects, in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying; and to see his heightened and excited face; would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city, indeed.

"There's the Parrot!" cried Scrooge. "Green body and yellow tail, with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head; there he is! Poor Robin Crusoe, he called him, when he came home again after sailing round the island. 'Poor Robin Crusoe, where have you been, Robin Crusoe?' The man thought he was dreaming, but he wasn't. It was the Parrot, you know. There goes Friday, running for his life to the little creek! Halloa! Hoop! Halloo!"

Then, with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character, he said, in pity for his former self, "Poor boy!" and cried again.

"I wish," Scrooge muttered, putting his hand in his pocket, and looking about him, after drying his eyes with his cuff: "but it's too late now."

"What is the matter?" asked the Spirit.

"Nothing," said Scrooge. "Nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something: that's all."

Already Scrooge's heart is softening! The power of the pen is great indeed.

On the 11th Day of Catmas my True Love Gave to Me...