The Awkward Between Week

FatherTime

Welcome back! How are you doing? Are you still recovering from the holiday season? Getting ready to go through it all again on New Years? Can you believe it is almost 2016? It is as if 2015 flew by. Everything seemed to rush by without me even noticing. All those new ‘toys’ I have gotten on Christmas are starting to lose their shine. Television is a bit weird, no new episodes, but no specials to air either. One can only make so many ‘Year in Review’ specials.

I think during that ‘awkward between week’ about these things. Even as a kid, the week between Christmas and New Years Eve was always weird. We had this great build up to Christmas and now we are supposed to come down from that. We get a week (usually. Most people just go back to work but for the sake of this entry let us pretend shall we?) to get ready for the next big blowout that is New Year’s Eve.

How do you come down from any holiday? It is odd and that between week just proves that.

I usually catch up on movies. I catch up on television. However, one can only do that for so long.

I don’t know what else to do.

What do you do during that awkward between week?

Tell me below. I need some suggestions.

Until next time, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed.

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My Top Three Christmas Traditions

Welcome back! Tradition. I spent a long time talking about the importance of them especially during the holiday season. Traditions bring us closer to our families and are something we can look forward to when the holidays become too much for us to handle.

Here are three of my favorite traditions during this holiday season.

Lights

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Not my house but close 

My family is the real life Griswold’s. I am not kidding. Well, except my dad knows what he is doing. Since I was a little kid, Christmas lights were a huge part of my life. Started when my grandfather put four of those soldiers blow molds. After my mom had met my dad, that is when the extreme Christmas lights started.

It started small. Lining our little townhouse with white lights. Blow mold soldiers were outlining the lawn. Then grew to a bigger house that has become a destination in town. There are three houses on the house tour. You think I am kidding? One Christmas Eve a bus showed up at our house. A bus full of nuns. They were awesome sisters who loved Christmas lights.

Anyway, there is something about Christmas lights. I like how it brought together the whole neighborhood. I liked how it made our quiet suburban street into some bright and cheery. I like seeing the kids in the neighborhood stare at the lights in wonder.

No matter how old I get, I will always love Christmas lights.

Here is a version of our house in 2012. Ignore me yelling over the music. I have no chill.

Christmas Light Show (2012)

Baking Cookies

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If you know my mom, she isn’t the best cook. She loves to call for takeout or make reservations. However, when it comes to Christmas. She becomes one of the best cookie makers around. For two days in December, my mom and I would go on a cookie making frenzy. It is fun, frustrating and we gain a lot of weight eating cookie dough.

Even if the cookies come out horrible. Even if we end up eating a good amount of the cookies as we go. I still look forward to this tradition. It is a way make the house smell awesome for a day or two, and it is a way for me to bond with my mom. Yes, we are close but during the holiday season things usually get tense. Being able to listen to music, cook and eat some cookies together makes the holidays a lot more fun.

Television Specials/Music  

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Being the pop culture nerd that I am, I always look forward to the television specials and Christmas music extravaganza. It is tradition to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It is a tradition (generally new tradition) to watch Michael Buble sing classics with the Muppets every year. I love that there are baking specials and merriment on television for a whole month. I do not know if any of you noticed, but network television shows (in general) have gotten dark lately. To the point where I have been burned out from all the sadness. For one month, television gets a little brighter. I truly enjoy seeing that happen every year.

We all have our traditions. Things that warm the heart. Things we look forward too. I cannot wait to enjoy these traditions of mine, and I hope you enjoy all of your traditions this holiday season.

Until next time, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed!

Crazy People and Traditions

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Image from: eagle.northwestu.edu

Welcome back! By now, I am sure you are completely sick of the constant Christmas movies, advertisements and people in general. I have another word for what people become this time of year, but you know, let us think of the children. It is not safe, and I need an adult. I am sure you are longing for January when things will get back to normal, and people go back to being normal idiots.

Even though I might be going slightly insane with all the holiday wear and tear, I find ways to combat those feelings. This is through traditions. I am the type of person that holds onto traditions tightly. To the point where if I do not get to participate in a tradition or a tradition does not go off as planned, I get annoyed. Angry even.

Why?

Traditions are something I hold dear. The one thing that holds me close to family, the seasons and good feelings. Traditions are what I look forward to when things go a little too crazy. Some traditions even keep me warm during times when everything/one is cold.

During this crazy holiday season, I think it is important to keep those traditions close. They should be the one thing that does not drive you crazy. It should make you look forward to this crazy season and build some warmth in your heart.

That is what traditions, especially this time of year, does for me.
Stick around because tomorrow I will be talking about the traditions that drive my family crazy but make me insanely happy.
Until then the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

How Spoiled Am I: My Favorite Toys

Toys. Toys are a big part of our childhood. Obviously. Some toys left a mark on us in a positive way and an even greater mark on our parents (sorry mom and dad! Mostly sorry to your wallets). I was looking for the next ‘big toy’ and couldn’t find any. However, I remembered some of my favorite toys that left a big mark on Christmas Day. Here are my top three favorite Toys!

Tickle Me Elmo

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Tickle Me Elmo was the toy when I was in the fourth grade. I have an adamant memory of waiting in line to leave school and everyone talking about it. I stood in that concrete hallway wondering if I would get an Elmo too.

I don’t understand why that damn toy was so popular. I look at it now with its 101 phrases and find it so creepy. However, that was the first toy I remember wanting more than life itself. I did get one that Christmas and I remember loving it with all my heart. For a few months. Then I moved on to another toy.

My Size Barbie

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There is a funny story about this particular toy. Every year around this time my family likes to tell it.

Apparently this was the ONLY toy I wanted that year. I would die without it. Which made things worse because my parents couldn’t find My Size Barbie anywhere. All they could do is put their names on many waiting lists. Once Christmas Eve showed up and there were no calls about My Size Barbie, my parents decided this was a moment to teach me that you don’t get everything in life. They put me to bed and got the presents out.

Then they got a call.

A toy store got a last minute shipment of My Size Barbie’s. If they managed to get there in a half an hour, they would get one. If not they were going to the next person. So, with that, my parents flew out of the house. Both in their nightclothes. Screw life lessons. They were getting that damn Barbie. They had to call my grandma to get over to the house just in case I woke up. They got there with ten minutes to spare. Got the Barbie. Wrapped it and placed it front and center under the tree.

That morning I opened the present, and  my parents said I let out the loudest scream and couldn’t stop jumping around. I was the happiest child that day. I had to play instantly with it. Making that toy the best toy of the year.

I remember that toy. It was pretty awesome. Too bad I treated it like all my other Barbie’s. Within a month, it was naked hanging out on the floor. My dad annoyed that after the drama I got bored with it within a month. Finding it creepy to see a naked Barbie in my room at all times. They ended up donating that toy, but I remember it fondly as do my parents but for different reasons.

Furby

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You thought the Barbie story was bad, wait until you hear the Furby one. I am sure you remember the Furby craze. Everyone needed to have this electronic gremlin. It was the biggest toy that year. I was exempt for wanting it. I wanted this Furby. My mom already told me that it was going to be hard to get one and that I might have to wait until the craze died down a bit. I was prepared for that to happen.

Christmas morning comes. I anxiously open each present, slowly understanding that I more than likely did not get a Furby. The last box came, and I noticed my dad was grabbing the camera. Why would he do that?

I opened the box carefully, and I could feel my whole body start to tingle.

A Furby was inside. I screamed and ran to call my best friend who had gotten a Furby as well.

Cut to my grandparents house. I opened presents there too. There were five boxes. I was distracted because I wanted to play with the Furby, but I opened them to make my grandparents happy. I opened each box so fast I didn’t notice that there was a familiar present inside.

Another Furby.

Let me say. I screamed. Hugged the wrong person and screamed again.

That my friends is a story about how spoiled I was as a child. Apparently my whole family was on the hunt for a Furby. Some wires got crossed, and I ended up with two.

I may have some hang-ups about my childhood, but I knew how much my family wanted me to be happy. I never forget that.

I loved these damn Furbies because they were a fun toy. They interacted with you, and I managed to be interested in it for a good year and a half. The My Size Barbie must be disappointed about that.

Those toys made Christmas a little more special. Sort of like how video game systems and cell phones make kids years too. Since I was a teenager, there hasn’t been a “Toy of the Year”. I wish we could bring that back. I wish kids got more excited about toys they can play with not only inside but outside too!

Until next time, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

Presents Galore!

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Welcome back! Tis the season for overbuying my random friends.  I make fun of this, but I am not immune. Before I sat down to write this entry I was Christmas shopping for my parents (they do not read this…I hope they do not read this. I am sorry Mom! Your daughter is a nerd).  While this is the time of year to hang out with family and take stock of the year, it is also the time of year that we buy up a storm and worry about the credit card bill in January.

I have noticed that ads have been playing earlier and earlier for Christmas shopping. Especially the new Toys R Us ads.

Clone – Toys R Us

(I would have just embedded the video but that costs money now. Boo.)

I have many fond memories of wishing for that one toy. That one particular toy that populated my thoughts. The toy that I saw everywhere.

I wonder if kids still do this.

The last time I was in a toy store all I saw were toys that were electronic. The Toys R Us by me had more computers than Barbie’s. I understand that technology is the best thing ever (I have my tech toys that I adore) but I’m also 28 years old. When I was a kid, my idea of a good present was something that I could physically touch. No, I don’t mean a computer screen.

Right now, you are all laughing or pointing. You probably think I am the type that yells at kids to get off my lawn. I am just worried that kids are spending too much time wanting technology for Christmas. Some of my greatest memories were running around outside. Riding a new bike or rollerblading around the neighborhood. I loved getting new Barbie’s that I could add to the ever-growing soap opera I had created in my head. Even then, I was writing just in my mind.

I wish for a time where kids, while using technology, still run outside to play with their new Hot Wheels or Scooter. It is fine to love technology, but sometimes you need those toys that get your imagination going or at least get you off the couch.

What am I getting at here? Well, I will be going through my memories tomorrow and talking about the toys that got my imagination going as a kid.

Until then the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

Merry Christmas from the TV!

 

Welcome back! This is just the start of our Holiday/Christmas journey this month. I decided to start out slow. I am talking about television. What a shock. What is different is I am talking about television shows and their holiday episodes. Not the classic type that I watch all year round. That would include the I Love Lucy Christmas special. No, going into that would be too easy. I’m going to be talking about the Christmas episodes I like to watch that aren’t as popular. At least not in a long time. These episodes always make me smile when it’s the holiday season.

The O.C. – Chrismukkah

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Drinking, crying, cops. Well, it must be Christmas! – Ryan

Yes. All the Chrismukkah episodes. The O.C. came on when I was a sophomore in high school. I was their target market, and I ate the show accordingly. I was a Seth fan but over the years I slowly became more interested in Ryan.

Regardless, I love all the Chrismukkah episodes. Before The O.C. I didn’t even know that Chrismukkah even existed! Now that I am older, I have found out that the show came up with that word. From what I gather it has become part of our vernacular at least in America.

The reason why I love these episodes is that no matter how bad things are for the characters on the show something good always happened on these particular episodes. It was the show that had every storyline explode but then always put a happy spin on it in the end. Generally. I enjoy watching them and remembering a time when I had a deep discussion on why Summer and Seth should be together forever.

Good times.

Community – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas

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Abed Nadir: If I can find the meaning of Christmas, then things will go back to normal.

Jeff Winger: …asterisk.

Six seasons and a movie! A call for a generation to come together to keep a show that only kept a few million interested. I would like to remind you that it got its six seasons. Now all we need is a movie.

We need the movie dammit!

Anyway, this episode has it all. It is Claymation, has some cute songs and emotional punch that still makes my heart melt. For a show that would rather run with a joke than character development, this episode stands out. Every character is analyzed and emotionally compromised (except for Jeff but lets’s not kid ourselves. Annie got him to come back to save Abed from Duncan). However, they all come back to save Abed from his sadness.

All the usual Community sarcasm and jokes are there, but they do not sacrifice character development for it. It is a very sweet episode of Community.  I like to revisit each year to remind myself that even the worst people know Christmas is a good time to do some good.

Even if you have never seen Community before check it out. It works on its own and maybe you can get into the Six Seasons and Movie fandom!

AND…CHRISTMAS PTERODACTYL!

30 Rock – LudaChristmas

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“The holidays without drinking is rough. Turns out football is boring, my wife’s sister is not as cute as I thought she was, and I can not play the guitar” – Tracy Jordan  

I’m a big fan of 30 Rock. I loved how its character-driven, funny and created the great comedic pair of Liz and Jack. I like to call them the new Mary and Lou. One of my favorite Christmas episodes is the one that shows different families and how they handle being around each other especially during the holidays.

Jack’s relationship with his mother is always funny to watch, but it is even funnier when you compare it to the relationship the Lemons have with each other. I guess it is to show that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Jack is taken by all the positivity and merriment the Lemons have with each other. It is just to his mother to show that even the happiest family has their pressure points. Which is so true. The Lemons are that family you see on the happy picture on the Christmas card. In reality, they are falling apart and are secretly judging each other while doing it.

I love this episode because I can relate. My family is usually stressed out to the max by the time Christmas comes around, and the general merriment we started with is gone. We are just holding on to get to Christmas. You see other families and want to be like them. I promise you. They are just as stressed out as you are.

It is a fun look at how Christmas looks like in New York City (There is nothing better than Christmas in New York City) and how none of us are immune to holiday and general family stress.

Those Christmas classics are not classics for everyone, but I love to watch them each year.  They are sometimes dark, and a very silly but so is the holiday season.

Until next time, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

The Holiday Happy Place

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Welcome back! Welcome to December! It is the month where everyone goes nuts. Ok, let us not kid ourselves. We have been celebrating the holiday season since the final notes of the Halloween theme finished at 11:59 pm on October 31st. With every horrible news story that flashes onto the television, we cram ourselves deeper and deeper into our holiday happy place.

That is what this blog will try to be this December. A place for people to enjoy and let go of some worries for a few minutes. I was going to have a regular month of randomness, but I decided, last minute, I needed to talk about the holiday season…in my way.

Whenever I think of the holiday season (I am saying holiday because Christmas isn’t the only holiday in December) I think of warm memories of toys, activities and being able to spend time with my family taking stock of the year. I have fond memories of all the television specials and holiday movies that are not Hallmark related. I also have memories of family fights, wondering if I could afford to get nice presents for everyone and general stress that the end of the year can provide.

I am focusing on the happy memories, obviously.

So, this month will be full of all the memories that come back up this time of year. I hope as I talk about my memories some memories will come up in your minds. Maybe make you smile. Maybe make you forget about the chaos our world has been thrown into.

So, stick around for tomorrow’s entry. I start my ride down memory lane with the television episodes that I need to watch every year or else it does not feel like Christmas.

With that, the randomness has ended for today. I hope you enjoyed my little introduction and will stick around to go through some holiday memories with me.