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I like this time of year, the shadows are semi-permanent, the air is crisp and the trees look like they want to shiver.

There are some things that always make me think of Christmas and help me get in the mood. For some reason, there was a Christmas back around 1996/7 that seems to have stuck with me. That year I got Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett, as a present, which I now read pretty much every year around this time. I also got the third album by Enigma, which now always makes me think of Christmas a little bit. Even the album Dead Cities by Future Sound Of London was a present that year too and still occasionally makes me think of Christmas times gone by, despite the fact that I must have listened to it several hundred times all around the year since then (probably at least five times in the last week alone).

These things help me get in the mood for the whole capitalist shebang, so what do you do?
I dont think I really do much.... What really makes me feel good around this time is a potpourri (sp?) thats made with leftover orange peels and spices that you plop into some water and set on the stove. It makes the house smell SO lovely. I think I also drink more hot chocolate around this time, but probably because I'm more stressed tongue.gif

I tend to get in the 'mood' of worrying. What do I get people? Where do I get money to get this stuff for people? Then theres the issue of putting up and decorating our huge fake tree and in the midst of everything my parents tend to argue more about little things. Its all very upsetting usually.

I think that potpourri really makes me happy though tongue.gif
Ah yes, I meant to mention hot chocolate myself.

Some people seem to cope better than others. One part of my family always gets immensely stressed at this time of year, but I don't really see the need. I do my best to prepare then try to relax and enjoy an excuse to stop working for a day.
Well this tends to be around the time that theres enough snow for me to start snow boarding again. Which means that notice scrapes in the board, the bindings aren't so good, or my boarding jacket doesn't match the board that well. So I tend to ask for boarding stuff for Christmas.
The shifty guy that most obviously is selling stuff that came off the back of a truck starts coming around the pub. Everybody I don't know that well is totally getting mini crockpot, European coffee presses, or in house cell phones that cost me $5 a pop.
Other then that theres the impending doom of my finals that remind me that Christmas break is coming biggrin.gif
Um, I drink some egg nog, whistle Christmas tunes incessantly (though to be fair, I tend to do that all year round) and I drink more hot coffee than normal. I wear sweaters and play some Christmas music in my high school symphonic band. I get slightly weepy when I go to church, but that often has just as much to do with the fact that winter makes me a little more sadthan normal and combining that with religion makes me kinda on edge. If I have someone with a fireplace, I go there, otherwise I make a point to stop by a local bakery/cafe that has a fireplace in the winter time. I go shopping the day after Thanksgiving and put up my decorations. I hope to make a tradition of going in to New York City for the lights and whatnot and Tuba Christmas.
Oh! And my mom always reads us a short little novella called "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." It's a cute story left over from my childhood that takes about an hour to get through and is rather groan worthy, but we do it anyway.

We also always watch the Fred Estair classic "Holiday Inn," "A Muppets Christmas Carol," and "It's a wonderful Life." If possible, we also check out "The Grinch," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
I make plans to go home. 'Course this year I'm already here.
I bake christmas cookies. I plan marshmellow roasting in the fireplace. I sing.
Aww man, you guys all do things. For me its just lalala its december lalala ooo its christmas lalala oh its the new year.
Forever Unknown
I lay down and hope it all goes away. Soon.

Oh. And this year I intend to drink lots of Starbucks Gingerbread Lattes. That's festive.
Cath Sparrow
I wander round ranting that Christmas doesn't start till December and yelling at christmas carols played in shopping centers. Is that classed as festive?
Dont get me wrong I love this time of year but in relation to the seasonal changes in the weather and the countryside, not in respect to christmas.
I buy things from the bakery near me and wander around Main Street with a croissant or brand-new mini loaf of bread in a bag, munching and looking at people/things/buildings. I try to make my room smell nicer, rather than just "room" or the decidedly unfestive "room that smells like overcooked socks".

There are some songs that will always remind me of Christmas --Shellyan Orphan's "Ice" which my mother makes a habit of sobbing to at least once a year; "Babylon Sisters" by Steely Dan, which is my tree-trimming song. Oh, and "I Predict A Riot" by the Kaiser Chiefs, which is my "going to bakeries" song, because they are Kaisers. Silly, I know, but it's so happy-sounding.

My impractical-to-begin-with clothes take ridiculous turns, and often weigh heavily on Victorian inspiration because the Victorians had to wait outside in the cold a lot, as do I.

(Also, it is still November, right? Have I lost a month?)
Well we were singing the 'Flying in The Air' song a couple of days ago and that made me feel a bit Christmas-sy inside. Apart from that I moan about how shops are already selling decorations and stress about report cards. I only feel Christmas-sy when we do Christmas related things at school or when it actually is Christmas, apart from that I a cynic.
ohmy.gif I love the run up to Christmas! It is a big thing in our household; not the presents, but the family thing and spending time together.
We all help to make decorations, food and mulled wine. We also make pomanders on the first of December, and have them hanging up around the house. We also make ridiculous amounts of gingerbread and stock up on ginger wine.

When it gets closer to the day, we watch "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and all
the other typical Christmas films. There is also a copy The Night Before Christmas, and Dickens's Christmas Tree laying about.

And however much I hate the company and think that they are evil, the first Coca-cola advert on the TV always marks the first day of the Christmas period for me (and my siblings).

I want it to be Christmas now biggrin.gif
Well, year-round I keep a "gift list" because no one in my family can buy presents worth a damn (though my little sister knows that I wear boxers and like SpongeBob as well as black tee shirts with bands on them). My folks put up the tree and my sisters decorate it. My dad goes batpoo insane with Manheim Steamroller and Nat King Cole. We watch movies and eat too much candy. I feel guilty because I'm too broke to buy anything for anyone. Christmas morning brings out the worst in all of us and my dad gets it all on tape. It's all over by noon and we scatter. We celebrate the religious aspects before Christmas Day. I'm a big non-fan of Christmas...the presents are pretty cool, though.
QUOTE (Daria @ Nov 15 2005, 09:52 AM)
It is a big thing in our household; not the presents, but the family thing and spending time together.

Likewise. smile.gif It's tradition for us to start on Thanksgiving. After eating the huge meal and tons of pie, we go on a walk to help it "settle" a bit so we don't feel so much like we're gonna burst. Then we start putting up the decorations. It's a little early, but it's the closest time to Christmas Day that we're all together and stuff, so who cares?

I don't celebrate the whole Christian savior being born stuff, but regardless one of my favorite things is setting up the manger scene my mom has. It's quite pretty, and I can always joke about "finding Jesus" because inevitably the baby Jesus gets lost somewhere in the box the whole thing is stored in. She believes in all that stuff, but tends to just laugh at me when I do heretic-type things like that.

Let's see...reading How The Grinch Stole Christmas, walking along Main Street in my town and looking at all of the decorations in the shop windows, the Christmas tree festival here in town...that thing is great. Though I'd never buy any of them. Honestly, $300 for a pre-decorated tree? That takes all the fun out of it. They're pretty to see, though. Having a snowball fight with my sisters and then making a snowman is always good. Though they've both gone away this maybe the neighbor kids will join me. unsure.gif

I'm an incredibly festive person. Starting just before Halloween, I think I get intolerable with holiday cheer. I mean...all those holidays right in a row! I get waaaay too excited about them all.
Sir Psycho Sexy
When we get the christmas decorations out, there's a smell that seems to linger with them that's just....christmassy to me. Probably smells mouldy and musty to everyone else (they're kept in a box in the loft). I think this year we're going to invest in some new ones, the decoration to staple/selotape ratio is getting a little low now, we need new ones!
Also, those oranges with cloves in, and the fact that there's so much food, chocolate and booze in the house that lasts well into spring of the new year. But mostly the smell.
QUOTE (Righteous @ Nov 15 2005, 03:49 PM)
I feel guilty because I'm too broke to buy anything for anyone.

Definatley one of my problems. This year I'm a bit better with my money. I think I have about $100 dollars (WOW! I have money? tongue.gif ) which will hopefully cover small gifts for peoples. Presents are expensive sad.gif
QUOTE (Kitty @ Nov 15 2005, 08:06 PM)
QUOTE (Righteous @ Nov 15 2005, 03:49 PM)
I feel guilty because I'm too broke to buy anything for anyone.

Definatley one of my problems. This year I'm a bit better with my money. I think I have about $100 dollars (WOW! I have money? tongue.gif ) which will hopefully cover small gifts for peoples. Presents are expensive sad.gif

In my group of friends we're just doing a secret santa so that you only have to buy one present.
I thought for Secret Santa you buy a weeks worth of presents to give them 'clues' and then at the end they're supposed to guess who you are and get their final present....

I guess it all depends on the group tongue.gif
QUOTE (candice @ Nov 15 2005, 07:51 PM)
I'm an incredibly festive person.

Your avatar and me glancing at the screen combined in my head to let me read that as 'I've incredibly festive porn'. Women in little red Santa cowls and otherwise-naked men wearing elf hats sprung quickly into my mind as I tried to work out how this had somehow become a tradition for you, and just how very odd that really is. That happened in about a quarter of a second, then I read the line again and giggled a bit. Oops!

No, Mata, I don't have any Santa porn. tongue.gif

Although there was this one story that Missy linked me to about mall Santas...but that was for humor purposes only.
I might actually have some money this time around, but I'll probably still be frugal (though I owe the girlfriend and a friend of mine dinner). I'm thinking of giving out gift cards and one of those coupon books for my girlfriend with stuff like "Free Back Rub" and "Help on a Chore."

I'm not a big fan of "getting." THe only present I think I deserve is a big banner from a pair of friends of mine that says, "THANKS FOR LETTING US CRASH AT YOUR HOUSE AND EAT YOUR FOOD AND MESS AROUND IN YOUR BROTHER'S ROOM BECAUSE ENZO'S MOM HATES AMBER."
{Gothic Angel}
I've been in the mood for chirstmas since November started! I can't wait biggrin.gif We do christmasy songs in all my music things, and all the customers are in an unusually good mood. <3 Christmas happy.gif
Oh god, today I suddenly got a kind of fuzzy-inside/christmas/scared feeling you get in your tummy because in my french horn octet we were playing that 'Dreaming of a White Christmas' song and it hit the most amazing harmony and it just happened. Then I underestimated the note I was aiming for and spoilt it all a little. But I've been feeling slightly Christmas-sy all day now. Meh, it'll wear off by tomorrow.
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Nov 15 2005, 09:04 PM)
When we get the christmas decorations out, there's a smell that seems to linger with them that's just....christmassy to me. Probably smells mouldy and musty to everyone else (they're kept in a box in the loft). I think this year we're going to invest in some new ones, the decoration to staple/selotape ratio is getting a little low now, we need new ones!


ohmy.gif I had forgotten that smell! Now you mention it, you're so right- it is the Christmas smell! It is almost fruity, and musty, and you just know it is only because the things have been all cooped up in a box together for a llittle over 11 months.

I also love the cold smell. Like when you open the front door in the morning to greet the postman, and it hits you (the smell, not the postman), and it makes you realise that winter is here and your "bear" instinct to eat alot and curl up kicks in biggrin.gif

Re-reading that, it sounds very story-book like, but I suppose it is the Christmas spirit coming through. tongue.gif
{Gothic Angel}
Satsumas! And chocolate coins, cos we never have them any other time than christmas. And all the decorations going up ridiculously early in the towns and shops. And cheesy christmas music which everyone sings even though they claim to hate it!

I'm such a big kid biggrin.gif
Chistmas Cookies!!

We haven't done it in a couple years now, but we use to make christmas cookies. We'd spend half a day baking cookies and then we'd store them in tupperware and keep them and by christmas they'd all be gone happy.gif They were the best, I should get my mum to help me make them this year again.
Here's a tradition I forgot about: My dad goes out on Black Friday to get a tree which we leave up until sometime between New Year's Day and the fourth of January, which is my little sister's birthday. We're going on our tenth year of that. biggrin.gif
Raptor Red
I bake a lot. I bake somewhere around 60-100 cookies every year because I tend to give them to people...that's a lot of dough there...takes about three hours to make said dough and another 30 minutes to let it chill. It's rediculus. The rest of the time I'm on Ebay..I've become addicted to Ebay..not sure if that's good or bad but when you're broke, like me, it's most likely bad.
Christmas is fun though..when the heat decides to be on anyway >>
Sir Psycho Sexy
Coming home does it too....though that could just be the readily available selection of booze.

I look forward to winter more than Christmas.

I enjoy the cold weather and snow. Autumn cold is just bitter while the winter cold is inviting. I like the fact that I can sit around the house in a sweater and scarf and not get warm. I also start drinking coffee, dressing like I haven't a home, carrying too much in my pockets (because of the whole coat thing) and just more oddities I find myself doing in winter. If there's snow on the ground for half of the year I'd better enjoy it.

"How much snow do you get there?" "Between 200 and 300 inches a year."

Ah the joys of winter...
I'm broke so I'm dreading it. At least the presents part.

I suppose the crispness of the air and the beauty of the sunsets are what get me in the mood most of all. All the forced 'festiveness' just puts my teeth on edge.

I'm looking forward to curling up infront of a fire with a good book and a glass of scotch. Maybe munching the obligatory satsuma I will no doubt get from my parents. Sitting around with my family and chatting about the year. Maybe helping out with the cooking.

And of course waking up every morning and hoping that there will be snow outside!

It feels almost like a magical time of year. The Earth is asleep and people gather together for warmth. Physically and socially. Now I'm going all sentimental. Bah, Humbug!
Cath Sparrow
Feeling more christmascy now were nearer December and I've just been making the Chistmas cake and Puddings over the weekend which always helps. Me and mum use to do a lot more baking than we do these days but we alway make the cake, puddings and mince pies for christmas between us. So that always helps me feel more in the mood and I love the smell of them when making and cooking them.
There's a Victorian evening in the town next to me which is always fun and puts people in the mood for Christmas. I forgot all about it until reading this thread. I'm not sure when it's going to be though this year but the smell of mince pies and mulled wine always starts around then and lasts until just after Christmas.
I know that christmas is coming because :

-I work more hours.
-I have to rush on final projects and finals.
-My boss gets crankier.
-The customers get crankier.
-Toys are set out that make lots of noise and sing christmas carols.
-I get caught turning off these toys at least once a week.
-I end up getting in trouble for setting our stereo at such a low volume at work that it's hard to hear anything. (I don't like christmas music).
-I end up realizing a week before the actual thing that I need to get off my butt and get some presents for people.
-My mom sticks a pile of cards in front of me to sign.
-And finally I get to spend another day with my family, trying to find something to keep me busy and away from everyone that will keep them from being upset with me, which is hard since I'm out of school and don't really have homework. Then there is of course the underhanded insults, the constant feeling of hunger since someone decided to make it a tradition to only eat snacks to cut down on things that need to be cleaned up.
QUOTE (EvilSpoon @ Nov 27 2005, 03:47 AM)
...carrying too much in my pockets (because of the whole coat thing)

I have a tin which sits in my room and gets filled up with all the things I have collected in my hobo coat (a large mens brown duffle coat I picked up in a charity shop for 2.99 a few years ago, that smells of dogs when wet, and which can be cleaned using a wire brush).

When going through it at the end of a week, I once found a bananaman keyring which I don't ever remember getting/ picking up.

Oh the joys of winter.
ee-wan bell-arm-ee
baa humbug, in this day and age, there is no getting away from christmas. Everywhere you go, "ho ho ho, merry christmass", it's getting on my nerves. It's not even december! sad.gif

well, it is now, but it wasn't
QUOTE (LoLo @ Nov 28 2005, 11:12 AM)
-I end up getting in trouble for setting our stereo at such a low volume at work that it's hard to hear anything.  (I don't like christmas music).

Ugh, I hear you. My dad's obsessed with that stuff. It seems whenever I go to make myself a mug of tea, the old man has Nat King Cole or Manheim Steamroller cranked up just a little bit more.
-I end up realizing a week before the actual thing that I need to get off my butt and get some presents for people.

Not many people know this, but I when I get my pre-Christmas gift cards and $20 bills I go out and spend them on gifts for tohers.
Just wanted to say that it is now snowing (!!) and I am fairly OK with it being December 2nd and feeling Christmassy.
A couple days ago I exparimented with making my own eggnog (turned out nicely) but! I had made hot chocolate earlier (from scratch) and had it in a thermos.... <.< So I decided to create the ultimate christmas drink! Hot chocolatey eggnog! Mmm....

I'm also sitting here at 4:30 in the morning waiting for someone to announce that school is cancelled.... alot of mornings will be like this x.x; Its all part of the winter fun.
Ah, school closings. I remember those when I lived up north and boy did I love them! After I moved south, however, school was only closed for hurricanes.

I think maybe I'd enjoy Christmas more if there was snow. I remember being stoked when we'd go to the window and see snow covering our back yard. For us, having a white Christmas was the best thing in the world.
Of the two White Christmases I've had in my life, both have been in New Jersey, including last year when it snowed at home over Christmas when I wasn't there. But yeah, I love the US now because of that.
Hehehe. I grew up in Western OR, and since it only snows once or twice a year there usually, they close school down for it. I moved here in high school...they never close down. They only closed school once, cause one of the snowplows broke down and the snow was about up to my hips. My first white Christmas was the year I moved here. I was so excited, cause it'd been 14 years of it never happening. My mom had never even seen a white Christmas, and she'd lived in that area her whole life.

Snow days would make me feel Christmassy if I still got them happy.gif
Well a tramp wished me a merry Christmas today because I gave him a satsuma and a muffin so that put me in a Christmassy mood.
Christmas presents bought, wrapped, tagged and under the tree.
Christmas cards written and posted (majority shoved in draw in desk at work)
Christmas plans made with military efficiency...

I like to get in the mood by being irritatingly organised. What freaks me out is that my boyfriend hasn't done an iota of shopping yet and it's the big day next week.
My mom usually makes a lot of cookies, we decorate a tree with sentimentally valued ornaments, play Manheim Steamroller, go to the nice Christmas Eve service with lots of carols... essentially a cheery suburbian Christmas. tongue.gif We get together with various relatives on the actual day to open presents and eat food together. It's usually very nice except for the two obnoxious uncles who feel free to interrupt me at any time and blow their tops if I try to interrupt them. I keep saying that age is no excuse for blatant hyposcrisy, but that only gets me yelled at some more. Fortunately, the rest of my relatives are great fun. smile.gif
ee-wan bell-arm-ee
cookies give me headaches

sorry, maybe a bit to random, what? wink.gif
Everything is starting to feel like christmas. At school the attitudes just change.... not that people are nicer or meaner, more of just a daze. The lighting also changes, it starts to feel warmer and cozier and like we shouldn't be doing work at all.

I must have a strong imagination because I know the lighting doesnt change at all, there's barely any windows in school (or atleast the classrooms I'm in) so the outside lighting wouldnt change anything else too much.... Guess I'm just strange.

I'm still waiting to get a tree! We usually put up a 9 foot artificial tree and its this really grand looking thing, but this year our living room is torn apart because we're getting hardwood floor installed (And have been waiting for the past 3 months....) So we dont have a room to put a tree in.... I think me and my brother might go out today to get a small one to put in the downstairs family room where I've decided the presents will go.... Heh ^^
Tree ^^
Today, in DT instead of making jewellery we made plastic decorations in the back of the room and strung them togteher to hang round the form room. During lunch, our tutor was giving a year 11 briefing so we sat in the cloak room making snow flakes, massive paper chains and cut coloured card in spirals to make giant curly paper that we hung from the ceiling. Our form room is now a multi-coloured glittery mess but it's put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
I think tonight Sues and I will put up our tiny Christmas tree. We wait until late in the month because it's her birthday on the 8th and so we don't want to overshadow that.
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