Friday Fives – simply… having… a wonderful


What was your favorite family Christmas tradition as a youth that you miss doing? 

shrimp cocktail on Christmas eve

What was a favorite family Christmas tradition as a youth that you are glad has gone away?

The absolute nightmare that has become the white elephant gift exchange.  OK, this wasn’t when I was a kid.  It is an adult tradition.  It’s a really, really big mess.  See, you have the white elephant exchange idea, and that is straight forward;  everyone brings a  fairly cheap fixed price gift (say… $25 tops).  Then, a random order is chosen for who opens in what order.  once the person opens their present, up to 3 subsequent people can steal that gift.  if your gift is stolen, you can either steal a gift from anyone else who has already opened… OR… choose an as of yet unopened gift.  they ALL work this way, and if you do it differently, you are doing it wrong.

Well, my family…  added this bizarre twist.  You also have to bring a hint gift.  So, each person brings 2 gifts.  1 of the gifts is supposed to be a hint that only tangentially pertains to the main gift.  Ok, that isn’t so weird.  More presents!  Who complains about that?  THEN… we trade and steal on the hint gifts.  The actual gifts of the white elephant aren’t opened until after all of this is done.  If that isn’t confusing enough… keep in mind we are well liquored up by the time we get to this.  It’s supposed to be silly fun, and it often is.  However, it is so confusing, most of the allocated time is spent trying to understand the dumb rules… and lots of arguing.

SHIT  – what if my family reads this?  They don’t get the internet in jail, do they?

Do you have any new Christmas tradition that you see yourself participating in years from now?

I would like to do the thing where you go in the woods and cut your own tree down.  It sounds so romantic.  Grew up in Phx, see… so we didn’t have a lot of woods to utilize.  Now, I live in Colorado… and we have the Rockies.  We mostly do a fake tree, but of course we love a real tree.  Thing is, we are either working at Christmas, or traveling.

with that said, if any of you have done this in Colorado… can you tell me about it?  Was it fun and romantic?  Or, was a super cold and miserable pain in the ass?  I have a chainsaw, but I don’t want to use that.  Feel like that would be cheating.  Want to use a bow saw.

Specifically… can I go just into the woods and murder and steal a tree?  Is that my right as a taxpayer?  Or, is there like a permit process?  I mean, obviously I could quite easily go in to the national forest and steal a tree.****  I have a truck and all that good stuff, so its doable.  But, I shan’t be a dick about it.

Favorite/Worst Christmas song?

best – Happy Xmas by John Lennon.  Worst is Paul McCartney’s ‘simply having a wonderful Christmas time‘.  We know those songs.  Those are obvious answers, and not why you come here.  My favorite Christmas song isn’t technically a Christmas song, but it is AMAZING and beautiful and perfect.  It is ‘River’, by Joni Mitchell.

What was the worst gift you have given or received at Christmas time?

My life is an embarrassment of riches and blessings.  Even if there was a lousy Christmas present, I would be a grade A asshole to complain about it.  talk about a first world problem!

and let’s pretend that there was this one gift that pretty much ruined my childhood, Scotty.  Did you not read my family is in jail?  Do you  know what happens when someone reads to them, slowly using simple words, that thing about the white elephant?  Are you trying to get me killed?


*** regarding the tree thing; yes, I know I can google all of this.  Remember when you couldn’t google everything?  What would I have done for this?  Probably call around to different government bureaus and get the run around.  Then, would probably have to fill out some forms and send them away and wait 6 weeks.


One thought on “Friday Fives – simply… having… a wonderful

  1. I grew up in Phoenix too, but many went to the White Mountains to cut their own tree. Like Payson out the beeline highway. Anyway, I also live in CO now. Went once to cut a tree – cold, wet and a major pain in the ass. Never again.

    I always enjoyed Xmas with my family and wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. These days it is just another day to enjoy family. My husband works almost every major holiday (double time and a half – he is in a union) so I party with friends and my little doggie.

    Love the photo of the saguaro with the lights. I miss Phoenix the most this time of year because I’m always cold. Enjoy your holiday!

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