Jeff the Reindeer

I'd assume if your name is Cupid, you're kind of a jerk.
I’d assume if your name is Cupid, you’re kind of a jerk.

Realized I needed more Jeff the Reindeer.  So, here you go.  And really, with a stable mate like Cupid, I’d be hitting the road, too.

Also, we’ve reached that point in the Holiday season where suddenly, everything is happening and it’s just busy busy BUSY.  Never quite felt this way before, but hey!  Nice change of pace, to some degree.  Feeling way too busy to worry!

…so this what my mom feels like on an almost daily basis.  Huh.  Who knew?

Christmas Lights

Embarrassed, the penguin has to look away from the scene.
Embarrassed, the penguin has to look away from the scene.

 

What is it about Christmas lights that every time you take them out, they decide that they need to form a huge knot?  I mean, you swear you had put them away in a nice, neat little bundle – only for the next time to spend a good millenium trying to pull them apart because knots.  Oy.

There is that nice redeeming value, though, when you hang them up and they suddenly brighten up your house with Christmas cheer.  Also that they never seem to take that long to hang up.  You set aside a good three hours, only to take about 45 minutes to an hour to get them put up, because you keep forgetting year after year that truly the hardest part is untangling them.  And trying to remember how the balls you managed to set them up last year.  After that, it’s all relatively smooth sailing to flicking on the switch and oohing over them as you pull into the driveway from work.  Always nice to see.

The Santa and the Scrooge

There's a fine line between ''Spirited" and "Psychotic."
There’s a fine line between ”Spirited” and “Psychotic.”

 

So, this is something that I’ve been dealing with for most of the holiday season: discovering these two very different, yet remarkably connected, holiday identities, and attempting to find some sort of balance between them.

The “Scrooge,” I feel, is pretty obvious to explain.  It’s that person who eschews the holidays completely.  Maybe for the idea that it’s been overcommercialized, maybe for the sheer fact that it’s been everywhere since October.  Maybe because they feel like the weather is too warm and doesn’t allow for that Christmas edge (not that I’ve done that.  Cough).  Or maybe they just don’t feel like they’re in the mood for celebrating.  For whatever reason, they are more than content to just hide out in their homes and attempt to ignore the onslaught of the holiday season, wondering why.

I’ve actually had plenty of moments like this – more than I’ve ever had, I think.  I don’t know why.  I love Christmas, but this year, that Christmas magic has been ridiculously hard to find for me.  Maybe it’s because this year is going to be different, with people who have always been there not being there this year, me growing up, or whatever.  I’m just not feeling it as much as I want to.

Then there’s this other side – the Santa, the side that a part of this Scrooge-me wants to be.  The overzealous, hopped up on baked goods persona who is bouncing off the walls, throwing up green and red everywhere whilst trying to pump up the holiday spirits in everyone else.  Things aren’t happening fast enough for this guy – why isn’t the tree up?  Everyone else has their tree up!  We’re behind on the times people!  Christmas is only this amount of days away!

Like the Scrooge, I’ve had some Santa moments as well.  Mainly in terms of “WHY ISN’T THIS HAPPENING FAST ENOUGH WE’RE NEVER GOING TO BE READY IN TIME FOR CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSS.”  I feel like I’ve been this every year though, trying to rush everything up so that we can…enjoy it longer?  Who knows?

These two sides do have a connection to each other.  At least for me.  For the Santa, I want everything to be put up NOW.  I want everything to be nice and perfect so we can celebrate Christmas perfectly, because of course it must be perfect or else it won’t be perfect and how terrible it will be if it isn’t PERFECT.  We need to be celebrating all month long.  Why are we doing everything so late?  This leads to the idea that, well, if it isn’t, than why bother celebrating?  So I morph into the Scrooge, all gloom and not in the mood.  Like, screw you all for being in the spirit.  But hey, maybe I’ll be in the mood if I start forcing myself to be cheerful and decorative!  And thus it all begins again.

Now to me, neither side is ideal.  Or all that healthy.  The Scrooge because I want to be in the mood but can’t seem to, the Santa because frankly, it makes me tired and I could never be that peppy to begin with.  So like everything else in life, I need to find a balance.  Yes, I want to be excited for Christmas, to celebrate this time with friends and family, to spread good will and cheer in a time when we all need it.  At the same time, I need to calm the hell down and not have such lofty expectations for the Perfect Christmas.  This is being In the Spirit.  Celebrating in my own way, without overdoing it or not doing it at all.  I need to complete my own Christmas, and maybe realize that doing everything too early can take the fun out of it, and not doing it all can be such a downer.  Just go at my own pace, and celebrate the way I want to with the family.

Christmas is coming – can’t stop that from happening.  So I just need to go forth, get some gifts, do some baking, and just balance.

Walrus Studies: Santa Walrus

He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake...or at least has a rough estimation.
He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.  Or at least has a rough estimation.  I mean, he’s got a clock, and can always look up time zones, so…

 

Here’s our walrus friend, gettin’ ready for the big night!  He’s doing some wrapping, prepping his presents, all with a great big smile and a Ho ho ho!

He’s further ahead than I am.  I still need to do shopping, some more baking, there’s putting up the tree – still plenty to do in the next couple of weeks!

Gone with the Cupcakes

Couldn't you at least saved me the spoon?
Couldn’t you at least saved me the spoon?

Baked goods never seem to last long in my house.  Case in point: the Sweet Potato Cupcakes I made to kick off the Holiday Baking season, a month long celebration of all things sweet to go with the festivities, as well as a deprivation of most of our baking ingredients.  Turned out nicely enough – maybe a bit too much nutmeg, too much sweet potato, which made them a bit moist, but still tasty.

I made them Friday – a good two and a half dozen, complete with brown sugar cream cheese icing.  It’s Wednesday, and there are 2 left.  Kind of felt like the comic – all the cupcakes have suddenly vanished into the aether (or into people’s stomachs).

Daw well.  Time to make some more – after the sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, Red Velvet cupcakes, chocolate pie, carrot cake, etc., etc.

Like I said – ’tis the season to be baking.  And eating.  I love this time of year.

The Holiday Potoo

"COME ON GUYS, LET'S DO SOME JINGLE BELLS!!!!!"
“COME ON GUYS, LET’S DO SOME JINGLE BELLS!!!!!”

 

So, if you don’t know what a potoo is, I highly recommend Googling it.  It is simultaneously the most hilarious and terrifying bird ever.  Basically, it looks like it has seen something too terrible for words and like it wants to eat your soul, all at the same time, especially the really big ones with all black eyes.  Seriously, look it up.

I saw a cartoon featuring it, Googled it myself – and, you guys, I just had to include it.  It’s just too funny looking not to.  Kept with the Festive theme, but yeah.  Just had to.

Send in the Reindeer

Jeff the Reindeer returns!
Jeff the Reindeer returns!

Well, folks, that time of year has finally come.  The time of year where we say goodbye to pumpkins and pilgrims and say hello to evergreens and Christmas lights!  It is finally Christmastime – one of my all time favorite parts of the year.  Well, at least to me it’s Christmastime.  I mean, Lord knows that we’ve bombarded with Christmas commercials since Halloween.  And it feels like the stores have been decorated since August for this occasion.  But now, with Halloween long in the past and Thanksgiving finished, I can now put myself in the mindset of Christmas.

For me personally, Christmas Day itself is amazing.  Presents, food, spending time with people you love, surrounded by decorations – it’s lovely.  But there’s something about the actual run-up to Christmas that I find particularly magical.  Yes, I know that the stores and TV have been pounding this into our skulls for a while now, which can make people ready to rip their hair out and complain about Christmas, which honestly sucks.  Because if done right, this time of year can be fun.  At least, I find it fun.  Putting up the decorations, baking tons of treats, throwing up the Christmas Tree, revelling in the Christmas music and A Muppets’ Christmas Carol (because OF COURSE) – all leading up to the day itself.  I love it.  I just wish that retail didn’t have to ruin it for everyone else.

And yes, be prepared for a very festive month of comics.  Hopefully to add some nice Christmas cheer to the season.  Already got a few ideas down for the holidays.

Just writing about it, I’m getting excited.  I’m ready to get started!  Christmas Time!  Whoooooooo!

Side note: I’ve seen people with their trees and lights already up.  All I can say to that is how?  How do you do it??  Magic, probably.