Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

It’s been a whirlwind year here at the THD household….. and it’s been a crazy year outside of our home, with disasters and devastating events around the world.  At this time during the holiday season, tell your family how much you love them, hold your little ones tight and smother them with kisses and be thankful for everything you have.

From our family to yours… Have a VERY Happy Holiday!



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Some of you who have been reading for a while may remember that we have some traditions at our home for the Christmas holiday.


There have been a number of stories I’ve shared with you; from posts about light up holiday pigs, to hubby’s Santa wish lists, to the army of nutcrackers that station themselves in our dining room each Christmas.  These stories have taken us on the perfect Christmas tree shopping excursion and to the inner workings of my mind (scary I know!) via my rendition of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.


You may recall last year (like every year according to hubby) when I ruined Christmas.  This of course is hubby’s overly dramatic representation of my desire to add bows to our Christmas tree.  If you remember THIS POST, then you may also recall that I prefer white lights on our Christmas tree.  And after 10 years together, I have won this battle every single year (a small victory given how many battles I seem to lose).  Well, last year I went out after Christmas and stumbled upon an amazing sale on colored LED lights.   And, after much consideration and pondering, and agonizing, I decided to buy enough to decorate the tree with them.   I figured this would be a nice surprise for hubby IF he was a good boy all year (no small feat) and, if you are starting to know hubby, you realize it would take a LOT!  So, fast forward to now.  We have had a whirlwind year.  We found out we were pregnant (notice there’s that word “we” again… when we all know it was ME who was pregnant).  Our little one arrived very early (NOTHING… and I do mean NOTHING was ready for his arrival).   And, since he’s been a part of our lives we’ve had multiple trips back to the hospital, more tears than I can begin to recount and more worries than anyone should have when celebrating the birth of a precious young boy.   But, this post is not meant to be a downer…. It’s just to illustrate that it’s truly been a tough year despite all the joys and excitement of expanding our family.


Soooooo, the holidays are upon us and we take the gazillion tubs of Christmas out of the attic.  We then begin to discuss how the heck we are going to decorate amidst the baby swing, pack n play, bouncy seat, etc.. etc..  It’s a daunting task but we are up to it and we are trying desperately to cling to some normalcy to try to move past the difficulties we’ve had the last 3 months.  As we sort through the outdoor lights, hubby gets a glimmer in his eye… as he realizes there are enough colored  lights to put on our indoor tree.  He begins to plan his attack.


He pulls out a piece of paper.  He counts light strands.  He makes notes.  He recounts.  He write down more info.  He looks outside.  He looks at his piece of paper.  Then with all his homework done, he approaches me with a suggestion.


“You know,”  he says “those 2 trees outside have grown a lot since last year”  dramatic pause.   “So, if my math is right we’ll need 1000 lights on each one rather than the 700 we used last year”.


I’m silent…… quietly waiting to see where he’s going with this…….


“So, I think we’ll really need to use extra white LED lights, you know, the ones we used inside last year, in order to properly decorate outside”


I’m still silent.


“Look at my paper here.   We’ll need 1000 for this tree, 800 for this tree, probably 700 for these bushes.  Here’s how many we have (he shows me another column).  So, you can see that we don’t have enough white lights to do all the things we normally do outside… UNLESS we also use the lights we normally put on the indoor tree.”


And there it is…. His ploy to angle for an indoor Christmas tree with colored lights…. But he hasn’t said it yet.   He’s smart enough to try to let me get there on my own.


Ok, I’ll bite… so I reply “if we used the colored lights on the indoor tree, we’d have enough white lights for outside…. right?”  I can see the glimmer of  hope in his eyes…..   “Ok” I quietly reply.


Now I can see it slowly registering in his mind…. Did she just say yes?  Could this possibly be the year I get my wish of a colored tree?  Did I hear her correctly? I’m scared to open my mouth…. What if I say the wrong thing and she changes her mind???


Without hearing a response from him, I say…. “YES, you heard me correctly.  You can have your colored tree.  Just don’t expect this to be permanent, I’m just feeling mighty generous this year!”


Then, being the smart man he is… he feels the need to plant the seed, to build his case for future years.  He says “What if our little one prefers colored lights too??”   And, since I’m not about to squash all his future dreams I reply “Let’s wait until he can speak so he can let me know himself…. And no trying to sway him to your side!”


So there you have it folks… we are having a Christmas tree with colored lights this year…. Hubby won this round…… HOWEVER, we will STILL have bows on the tree.   Do ya think I’ll still be “ruining Christmas”???


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In my last post I mentioned that the only things that grab hubby’s attention are things that bring him enjoyment.  Today I’d like to take this a step further.


Did you ever notice (or perhaps it’s just me..) that oftentimes, when you get gifts as a married couple, there’s distinct difference between the gifts that the woman receives and the gifts the man receives?


Please let me explain.


On holidays or birthdays hubby might receive electronics, or dvds or maybe a remote control shark for our pool… you know, things that are pretty specifically for HIM.


Whereas, on holidays or birthdays I might receive candles or kitchen utensils and quite frequently, decorative household items… you know, things that are pretty generally for OUR home.


It’s an interesting dichotomy.  Gifts for him … are for him.  Gifts for me…. are for us.


Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m not implying that people don’t buy me gifts that are specific to my hobbies or tastes.  I’m also not implying that I don’t appreciate decorative home items.  Because in all actuality I really do enjoy them… because I like that our house feels like a home.  I take pride in having nice decorations and finishing touches in our home.  If it were up to hubby we’d probably have a sheet draped over the windows and quite possibly a snack table or two in the middle of our family room.  But I digress.


I also don’t mean to imply that hubby doesn’t pick out presents specifically for me.  He spends time thinking about good gifts for me and he certainly knows better than to wrap up a vacuum for me for my birthday.  He’s actually a pretty good gift giver.  Or… at least I thought he was……


Here’s a recent conversation with my hubby:

We are sitting in our newly renovated family room… just sort of enjoying the new space.

Hubby:  “The picture on this TV is amazing”

Me: “Don’t get any ideas.. .you have your ownMan Space” in the basement”

Hubby:  “This is our room you know…”

Me: “Actually, I think this is my room.. you have your big 55” TV in the basement. You have your self proclaimed “man cave” and now I have my room”

Hubby: “Hmmmm…

Me: “Honey, you can enjoy my room any time you want… even though there’s a ‘no girls allowed’ policy in the basement, I won’t hold it against you.”

Hubby: “I never said you’re ‘not allowed’ in the basement”

Me: “Selective memory I see… I think I distinctly remember a conversation with your buddies about ‘no girls allowed’ ”

Hubby:  “Yeah, but that doesn’t apply to you…”

Me: “Oh, really?”

Hubby: “Yeah, you need to be able to go through the basement to get to the laundry room”  a smirk appears on his face

 So, as I think we’ve moved on to other topics I hear hubby say…..

“I think you need a blue ray player for your room”


Me: “You think I need a blue ray player??”

Hubby:  “Yeah, maybe I’ll get you one for your birthday”

Me: “Please tell me you’re kidding…”

Hubby:  “Nope, I think that’s exactly what you need for your room”

Me: “But I could care less about a blue ray player”

Hubby: “But just think about how great blue ray movies would look on this TV”

Me: “Honey, I truly don’t have any interest in a blue ray player for my birthday…”

Hubby: “It think it’s the perfect gift”

Me: “Yeah for you… not for me..”

Hubby: “Then it’s settled…”  there’s that smirk again…


Now, hubby has about a month until my b-day.  And, I have faith that he’ll realize over the next few weeks that a gift for me, that’s actually for him, just doesn’t say Happy Birthday.


I also have (diamonds) faith that he’ll (diamonds) be able to come up with a gift (diamonds)  that’s much more appropriate. 

Because I have this crazy idea that a gift that’s given to me should indeed be for me…. I know… I’m crazy like that!

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With Turkey Day fast approaching I have had some time today to reflect on past holidays with family.


There are a few things that are guaranteed at one of our holiday extravaganzas.

  • Free flowing cocktails
  • Endless courses of amazing food
  • Non-stop, gut wrenching laughter


It’s the laughter part that I’d like to chat about today.


We are a family of game players.  We love to try out new group games at holiday functions.  There are a few standards like Catch Phrase, Cranium and Apple to Apples.  With each game, comes a story that we can laugh about, over and over, as the years go by.


Today, I’d like to give you a glimpse into the comedic chaos that is our family.


I’ll start with Apples to Apples.  If you haven’t played this game here’s the basic premise: Each player has cards that portray a person, place, thing or event.  And, the judge chooses a card that has some sort of descriptive word. Then each player must choose a card in their hand that best matches the descriptive word and the judge gets to choose the one that they think is the best fit.  The catch of course is that the judge’s ruling is final and it’s completely subjective.  And if you’re playing with our family, you quickly realize that absurdity and silliness can sometimes win against practicality!


Take an example of play.. the word could be Annoying .. and two of the submitted cards might be Mosquitoes and Lindsay Lohan.   If I’m judging and you’ve played Lindsay Lohan you are the hands down winner… not that I don’t think mosquitoes are annoying but come on… against Lindsay Lohan???  However if Grandma happens to be judging this hand, it’s likely she’s gonna pick Mosquitoes cause Lindsay is a “nice girl” and we shouldn’t pick on her.


So, you see the challenge here.. you really need to cater your answers to the person who is judging… and although you can try to debate your answer, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever sway a judge (we take our game playing pretty seriously!!)


When we are playing with Hubby and his brother, there is some sort of unwritten communication between them (sort of as if they share one brain.. which actually could explain a lot).  So, even though the card submissions are anonymous… somehow they are always on the same wave length and they always pick each other’s answers.


There is also a Trump Card (and no, I don’t mean Donald Trump) when playing with hubby (and his brother).  This card provides a hard & fast rule.. it wins against all other answers.  What, you may ask, could always win?  Well, it’s the William Shatner card.  It can be played for virtually every answer and it will ALWAYS win (cause, Hell….. it’s William Shatner and he’s friggin’ cool – according to the boys).


And then there was the T-Rex story.


Hubby’s brother is the judge.. his descriptive card is Quiet.  

I’m certain I’m gonna win this round since one of my cards is The Vatican… I confidently submit my card.

Hubby submits his card…. T-Rex

Brother-in-law reads all the cards out loud and declares T-Rex the winner.

I’m like “ Huh????  WTF?  I put the Vatican.. it’s the home of the Pope for God’s sake.. .it’s friggin quiet!!!  Dinosaurs are not quiet??”

Brother-in-law says… “Dinosaurs are too quiet…. They’re DEAD! T-Rex is the winner!”

Hubby says… “I knew you’d understand!”


And there you have it…. That’s what it’s like to play with hubby & his brother


But I think my all time favorite game story highlights Hubby’s craziness….

It was a heated game of Cranium.


One of the categories in this game is a charades style question.


It’s hubby’s turn (he’s had many cocktails by this point). 

There are many of us around the table.. cousins, aunts, uncles. 

He chooses his card and he prepares himself to act out his answer to me.

He’s gesturing and I’m not understanding.. his arms are moving and I’m spitting out answers..

“you’re putting on a hat” “cooking”, “pan”, “frying”….

Then before I know it he’s run into the kitchen.

He’s grabbed a pot off the rack.. he’s grabbed a spatula

“cooking”, “cook”, “chef”

He’s nodding vigorously….

The next thing I know.. he’s unbuttoning his shirt… he’s shaking his pan… waving his spatula

I’m like… what the hell???

He’s got a pan in one hand.. he’s whipping off his shirt..

“you’re taking off your clothes??” “you’re cooking” “you’re shirtless”  “you’re oh wait… you’re NAKED??”

“naked cooking?”

His hand goes towards the button on his jeans….



To this day, I’m not sure how much further hubby would have gone… but I’m thankful I got the answer before the pants came off!!


As you can probably guess, I’m looking forward to our Thanksgiving celebration… not only because I’ll be getting some great food but even more so because I can’t wait to see what sort of game playing craziness we might have this year!


Wish me luck!  And, Happy Turkey Day to you all!

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