Sweden at Christmastime

I was chatting with a friend about travel the other day and I happened to mention my 2018 trip to Sweden.

Yes, I went to Sweden in the winter and it was GLORIOUS!

Of course, I was so afraid of being cold, seeing as how I was born and raised in sunny, warm California.

So I brought long johns, boots, scarf, hat, snow gear and a really long heavy puffer jacket.

The end result?

I sweated my way through my vacation.

I’d go outside all bundled up only to enter a building with the heat on BLAST.

I’d strip off layers to cool off, only to have to put them back on again when I went outside.

I was perpetually HOT, not cold, as I’d projected.

I joked that I must be going into menopause with all the hot flashes I had.

Of course, my memories of Sweden are more than just the cold and the heat.

I remember sweet shops and bins filled with candy at the supermarket.

There was salted licorice gum (it tastes exactly as it sounds) and candy that resembled rocks.

I remember a glorious smörgåsbord dinner with friends at The Grand Hôtel – complete with champagne and caviar.

And no one, I mean NO ONE, does Christmas like the Scandinavians.

There was glögg, a kind of spiced mulled beverage which is served hot with ginger crisps.

There were lighted ada candlabras in all the windows and colorful dala horses on display:

And a light snowfall made everything seem magical.

I’d like to transport myself there now and get away from all the strife going on here at home.

Sweden at Christmas is much favorable to California during the next few weeks.

All I want for Christmas

I know I say this every year but this year I really mean it.

More than anything, I really want this to be my last year of being solo during the holidays.

Nothing is wrong with me.

I’m a perfectly decent human being.

I’m probably much better equipped to handle a relationship than I was when I was married.

I’m older and wiser and much better at listening to others and really hearing what they need.

It’s a lifelong process, getting along with other people.

Some days I succeed, some days I fail.

But I’d be lying if I were to say that it doesn’t bother me to be YET AGAIN single during the holidays.

All I want for Christmas is my one true love.

Bring on the glitter beards!

There’s a new trend which I am totally in love with.

It combines two of my loves:

Christmas and beards.

Ladies and denizens, I present to you THE GLITTER BEARD!

Isn’t it awesome?

I’m following “glitter beard” on Instagram and TikTok because I’m so enthralled with glitter beards.

What could be better than combining a little holiday festive glitter with a nice beard?

Nothing, I tell you.

This is the pinnacle of Christmas spirit and I’m loving it.

Bring on the glitter beards!

Christmas 2020

I hate to say it.

It’s going to drive all of you crazy but I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping.

That’s right, I’ve done almost all my Christmas shopping and it’s only mid-November.

This is par for the course with me.

I managed to get some really great deals on stuff for my family and friends..

I’m always on top of things when it comes to buying presents.

And getting ready for Christmas.

Mostly because once my birthday is over, I go into FULL HOLIDAY MODE and start buying presents, planning my Christmas cards, and decorating.

This will be an unusual year because of covid.

We might have to celebrate in our garage.

My brother has two young children and because I do this every year, I got them ornaments of their spirit animals (a seahorse and a black cat) for their Christmas tree to put on the presents I bought them.

So here’s to the start of this weird and wacky Christmas season.

May your days be filled with love and Christmas cheer, even in these challenging times.

My Very First Santa Con

The most notable part about my weekend this past weekend is that I got smashed.

Trashed.

Blottoed.

Is that even a word?

I didn’t intend to and I blame the fact that I switched from drinking beer to drinking gin about halfway through the night.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I decided to attend my first Santa Con – a party where a group of people get dressed like Santa in festive holiday attire and go en mass from one pub to the next bringing holiday spirit and cheer while consuming alcoholic beverages.  I put together an appropriate outfit – black boots, fishnet tights, white tutu, red velvet corset with white maribou feather trim, and of course a Santa hat.

IMG_8478Our path was all laid out – first we went to Aloft Bar, then Whole Foods (who were INCREDIBLY HOSPITABLE), followed by The Monte Vista Inn, and finally landing at The Blue Pheasant.

Everyone was dressed up in various Santa garb. My favorite was a duo – a flattened grandma and the reindeer who ran her over. Perfect! Love everyone’s creativity!

I got run over by the reindeer myself… note the hoof print on my chest!

IMG_8484At Paul & Eddie’s, I switched from drinking beer to drinking 4 olive gin martinis.

And that’s what did me in.

By the time we got to The Blue Pheasant, I was incapable of using my phone to arrange for a Lyft so I had to get a ride home from a nice gentleman who was kind enough to offer me a ride.

And then I was too drunk to give him directions.

He had to use an app to get me home.

Sigh.

I’m really embarrassed to say that I actually remember farting in his car on the ride home.

HUMILIATION!!!

Jesus, was I DRUNK!

So lesson learned: Santa Con is a marathon, not a sprint.

Drink accordingly!

Priceless Memories

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, then it comes as no surprise to you that I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

The holidays just fill me with happiness and cheer.

I once fell in love with a man over the Christmas holiday season and although the relationship didn’t last, that feeling of awe and good will lingers.

I took my Christmas card pictures in May.

I ordered my cards in September.

I purchased all my gifts in October and November.

And now everything is wrapped and I am READY TO CELEBRATE.

Bring on VACATION!

My favorite thing is to watch the holiday decorations get set up at my parent’s house.

One decoration that never ceases to amaze me is my mom’s Mr. Christmas Santa’s Grand Marching Band.

Five little Santas holding two brass bells each strike their bells in time to make Christmas music.

It’s just beautiful.

The entire unit plays 25 Christmas carols from Silent Night to Silver Bells.

I bought this musical toy for my mom in Capitola at a gift shop while out with my Christmas boyfriend in 2009.

We were strolling through shops, just looking at things when the Grand Marching Band caught my eye.

You can hang it on your Christmas tree OR set it up on a table or mantle.

It’s very versatile.

Sadly, my mom has stored the Grand Marching Band in a location that we can’t seem to find and so last Christmas I didn’t get to hear Santa’s little bells ring.

This year I am determined to find it or else replace it with a new one.

However, Santa’s Grand Marching Band has become somewhat of a collector’s item which means if I don’t locate my mom’s, I’ll have to buy one from $150 – $300.

You can imagine I’m going to search FAR AND WIDE for the one we’ve misplaced.

But if I don’t find it, I love it enough to not be too heartbroken to have to pay to replace it.

Mr. Christmas Santa’s Grand Marching Band – $150

Christmas memories with chiming bells – PRICELESS

 

Bring on the holidays!

Now that it’s OFFICIALLY after Halloween I can focus on Christmas!

Woot!

I LOVE fall.

Nothing better.

Indian summer stretches into fall and we all enjoy cool mornings, crisp nights, and sunny days.

I just want to brag about some of the gifts I bought for my family.

I found a company that makes custom bifold iPhone cases so I whipped up some family photos for my mom so that she could have all her lovely children and grandchildren smiling at her from her phone.

Thank you Lasting Impressions for the perfect gift for my mom.

Her current bifold case is falling apart.

For my sister, a little sass:

Because nothing says “I’ve got attitude” like a mug with the F-Bomb on it.

For my nephews, who I have dubbed “The Littles,” I started a tradition of getting them a Christmas ornament with the Halloween costumes they wore earlier that year.

Calvin was the Grim Reaper and Milo was Venom.

I managed to find Calvin’s costume on Zazzle:

And Milo’s costume on etsy, customization pending.

I’m still debating on what to get them for their gifts.  The ornaments are simply a little extra gift I like to give to The Littles.

I can imagine my brother and sister-in-law’s Christmas tree when the boys are older, filled with memories of Halloween and Christmases past.

Welcome to my fall-loving, Christmas-obsessed season of joy!