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Mindy is trying to think deep thoughts but keeps getting... oooh shiny thing!

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39 responses to “Jingle all the Way”

  1. Tom

    Does anyone here like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

    I used to think that the Cousin Eddie character was funny until i learned that his actor, Randy Quaid, was a jerkass.

    When l learned that Chevy Chase made fun of a gay actor and said he should weigh himself (as if the actor had AIDS) it took all the fun out of the character of Clark W. Griswold.

  2. Megpie71

    My main Christmas tradition is avoiding the shopping malls. I blame this on ten years working retail (between 1986 and 1996) and starting off as a “Christmas casual”. I also have a minor twitch when exposed to certain of the US-origined Winter Solstice Songs (such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Winter Wonderland”). There’s just something about being inside an air-conditioned shopping centre and listening to these songs about snow and winter and how cold it is all day, and then walking outside to be slapped in the face by the heat radiating off the shopping centre car park asphalt.

    So my preferred listening for Christmas tends to be either very traditional English carols (including various Wassail songs), preferably choral, and even more preferably in Latin; or else it’s rather cynical little bits of commentary about the various ways the Christmas season is foisted on us. Things like “Jolly Old Christmastime” by Weddings Parties Anything (which deals with the traditional Australian Christmas – “pissing down rain and it’s 32″), Tom Lehrer’s “Christmas Song” (“just the thing I need, how nice!”), “The St Stephen’s Day Murders” as performed by the Chieftains and Elvis Costello (“Ah it’s nice for the kids when you finally get rid of them in the St Stephen’s Day Murders”), along with a few other bits and pieces picked up here and there.

    (Did you realise “Home and Broken-hearted” by Cold Chisel is actually seasonally appropriate?)

  3. Aphie

    I can’t believe I only got introduced to The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York when I spent Christmas in England, six years ago. Now one of my favourites, megpie. ;)

  4. M-H

    I think the Dr Who special is on Boxing Day, not Xmas Eve…

  5. tigtog

    M-H, you’re right – Boxing Day AT 7.30pm ABC1. I’m not sure whether it will be available earlier on iView again – I can’t find it!

    Here’s a trailer, anyway:

  6. shonias

    White Wine in the Sun is, predictably, my fav Chrissy song. But I also have a very silly album called Bob Rivers Twisted Christmas, which has such classics as “Grab Your Balls Like Michael Jackson, fa la la la la, la la la la”, “I am Santa Claus” sung to the tune of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, and a generic AC/DC song version of “A Few of My Favourite Things”. Most of these make me giggle.

    I listen to Carols putting up the tree, and on Christmas Day. Sometimes on Christmas Eve too – depending on how much time I’ve spent in malls being swamped by them.

    I usually don’t get much time to watch anything at this time of year, so I don’t have much of a move/TV tradition.

  7. Mary

    My parents had a rather unique tradition which was this: they utterly hate driving in traffic, which rules out Christmas Eve. They also dislike sleeping in other people’s beds for too many days, which rules out days before the 24th. They also liked spending all Christmas Day with family, who lived about 5 or 6 hours drive in various directions.o many years our tradition was: early bedtime on the 24th. Up and at ‘em at 2 or 3am on the 25th. Quick squiz at Father Christmas’s contributions to Christmas. (These early mornings actually started after I was reality-based on that one, but the presents in sacks continued right through my tweens and teens.) Then on the road.

    So I know what Christmas Day looks like at 5 and 6am in Sydney and in small country towns. (Quiet!)

    I’m still sorting out creating my own traditions, and since we don’t plan to spend Christmas at home for any year in the foreseeable future (will make our own 3 and 4 hour drives to grandparents) in some ways it is not crucial to.

    Inherited traditions: advent calendars for children, without the treats inside. My mother actually shops for me on that one.

    Own traditions: I am trying to get it together to have a solstice dinner each year as a private celebration before the older generation-led Christmas festivities. But personal and family catastrophes have bedeviled November and December for at least 10 years now (for example, three of my grandparents died in different Nov/Dec periods, and the fourth, now also deceased, began her last major illness late one Dec). When there’s not a catastrophe there’s a major life change (I was 8 months pregnant in Dec 2009, and preparing to move house in Dec 2011). But this year, barring anything big happening in the next week (and I don’t dare rule it out!) it is finally on.

    My exposure to (and taste for) Christmas media is pretty small. I worked night fill rather than retail proper during my retail stint, and so my lifetime carol exposure is lower. I scoured Bigpond Music this time last year for good carol performances though: it’s almost easier to find you-beaut Australian renditions and other similar takes than it is to find reasonably faithful choral and solo renditions!

  8. Mary

    Oh and the other thing is that my husband and I are no longer buying each other surprise presents. Neither of us is actually especially hard to buy for (books, movies, nights out, gadgets are things you can buy for either of us) but with our bad Nov/Dec luck, we’ve tended to find that shopping is a big chore rather than a joy and are keen to subtract a person each.

    What we’re trying to do is to discuss and together purchase something larger that we’ll both use, eg music players.

  9. Helen

    One of my traditions is always to buy an Ital Panettone and eat it on Christmas morning. A concurrent tradition has sprung up of son, predictably, every year, moaning because “WHY WON’T YOU BUY THE CHOCOLATE ONES INSTEAD.” “BECAUSE THEY’RE STUPID AND NOT CHRISTMASSY THAT’S WHY.”
    Panettone, like ham, has the advantage that there’s usually plenty left (if you’re a small family) for surprise visitors, etc.

  10. Helen
  11. tigtog

    OMFSM – I think that one belongs on the The cute it burns! thread.

  12. shonias

    Mary, I’ve been intending to celebrate the summer solstice for I don’t know how many years now, and without nearly the level of disastrousness you’ve had, I’ve never really managed it. We celebrate the winter solstice pretty much every year, but all my best intentions seem to get washed away in the pre-Christmas chaos.

  13. angharad

    When Mr angharad and I first started living together, we lived in a share house with this very odd man. One of his oddities was that he liked to play Mariah Carey’s Christmas album at high volume – at any time of the year.

    We have a three year rotating Christmas plan – our house, in-laws, my parents. This developed while we were living in Canberra (my family is in Queensland and Mr angharad’s is here in Adelaide). The Christmassy traditions we follow depend very much on where we’re having it, so it’s a bit hard to say that we do any specific thing. I think the one thing I try and do every year is send my English grandmothers new pictures of my kids in their Christmas cards.

  14. Mary

    Summer curse averted and solstice dinner completed! Pasta with roasted eggplant and almond pesto was the highlight, possibly bringing forward our vague plans to get a food processor.

  15. Orlando

    Castle plans reverted to cottage and it all worked very well. Amazing what icing sugar can cover. I had great success one year with gingerbread sleighs: individual portions, cut two sides in a nice curvy sleigh shape, with a little rectangular base to hold them apart; partly fill with a blend of cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon and rum, throw on blueberries and raspberries and sprinkle icing sugar over.

    Kind of loving Christmas with a four-year-old. Excitement overdrive for days, and moments when I catch him just gazing at the tree.

  16. tigtog

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! The turkey is in the oven ready to enjoy at lunch (thank FSM for a stiff coastal breeze up here in Newie). Soon the whole house will smell tasty.

  17. Mindy

    Sounds lovely TT. MiL has just discovered the sauce she made missing and the saucepan washed up in the rack. FiL in deep trouble.

    On the up side it is much less humid today so MyNigel and me don’t feel like we will melt into puddles. The pork will soon be on to roast, the baklava is already in the oven and I haven’t lifted a finger. I might help remake the sauce though.

    Some time today I need to rapidly work out how to upload stuff to a Kindle then teach the Inlaws how to use them. Should be fun!

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays all and I hope you get the celebration you desire.

  18. angharad

    Merry Christmas Hoydens, to you and your families. We’ve had a lovely day here (we in Adelaide got the disgustingly hot weather out of the way on the weekend). Presents and Christmas lunch are all out of the way. Now let the fighting over toys commence!

  19. Perla

    Season’s Greetings, all!

    I’ve had a wonderful day. Spent time with the family, video chatted with OS relos and eaten a lot of delicious food. I’m so pleased the stifiling heat held of for today. The only thing close to a quibble I have right now relates to one of the vegan cookbooks I received. I need to find a substitute for a substitute (evaporated cane juice). I foresee a jaunty bit of googling in my future!

  20. Chris

    Merry Christmas to all! Unfortunately mine started with an argument with my ex which has stressed me out for the most of the day. But still had a wonderful day with my daughter who lately has been amazingly well behaved and so considerate, helpful and polite (for a 4 year old). Not sure where she gets it from, but not complaining! Already getting a bit depressed over not seeing my daughter at all next Xmas but nothing I can do about it.

  21. Aqua of the Questioners

    Chris: a lot of our friends seem to have had Chrstmas a week early, due to travel arrangements, grandparents’ work commitments, etc. I hope you can work out something special for you and your daughter.

  22. Aphie

    My dear friend, who was diagnosed with gallstones on the summer solstice, got to have surgery Christmas Eve, and be home with her family by Christmas lunch, hurrah!

    Whilst being with my mother and all three of my sibs underscores just how much of their behaviour patterns were set up when they were teenagers together in her house (when I had left, moved interstate, and set up my own life), and makes me feel a bit like a visitor in my own family, it’s also a relief not be included in barbed “jokes” over the turkey about weight and lifestyle habits.
    So hooray for another family event without my family insulting me to my face! :)

    And the Tiny Tyrant, as the first and only present member of his generation,got spoiled rotten.

  23. SunlessNick

    M-H, you’re right – Boxing Day AT 7.30pm ABC1. I’m not sure whether it will be available earlier on iView again – I can’t find it!

    An improvement on the last two specials. Complete with a callback to OldWho…

  24. Jo

    Christmases in my family have always been small, as we don’t have extended family in Australia, and not many family friends either. We do always have to do the dividing-up-holidays though, because of divorced parents, but it generally works out well as our main celebrations are on Christmas Eve (German tradition). It seems the older I get, the smaller Christmas gets as well.

    Shonias, I totally agree about White Wine in the Sun! I actually only was shown it by a friend the other night, and I just felt really touched by it. I feel exactly that way about the whole religiosity about it – actually, it often makes me feel a little appropriative. But then, Christian Christmas built on so many traditions as well. Lots of funny feelings about Christmas from a religious point of view – it’s kind of awkward going along to the midnight church service with my family who is religious out of support for them, but not feeling strange myself.

    And Megpie, there is nothing I hate more than Christmas songs that aren’t carols, but whiny singers with too much vibrato and singing far too slowly to sing along to, even! Carols must be choral. And latin is always best. :P

    Other than that though, it has been very quiet. I would have liked to go to the beach today, but it’s quite rainy up here on the North Coast of NSW. Ah well.

  25. Mindy

    Have left exhausted in-laws in Sydney and come home. Mr 9 wanted to stay but his grandparents didn’t seem to concerned that he went (they were happy for him to stay but not so keen that they insisted). So he is a bit grumpy but we all needed to be home for a bit. Back for a funeral on Friday and probably home again the same day. Not sure when we will get to The Hobbit or Les Mis.

    Did squeeze in the Alexander exhibit on Xmas Eve. Allow yourself about 2 hours if you are interested and want to read everything, as I did, because it is information packed. Probably not suitable for small children. Ms 6 had three adults to run around between which helped and there is an interactive table thingy in the second part of the exhibit which helped amuse her for a while.

  26. Jo

    Just sayin’: The Doctor Who Christmas Special was SPECTACULAR! I haven’t enjoyed a Christmas special like this one for years, I generally find them tedious. Could have done without the flirting bit, but you know, such is life, I guess. I am so happy. :D

  27. tigtog

    I MISSED IT! We were all focussed on family dinner at my folks’ place, and then I got sick (seem to have caught Mum’s lurgy that she had on Xmas Day) and spent the next few hours upchucking and shivering, finally remembering at about 8:20pm just in time to realise that it was about finishing. Arrrrrgggghhhh! (I was fully recovered by about 10pm, just one of those drive-by lurgies).

    We’ve recorded it at home, where we will be tonight, so I guess I just have to wait another few hours. Or maybe I should iView it right now while everyone else is still asleep? Hm.

  28. angharad

    I missed DW too, but then I knew I was going to, because Mr angharad booked us in to see the Hobbit at the exact same time. The Hobbit was pretty good. A few bits where it departs from the book in ways that make you go ‘hmmm’, but it looked amazing.

  29. tigtog

    Ha! I’ve managed to catch up on iView now. The 6yo niece woke up just as the opening theme was starting, and when I told her it was about scary snowmen, she watched the whole thing with me. Her noisy gummy bear toy interrupted a few times, so I had to turn on the closed captions, but that was fine and she loved the whole cast of unusual characters. Another Whovian in the making!

    [spoilerific content moved to the Dr Who Spoilers & Speculation Thread]

  30. Mindy

    [Whovian comment has been moved to the Doctor Who Spoilers & Speculation Thread at Mindy's request]

  31. Mary

    Stayed at my in-laws for a few days. Christmas Eve was still 38 degrees at nearly 7pm but there was a huge storm across a big chunk of NSW that night and the following day to make up for it. Welcome rain in some places.

    Hilary Mantel seems to be Christmas Gift Author of the Year this year. So much Mantel.

    I actually enjoyed some non-choral cheesy Christmas pop from my sister-in-law’s phone on the morning of the 25th, but I have so little exposure to it! It was good fun.

    There was also the traditional Fixing of the Ancestral Audiovisual Setup, which I remember my own family doing in turn.

  32. Jo
    ***DW SPOILERS***

    Mindy, there does seem to be a lot of not-thinking-through on the River Song front. I like to think that River is the person Eleven heads home to when he needs someone, a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff, the sort of relationship that just IS, regardless of whatever happens, even if there are times when they don’t see each other.

    And the episode could have done without that random flirting in the middle, but you know, Eleven’s reaction seemed pretty asexual to me, so I am happy. :D

  33. SunlessNick

    [whovian comment content transferred to Dr Who Spoilers & Speculation Thread at Sunless Nick's request]

  34. Mary

    A reminder that we have a spoiler layout, which you produce by using the HTML

    <div class=”spoiler”>SPOILER TEXT HERE</div> and looks like this:

    SPOILER TEXT HERE

    I will go back and edit some in.

  35. tigtog

    Perhaps we need a dedicated Whovian Xmas special thread? SO that this one doesn’t get totally taken over (any more than it already has, anyway)?

  36. tigtog

    OK, there is now a Doctor Who Spoilers and Speculation Thread.

    If anybody wants to copy-paste their Who comments here to over there in order to have continuity of discussion, I’ll redact their comment on this thread to remove spoilers and link to the new comment in my edits.

  37. Chris

    Aqua – yes I’m sure I’ll end up having a late Christmas celebration with my daughter next year. I guess I never thought I’d end up not spending at least a bit of time with my daughter on Christmas day while she’s young but I’ve got a while longer to get used to the idea before experiencing it.

    Loved the Dr Who Xmas special. My 4yo who watched it with me and wasn’t scared, though I suspect that’s because she didn’t understand too much of it and instead thought the snowmen were rather cool!

  38. mimbles

    We’ve had borked internet over the last week so I’ve been mostly relegated to twitter and FB on my phone. It’s a little better now thanks to some creative tweaking by my husband but will still need a visit from the iinet tech next week.

    I made the Angry Birds gingerbread house, I scaled it back from a full on Angry Birds tableau and went with house + token birds bit. And it was nearly a week later than I’d planned. It’s been that sort of year really!

  39. mimbles

    Bother. I seem to have botched that link, sorry. *Tries again*
    Angry Birds gingerbread

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