To put up the tree, or not … that is the question

Dec 9, 2008 by

Usually I get the tree put up the day after Thanksgiving. This year, however, I’m feeling kind of non-Christmasy. We’re not really doing anything for Christmas. We convinced ourselves not to buy anything big, and then, due to a random draw of a slip of paper, we decided to spend the money we would spend on Christmas presents on buying food for one of the local food banks.

So, if we put up the tree, it will be just Joel and I looking at it (well, the cats like it too).

I like to look at the tree, but do I really want to go through the effort to set it up and take it down?

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How we convinced ourselves to buy nothing from holiday sales

Dec 7, 2008 by

Our stereo receiver is broken (we’ve had it 10 years). So we should replace it. Only that’s at least $200-400. Would our old speakers work with a new stereo? Well, I guess not. So new speakers and receiver ($300-600)- that’s what we’ll get.

But what’s the point of better sound, if you are still using an “old-fashioned” DVD player with no ability to upconvert to 1080p? So, really, what we need is a stereo receiver, new speakers, and a new DVD player (the old one was on the fritz anyways) for a total of $400-700.

But then, why buy a new DVD player if you’re not going to get one that can play Blu-Ray disks? We should really get one that will play Blu-Ray disks (ka-ching $600-$900).

Oh, so now we’ve got a nice stereo, Blu-Ray player, and new speakers – projecting on a TV that’s not an LCD? I really think we should upgrade that too, but we can’t get anything less than a 1080p, because that’s what our TV does now. Add on another $800-$1000.

Um. So two people that watch zero television are going to spend $1400-$1900 to upgrade a home theater system? Hmmm. That makes no sense.

Well, that’s good justification to get a Wii – we could play the Wii on the new home theater system. What’s another $600? That would justify upgrading everything.

Long pause.

Let’s just move the old boombox from the basement to the living room and call it good.


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OuR new ChRistmas tRadition

Dec 29, 2007 by

We couldn’t decide what to do about buying Christmas presents for each other this year (I like to open presents on Christmas but we already buy what we want during the rest of the year).

Joel had me choose a letter of the alphabet, and I chose R. So we each had $100 to buy presents that begin with the letter R.

It was actually a pretty fun way to handle present-buying and I think we’ll do it again next year.

Here’s what Joel received:

  • Robe
  • Regular fit Levi’s
  • Rubik’s Cube
  • Remember the 80’s Calendar
  • Road to Perdition (DVD)
  • Rise of Nations (computer game)
  • Rumi (an epic poem of Turkey, translated to English)

Here’s what I received:

  • Robe
  • Red pajamas
  • Red sports top
  • Racerback sports top
  • Redemption Ark (book by Alastair Reynolds)
  • Revelation Space (book by Alastair Reynolds)
  • Reed Diffuser

Just for the record (in case you’re thinking of trying this next year) Joel did remove letters like X, Z, and Q before he had me pick a letter.

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Kitties have a new Favorite Spot

Dec 19, 2007 by

Wouldn’t you nap under the tree in the soft glow of the Christmas lights if you could?

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Practical Ornaments

Dec 7, 2007 by

Cats like to play with ornaments. So we have this great set of ornaments that are just styrafoam shrink wrapped with the decoration of an ornament. They are extremely lightweight, and can be batted off the tree hundreds of times with no damage done.

As a matter of fact, this is Taggart’s first Christmas tree (we didn’t put one up last year), and today I had to go put six of these back on the tree. We figured that if we just provide appropriate “plaything” ornaments towards the bottom of the tree, this will be enough entertainment to keep the cats from actually climbing the tree. So far so good.
Also, we have one ornament (which we purchased to commemorate Rearden’s first year with us) that is just a jingle bell, decorated with little paw prints. We always hang it on one of the bottom branches, and the cats LOVE to play with it. This morning we caught Taggart laying under the tree on her back, mercilessly batting the cat bell ornament.

One more practical addition to the tree that I like is the bows. Joel doesn’t like them, and to be honest, I doubt they’ll last another year. However, I think that they make the tree look “complete” and colorful even when it is not lit.

Speaking of which, here is the complete tree, all lit up.

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Ornaments that Summarize a Year

Dec 5, 2007 by

The year we bought our first house and became a “Mom & Dad” to our first dog, Conia. The ornament is called “Mom & Dad”

One year we learned to country dance and jitterbug (Santa and Mrs. Claus are country dancing, in case you can’t tell).

This is “Diet Santa” riding an exercise bike and eating a cookie. Why does it seem like we’ve been on a diet every Christmas for the last few years? Oh yeah, because I’m always on a diet.

One year in Laramie we did a ton of hiking and camping.

There are five ornaments on the tree that I cross stitched during the first year we lived in Laramie. Come to think of it, there may be more than that. I think I may have sent some of these as Christmas presents. Can you believe I used to have time to cross stitch? Wow!

This is “Too Much To Do Santa” Literally, his list is not of names – it has all the things he has to do… hmm… maybe I should just put up a tree with 50 of these?

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