Tag Archives: Christmas

The (belated) Christmas present

The major thing I wanted for Christmas was a stationary bicycle, something I can use for exercise at home when:
* the weather is lousy
* I have a finite amount of time, so I can’t go all the way to Siena College to play racquetball
* I have to stay home to watch the child while my wife is having a work or church meeting, or is going to work out at the YMCA

So, in January, the Wife bought me one. Before she purchased it, she said she would assemble it, because it would save money. This made me quite uncomfortable, actually, Continue reading The (belated) Christmas present

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas! It’s a Sunday morning and I’ll be going to church, but our choir is not singing; we sang on Christmas Eve, but not Christmas Day, which is fine by me. Besides, Santa is probably tired from putting presents under the tree.

Somebody I once met was born on Christmas Day 1924, and that’s the late Rod Serling. My blogger buddy Gordon has been trying to institute his and Humphrey Bogart’s birthdays (b. 1899) as alternative holidays for “those who may be atheists, agnostics, or just plain tired of the usual thing.” Don’t know how that’s working out.

Speaking of Serling Continue reading Christmas 2011

Holiday Blues QUESTION

There seems to be this myth – and most every thinking person knows it is – that the holidays are wonderful, joy-filled days for nearly everyone. Au contraire: they can be quite tough for some people. As About.com put it, “It’s okay, however, to admit that [family] get-togethers aren’t always a fancy-free walk down Candy Cane Lane.” Even those who generally love the season can feel worn down by too much shopping/cooking/traveling to do.
Continue reading Holiday Blues QUESTION

Christmas Meme

SamauraiFrog did this last year, based on this daily meme.

Favorite Tradition: Playing music. Usually start about the solstice and run to Epiphany, when nobody’s doing it. It goes well with my contrarian nature.
Favorite Elf: Don’t have one.
Santa or Mrs. Claus: about even.
Favorite Reindeer: Rudolph. I mean those other reindeer were mean. THEN they want to suck up to Rudy when he saves Christmas. Bah, humbug!
Favorite Holiday Snack: eggnog and Amaretto
Favorite Decoration: somewhere down the several moves, I’ve lost my favorites, which were these wooden, red hearts.
Favorite Christmas Movie: almost any version of A Christmas Carol. I loved the Mr. Magoo version as a child.
Favorite Christmas Song: Coventry Carol. Especially this version by Alison Moyet.
Favorite Christmas TV Special: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Favorite Thing To Wear: warm socks
Favorite Christmas Book: it’s a book of carols from Time/Life or Readers Digest
Favorite Gift You Ever Got: the first Hess truck I got, which was a fire truck.
Favorite Gift You Ever Gave: a reversible outfit I bought for my then six-y.o. niece (she’s turning 21); her mother loved it, and she had a picture taken in it. It fit her for almost three years.
Favorite Candy: candy cane
Favorite Christmas Website: probably SamuraiFrog’s

Favorite Tradition You Used To Do: go to church at 10:30 pm, and leave church at midnight. It almost always was snowing lightly.
Favorite Part of Christmas Eve: helping Santa
Favorite Part of Christmas Day: handing out the presents.
How Early Do You Get Up on December 25th: whenever the daughter wakes up
How Late Do You Stay Up on December 24th: about 11 p.m.
Favorite Christmas Picture: It’s probably one of the Daughter at age 3 or 4, which I’m too disorganized to find.
Anticipation or the Day: The day. The anticipation always comes with stress.
Advent Calendar You’re Doing: Bible reading
Favorite Christmas Thing You’re Doing/Done In School: singing seasonal music.
What Did You Get? well, I made a list. I want about the same thing, either every year (World Almanac, Hess truck, some music from my Amazon list), or every few years (Leonard Maltin movie guide).
What Did You Give? My sisters haven’t hinted NEARLY enough, but they’re far away. My wife and daughter are close enough to hint broadly, and I like that.
What Did You Feed Santa: cookies and milk.
What Did You Feed The Reindeer: nothing, but they do get water.
Do You Believe In Santa?: Of course!
Are You Sad? Now and then. Fearing the wreath of Khan.

‘Twas the weeks before Christmas, when all through the house,
I smelled a hint of the fire Europe was trying to douse.
It seemed to get bigger with each passing day,
From my investment portfolio, please, please stay away.
[12 verses, with embedded links!]
Favorite Part of the Season? Singing and listening to music.

Lower graphic from Stephen Wildish via HERE.

Approximating the Christmas Spirit

This is one of those “breakfast blog” posts, so dubbed by my friend Dan, the kind you read over oatmeal. Or something.

A few years back, there was this graphic that featured Stephen Colbert and a board with eight lines of text. I had used it a few times around 2007, but I couldn’t get it to work correctly a few weeks ago. Too bad; I had worked out my first message:

(But listen to Charles Ingalls doing his Linus van Pelt imitation.)

And besides, Christmastime, by the church calendar, doesn’t start until Christmas day, running to Epiphany, in early January. Continue reading Approximating the Christmas Spirit

Roger Answers Your Questions, Denise, Tom, Shooting Parrots, Jaquandor & dogs

What a great bunch of responses to my request!

Ginger, Buddy and Shadow proving doggie wisdom from Pawprints in the Sands of Time ask the fundamental question:
Alright, here’s for your wish…Why do u want us to play this game of questions and answers this Christmas?

Because I learn so much, both about the person, er, entity, who is asking, and more, about myself as I think about things that might not have otherwise occurred to me. In other words, it’s an exercise in self-reflection.
I “know” Denise Nesbitt – and “know” is such an interesting term for someone you have never actually met, but it’s accurate nevertheless – through her creation of ABC Wednesday. She also can be found at Mrs. Nesbitt’s Space.
OK What did you buy your wife, mother and daughter for Christmas Roger?

There was this Medieval Faire every year at the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany, NY for about 30 years. And while I was going out with Carol, I sometimes -thrice, she tells me – would buy her a hand knit wool sweater from this particular woman. Then the faire stopped for about eight years. I’d buy her a sweater from LL Bean, and once from this Irish shop across the river in Troy, but it just wasn’t the same. Then last year, the faire was backe…I mean, back! Unfortunately, this particular vendor couldn’t make it, as she had another commitment. Bummer. But this year, she was back, Carol hinted heavily what she wanted, we walked away, but later, I came back and bought. There was also this teddy bear that she lost, that was given to her by her late brother; I found not quite a replica, but close.

Lydia got a lot of things: books, clothes, an enhanced version of the old game Twister, with CDs rather than a spinner; the big thing was this expensive doll she wanted, complete with wardrobe. In fact, her mother and I had purchased SO many items, we held some back for her birthday, three months hence. At that same Faire I mentioned, there was a soap in the shape of a seashell that Santa discovered she wanted.

My mother has been difficult to shop for for years. If you ask her directly, she’ll either say, “Oh anything” or “You needn’t bother.” Unhelpful to be sure. But my sister tells me that she really likes these puzzle books. I ended going to the CVS Pharmacy, found a couple of those, plus a lap blanket and a bathrobe – it’s been COLD in North Carolina lately.
Shooting Parrots, who provides “random thoughts in a random world”, asks:
What was the best ever Christmas present you received? And which was the worst?!
I think the best is the unexpected: my father helping me on my Sunday paper route on Christmas morning in 1966, or our first color TV in 1969, or the free tree my then significant other and I got on Christmas Eve 1991 from Sears, and took home on a city bus.
Worst? Continue reading Roger Answers Your Questions, Denise, Tom, Shooting Parrots, Jaquandor & dogs

The Lydster, Part 81: Letting Go

Part of the difficulty with this Christmas is that The Daughter did not seem to want to give up anything she already has. Games and toys, especially stuffed animals, that are well past her presumed age range she holds onto like a canteen of water in the desert. She also has all of her books, but I give that a bit of a pass. Her daily homework involves her reading 15 minutes each weekday, so the books we used to read to her, she can now read herself.

Not that a few items didn’t disappear Continue reading The Lydster, Part 81: Letting Go

Merry Christmas QUESTIONS


How are spending your Christmas? (Or how did you spend it?)
What did you give as gifts? What did you get?
If you’re Jewish, are you spending it at a Chinese restaurant?

The great thing about this year, contrary to some (most) previous years, is that my wife became a much better hinter than she used to be. So she knows she’s getting that handmade wool sweater she saw at the Medieval Faire back in October. But the upside is that I had her primary gift, in OCTOBER.
Continue reading Merry Christmas QUESTIONS

All I Want For Christmas Is You

I’m serious now. What I would like most from you this Christmas is for you to participate in a little thing I call ASK ROGER ANYTHING, which involves…well, you know. And he -[stop talking about yourself in third person] – I have to answer your questions honestly, leaving a modicum of wiggle room for obfuscation. You may ask in the comment section or, if you’d rather, e-mail me. I will say that responses to e-mails of people who wish to remain anonymous will probably be murkier than those from people who own their requests. I’ll be answering them during Christmastide, which is to say the 12 days of Christmas, that period between tomorrow and Epiphany.

Meanwhile, I’ll be singing tonight at church. No surprise Continue reading All I Want For Christmas Is You