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Archive for December 2009

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I am absolutely definitely making one of these ornament wreaths next year.


Only I want to do it in the colors of this card. Something about their muted quality reminds me of the Christmases of my youth.



Written by ditheringmiss

December 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Gifts Shmifts

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Another December weekend has come and gone, which means that it’s only two short weeks until Christmas. I have yet to start my Christmas gift shopping/making, and frankly, unless I’m suddenly overcome with a jolt of energy, I’m not sure I see it happening at all this year.

There’s nothing like giving the perfect gift. It really is a joy. But in the past few years, I’ve found myself struggling with the Christmas gift-giving process. It feels two parts wasteful and one part disingenuous.

Isn’t one really special, thoughtful present better than twenty random gifts you’ll end up stuffing in a drawer? Of course, it’s nearly impossible to think of personal gifts for everyone each and every year. However, if the alternative is the generic gift card or DVD, I’d rather just not give anything at all.  That sounds far Scrooge-ier than I intended it, but I hope you know what I mean.

Still, I’ll have to think of something. I can’t be the ass who shows up everywhere empty-handed. Hmmm . . .  Back to the Martha website.

*If you are in the Christmas shopping mood, consider this knitted snowman hat for the little ones in your life. I think it could possibly be one of the single most adorable things a baby could wear!


Written by ditheringmiss

December 14, 2009 at 12:24 am

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A year ago at this time things did not seem so good. Any illusions I’d had of having my life together had completely vanished. I  made a vow to myself then that if things weren’t different in a year I would do something drastic. But then a month went by and two and three and now it’s a year later and it seems nothing has changed. But of course, something has because I feel different, completely so and not different at all, too.

Sometimes I feel like every door has been slammed shut in my face, while others seem to find endless doors to walk through. Wide-open windows they jump through without looking, only they don’t fall. They fly. I see them from my spot on the ground, where there are only windows you can’t open and doors with great big dead bolts.

Sometimes I find a crack in the door. If I take a chisel and hammer to it I can bust it open, make a hole just wide enough to look through, to see what’s on the other side. It’s the best view I could ask for, even if it is only a view.

And sometimes, when the air is just so, and the right song is playing, and my chest feels full in a way I can’t put into words, I feel like the luckiest person I know. And that’s why I won’t be any making drastic changes this year–life makes enough of those without my help anyways.

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living ev’ry day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

from Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now


Written by ditheringmiss

December 10, 2009 at 6:00 am

Making a List . . .

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My holiday cards are complete. *wipes sweat from brow and slumps down on couch* It’s a reindeer in a Santa hat, by the way.

Once I got my assembly line process going it was actually pretty easy to bust out 30 cards. And inexpensive, too. I’m already planning next year.

Holiday decor? Check! Cards? Check? Now I just need to bake something involving eggnog or peppermint . . .

Written by ditheringmiss

December 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm

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To Tree or Not To Tree?

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Mike and I (mostly me) thought long and hard about getting a Christmas tree this year. But so many unknowns arose: Where would we put it? We’d need a stand, wouldn’t we? And something to cover the stand?  Would I  go completely crazy trying to sweep up pine needles?

But, oh that smell. And the lights! I love the lights.

So I did this instead:

It’s our lovely tall-as-a-tree plant in all her Christmas finest! I have no idea what kind of plant this is. It’s absolutely nothing like a Christmas tree–it has long spindly branches with eight great, big, droopy banana-esque leaves that dangle from each end.  But isn’t she something all gussied up?!

Never underestimate the power of Christmas lights on the soul.

Written by ditheringmiss

December 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Martha Knows Best

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In my journey to discover genius homemade gift ideas, my first stop was Martha Stewart online (duh).  Sadly, Martha is far craftier than I could ever dream of being. I don’t think I can pull off a silk scarf purse of monogrammed kitchen towels.  My criteria: practical, pretty, doesn’t require sewing abilities, relatively inexpensive. Here’s what I got:

Not exactly practical, but I could see all my girl friends wearing these beauties.

These coasters are incredibly simple, but I think they could look particularly elegant all wrapped up.

This is a great idea. Super simple and completely personal.

Whip up a batch of these cookies (they were amazing!), stick them in a fancy box and you’ve basically imitated all the stuff they’re selling at Dean & Deluca’s and Williams-Sonoma.

Written by ditheringmiss

December 4, 2009 at 11:15 pm

My Kind of Christmas Tradition

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Let’s talk Christmas movies, shall we. I love a good Christmas movie. I long for rainy, cold days in December in which to indulge in one after the other. It’s a simple joy, and I think for me it’s a real tradition — the act of settling in for a TBS Christmas movie spectacular on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening — because I don’t really have any other Christmas traditions I can particularly rely on anymore. I can never assume where I will wake up or what I will do that day.  I have never had my own tree and I can’t remember the last time I decorated for the holiday. I’ve lost many of my family traditions over those years, as my family has steadily broken apart, and I do hope, one day, to create new traditions, but until then, I’ll have these movies.

In no particular order:

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

A Christmas Story

Love Actually


How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version)

The Santa Clause

Bad Santa

Home Alone

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Do you have a favorite?

Oh, and zip on over to Heather’s blog for a lovely winter video, which fills me with all kinds of warmth. I love a song like that.

Written by ditheringmiss

December 3, 2009 at 8:04 pm