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The Christmas season is upon us once again. Another year has passed us by, & so much has both happened & not happened. I am all at once excited & anxious for the next year to come. Hopefully things will be different in the new year.

I have said this quite a few times in my blog, but I will repeat myself once again. I love Christmas. I love spending time with my close friends & family, sharing good food with plenty of delicious drinks to keep our cheeks flushed until the new year. I also love dressing up the house with festive decorations & really making our yearly Christmas tree the main centerpiece.

Each year we put up less decorations than the previous one. It’s mostly because there’s only three people living in our house now, & we’re all so busy that we each don’t have time to pull out the decorations from storage, put them up, then store them away again. Plus, the three of us are all equally lazy people & just don’t want to bother, but justify our actions by saying we want to have a minimalist vibe for the holidays.

One thing’s for sure is that we will always have a Christmas tree extravaganza, per my dad’s annual tradition. Every year when I put up our faux Christmas tree & I start decorating it, I get a little melancholy reminiscing over holiday memories with my dad. More & more I wish he could still be with us to bring the family together. It’s feeling more\ like since he’s no longer with us, my family has become more deeply divided over the recent years. However, I’m not going to open that can of worms today. Besides, that part is not my story to reveal anyway.

Then again, regardless of whichever pot’s being stirred up, or whatever’s going on behind the scenes, I am still very much excited for the holiday festivities. This year, along with celebrating Christmas, my entire family (including aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, siblings) will be celebrating our grand uncle’s 90th birthday. This uncle is the foremost patriarch of our family, the glue that holds all of us together, & also unfortunately, the last remaining family member of his generation.

It’s been a long time, practically forever, since my entire family has all gathered together in Northern California. I’m extremely excited to be celebrating with all of them, & kind of excited to show off my most beloved & gloriously decorated Christmas tree. I can’t wait for the festivities to begin (which will be just a few short days away), but until then, here is just a little taste of my household’s holiday decorations:

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I love my Starbucks advent tree. I fill it each year with chocolate coins. My nephew & niece love discovering all of the chocolates inside.

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Per our American traditions, we put a festive wreath on our front door that lights up with LED lights. The Asian part of us has us scratching our heads as to why Americans put up decorations that represent funerals during a happy occasion?

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I got this pop-up Christmas card many years ago when I was in Japan. I never use it as a card. Instead I use it as simple decoration for our fireplace mantle. It’s also a nod to my nephew who loved Santa Claus when he was younger.

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I bought this laser cut village scene at Crate & Barrel, but it looked too plain just being bare wood. So I ended up bling-ing it out with plastic rhinestones from the craft store for some added color.

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This laser cut ‘NOEL’ sign was part of a Christmas card set I bought while I was in Japan. I also just use this mainly for decorating purposes. It’s not too big or small to fit right on the table next to our second front door.

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This year is the first year ever that we put up string lights on the front facade of our house. With our awkward Eichler home roofline & sloping driveway, plus our rickety ladder, it was a real b*tch to string up.

HERE IS THE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE!!! THE TREE………

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I still continue to add new ornaments to the tree every year. However, each year I have to decide which ornaments of Christmas past have to stay in storage for one more holiday in order to keep the tree looking balanced & not overcrowded.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that. This is the end of my post, & I am now off to prepare for the onslaught of guests & holiday parties. Until the next post, Happy Holidays everyone!

Today’s song of the day:

 

craziest time

So, remember that one time when I said I got a head cold? Well, guess what? Immediately after that happened, I seriously pulled a muscle in my left shoulder. My mom says that I pulled a rotator-thing-a-ma-jiggy because she pulled the exact same muscle in her right shoulder several months ago. However, I’m neither a doctor nor am I a physical therapist, so I’m just going to say that I pulled a generic muscle in my shoulder. The left one. Oh man, if you’ve never pulled a muscle in your body before, & this was my first time pulling a major muscle, you should feel so lucky, & grateful , & all that good stuff because it is definitely no picnic in the park…I’ll tell you that for sure.

Can you ever imagine, not being able to lift your arm even 45 degrees? Or not be able to put on a shirt or a bra? Or not be able to pull up your pants after you’ve finished peeing? Unless you are physically disabled, or have had a major accident or an outdoor/sports injury, I don’t think it’s imaginable. The struggle was real, guys. My shoulder was throbbing so bad from the pinch & the pain that it even hurt to keep my arm straight at my side. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but this was my very first experience pulling a muscle in my body, so of course I’m going to throw in a little over-the-top whining.

I’m just so thankful for my slight compulsive disorder to stockpile my medicine cabinet at all times, & for having tons of Salonpas pain relieving patches on-hand. Those sticky little mentholated, medicated pain relieving patches saved my aching shoulder. I slapped on several patches all over my shoulder, twice daily (once in the morning & another time at night), & after three days of having a non-working arm, I’m all patched up & well on my way to a full recovery.

So, that was my sort of depressing start to the month of December. I was very much looking forward to decorating our Christmas tree, but since I couldn’t lift my arm more than 20 degrees, my mom helped me with the decorations, & now our house looks festive & ready for Christmas!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

I thought I was being so clever by ordering some of my Christmas gifts online. Geez, I was wrong. I ordered two special gifts for my two older nieces online, & when the shipment arrived in the mail, the company got the entire order wrong & only sent me half of the items I paid for. I then made a special trip to the shopping mall to have my order corrected, only to be turned away by the store manager with her standard spiel about not being able to fulfill or correct website purchases, & that I would have to call their customer service hotline to rectify this glaring error. I was a little upset having to deal with this stupid mistake (which is entirely the fault of the company & its website staff), especially when Christmas is not so far away. I mean, nobody likes to have missing gifts at Christmastime. Well, I ended up canceling my entire order, sending back the half items that were sent to me, & bought my nieces something else entirely.

I’m rather relieved that most of my other online purchases arrived in a timely manner, & were the actual correct items. My Christmas shopping list is nearly complete, & I’m waiting for two more items to arrive in the mail. I’m ready to snuggle up beside the fireplace & watch some trashy reality TV shows. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

Boy time sure does fly by fast!  2011 is 30 days away from being over!  Where has the time gone, & why has this year been a total blur?

Well, anyway, it’s December…& my mom & I have already begun putting up Christmas decorations.  We started with the Christmas tree & have decided to let things flow from there on.  Here’s a look at our Christmas tree this year:

 

Also, I’ve decided to expand my annual Christmas LEGO decorations by re-displaying my Bake Shop/Ice Skating set again:

I don’t know why, but Christmas trees (& decorating them) always put me in a very festive mood for the Holidays.  I love being in the spirit of giving gifts, & I L-O-V-E giving gifts!  My decorating philosophy: The more sparkling & glittering decorations you put on the tree, the BETTER!!

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