Tag Archives: Christmas

A Christmas Wish

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A wish for you, dear Readers, for this Christmas and New Year.  Borrowed from John Denver with thanks and hope for a wonderful holiday … from my heart to yours.

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The season is upon us now                                                

A time for gifts and giving.

And as the year draws to its close

I think about my living.

The Christmas time when I was young.

The magic and the wonder.

The colors dull and candles dim

And dark my standing under.

Oh little Angel shining Light

You’ve set my soul to dreaming.

You’ve given back my joy in life

And filled me with true meaning.

A Savior King was born that day.

A baby just like you were.

And as the Magi came with gifts

I come with my gift too.

That peace on earth fills up your time

And brotherhood surrounds you.

That you may know the warmth of love

And wrap it all around you.

It’s just a wish, a dream I’m told

From days when I was young.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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You Better Not Cry

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Like the song says, ” … you better not cry.”  In a perfect world, I would take my own advise.  Earlier this month I wrote about all sorts of great ways to stay sane during the holiday season.  I also said that there was no such thing as a perfect Christmas, a perfect family … blah, blah, blah.

And it makes sense.  On paper.

So, of course I was caught off guard when I had my Annual Christmas Meltdown the other day.  And it was a beauty.

Drama. Tears. Angst. Unrequited crap.

My Annual Christmas Meltdown

How does an otherwise relatively normal person lose their mind, freak out over all things related to the holidays and have the expectations of a four-year-old during the Christmas season?

You tell me.

At least this tantrum lasted a short time.  And I’m so over it now.

My inner four-year-old is still there, but I gave her some chocolate so hopefully she’ll shut up and behave.

Eating chocolate (in moderation) will take your mind off just about anything that is unpleasant or frustrating about the Christmas season.  Plus it’s a lot less expensive than therapy or SSRI’s.

The December Rush

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I hate Christmas shopping. Don’t get me wrong. I honestly like the Christmas season and look forward to spending time with family and friends. However, being in a crowded store with maniac shoppers is enough to throw me into a crazy lupus flare. And yet, somehow I found myself in one of the big box stores the day after Thanksgiving, with my son, looking at flat screen televisions. And the stupid thing about that was knowing he wasn’t going to buy anything. However, the other nine million people in the store were going nuts with their credit cards. I hope their retail therapy experience made them happy, bless their hearts.

Nothing is worth standing in line outside, in the dark.

Yeah, let's all stand in line outside and wait for the store to open!

The December Rush is upon us.

Black Friday.

Cyber Monday.

Panic shopping at the last minute for gifts we weren’t going to buy but now feel we must.

Some of us (not me) are compelled to bake enough cookies to feed a small country.

Are you suffering from the symptoms of The December Rush? If so keep reading, because during this time of the year, I’m all about slapping some common sense into your head in BEFORE you get carried away.

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#1 Do you really want to stand in line to buy stuff? Of course you don’t! Standing in line only makes you more tired. Pay somebody 5 bucks to shop for you. It’s worth it. Better yet, shop on line.

#2 Does old Aunt Myrtle really need your homemade peanut brittle? Not if she wants to keep her teeth. Buy her something soft … like warm, fuzzy socks … from the drug store, where the checkout lines are short.

#3 Don’t be afraid to give people The Gift of Disappointment. It’s free and they will get over it.

#4 You know what else is free? Driving around and looking at Christmas lights. It’s fun and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that YOUR electric bill won’t be as high as the guy whose house looks like it’s on fire.

#5 Wash your hands. Sleep 8 hours a night. Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to get sick when you’re stressed out and heaven knows you don’t have time to be sick in December.

#6 Try to not get sucked into the vortex of buying a Lexus with a big bow on it. Or a puppy with a big bow on it. Who does that? Really?

#7 Wine is a good thing. Not to be confused with whine, which is terribly overrated.

#8 Sing Christmas songs. And if you can’t sing well, sing anyway. Singing lowers your blood pressure.

#9 Remember that you are not perfect, the world is not perfect, your family and friends are not perfect, and there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas.

10. If you think you’re going to lose your mind over the holiday pressure, go right ahead. Everybody is entitled to a meltdown now and then.

#11 December lasts only 31 days. Eventually spring will come, which is what I really look forward to enjoying.

The Up Side of Lupus

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Having lupus doesn’t mean I’m out of options to live a full life … at least most of the time.   And there are plenty of things I don’t have to worry about.

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1.  Even though all my siblings and both  parents had some form of skin cancer, I most likely will not get it.  My skin is fair and I totally avoid the sun.

2.  I’ll never have a skiing accident because sun, glare, and cold keeps me off the slopes.  However, I’ll join you for a drink in the lodge any time.

3.  Don’t have to cut the grass in the summer because it’s too hot.  Then again, I live in a townhouse anyway and somebody else deals with the yard.

4.  I get to indulge in at least 8 hours of sleep a day.  Plus naps.  Honestly, if I couldn’t get this much sleep, I’d be a walking zombie.

5.  If I can’t remember something, I blame it on lupus fog.  It’s more interesting than just getting old and forgetful, don’t you think?

6.  Do I have to schlep tons of groceries from the store, to the car, to the garage into the house? Not if I’m not up for that.  Delivery when the weather is fugly is totally cool and worth every penny.

7.  Having an autoimmune disorder can work to your advantage during the holiday shopping season.  Given all the immune suppressing drugs I’m on, I’ve become a germ magnet.  No Target.  No malls.  No Home Depot.  Shopping on line is not only heavenly, it keeps me in the Christmas spirit.  No more parking lot fury over the idiot that took my spot!

8.  On those days or nights when I’m staying home because I’m too tired to go anywhere, I usually remember the consequences of pushing too much and not being able to walk the next day.  Given the choice, hanging around the house doesn’t seem so bad.

9.  Long sleeves!  At the risk of sounding ridiculous, long sleeves cover up not only middle age arms, but also bruises and vascular rashes.  And clothes with a UV rating of 50+ do a super job of protecting the skin!

10.  Last year I tinted my car windows.  I can drive anywhere without worrying about the sun.  Plus my car stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  If not for lupus I probably wouldn’t have my car pimped out so nicely.

11.  This may sound strange, but meeting other “lupies” on-line or in-person is good for the soul.  There is strength in numbers and knowing you’re not alone is always a comfort.

12.  I’m fortunate to have a local Lupus Foundation of America branch in the city where I live.  Any local chapter of the LFA can be a great resource for living well with lupus.

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Sure, having lupus is a drag.  But there’s an up side to everything.  You just have to look for it.

 

 

 

Christmas Chaos

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Yes, that is NOT my house!

that is so NOT my house!

There was a time when I had my house all decked out for Christmas by December 1st at the very latest.  Not this year, my friends.  I’ve managed to procrastinate the decorating process until ALMOST the very last minute.

The decision to not put up a full-size Christmas tree was very liberating.  I have lots of festive foo-foo.  Why schlep a tree into my house, go to all the time and effort to decorate it (by myself) and pray the cats don’t knock it over, drink the tree water and vomit all over the house, or attack and break the ornaments?  My home can be merry and bright without a tree.

Finally, after running out of extremely lame excuses (such as “I need to take a nap today”, “I have too much laundry to do”, or my favorite, “It’s too dark outside”) I went downstairs yesterday and brought up the big plastic bins of Christmas stuff.  And then took a nap.  After I woke up, after I ate dinner, and after I did 3 loads of laundry I eventually started putting up decorations, but I knew the cats were up to something.  Tigger had T.R.O.U.B.L.E. written all over his face.

cute but dangerous

cute but dangerous

While I was putting up the nativity scene, he was watching my every move.  And when the trees and figurines were in place just the way I wanted it …  Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and the Shepard … he made his move.

Manger Massacre 2008

Manger Massacre 2008

That’s right, folks.  He took out the Shepard, Joseph, and one of the Wise Men.  Thank heaven Mary and the baby were spared.  Look at the stupid donkey laying down on the job!  And the other Wise Men standing there with their frankincense and mir looking like a bunch of idiots.  Freakin pacifists! What the hell is mir anyway?  And don’t tell me it’s a Russian space station!

Not to be outdone by his buddy, Charlie had his eye on the styrofoam box that held my favorite snow globe.

a sad case of styrofoam pica

a sad case of styrofoam pica

Chewing on styrofoam is almost as bad as fingernails on a blackboard, or chewing tin foil.  Just a few minutes after he ate a chunk of the corner, Charlie barfed it up all over my socks.  My only pair of Christmas socks.  Gross.

At this point, after Charlie barfed on me, he decided to sit IN the plastic Tub O’ Christmas Crap and take a nap laying on top the the Christmas tree skirt that my mom made me.  It’s really nice, once you brush all the cat fur off it.

planning a coup d'etat

planning a coup d'etat

Meanwhile, Tigger moved into the kitchen looking for something to do.

dumpster diving

dumpster diving

Aparently there was nothing of great interest inside the trash can they knocked over, and Charlie was in the process of looking for something to play with when I took the incriminating photo of Tig.  As I was putting the trash can back inside the cabinet, I heard a rustle of  god-only-knows-what in the living room.

cat toy stuck in tree

cat toy stuck in tree

At first I thought it was a dead mouse.  But it was only a strangled cat toy wrapped around a little tree that was knocked over by Charlie.

For the next hour or so, I tried to put things in some type of sensible arrangement.  Tig decided he liked the miniature lights on the trees and they were even more tasty when chewed on.  Charlie roamed around the entire house in search of more styrofoam.  After the holidays, I think he’s gonna need some kitty rehab.

Eventually I managed to wrap a few presents AFTER I gave each of the cats their own roll of ribbon to chew on so they would leave me alone.

I’ll leave you with a lovely photo of my ficus tree that I decorated with red and green lights.  The sad thing about this is I wasn’t ingesting any illicit or illegal substances.  I miss the good old days.

My Christmas Tree

My Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!

Santa Statistics

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science-of-santa-academic-santa-8x10I’m guessing that many people already know about this important data, but it’s worth repeating during the holiday season.  I’m also determined not to write about anything related to lupus, disease or sadness between now and the end of the year.  I hope I can hold out that long!

Anyway ….

No known species of reindeer can fly.  BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world.  But since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total – 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau.

At an average census rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes.  One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical).  This works out to 822.6 visits per second.

This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.  Wheww!

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth, we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

That means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound.

Assuming each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set weighing 2 pounds, the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa.  On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds.  This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh — to 353,430 TONS, which is roughly four times the weight of the ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth.

353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance.  This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.  The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy.  Per second.  Each.

In short, the lead reindeer will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake.  The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity.  A 250-pound Santa would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion – If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.

Wishing you all a very Merry Crisp-mas!