iiiiIIIIITTTT'S CHRIIISTMAAAAAASSSS!!!! (well, nearly...)

The varied peoples of Middle-earth at times found unity in their pursuits, and all too often experienced deep rifts. Engage in lively conversations as we banter about the differences between the Alliances, and recruit for our People as well. Remember, keep it friendly.

iiiiIIIIITTTT'S CHRIIISTMAAAAAASSSS!!!! (well, nearly...)

Postby Pandora » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:37 am

Hello All!

Firstly, I know that, upon seeing the topic of this thread, you probably had one of three reactions:

1) O.M.G, I KNOW!!! It's so CLOSE!!! I can't WAIT!!! :yippie:
2) Srsly? :| It's months away... I mean, I like Christmas, but... :roll: You should really grow up
3) NO. WAY. IT'S FREAKIN' SEPTEMBER and you're already banging on about CHRISTMAS?!!? :x What is WRONG with some people?!?! We've not even had Thanksgiving yet! :bang:


This thread is for people like me, with a response hovering around category 1 above. I LOVE Christmas. Now, don't get me wrong, my decorations don't go up til December (albeit the first day if at all possible :D), but the thing I love most is the planning of it, and thinking up lovely gifts to give my family and friends. I'm the sort of person who gets more pleasure out of giving a gift than receiving one (though I'm not ungrateful)! I just love taking the time to really give thought to what sort of gift to give each person, that really means a lot to them - be it expensive or cheap as chips.

Also, planning early is financially prudent, as it helps spread the cost, so :P to those in category 2 ;)

Anyway, for the first time in ages, I'm beginning to struggle when it comes to ideas... so I am asking anyone who wants to join in the conversation - what amazing gift ideas have you had / been given in the past, and what was the relationship?

So share your wonderful gift ideas, festive recipes, and family traditions that make you smile here, and get in the festive spirit!!!





:drink::grouphug::love:
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Postby Morwenna » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:16 pm

Hi again Pandora! :hihi:

I suspect that once things get started there'll be a lot said, but to start off, there's the Hobbits' Cooking Guild where some of us have posted recipes. I myself, over the last few years, have posted Tourtiere, fruit tart, and a root vegetable & herb soup, all of which pertain to the holidays (Christmas/Yule and New Year's). Give it a look! (And then there's the Foodies thread over in Talk, and the archived older Foodies threads; there are a lot of people who just post their recipes over there.) Crafts and traditions, well, I think we'll have to wait till we get the county fairs over with first... :) And we still have Halloween ahead of us.

But I loooove Christmas! :love:
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Postby Pandora » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:05 am

Hi Morwenna! :hihi:

Y'know I love Halloween too, but sadly, here in the UK, it's just not a big deal. :( Every year I carve one lonely pumpkin, and keep a bag of sweets by the door for trick-or-treaters, but that's not very common... Often, I have been the only house on the street with a pumpkin in the window, and some years I get no trick-or-treaters at all! :( And we don't have Thanksgiving either, obviously. So Christmas, far away though it may be, is the next festivity for us (aside from Bonfire Night).

So, while I wait, I will check out the threads you mentioned, and maybe get some cooking practice in before unleashing my talents on my unsuspecting family :D
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Postby Morwenna » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:29 am

Well, you do have Harvest Home in September, yes? (A much more logical time for Thanksgiving, if you ask me.) And you have Bonfire Night which we don't.

Holidays :love:

After the fair is over I'll be more in tune with the rest of the world. :)
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Postby Pandora » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:10 am

W00t! 100 days to go til Christmas!!!! :clap::happydance::yippie::drink: :D

*ahem*

Anyway, what on Earth is Harvest Home? The only vaguely harvesty thing I know of is the tradition of some primary schools to have a 'Harvest Festival'. At my school this consisted of all the first-years (aged ~5) helping the teacher bake a giant loaf of bread in the shape of a wheat sheaf with a mouse on it, then all the pupils in the school (about 80 of us) eating it. And we had a special assembly where the head teacher told us some harvest-themed story. That's it. Nothing else!
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Postby Gollum Girl » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:42 pm

Whoo, thank you for making this thread! :D I'm so excited for this year!


It's the most wonderful time of the year... :whistle:




I'm also excited for Thanksgiving. :D ;)
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Postby Crucifer » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:20 pm

I'm in a ridiculously Christmassy mood for the time of year. I've been watching Home Alone, Love Actually, and It Happened on 5th Avenue on a loop! :s
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Postby Morwenna » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:43 am

Funny, I thought Harvest Home (in September) was an English (if not British) thing. Maybe it's old-fashioned now? :?

I remember my over-enthusiastic days in my 20s when I was making Christmas decorations in July... Well, it was spurred on by the fact that the stores had the Christmas craft kits out then; they'd have to, if anyone wanted to complete them by the holidays and still have a life. :) Only I looked at the items made from the kits and decided to do my own thing with the ideas. :D So I made banners and wise men, and started some angels but never finished them; occasionally I run into the box that has the fixings in it. (This was from 40 years ago!! :shock: )
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Postby Martin the Warrior » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:54 am

Hey, I just noticed this thread Pandora, I have to say this is awesome!!!!!!

I am a Christmanite (Christmas Fanatic) I'll watch Christmas movies at weird times of the year and decorate anything to match my Christmassy moods.
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Postby Kaya » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:09 am

A most excellent thread! I totally LOVE Christmas. :D Seriously, when it's nearing the end of summer I'm always kind of relieved and happy since it means we're nearing autumn, long and dark cosy evenings and the Holidays in winter. From now until the end of the year is my favourite time each year.

I try to wait to put the decorations up until after Sinterklaas (December 6th), I love to send Christmas cards. Each year, at some point, I get this brilliant idea to make the cards myself this time, but somehow I never get to it in the end. :roll: Maybe I should not postpone this year and just make them already. :D
As for presents, I find it each year more difficult too, so I think from now on whenever I'm browsing stores I'll keep my eyes open for items that would make interesting gifts - would hate to have to do it all hasty in the end!
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Postby Morwenna » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:17 pm

Hubby and I only buy gifts now for his family members (I have no more immediate family); friends whom we usually see at the holidays get baked goods from us, and so do his family members come to think of it. Often I send cards to everyone I can think of, but some years the time gets ahead of me and if it gets too close I sometimes don't bother. But I have quite a stash of cards bought on special over the years, so all I really need is more stamps. :) (What will we Ever do if the post office goes under??)

Early in December I start decorating too; before that I'm not organized yet. :roll: When we get a tree, it's not more than a week and a half before Christmas, and then it comes down around New Year's, earlier if we go away for the following weekend; but if we don't go away then we'll leave the tree up till 12th Night unless the fallen needles get too ridiculous. The rest of the decorations start drizzling back into their boxes from 12th Night till Candlemas; sometimes a few forgotten things are still around come spring! :D
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:10 pm

OOH! Neat group idea! I'm actually somewhere between reactions 1 and 2. I LOVE Christmas, and I pick up/make presents all year, but I HATE seeing Christmas decos/hearing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

Can I join in the planning, please?
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:01 am

The more the merrier! :hihi: Once this fair hubby and I are entering is over with :roll: , I'll have energy to devote to this. :)
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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:32 am

Cool! Thanks!, So what's the latest topic of discussion -- food, decos, or traditions?
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:14 am

Since this has just got started, it's hard to say. I did recommend that we look for recipes over in Hobbits' Cooking Guild, because some of them are posted over there already. But we could talk about the traditions that spurred on the recipes. There's a Crafters' Guild too, which could easily overlap with this. I suggest cross-referencing when we talk crafts or food. Just MO.

I suppose, someone just leap in and the rest will follow. :) Right now I'm brain-fuzzy because hubby and I still have to bake our exhibits for the Durham Fair, having already brought over our other stuff. (It's discussed over in Talk: the fair thread and the Home Alone thread. Shameless plug. :D)
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Postby Pandora » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:02 am

Oh, I'm glad to see more people are joining in the thread :D

I went into a store yesterday to get a birthday card, and saw they already had wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and 2012 diaries out! No Christmas music thankfully (even I think it's a bit early still for that), but it made me smile :love:

I've also decided that this weekend will be the one where I start planning making some gifts - I want to do a photo album for my mother of her and her parents and brother, from her childhood til now (her last parent, my grandmother, passed away early this year) and I also want to plan some jewellery items for some female friends and relatives - I make some beaded jewellery. Think I'll need a bead-buying spree!


TBH, I didn't really have much of a plan in mind for the evolution of this thread beyond simply discussing the awesomeness of this most festive of seasons, and any plans any of us already have under way, so we'll see what it turns into! :D
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Postby Morwenna » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:29 am

Beads reminds me of the banners and wise men I made so long ago: beaded designs on felt.
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Postby Gollum Girl » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:10 pm

Ooh that's an interesting invention... :shock:
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Postby Morwenna » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:13 am

Well, I didn't invent the concept, just the application. :) The year I made those things (1971) I had seen in the stores some kits that used beading and sequins on felt, and I took the concept (mounting a bead on a sequin) and ran with it, also using beads on their own. The thing I'm proudest of is the banners; unfortunately I made them for other people, not for myself. :( I made one for the branch of the bank where I had just worked, saying Happy Holidays, and one for the family of the man I was dating, who were Croatian, and made one in their language. They consisted of squares (actually rectangles) of colored felt glued together, with large block letters one per square, and on the left limb of each letter was a little decoration made of felt scraps and beads: a candle, a holly sprig, a poinsettia, etc. I wonder if I'll ever get the stamina to do that again... The wise men (and the unfinished angels) were made from cones from industrial string cones, felt wrapped with lots of different beading patterns for the robes, stuffed felt balls for heads with felt hair and features and crowns. I still have the wise men but they're getting pretty beat up; after all they're 40 years old now!

People keep asking me when I'm going to post pictures. Fat chance. I do have a digital camera but I've never used it; somebody told me Once how to work it, and I have no clue in the world how to go about posting pictures online. So far I need to photo our cats, the wise men, food, the collections display for the fair, and all that other stuff...
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Postby Gollum Girl » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:14 pm

Well, I upload photos by connection some sort of wire from my camera to my computer, then open Paint, open up the camera file and save it onto my computer but I don't know what the wire is called. So don't feel too bad, I don't know all that much about uploading myself, I just got lucky. :roll:
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Postby scotspine » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:37 pm

I am Scotpine..one of the last ENTS

I am searching for ENTWIFELOST

Have you seen her?
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Postby Gollum Girl » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:01 pm

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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:50 pm

I love Christmas as well. It's the one time of the year my poky little apartment looks cheerful. and the videos come out as well.
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Postby Morwenna » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:20 am

Christmas is also the time I drag out every bit of pertinent printed material. I have a collection of Christmas craft/recipe books whose general name I can't remember because right now I'm not at home, and I used to have a huge collection of Christmas issues of glossy magazines (I'm afraid most of them got ditched with the last move :(). And I have several books containing Christmas stories. I've even saved some old Christmas cards, though I don't do that with any regularity.

Most of the old family decorations, which I still have, I no longer use (the fake holly etc.), but tree ornaments are sacred! Long ago I got rid of the old plain-colored balls whose paint got webbed, but I had no emotional ties to them. And there are a few more recent ornaments (40 years old or so--you have to understand that if I bought them as an adult, they don't count as being emotionally invested!) that I've been thinking of parting with, simply because I have so many dang ornaments and I buy at least one or two new ones every year! Hubby never kept any of those things, mainly because he's one of 3, but I think his parents changed tree ideas somewhat often anyway so there might not have been that much to save. His sibs certainly have enough ornaments of their own; whether they got any from their parents I have no idea.

But I've been laying up a few things for us: holiday glassware and candleholders, linens, etc. Just last year or maybe the year before I got a red & green plaid set of table linens at a tag sale and haven't had a chance to use them yet! Actually, I think I'd use the plaid napkins with a solid tablecloth and vice versa; I have red tablecloths and green napkins. I also have a solid yellow set which would go nicely with the plaid or with either of those solids. (The plaid has a bit of gold thread.)

I'd better stop before I have The Posting That Ate TORC!! :D
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Postby Gollum Girl » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:22 pm

No No No, please post pics Morwenna! :D I personally would love to see some of your Christmas decorations. :)

All mine are kept in the cabinets, collecting dust. The only get to breath once a year. Poor babies....
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Postby Morwenna » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:27 am

Look, first I have to find the stupid camera, then see if it has power, then figure out how to use it, then come back looking for people's instructions on how to download stuff... That's asking a LOT from a dyed-in-the-wool procrastinator!! :D
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Postby Gollum Girl » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:43 pm

Oh my goodness Morwenna, I never realized you were suffering from procrastination....I'm so sorry hun, I know your family and friends must be so worried about you, I should send you some flowers while your still fighting this disease...hang in there, I know its a tough thing to fight, but one day you will overcome it and face a new day as a new person, and then you can write a book on your dramatic experience of fighting the horrible sickness of procrastination!!!


( :D :D :D )


I'm starting to get too old for Christmas though. I miss the days when Christmas seemed so exciting that I could never sleep on Christmas Eve. I understand that some people here may still be like that, but I'm just.... a fart I guess. :roll:
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Postby Morwenna » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:03 am

Well, I guess you're in good company! :) I think a lot of it for us is that it's just the two of us; we never had kids. :( And both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are usually spent at others' homes. I get more of a kick out of the buildup throughout December than the actual day itself. It's doubly poignant when we go to hubby's brother's or niece's house and they're in the middle of their stocking exchange, which they do besides the regular gift exchange. And of course they're practically Grand Central Station over there; they have a long history of being at the center of socializing. We're at the periphery, in more ways than one; not only do we never have the gang over (two of them can't cope with too much exposure to the cats, otherwise we might have had them over for Thanksgiving), but we have to drive the farthest of any of their usual guests, most of whom see each other a lot more regularly because they live within a 2- or 3-town radius. We live about half an hour away via the highway, 45 minutes by local roads.

Our niece has the right idea though. Her parents always had the parties (and still do on a lot of occasions), but last year she put her foot down and insisted that Christmas would be held at HER HOUSE, because now she has two kids and she wants them to have a home Christmas, as she and her brother did throughout their childhood. So last year we obliged and everyone had a blast. The boys napped when they needed to, and the party went on anyway. And those kids have it good; when they wake up refreshed (one at a time, last year), there's no end of adults willing to play with them and their new toys! They were 2 1/2 and 1 last year. This year they'll be even more active.

I still miss having activity around our own tree, though... We're just going to have to start having our own parties!
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Postby Gollum Girl » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:51 pm

Haha, I know how you feel. We almost never had any parties where I used to live, because our friends and family all lived so far away. Now that we've moved back to where everyone is reasonable reachable, we have too many parties. I don't get any time to read or relax anymore, hardly.
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Postby Morwenna » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:46 am

Yeah, last year I counted 4 weekend parties (on 2 successive Saturdays!), at least 3 celebrations on the premises at work, plus Christmas Eve and Day at two different places, plus Yule service, Christmas Eve Mass, and after-Christmas special service.

But I do always make time to read or re-read Christmas literature and recipes and so on, and listen to holiday music, and watch something holiday-ish on TV. And we bake for friends and family and parties too. At least hubby has the daytimes to do that! I have to depend on evenings when I'm already beat to the sox.

I'm already suggesting to him, however, that we repeat the foods we made for last year's Yule service, the vegetable soup and the fruit tart, because since he didn't go to the service, he didn't get any of the goodies! I was going to make a second tart for the house but I never made up another crust, and the fruit that didn't finally spoil got used up in other things. And I should have kept out a bowl of the soup for him to have at home, because the attendees didn't leave a drop! And neither of us ever got around to re-creating it for ourselves. He says he's forgotten what he put into it, but I reminded him that I posted it on this board so it's there for all to see! :)
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