Monday, December 10, 2012

Terror of Tinsel

I love Christmas. It's one of my favorite times of year. I love everything about the holiday. I love the meaning behind it, I love the getting of gifts, and I love GIVING gifts.

But recently when entering to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card at The Glitter Globe, we were asked to talk about what scared us at Christmas (there is a new blog offering another gift card. Go win!)

As one of the first winners, I thought I'd share my story with you. Might give you a little cheer even if it gives me nightmares.
The holidays have a tendency to bring out the worry or fear in some of us. Fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of having to spend Christmas without the loved ones we have lost or have moved away from. While these are very real things people deal with, I deal with something only a small percentage of the population has to come against.

There is something that comes every Christmas that, despite all the joy and giving, gives me nightmares and a severe case of twitching.
It haunts a small fraction of the world, sneaking in through your front door, to your family holidays, and even lurks near the tree set up in your church.

"But if I lock my door, I'll be safe!" You might say.
You'd be wrong.
Because this terror is often brought in right under your children.

Yes. Children.
They are the worst offenders. They reek of it. Carry it with them and as they rush to your open arms for a Christmas hug, you see they've brought it with's ON them...and there's no escaping. You have to follow through with the hug. You can't emotionally traumatize (or drop) the child. It's on you before you have a chance to scream.
Just looking at this picture makes me fingers shrivel.

You, my friend, have been attacked by velvet.

It is the bane of my existence, and every other day of the year it is avoidable. Velvet stands out in the middle of July. You can see it coming.

But at Christmas...oh my friends, at Christmas...

Every parent thinks it's a beautiful thing to dress a child in velvet. As an Aunt and a Sunday School Teacher, it's the most horrific day of the year.

That feeling...that touch which burns my skin. I count down the days, sweating through my shirts as it draws closer. The nightmares begin the week before Christmas.
And when the day is here...
There's no escape.

You might think this is all funny - which really, it is.  Sadly, it doesn't make it less true.  I HATE velvet.  I seriously can't stand the touch.  My sister used to wear velvet dresses growing up, and being older, would tell me it isn't velvet and to touch them.  I, being younger, stupidly trusted her and fell for it every time (I did the same thing when she told me something didn't taste like coffee. I was gullible).

So while I hate velvet, this is all in fun and games.  Tell me, what's the worst thing about Christmas for you?  Does Tinsel terrify?  Does Holly Haunt?  What about it ....ghastly?
Talk to me. What makes you tick (or twitch)?

As always, we're going to give monkeys away at random, but not for just one comment.  Bring friends! I need to see people are paying attention!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


It feels so weird to be back! Weird, but good. I was long gone for the month of November due to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

But I did it - I wrote a novel in the month of November.  It felt good.  It was so outside the norm for me, even in the way I wrote it.  I did everything backwards (for me at least).  Now I have something that, while it still requires editing, feels better than almost everything preceding it.

Now that it's over, though, I don't have the drive I did.  I'm in Christmas mode.  You know what? I am okay with that.  I'm thankful Christmas comes after NaNo, because nothing could keep me more pepped and prepared to enjoy my life than Christmas.

I'm a gifter.  I was born that way.  I love to give a gift that matters to someone.  I feel so cheap when I just decide to go with a boring average gift.  I try every year to pick things that matter to the people who get them, not things that people will say "Oh thank you" and then put in the "donation bin" the first chance they get.

Sometimes that gift means a handmade or well sought unique thing, sometimes that means the gloves they really wanted but no one would buy for them.

What's the best gift you've ever received?  Was it because it was thoughtful, grand, or unique to you?  What is the best gift you've ever gifted?  How did it feel when the person opened the gift?

For me, it was giving a close friend an autographed photo of one of his favorite actors. I thought he might take the picture home and sleep with it (he doesn't).  He did carry it around for the rest of the evening showing it to people.  Definitely felt worth while to me.

So tell me stories.  Monkeys are up for giveaway, and I KNOW you want some.