Saturday, December 18, 2010

Haul Out the Holly

I'm having trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year. There could be any number of reasons:

I don't have kids.
I don't like egg nog.
It hasn't snowed in Pasadena yet.
I gained weight before Thanksgiving.
I don't enjoy shopping.
I can't fly.
I haven't started on my holiday cards, even though every year I promise myself I will do them in September.
Baking makes me tense.
I don't have a secretary.
I don't have a palace on the Riviera.
Et cetera.

But I want to enjoy the season and I certainly have nothing to complain about. I have work I enjoy, a home and family I love, good friends and a great life.

Can you help me perk up? What holiday spirit tips can you share? (You can call them Christmas spirit tips, I won't be offended.)

How do you cheer yourself for the season of warm and fuzzy?


Turquoise Diaries said...

Why not decorate your car like that?? It might give you the necessary boost :))

Anonymous said...

"I certainly have nothing to complain about. I have work I enjoy, a home and family I love, good friends and a great life."

Now subtract the "home, family, good friends and great life and add creditor calls, no insurance and hardly a crumb to eat to the list... you've now set foot in my shoes along with many others I'm sure. Try your best to be happy. I am.

Mister Earl said...

I saw an automobile with those same antlers in South Pas yesterday. Different car. I see this person has their license blocked out as a defense against red-light cameras! ;-)

Maybe it would help if you made some latkes?

Too bad you don't like egg nog. Yesterday, Bristol Farms was sampling 3 flavors of Altadena Dairy egg nog: Regular, Honey Sweetened, and Pumpkin Spice. I felt I owed it to the world to try all three. The Pumpkin Spice was best.

I'd say just relax and do whatever you like. To paraphrase a bumper sticker, "Don't Let Us Tell You What Kind of Holiday to Have!"

WV: pocatio. Not goin' there!

Joanne said...

It's easy to feel almost defeated by the advertising and media expectations. So I say, do the holiday your way. Linger in front of the tree with a cup of hot chocolate. Wear that reindeer sweater. Walk through the illuminated neighborhood at night. Keep it easy, and enjoy. Maybe even visit Santa for awhile at Whole Latte Life ;)

Petrea said...

Aysegul, I suppose if I told you that's my car you wouldn't believe me.

Anon, I think part of the reason I'm feeling down is that too many of my loved ones are in your shoes. I wish they were as happy as you are.

Latkes! Earl, you're a genius.

:) See you in a minute, Joanne.

Steve Scauzillo said...

One word: music. Listen to a Christmas CD or better yet, attend a symphony of holiday music. I am in the same boat and that's what Karen and I had suggested for ourselves yesterday! Be of good cheer.

Mister Earl said...

Listen to Phil Spector's Christmas album - one of the best Christmas albums ever made. It's even on YouTube:


Katie said...

I'm having a similar inability to get into a festive mood, but I've decided to just enjoy little bits of holiday cheer where I find them and not go for a constant (and unattainable) holiday high. Your photo today gave me a holiday chuckle (thanks!) and Mr. Earl has just given me a whole record of fun holiday hits (more thanks!). Here's my offering, which I hope gives a boost to your quest to haul out the holly:

Cookie Holiday Greetings

Bellis said...

Find some little children, invite them in to see your snowglobe or snowdog (Boz) and watch their faces as they open a small present. Xmas is all about children, though it's hard to remember that in the unpleasant shopping frenzy. What drives me into the melee is the fear of seeing one of my (adult!) children look disappointed with their gift on the big day - silly, isn't it?

Clifford Beshers said...

Frank Bruni just interviewed three NYC bartenders about alternative eggnog drinks. None have dairy, one doesn't even have eggs. All are intended be lighter without losing that wintry comfort.

Desiree said...

A peppermint mocha, and Christmas music. The Boston Pops do it for me--and to mirror the mournful (because it is winter, with all that entails, the shortest day of the year is coming soon, reminding us our days are numbered) thoughts inside, old, old carols.

And if that doesn't help, vodka martinis.

Margaret said...

Go on my holiday lights walk! But don't bring Suzy.

TheChieftess said...

I know how you feel Petrea!!! I haven't felt the Christmas spirit much this year either...The Christmas decorations are not all here...missing my Christmas plates...the tree was put up about a week later than normal and haven't finished decorating it....the decorations don't really fit this house...and I'm just not in the mood...but then, we've been to all kinds of Christmas parties, saw a really bad production of the Christmas Carol that actually was quite fun because even we knew people in, like Katie, I'm trying to focus on the moments of Christmas pleasure!!!

Anonymous said...

Try reading "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote. Seems to always recapture the spirit.

J+P said...

"The Christmas spirit is/Not what you drink."—Ian Anderson (1971)

Natheless, I won't refuse a cup of cheer, brewed, macerated or fermented, to nudge me into a more complais frame of mind …

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Buy a new pair of shoes.

Nothing chases the blues
like a pair of new shoes

Steven said...

I too hate eggnog. Buy the Johnny Mathis Christmas CD. He is a great talent. Also, I heard Josh Groban on the radio singing "Noel" and it was stunning.

pasadenapio said...

I agree with the others -- listen to some Christmas CDs to get into the spirit. I also highly recommend taking a drive (after it gets dark) to see the Christmas lights in Upper Hastings Ranch, Christmas Tree Lane and at the Balian House. Oh, and check out a couple of classic Christmas movies from the library!

J+P said...

… don't like eggnog …?

altadenahiker said...

The Red Shoes.

TheChieftess said...

It's a Wonderful Life!

Miracle on 34th St!

And I know I needent say this...the classic versions!!!

wv: they sures bring back the Christmas Spirit!!!

(Pandora...Christmas channel)

J.J. in L.A. said...

I can't help ya because I'm the ultimate "Bah humbug"'er.

But I did get my Christmas card out of the way.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Oh! I do love to watch 'A Christmas Story'!

Mister Earl said...

Just got back from buying some eggnog. If the way people are driving is any indication, this must be one of the worst humbug seasons ever!

Petrea said...

Oh my goodness! I love you all! All I had to do was ask and look at all these great suggestions.

I've been out all day in the rain with a friend. And really, I haven't been in a bad mood, I feel just fine. I just haven't had that extra Christmas feeling, you know what I mean? That special holiday mood. At one point I had a moment to look at email on my phone and I saw many of your comments and I thought of how so many people were pitching in to make me feel better and my light bulb went on: make someone feel better! That's what Christmas is about.

So I wrote a check to a favorite charity and put it in the mail. Then I took Boz for a walk and took my camera, looking for Christmas cheer. And it was everywhere. We shall have Christmas cheer on the blog, rain or shine, through Christmas day.

I already have the Johnny Mathis and it's playing right now.

I was in The Red Shoes when I was 12.

We're going to a birthday part in Altadena tonight: I'll seek out hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.

New shoes! Brilliant.

Thank you all for your great ideas.

Susan Campisi said...

Well, I am late to this party and I have nothing to add to these brilliant ideas. I hope you all have a festive evening!

(Katie, I love "Let it Dough!")

Bellis said...

I agree, Susan, new home owner (yay!). Let It Dough is wonderful - thanks, Katie.

Petrea said...

Oh yes, I forgot to say--click on Katie's link if you haven't already. And Earl's!

We just got home from a lovely party where we met nice people and had a good time. We took a detour and came home via Christmas Tree Lane, in the rain. It's gorgeous, amazing. Drive it if you can.

TheChieftess said...

I also took some of the advice to heart today...Christmas Carols from Pandora all afternoon, the Festival of Lights on the Mountain, decorating the Christmas tree with Christmas Carols while the grandaughter and her BFF were fooling around with the computer camera deal!!! Much better!!!!

The Festival of Lights was really fun...though very wet snow so no pics...

TheChieftess said...

If you still have the Christmas Bah Humbug's, go on over to LadyFi's blog
she has a lovely blog in general, but today's (Sat) was especially uplifting...and her subject looks a lot like Miss Daisy!!! Lady Fi is a transplanted Brit, living in Sweden...and a delightful photographer!

wv: edoger e-dog-er!!!

Speedway said...

Here's something that may help. The Philadelphia Opera Co called it "a random act of culture." It's a hard person that could ignore the voices and continue shopping -- don't think I'd want top know them.

Petrea said...

Nice pic on Lady Fi's blog, Chieftess.

Thank you, Speedway. I love flash mobs (the positive ones). That can't help but make a person smile.

Petrea said...

I hope you'll all watch Speedway's link.

In watching it, I thought of the communal experience of that magnificent piece of music--how it's been handed down to us over the years by previous generations and how we all know it, having heard it many times in our lives. The little children in the video reminded me that the voices raised together (I'll bet many non-opera members joined in) in shared harmony hand the music down once again to a new generation, and on it goes, humanity's shared experience.

You can almost feel the joy they felt together.

Petrea said...

More cheer my sister Ginab sent me this one: Straight No Chaser.

Gina said...

I haven't read the rest of the comments, but a couple of suggestions:

-Get a tree - a real tree and decorate it with ornaments that are old favorites or pick a "theme" and go at it
-Host a potluck with good friends to celebrate the happiness of each other in your lives. If you don't like to cook, you can provide the wine and everyone else can bring a dish.

And if all else fails, maybe what you need is just to curl up with some hot chocolate/tea/coffee/cider/soup under a fantastic blanket and read a good book. That always makes me feel better know what the problem.

Happy holidays.

Jilly said...

Snap! As for the Riviera, it's down with rain and has been for days.

Petrea said...

It's pouring here too, now, Jilly. Somehow, knowing that it's pouring on the Riviera too makes me feel better.