The Christmas Tree That Almost Wasn’t

Photo A.M. Moscoso

I haven’t done the tree thing for awhile.

This year I did it and do you know what feeling came over me as I started to decorate it?

Stringing lights is a punishment job. It’s like the tree’s revenge on you for taking it’s life. It’s tedious, it’s boring, it’s just POINTLESS. Around and around you go and then the lights are up and you don’t get a medal for a job well done. Everyone in the WORLD gets a participation award for doing stuff.

Is there one for stringing lights?

No there is not.

To make it worse I have a fake tree and I didn’t even get that Christmas tree smell on my hands. My hands smelled like plastic.

Oh JOY.

Good thing I wasn’t listening to the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I may have been swept up in the music and just pitched the tree with the light string from Hell over my deck to the dark grounds below.

Eventually I got the lights up and I got the decorations on and as I stood there wondering who I could bribe to take it down and pack it away after Christmas my dog, Hamish Macbeth, sniffed the tree, his tail went crazy- when he’s really happy he spins his tail in circles and then he licked a few ornaments which ‘accidently’ ended up in his mouth and after he spit them back out into my hand he stretched out next to the Tree That Almost Wasn’t and took a little nap:

Photo A.M. Moscoso

In fact, he seems to like the tree. He camps out there with his toys and when I come home at night he runs from it to me, like he’s showing me this cool thing that showed up one day and isn’t it great?

” It’s still here! ” I think Hamish is saying.

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

I’m not counting down the days until the Tree comes down, I’m not thinking about bribing anyone to take it down after Christmas.

I’m thinking my dog loves this thing- and I’m wondering how he will feel when it’s gone.

I wish I could explain to him we’ll have another one next year.

With lights. Lots of lights.

Darn it.

amm

Christmas Knives and Fiji Mermaids

 

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I have asked for some strange things for Christmas- Fiji Mermaids, Body Parts in Jars, one year I even asked for one of those Mutant Alien Babies with the pointy teeth and big eyes.

Nobody laughed and more or less, I got what I asked for.

One year I got practical and I asked for a new set of Gourmet Kitchen Knives and my family said, ” No really, what do you want for real?”

” Really. I want knives.” I said.

” Like scalpels or …”

” I have those. I have those coming out of my ears. I want new knives for the kitchen.”

” Oh Anita. You’re so funny.”

The Shrunken Heads showed up that year- but I did not find a single knife- and by Santa’s Beard I needed them.

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This year though I have a tall order:

Photo L.S. Moscoso

Photo L.S. Moscoso

Just in case you’re curious- its in Mexico and you can find it in the Pet Supply Section.

I also asked for a set of kitchen knives.

So it’s a sure thing that this amazing Horse and Rider in Bones is as good as mine and it will be:

THE BEST PRESENT EVER.

Our Random View: Writing Prompt #4 Best Christmas Present Ever

More Fun Then A Gift Wrapped Basket Full Of Puppies

christmas-clip-art-holidays_christmas_holly_1For me, nothing says holiday fun like puppies and dogs- and the more the merrier!

Here is a clip of the biggest collection of pups you will ever see (my cousin’s pup is in this clip ) – I mean WOW! All that’s missing is some snow!

And of course it wouldn’t be  Christmas without my boy, Hamish Macbeth ( his Holiday pics follow )

 

So look close and prepare to have your winter heart warmed up- for me it wouldn’t be that time of the year without my dog. Enjoy!

 

Among this over flowing basket of puppies is my cousin’s dog, Xavier.

(YouTube video of the pack of beauties and baby Xavier:)

1. Xavier shows up first on 0:42 in the middle of the screen.
2. Coming down the hill at 3:49
3. At the water hole, to the right, at 6:40
4. And sitting on his favorite rock at 8:09.

 

Can you spot the 120lb nine month old puppy in this happy holiday snap?

xavier

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Two years ago my Hamish was just a puppy- so in the spirit of the holidays my nieces wrapped him in gift paper and he kept it on until the tape warmed up and it all fell off.

hmc

Hamish and Pualani

Hamish and Pualani Christmas 2014

Here is a picture of Hamish from Thanksgiving 2016- minus the wrapping paper!

hamish17

Hamish might be a bit big to wrap up and Xavier is most definitely to big- but because of these two special guys, there is going to be some fun and love around our homes this Christmas.

 

Photo Challenge: It’s Not This Time of The Year Without

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken Traditions

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Is there a right way to celebrate Christmas?

Is it all about Jesus? Or is it all about Shopping, or is what the Pagans say it is all about or the Wiccans or Christians ?

Does it fit in a box, does it belong to anyone, is there a right way to do it? Why does everyone want to own or set the rules down for a holiday that everyone starts to bitch about before Thanksgiving even starts? From the sounds of it, people sound like they’d rather not have the Holidays show up at all.

 

During the winter I do a lot of writing and reading- I write stories and I want to hear them. I like to listen to Christmas Music and try new foods and engage in writing challenges ( it seems to come back to writing for me )

For the most part I enjoy my non-traditional ways to get into the Holiday Spirit.

 

But then the shaming starts- someone somewhere gets on a soap box and waves their bony little finger under our collective noses and reminds you when to shop, not to enjoy yourself too much because it’s all about Baby Jesus/The Goddess/Why do you do this at all there’s no such things as ” God “.  According to these experts in the field,  unless you do it right you have to- I don’t know, give it back or give it up or stand there in front of your Christmas Tree and say, ” I am so ashamed.”

 

So I celebrate Christmas quietly for fear of waking up the sleeping baby and set it to wailing.

That is my way of Celebrating the Christmas Season- I write and feast and enjoy my family and art and music.

It’s non-traditional and it came about through compromise.

 

But it’s my tradition now and I guess I’ll stick to it.

 

Made In Australia 

Advent Calendar

Inspired By The Prompt:

“Breaking Traditions”

(2003)

Crunchy Snow and Comic Books

:::Holidailies Prompt:::

Tell Us About Snow

xmas snow

When I was growing up my Dad and his sister, my Aunt and my Grandparents had a very cool tradition.

No matter the time of day, if we were home and it snowed we would put on the Christmas tunes as we bundled and then we would head out for a walk in the snow.

We’d head to a store and buy treats- like coco mix and comic books ( my Aunt loved comic books so we’d stock up on the Archies ( or any of  Christmas themed ones ).

archies

And for good measure I’d ask for those weird magazines about UFOs the other one I loved was called Fate

Fate is a magazine about paranormal phenomena.

I’d  stock up on Fate during the year (  my Grandma Ginger had a subscription ) so I’d snag her copies and read them during the winter- don’t ask me why it made sense when I was nine.

fate

Back to the snow- If we were lucky it was dark and the snow was crunchy- I loved the crunchy sound of snow. I would break my own little path just so I could hear the snow crunch or squeak ( if it was powdery snow).

It was an adventure, and all along the way we’d tell stories to each other.

The weirder, the spookier- THE BETTER.

sled

There is only one thing that could top those memories- and the snow walks I’ve taken since.

That would be the chance to walk in snow on…snow on pluto

Pluto.

Tell me that wouldn’t be the bees knees.

I’d sign up for that trip in a heartbeat.

Or I’d love to take a snow walk on extreme weather mars poles

Mars.

Oh yes indeed.

Martian Snow.

Let that roll around your head for a minute.

Grand thought isn’t it?

And I know it’s methane snow- but snow is snow and that’s the stuff you’d find on the moon, Titan

titan-lake-mountains-nasa_wide-9b6d3ab9d2ac3226d505b46a9d95b2bed0bcffdb

 I’d go to those planets- risk my life, give up years on Earth just to checkout the snow.

My family would be disappointed if there was ever a chance to do that and any of us passed it up.

We’d take comic books, magazines about ghosts and hot chocolate.

Want to tag along?

Of course you do.

The Mystery Of My Favorite Christmas Song

Holidailies 2015

The Mystery Of

My Favorite Christmas Song

I love Christmas songs- I pull out the music on Thanksgiving and I’ve got it going on until Christmas Night

Christmas movies are great, but the music?

That’s the most important part of the festivities- I can do without the the tree, but I must have the tunes.

carol1

When I was a child I only learned part of a song that I say on every single holiday that came up, though I rattled it off more during Christmas.

Nobody in my family knew where I learned it and why I thought it was a holiday song- so it was an earworm.

Worse yet, I only knew one line and I would sing that one line over and over and the words weren’t even in English.

I’d get grilled about where I heard it, I guess the reasoning was if they knew the song title and the rest of the lyrics the mystery would be solved and it wouldn’t make everyone crazy when I sang :

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

So it was years and years later when I was at a friend’s house and up comes THE SONG on their CD player that I tortured everyone with at Christmas, Birthdays, Funerals and Dinner parties.

It was a real song.

The mystery remains though, where I heard it.

It’s a nice mystery, a Christmas mystery and those kinds of mysteries are fun when you just let them be.

So I don’t put too much thought into solving the question.

Now that I know the entire song I like to sing it with as much joy and gusto as I can. If I’m not feeling it when I start, I always end up getting caught in the moment and I feel it  to my bones once I get going…

And here it is:

Boar’s Head ( Lyrics )

The boar’s head in hand bring I, (Or: The boar’s head in hand bear I,)
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary.
And I pray you, my masters, be merry (Or: And I pray you, my masters, merry be)
Quod estes in convivio (Translation: As many as are in the feast)

CHORUS
Caput apri defero (Translation: The boar’s head I offer)
Reddens laudes Domino (Translation: Giving praises to the Lord)

The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico. (Translation: Let us serve with a song)

CHORUS

Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio. (Translation: In the hall of Queen’s [College, Oxford])

The Boar’s Head Carol is a macaronic 15th century English Christmas carol that describes the ancient tradition of sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a Yuletide feast. Of the several extant versions of the carol, the one most usually performed today is based on a version published in 1521 in Wynkyn de Worde’s Christmasse Carolles.

( Wikipedia)

There’s A Monster Under My Bed…YAY!

:::Holidailies Prompt:::

Not a creature was stirring …

wolfman

When I was little I used to feel sorry for the monsters in horror  movies.

If people weren’t trying to shoot them, they were burning them or pushing them off of cliffs.

So every Christmas Eve I would sneak treats and food into my room, put them on a plate and shove it under my bed because duh, that’s where monsters hide.

monsterbed

We used to have this little dog Blackie and one Christmas my Mom found him in my room halfway under the bed and from the sounds of it he was busy chewing on something.

She pulled him out and his face was smeared with gravy and frosting. He was chewing on a roll of Lifesavers candies from my Lifesavers Christmas Storybook.

He got loose and dove back under the bed.

She pulled him out again and this time he was dragging the plate with him.

I think most of the turkey was gone, but there was still a lot of goodies on the goodie plate.

Too bad Mom took it, there was still enough on that plate for a couple of monsters and a dog.

savers

My Dad saw my Mom carrying the goodie plate to the garbage bin under the sink and he asked, ” What the hell was that mess.”

My Mom told him where she found it.

I was right behind her giving her the evil eye the entire time.

” Are you crazy?” He asked my six year old self ” what did you do that for?”

I glared at him too and stomped off.

They wouldn’t understand I thought. But had I told them I was leaving food for the Wolfman and the Mummy they probably would have understood.

This is why:

mummy1

One Christmas I saw my Mom in the kitchen cutting up Turkey and Ham that she had just taken off of the serving platter. She cut it up and mixed in with our dog’s regular dried food.

When I saw her doing that I was surprised.

She wasn’t a pet person for the most part.

I asked her outright why was she giving the dog so much turkey and ham and she said, ” Because it’s their Christmas too.”

We’ve had several dogs over the years and she still does that.

Now days I’m willing to I will bet  the Wolfman would have benefitted from her generosity too.

Apparently this dog named Moose, who played the wolf that bites Lawrence Talbot, totally became buddies with Lon Chaney Jr. on the set of The Wolf Man and followed him around wherever he went.

Apparently this dog named Moose, who played the wolf that bites Lawrence Talbot, totally became buddies with Lon Chaney Jr. on the set of The Wolf Man and followed him around wherever he went.

So now I’m 51, I still love my Monsters and at Christmas I have this little plate of treats that I will set up on a high shelf where the dog can’t get it.

I’m a little disappointed when the treats are there the next day, because I was sure, I was positive that the creatures were stirring in my house.

Maybe next Christmas I think as I take the treats down from the shelf.

And then I say what I’ve been saying since I was five years old:

Maybe next year.

universal-monsters