Ah, Christmastime.

My Christmas list is made. That is, the names are written down. It does not mean that I have actually decided on gifts for everybody yet. I do, however, have gifts for most of the people that I already had ideas for.

My Christmas cards are designed. That is, mostly. I still need to tweak them a bit, and then send them to the printer, in hopes of giving myself enough time to actually write, address, and mail them.

My December business trip has been booked. That is, the travel coordinator told me she was booking tickets, but my creative director told me that she wants to “go over some details” with me.

I got a Christmas wish list from a local Needy Kid, and went shopping. But you know what? Littlest Pet Shop is fekkin’ SCARY. Here I’m thinking, “Hey, cool, she likes animals.” Those things bear little-to-no resemblance to actual animals. They look like pets the way Bratz look like humans. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But it’s what she wants, so I’ll have to suck it up and go back to the store. Can anyone suggest an intelligent DVD about animals that might entertain a 9-year-old girl? I’d like to balance the crap with something decent.

My etsy store has been updated for the holidays. No caveat there, it’s actually been fully updated. I even added a new line of necklaces! My “photo studio in a box” kit arrived today, and I reshot my entire collection while I simultaneously cooked dinner (Käsespätzle; I did not make my own Spätzle) AND listened to the TV in the other room showing the 75th annual tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center. I’m feeling very accomplished at the moment. Anyway, now I should be nice and ready for Neilochka‘s “First Annual Blogger Holiday Online Arts and Crafts Fair.” Let the sales roll in!

I’m not putting up a tree. It bugs me, but at the same time, I’m on the road for a business trip, and then driving down to Santa Fe (heh-heh, SANTA Fe) for a few days. An unwatered tree just seems like a fire waiting to happen, and I’d feel weird asking my housesitter to crawl around under the tree to water it. I have a fake tree I could put up, if I felt like rearranging the new living room arrangement. But have no fear, dear readers! I’ll still be decorating for Gillerin’s annual New Year’s Eve party. The theme is The Golden Age of Hollywood (because there were a couple of drunkish Marilyn wannabees at the Halloween party where this was decided) and the black/white décor from last year will be at least partially repurposed for the black/gold theme this year.

Along the lines of gold décor and no tree… I bought a gold glitter/bead encrusted conical tree form thingie. It’s about three feet tall, and just so happens to perfectly fit on my Buddha’s head. I described the look to Erin as “serene, flamboyantly gay gnome.” Ah, how Christmasy.

Wishing you all visions of sugarplums.

New, Improved (?) Worst Holiday Gift, 2007

Faithful readers will remember my selection of the Deer Rider as the Worst Holiday Gift for 2007. But, oh, the gifts just keep on giving. While flipping through a sale circular, I was introduced to the Mangroomer.

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According to the Mangroomer site, this product is “the essential do-it-yourself electric back shaver.” Essential, folks. It will also, according to their copy, “improve your life” in numerous ways, including sparking up your romance, giving you confidence, preventing embarrassment at the beach or pool parties, decreasing sweat and body odor, and emphasizing muscle definition. And yes, they actually suggest it as a gift.

Oh, my. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $39.99 or at Amazon for $39.95.

In this, our time of gluttony

While you’re dining with family and/or friends tomorrow, eyes glued to the football game on your 52″ flat screen TV, eating your 16-lb. turkey and beans and THREE kinds of potatoes and TWO kinds of pie, please consider for a moment those less fortunate than yourselves.

Then, if you’re planning on hitting the 4am store sales, you might remember to pick up a couple of items for a kid whose Christmas would otherwise be sparse, or find an extra coat in your closet for a dad whose own has become threadbare.

In the Denver metro area, the 77th annual Santa Claus Shop, is now open for business through December 17; bring new and gently used toys to your local King Soopers store, where volunteers will sort, clean, and distribute them to underprivileged children. Coats for Colorado, in its 26th year, will be accepting your used coats through Nov 30th. Bring your jackets to Dependable Cleaners (30+ locations), who will distribute the donations to nonprofit organizations in need.

And remember to say thanks.