Christmas Shopping

Last night we were out doing a little Christmas shopping* and I saw something that made Christmas a tiny bit better** for me. In fact, when I saw it I was seized with the immediate desire to buy a copy for every single one of you.


Look! Look! A game about fiber!

Unfortunately, there were only two copies of the game on the shelf. Which means that instead of getting a game for each of you, I was only able to get a game for one of you. You know what that means!

Yarn Miracle Presents: The What’s So Great About Christmas Sweepstakes!

All you have to do to enter the Sweepstakes is tell me What’s So Great About Christmas between now and midnight (central) on the 24th. Everyone who leaves a comment (mentioning a memory, your favorite thing about Christmas, a sweet story, the best present ever, a warning about three spirits who will be visiting me shortly etc. etc.) will be entered in a drawing. There will be no exclusions based on what winter holiday (if any) you actually celebrate, no judgement calls about what you like best, no measure taken of personal enthusiasm about the holiday season and international entries are welcome. The idea is to help my shriveled Grinch heart grow three sizes. The winner will be drawn and announced after I make macaroni and cheese*** on Christmas Day.

Let me tell you a little bit about what you’ll win.

Shear Panic is one of the most insanely complex games ever in the history of the world. There are 72 individual pieces of game paraphanelia.

sheep and buttons and boards

Scoring changes four times during the game. There are Lamb Slams, Mutton Buttons, dice with no numbers, a ram named Roger and plot twists that make the winning completely unpredictable. In the end, somebody gets sheared. Awesome. Although it took a good half hour sort out the rules initially, we only looked at the instructions twice during the second game. This is probably why the box reccommends that you are aged 10+ to play. On the other hand, Shear Panic does seem to appeal to cats of all ages. Please note: we played with our copy, your copy is still in shrink wrap.

To sum up: Tell me What’s Great About Christmas by Christmas Eve and you can win this insane sheepy game! Yay! Oh, and here’s some knitting content:

about four inches

This was all pulled back to the ribbing when I realized that I had ribbed too far. I don’t think I will finish in time.

*We were right next door to a William Sonoma and I didn’t buy more vanilla, green sanding sugar or a new kitchen timer. I really don’t know where my head was. Now I am going to have to Make Do.

**Have I mentioned that Christmas is my not my favorite holiday? I haven’t? That’s probably because I thought you guys wouldn’t like me any more after I told you. But now it’s out there: As much as I enjoy lights, decorations, baking and goodwill, I am not overly fond of Christmas. To me it’s always been something you just had to get through so that you can have fireworks on New Year’s.

***The good kind. To take to Christmas Dinner.

38 thoughts on “Christmas Shopping

  1. Janet

    I so agree with you when it comes to Xmas. I love New Years. It’s exactly what a holiday should be – fun! Christmas involves much too much stress to make it fun for me. I do have to admit, though, it does make me think a little more about the good things in my life. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s just too darn emotional!

  2. Rachel

    I’ll play devil’s advocate to Carole’s comment:

    The best thing about Christmas is GETTING the perfect present! (Which just could be a hilariously complex game about grooming farm animals…)

    I don’t actually believe that that’s the very best thing, but Carole was just so noble that I thought I needed to even things out with a little greed.

  3. Eve

    The best part about Christmas is that the night before Christmas involves my name, so come Christmas time my parents are always reminding me about how I used to refer to it as “Christmas Me!” I was a dork.

  4. Lene

    I celebrate christmas faithfully, because of the good smell of christmas cakes and christmas tree, because of the light in the eyes of my little sister (and in my own). I celebrate christmas because it gives hope to me and tells me that no, not everyone is focused on their own nose and own doings.

    The best about christmas is christmas eve (where we celebrate with presents in Denmark), when all the presents hae been unpacked, the grandparents have gone home and the little ones are in bed. The candles are slowly burning out and new ones are lighted on the table, the real good candy is put on the table, blankets are pulled over bodies and the talk goes on and on for hours. Peacefull, intilligent talk about the year that went by and the year that will come. Last year that talk probably brought us my nephew, who at 5am christmas morning heralded his coming by waking up his mother. He came out to greet the world at 5pm. So maybe, by now, Erik is my favourite thing about christmas.


  5. Karen

    Christmas is not my favorite holiday either. At all. However, what’s so great about Christmas this year is Alexis (my granddaughter) will be here for it. Spending Christmas with a 4 year old makes it a whole lot better.

  6. Beck

    OMG how cute and insane! OKay, let me see, the best thing about Xmas of course to me is that it gives us permission to give in to childlike happy glee moments that we had oh so more often as children, but as adults aren’t quite as apparent in day to day life. Most of all, it reminds me, if only for a week or so that there is always hope.

  7. jess

    What I love most these days is the combination of my childhood Christmas traditions with the traditions of my husband. Neither one of us is religious, but we both enjoy our traditions — my DH is Russian Orthodox, and I love the difference between that and the Catholic celebrations that my family grew up with and how DH+I have combined them into our own little holiday.

    I also absolutely love finding/making the perfect gifts for people. It causes me some stress now though, because now I have a certain reputation. 🙂

  8. Kelly

    gaaaa what a rocking game 🙂
    The best part of christmas for me is the shopping, while most people say GAHHHH I hate shopping I love finding the right gift for someone and watch their eyes light up when they recieve it. Gift giving and being at home all day with the family is the best part for me!
    ** did your heart grow a smidge??**

  9. The Darling Sister

    Love the Crazy Lambs. I will not be entering the contest, mostly because it’s against the rules to have a relative win, but also because my cats would eat the lambs.

    My favorite part of Christmas is wrapping presents. I love a pretty package. It also seems like the one thing in which I show a particle of talent. And everyone knows, when you feel like you are good at something it makes to like doing it.

  10. danielle

    One of my favorite xmas memories is from my teen years. We woke up on xmas morn – we being me, two of my sisters (one wasn’t born yet), my brother, and Mark, one of my brother’s best friends – and rolled out of bed, only for my mother to realize that she had forgotten to fill the stockings. Panicked, she made all five of us, and the dog, hide in a bedroom while she did the deed. We were giggling but moreso when my dog started inexplicably begging, balancing on his hind legs, waving his front paws, in the direction of our guest, Mark. Mark thought he was dancing and danced with him, singing, too. For some reason, it filled us with hilarity, and my mom finally had to come knocking at the door to retrieve us for our stocking rewards.

  11. Elli

    Back when I was a little kid, my grandpa lived out in the country. I remember trekking across the snowy fields with my family to cut down a Christmas tree and drag it back to the house and decorate it. We only did this a few years before the trees he had planted were way too big to cut down. A very traditional Christmas memory, I know 🙂

  12. Beth

    The best things about Christmas are the smell of the pine tree and all the yummy homemade candies; our traditions are baklava, fudge, buckeyes (chocolate dipped peanut butter balls), and a new one that my husband says needs to become a tradition, habanero chocolate truffles.

  13. Laura

    My favorite part of Christmas is buying gifts for my children — not children anymore really — young women. It’s the perfect excuse to spoil them rotten without the fear of being told by well-meaning family and friends that I’m ruining them. I love Christmas. I always feel light and cheerful. I start singing Christmas Carols in July in anticipation. And, there’s the time off from work which is my favorite part of the job.

  14. Jen

    I love your blog. I love the sheep game. I hope I win!

    Anyway, my favorite thing to do at Christmastime is have White Christmas of It’s a Wonderful Life on the tv while wrapping Christmas presents by the glow of the tree. Makes me happy, every time!

    Happy Holidays!

  15. Anita

    The best thing about Christmas THIS YEAR is good friends to keep us warm and good neighbors to eat thawing food with. I’m hoping that we will get to celebrate with a warm furnice running at top speed! (We have a wee bit of a power outage here.)

  16. Melissa

    I’ve been thinking about Advent a lot this year. The Christian tradition of lighting another candle on a wreath each Sunday approaching Christmas, starting a month before Christmas. I like how as the days get shorter, as the darkness increases, we light more candles to light the way. There’s a sense of ancient anticipation, that things are dark, but there’s SOMETHING coming, and we don’t quite know what that is. There’s acknowledgement that that’s more than a little scary. But there’s also the eternal hope that the days WILL start getting longer.

    I’ve been thinking about the connection of Advent with Lent, the weeks that precede Easter, a traditional time of Christian penance and brow-beating. How Lent comes at the end of the winter. While not the days with the most night, they’re the days when the temperature refuses to budge, when we’re about to give up on Spring EVER returning. In my friend’s church, she has a Lenten wreath where she takes those same candles from Advent, starts with them all lit, then extinguishes one each week, signifying the increasing darkness that greed and injustice causes in the world. It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to feel the weight of winter on your shoulders. It makes the Spring and Joy of Easter so much more…well…joyful.

    Last year Christmas was a very dark time. My husband’s grandmother died on Christmas day last year after a month long decline brought new knowledge each day that she would NOT make it to our wedding in the summer. There was a lot of conflict and tension about WHERE we were going to spend Christmas, WHEN each family was going to get their shot at us, and HOW LONG we SHOULD stay once we got there.

    We needed a lot of light to guide us through those times. We made our own pinpoints by starting traditions we hope will last forever. Trimming the tree was an EVENT, with Christmas carols, movies, nog ‘n rum. Instead of just throwing everything together as “one more thing to do.” We baked cookies together for the first time. We wrapped presents together. We watched A Christmas Story together.

    This year, I’ve found light not just in the Advent Wreath’s increasing brightness, but in my new husband’s face as we ice cookies on the dining room table that once sat in his grandmother’s home. I’ve found light (despite what my blog says) in knitting the stockings for our first married Christmas. I’ve found light in knowing that the yarn I’m using was supposed to be for the first Husband Sweater but was too fuzzy. So now there’s plenty to make enough stockings for any new family members that may come along in the coming years. I’ve found light in working hard and with joy to preserve the traditions and my personal memories of those who, before me, made Christmas magically happen. And I’ve found so much light in making my own traditions with my husband. This Christmas morning, we will be together, just the two of us. And we will be eating pancakes made with red and green mini M&M’s. New traditions everywhere.

  17. Tonni

    After we were old enough that we knew where the presents really came from, my mother would try very hard to disguise what the gifts were with packaging. One year, she wrapped everything and did not put tags on one present. She thought she was being smarter than her children (ha!), but we found the tiny marks on each present and had them divided up by person by the time she woke… boy, was she frustrated and disappointed! I realize now that we took the fun out of Christmas for her that year, but we thought it was great fun! Now, I look back and even though our children are almost grown (one left at home), I love to see the look of joy and surprise each Christmas when they open their packages! I love the holiday season, curling up by a fire (even if we have to turn on the air conditioner), drinking hot chocolate or wine and thinking over the past year and the year to come. I love Christmas… and I especially love New Years!

  18. sonja poor

    One of my favorite things about Christmas is Christmas cards. I just love cards. I love picking them out. I love writing separate notes in them. I love sending them, and I love receiving them. I love that no matter how many you get, you never get two alike. I love going to other folks’ houses and seeing their cards. And they usually have ones completely different. So many different cards. Some beautiful, some not so beautiful, but all different. I love Christmas cards. Merry Christmas, Emily.

  19. Teyani

    You know, with grown up children, my idea of what’s the “best thing” about this season has changed for meover the years…….. I think that the best is that my 23 yr old daughter decided about 4 years ago to begin to do Christmas stockings for me! I had not had one since I was a young girl, and now she and K surprise me every year. It’s full of silly, sublime, frivolous gifts wrapped in tissue paper, and I absolutely love it because of their thoughtfulness. 😉
    love the shot of WH playing the game.

  20. Crazy For Yarn In Alabama: Darlene

    Wow, what a contest!! So many options to choose from:

    I think one of the things that is so great about Christmas is that despite the stress, financial burden, too little time, the stress, did I mention the stress? …etc. The season does invariably bring out the best in people!

    I love the fact that there is never an angel left on the angel tree, that so many do so much for so many at the holidays!! I think the best part about Christmas is the generous spirit that is brought out, the desire to “do good” for others! The absolute MOST fun I have at Christmas is shopping for the “angels” that we provide Christmas for…..knowing that there will be kids on Christmas morning that will wake up to “santa” that otherwise wouldn’t is just the best feeling!!

    One of my favorite thoughts is if I were to win a million dollars I would go to the mall, , pick out folks and randomly start handing out $100 bills…..maybe one of these days!!

    My fondest memories are of going to my grandmother’s house for Christmas Eve. My dad is one of 13, so you can imagine with all the spouses, cousins, etc. what a house full this was!! My grandmother is not a “fancy” woman, Christmas at her house was always fun, good food, no fancy china, no sterling or crystal……but I remember the incredible feel of love and family, NEVER a tense moment…..everyone loved everyone and never a harsh word was exchange, never a scuffle among any of the kids.

    Funny, but I can’t remember any presents I got…..just that great silver tree in the corner, all the good food, company, how the “old” folks would pick on the teenagers about their “boyfriends or girlfriends”….the noise, the sheer NOISE of all the talking and laughing!!

    I remember driving home late at night, worn completely out, lying in the back window (this was before seat belts and before parents thought it was unsafe to actually ride lying down in the back window! LOL)….but I remember AVIDLY watching the sky for ANY hint of Rudolph!! Oh to be a kid again!!! There are so many that are no longer here and times have changed, those of us that are left are scattered….but I truly believe that at Christmas we all come home… least in our hearts and memories!!

  21. Jenna

    For those who unfortunately don’t win, I spotted this game at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago (and fortunately, didn’t snatch it so I can still enter).

    My favorite thing about Xmas used to be doing the “traditional” Jewish celebration of it: going to see a movie or two, then going to eat Chinese food. Now that I have a boyfriend who celebrates the holiday, however, my favorite thing is that we get to share traditions. He knows about Hanukkah now and had soem of his first latkes over the weekend. I enjoy spending time with his family, eating hte huge meal, watching the movies, and I feel so grateful that they go above and beyond to make me feel included.

  22. Jenn

    I remember being little and reading a book called Holly and Ivy with my aunt. It was about a girl named Holly who was an orphan and this doll named Ivy that she wanted. I should re-find that book and buy it.

    I love thinking up the perfect gift for someone and seeing their expression when they open their gift.

  23. Theresa

    Christmas has it all over New Year’s in my opinion. The best part? This year I have to work, so it’ll be the cookies at the hospital. Other years it’s definitely brunch with the family.

  24. Grace

    I have to say that my favorite memory of Christmas growing up was spending Christmas day on the beach with some of our close friends families and then going home, cleaning up and going over to our friend’s house to eat a HUGE Christmas dinner. I grew up overseas, so this was our own version of spending Christmas with “extended family.” After dinner we’d usually sing Christmas carols if we weren’t too full.

  25. KT

    When I was about 6 my grandparents would have a huge Chirstmas party. It was so magical, the smell of the food, everybody dressed to the nines. I remember all of my granparents friends swirling about laughing, singing in the beautiful light of candles and of the tree. I just felt so small and safe and happy.

  26. Cindy B

    Tradition . . . Christmas means tradition. Once we started our family we started new traditions for us. And my children look forward to them every year. But we also have some older traditions (way older).

    Like three of the ornaments on our tree. They have been in my family for three generations. I have three of them, similar, all made by my Great Aunt Ruth. When they were first married, money was short so she made her own ornaments. The three I have (I treasure them) are all that remain. They carry so much history. They are resoundingly simple. Egg cartons, painted gold, with beads glued on (the glue back then was amazing). In each one a treasure is hidden. One has little white decorated tree (made from some brush she had available). The second holds a gilded angel and the third a simple red glass ball. My children have heard the stories of these ornaments for years. How as a child, every year I watched them go on the tree. I could tell they were important by how my mother treasured them. How thrilled I was the year she gave them to me. And how someday they will each have one of these ornaments for their own tree and start some traditions of their own.

  27. Davin Schnappauf

    The best part about Christmas is the traditions! Making cookies, listening to special music, watching special movies, making sure everyone around you knows that you love them! That makes it special. That and if you live in the north where it’s cold, it gives you something to live for in the dark cold winter. In other words, i guess i like Christmas because it breaks up the monotony 🙂

    Also, we have a tradition that has to do with a glass ornament shaped like a pickle. “Santa” hides it, and whoever finds it first wins an awesome prize. This is a first generation tradition, and i find it very amusing.

  28. monica

    I’m with you on Christmas too. To me it’s a Christian thing (which I’m not) but it’s become a whole capitalism thing. It’s too excessive!

  29. Sydney

    I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. I love doing special things for people. I love the lights. The reality, though, is I never seem to have the time to do the things I enjoy. I am perpetually rushed to do the things I hate about Christmas.

    One of the things I love best about Christmas is the Christmas tree. It has to be a real one. I tried an artificial one for a while but it just wasn’t the same. I love my real tree with that evergreen scent, lots of lights, and a hodge podge of handmade decorations. My favorite memory is turning out the house lights so I could lay on the floor and look at the Christmas tree lights. I still do that.

    Thanks for doing this. I needed to think about the good parts of Christmas today.

  30. Leah

    The best thing about Christmas is the moment when you finish wrapping all the gifts that it took you hours and untold shopping horrors to buy, they have been placed under the tree and you can sit back and think about the expression, the surprise on the face of each person you bought that special gift. That moment makes all the madness of the Christmas season worth while.

  31. kt

    I’ve always been a Halloween person, but I married a Christmas elf. Our first Christmas together was pre-married days, and I was in a little apartment and got a little tree for which I had very few decorations. (I was recently divorced and a bit blue.) I put lights on it and carefully placed the few ornaments I had and the elf asked if i had a star for the top. I did not. Next thing I know, he’s wrapping pipe cleaners in aluminum foil and there’s a star atop my tiny tree.

    That was about 16 years ago, and every Christmas since then, he smiles and asks why I keep putting that old thing up on the tree.

  32. Jan

    For me, the best thing about Christmas is being reminded that people care about me. Sometimes, I get gifts from unexpected places. I’m always moved — I grew up thinking I could count the number of people who cared on one hand (not using all the fingers) and, suddenly, there are more. Christmas isn’t a time of great festivity for me, but there are moments of deep joy.

  33. Jane (crzjane)

    The game looked like so much fun I went to the Mayfair games website and bought 2. Both Christmas gifts, but I’m really thinking about getting one for myself!
    Have a Merry Christmas

  34. Devorah

    Back when we were single but living together, we lived in a 5 story brownstone. In two of the other 6 apartments were very good friends of ours. Every Christmas for several years we would do a “Jewish” Christmas eve dinner. Our friends from the building (one Jewish, one not) a few others would gather in our apartment for a home cooked meal and good company.

    I miss those days.

    Try to enjoy tonight and tomorrow. I’ve discovered that being a Grinch isn’t worth the effort involved. Been there, done that, outgrown it. (But I still hate Thanksgiving! *grin*)

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