Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Christmas "To Do" List

I confess that I'm quite compulsive about my annual Christmas "To Do" List.

Basically it consists of those Traditions and activities that are important to me during the Holidays.

For me anyway, Christmas wouldn't seem complete without them and so I always make an effort to check each one off The List during the month of December.

Some years that goes smoothly... and other years... not so much.

I was Thankful that this year was one of the smooth years.

I accomplished everything on the "To Do" List already and so I feel quite content that nothing important to me was missed this year.

Now... that's not to say that everything that exemplifies Christmas to me is as important to everyone else that I know and so their participation for some things is optional.

An Invitation is extended and they can Opt Out or Participate.

I have no problem doing some of my Special Christmas Activities solo or with an entourage. *Winks*

Some things like the Decorating and Styling I've done solo for quite a number of years now because it's 'my thing' and not necessarily anyone else's 'thing' and that's okay.

Some of the Traditions like going to see the Lights has had a mix of participation... a convoy of Friends & Family in attendance... just a few of us... or just me... depending on the day it's done and the lead time in organizing the itinerary.  And that's an Activity that we often do more than once anyway, as Time permits & who wants to go. 

Now that The Son is in his mid 20's he often Opts Out... as his older Siblings did before him... because Young Adults start to form their own Traditions and favorite Activities during the Holidays and who they share and divide their Time with.   I leave a Standing Invitation to any grown Children and their Friends on whether they want to join in.

But I must say that over the years I really do miss the Family being able to get together to do at least some things during the Holidays... alas, we're just all too far flung across the globe now.

Family is very important to me and so it has been a difficult transition at times to be separated during the Holidays in particular and Time does not ease that void.

But there is still a house full here at the Bohemian Valhalla Residence and so it's not as if The Man and I are lonely or alone during the Holidays. *Winks* 

But this will be the first year that my Mom is not nearby to visit during the Holidays and that will seem strange.  We've lived within a relatively short drive from each other all of my Adult Life and always spent some time together during the Holidays.  Though she now lives near my Brother and so I'm happy that they get to catch up on some Special Holiday Time together after many years of distance separating them. 

I always miss my Dear departed Dad... during the Holiday Season in particular.  Sometimes it is hard to believe he's been gone as long as he has... seven years now... because the Memories of past Holidays together is still so vivid and fresh in my mind.  I lament that he didn't live long enough to see and get to know so many of his Great-Grandchildren... and that they didn't get to see and get to know Grand-Dad.  

On to a lighter note... as I was taking the Traditional Mandatory "In Front Of The Tree" shots *winks* you can see how delighted the G-Kids were NOT about obliging Gramma! *LOL*
Good Lord, those expressions have the Theme from the Addams Family in my head... Harpsichord Music Playing... Da-da-da-da {finger snaps twice}... Sure, with persistance and the knowledge that I wasn't going away with the camera they eventually loosened up, lightened up & got silly, which is the more Natural effect I was looking for.  But honestly, I LOVE this solemn, serious, Good Lord lets get this over shot the best... Princess T looks like Wednesday Addams and if I could put words to Prince R's glare... "Oh God, here she goes again..." *LOL* 

Are there any of your Family Traditions or Activities that you lost interest in over the years... as you grew up, grew apart, got a Life of your own, or simply never were that "into"?  It's okay, your Secret is safe with us. *Winks* 

In fact, because I've always LOVED to Photograph Beautiful Holiday Vignettes, and every once in a while would like some Friends or Family IN some of them... I'm quite adept at Photo Op Coersion... ask anyone I know. *Winks*  They might initially put up resistance... but I'm tenacious about getting the Shot... so humor me, oblige at least the one time... and I'll go away Happy. *Smiles* 

So... because I've always been a Photo Nut... I also lament all of our G-Kids and Great-Grandson who don't live close enough to me that I could document their every moment in Photos for posterity.  Yeah, I'm the Gramma that will go wild with the camera and especially if it's a G-Kid I only rarely, if ever, get to see, spend time with and photograph.  They will be practically blinded by flash! *Winks*

In my opinion their Parents are not taking nearly enough Photos of them all... and I'm not getting nearly enough Photos of them all... but that's a subjective, totally biased opinion. *Winks*  So the two that we're raising... well, they have to suffer indulging Gramma's Photography Fetish and make up for all their Cousins and Siblings that I never get to Photograph. *Smiles*  Luckily Princess T is a total Diva and Loves getting Photographed... and I think the camera Loves her back... no brag, just fact. *Winks*

The Holidays wouldn't seem complete without eating out at some of our fav Restaurants... I enjoy seeing how they're decorated as much as I enjoy the food and fellowship of the meals there.  This is The Old Spaghetti Factory in Phoenix... I want 99.9% of their Antiques and Architectural Salvage the place is decorated with... okay, that's not totally accurate, I want IT ALL!!! *Smiles*  I've been coming here since 1974... so rare nowadays that any landmark Restaurant or Biz lasts that long... and since I thrive on Nostalgia, I thoroughly enjoy places that I have fond remembrance of Past, Present and Hopefully Future Special Memories at a location.  So many... too many... aren't around anymore.

Another Mandatory Tradition until you're too large to do it anymore is going to visit Santa and sit on his lap for the Holiday Photo. *Winks*  The Son was only slightly older than Prince R when he outgrew obliging me and began refusing... so I know I don't have much time left with the G-Son participating... could be the last year in fact... as you can see by his Grimace, which was his best attempt at Smiling when you're 11 and your Gramma makes you sit on Santas lap with your little Sister in front of a whole Mall full of people. *LOL*  I was fortunate that his Mother and her Friends were Shameless and used to dress like they were going to a Club and sit on Santas lap until they were well into their late Teens ... I don't think Santa minded *LOL* and it was hilarious and Fun... I cherish those Photos.  Yeah, their Mother is as much a Diva as Princess T... the apple didn't fall far from the tree... *Smiles* 

She recently sent me her obligatory Outrageous Holiday Photo for Mom... in a Red string bikini this year... well... at least she can still rock one even after having 5 kids!  She's my Prodigal... and has an outrageous sense of humor... so her obligatory Photos for me are always over the top on purpose... and I like that about her.  We always asked our Daughters to send us their obligatory Pregnancy late term Shot when they were carrying each of our G-Kids... when she was 8 months pregnant with Prince R she wore a little Black Dress like Jamie Lee Curtis in "True Lies" and then asked a Cop Friend to let her stand against the hood of his Patrol Car spread eagle style like she was going to be frisked & arrested... hilarious... but not one you could proudly show around the Office... at least not the career field I was in at the time. *LOL*   I Love and Miss You my sweet Wild Child!!! *Blown Kisses* 

And I was absolutely delighted to receive my Holiday Photos of two of the three G-Kids in Mexico who are the Siblings of Prince R & Princess T.  This is Princess R whose 5th Birthday is TODAY actually... Happy Birthday Pretty Girl!!!  La Abuela Dawn te ama!

And the sweet younger Sister, Princess M... oh my, each of our Daughter's Children looks so much like her it's as if they were cloned!!!  La Abuela Dawn te ama demasiado linda chica!

Thank You Grandma Maria for sending these precious Photos of the Girls, it was the perfect Christmas Present... now we only need one to complete the set... of their youngest Sister, Princess N.

I Love receiving Photos more than Gifts in fact... they are my most cherished possessions... there's not an Antique, piece of Bling or Collectible in this Old House that compares... I'm very Sentimental that way.  I'm the one that you could invite to your Home and show off all your Family Photos and Vacation Photos to because I thoroughly enjoy it... and hearing the Stories!  Perhaps that's why I Love the Land Of Blog so much... it's intimate like that... and shares the Heart, Life and Passions of each Blogger.

Until I lose a respectable amount of weight again I am however cringing at my own image in recent photos... though for a 6 year old Princess T is a budding Photographer of notable skills. The kid can't perform the Miracle of making Gramma look thin, beautiful and young in a shot... well... not 'til she Masters Photoshop anyway. *Winks*

Note to Self: Get busy on the weight loss Goal for 2012 and this time MAINTAIN when you reach Goal!!!  I never realized that losing weight was easy compared to maintaining the loss.  Of coarse I am told that stress can cause weight gain so perhaps I'm doomed?!? *LOL*

Lets Hope not... when I lost over 40 lbs. almost two years ago I felt healthy and satisfied with my appearance... so I want to get back "there"... and STAY THERE this time around! *Smiles* 

So my Friends... are you thinking about any New Year's Resolutions yet? 

Or is it still too early to consider?  Or don't you make any?  I always do... and I'm pretty good about keeping to my Goals set... 

Well, except for the not getting fat again thing that is... *Le Sigh*  Prince R was also unable of performing Photographic Miracles to make me thin, lovely and lean either... darn...

But I'm encouraged... because it is a Goal I've at least attained before... and success always leaves clues... as does failure... so I've just got to focus on what I did right and keep in mind what I did all wrong. *Winks*

This is probably one of the things I did all wrong... *LOL*... yeah, The Man is a very good Cook... the Heavenly aroma of Honey Baked Spiral sliced Ham was wafting throughout the House when I got Home from work the other day... it was sinfully delicious... forgive me Father for I have sinned... *Winks*

And really good food from fav Italian and Mexican Restaurants are another stumbling block... Note to Self: Eat out at my fav Vietnamese Restaurants more often! *Smiles* 

Because my Christmas Wish is to get back to a leaner, healthier version of ME!

But I confess, I did indulge in Buttered Mizithra Spaghetti with Manicotti and fresh baked Bread on my last visit here... *blushing guiltily*

And all of my Pearls of Wisdom fell by the wayside...

Hey, it happens... I've just got to do better in 2012 right? *Winks*

And I know you all will keep me accountable from time to time because this is such a supportive and wonderful Community of peeps!

And my Hope for all of you is that 2012 be your best year ever too!!!

It's always such a Joy to come and chat with you all.

And when I lose the weight this time I plan to buy some new sassy wardrobe with a Bohemian Gypsy Chic Vibe... yeah, I know that's what I rock now, but I'm talking about a size 10 so that I'll look more Mannequin-ish! *LOL*

Well... it's been fun sharing the completion of my 2011 Christmas "To Do" List with you all tonight.

Good Night and God Bless!

Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Looks like a good time was had by all at the spagetti warehouse. I love the pictures!!!
    One of my BFF's introduced me to a book titled "Wheat Belly" by William Davis MD... A real eye opener regarding weight. Both she and I struggle in the weight area of life. I have now been wheat free for 2 months and really feel the difference and have lost weight to boot with out feeling like I gave up the world -lol-
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  2. Oh my what a beautiful family you have!! :D

    I LOVE those stained glass windows...Seems I never tire of looking at any, every chance I get~

    Merry Christmas!

  3. You have a wonderful Chrsitmas spirit in your post. I love your vintage baby Jesus statue- my mom has one, and I have never been able to find its equal until I saw yours. Amazing what you can find on the internet. I also love that furry little cape you adore. Share with me wear you're going to get it from! peace, andrea@townandprairie


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl