Thursday, December 17, 2009

Going Overboard for the Holidays Venus Style

Hubman does not go overboard for the holidays. He is the voice of reason. I usually do not go overboard for the holidays, but I could. Picture me with a Hubman on one shoulder as the angel, and me, but wearing a big bouffant hairdo and a 1950's christmas themed prom dress on the other shoulder as the devil.

Hubman and I have an agreement with gifts that has been working for us for many, many years. I shop for, select, wrap and mail all of the gifts for everyone all year long, and he does not complain about what I buy or how much I spend. We have a chat about price limits and I usually stick to it which adds to the harmony. Hubman buys my gifts, and then usually cards for me and his mother.

If the gift is something that really requires a second opinion or a large vehicle to transport it (like a bike) I bring him into it. Otherwise I just tell him later what I picked out.

My danger point for going overboard at Christmas is not shopping. I don't want to spoil my kids with tons of crap. I also don't want to have to deal with cleaning up and storing said crap. We do not have a big place and it does not take a lot for it to get cluttered enough for Hubman to start grinding his teeth.

Anyway, despite the minor exception with trying to get everyone on my list, the perfect, thoughtful gift, gifting is not where I tend to go overboard.

Its everything else. Christmas brings out my inner Martha Stewart. Once we get close to Thanksgiving I get this urge to make home made wreaths and topiaries! I want to wrap gifts in clever paper with bows made from recycled newspaper dyed with organic dyes! I want to have a tree in every room decorated with its own theme! I want to send a heartfelt Christmas card with a personalized letter to everyone I've ever known! I want to make 20 different kinds of cookies and candies to give as gifts and remember the postman, the paper boy, the crossing guard, the people in my office, and any random stranger who looks like they could use some sugar.

I want to watch every Christmas movie and special with the kids! I want to decorate my house with enough lights that it is visible from space. I want perfect family pictures with everyone, including the dog in matching sweaters.

However, eventually I put the magazine down and I hear the voice of Hubman in my head. "Sweetie", he says. "You are an awesome baker, but do you really have the time to bake 40 dozen cookies. Also, doing those roll out cookies always makes you crabby. " "Honey, remember how badly your burnt yourself on the hot glue gun when my mom let you try hers." And my favorite, "Honey, you know you don't like heights. You're really going to get up on the ladder for 3 hours to hang lights?"

Thank god for his voice in my head, otherwise I would probably have hot glued myself to the ladder while the kitchen goes on fire from my leaving cookies in the oven.

The only thing I might go a teensy bit overboard on is charity. I do 'adopt' two kids at Christmas through the Salvation Army that are close to the age of my kids and get them stuff. I put a dollar in every kettle I pass. I take my kids to they toy store and have them each pick out an item they like and drop in in the Toys for Tots box. I can't help it. My kids are so blessed in the fact that they have six doting grandparents, that it makes me want to ensure that as many people as possible have a Merry Christmas as well. An example of this is donating money towards the fundraiser mentioned at the top of this blog.

So ladies and gentlemen, which of you are the ones to go overboard? What do you go overboard on?

Just as a warning if you visit my blog today, I am half-nekkid. If that sort of thing offends you, I understand and respect that. However, if you can navigate through the nekkidness, you will find some fun, inexpensive gift ideas and lots of holiday recipes, including a treat exchange. If you want to learn more about the wonderful Hubman, you can visit him here, but I have to warn you that he is not usually safe for work.

Also, the very Handsome Southern Sage is taking Mars' position on this, so please stop by tomorrow and see what is on his mind.

So ladies and gentlemen, which of you are the ones to go overboard? What do you go overboard on?


Anonymous said...

David Edward

Christmas is great for kids, but sometime they can get more pleasure from simple things than they do from expensive commercial toys, especially when very young. I am reminded of the joke picturing an infant playing very happily with the cardboard box and wrapping of a very expensive toy which lay discarded to one side, with the surprised parents looking on. So don’t go overboard.

Lights around the house look really lovely, for all to see.

As an adult I look upon Christmas as a confounded irritation, and like to go off abroad for a week.

Bah Humbug!

David Edward the fertile.

Anonymous said...

David Edward

Christmas = Christ Mass, as in the celebration of Christ's birth.

Not many people know that now days.

David Edward the fertile

Hubman said...

I appreciate our gift-buying arrangement more than you know. And let's not fool anyone, you enjoy shopping for the family, yours and mine!

I'm glad that I can temper your impulses, it's probably better for both of us.

David Edward- my step-father is an Episcopal bishop- Veronica and I and our kids are well aware of the true meaning of Christmas.

You sure are proud of your fertility.

Anonymous said...

David Edward

"I shop for, select, wrap and mail all of the gifts for everyone all year long"

Wow - it takes me one day. And I buy a pack of identical cards and give one out when I receive one. I don't think I go overboard - although last year the office became so choked in cards strung everywhere we could not see or move. The company fire officer came round eventually and we had a limit of 50 cards each, which cause some indignation from those whose card were taken down!

Every one has already got their 50 now and some, so it starting to go overboard again.

David Edward the fertile

Another Suburban Mom said...

David Edward: Thank you for your comments. In the interest of clarity, Where I mention shopping all year, that also includes birthdays, weddings, baby showers, et, al.

Hubman: I know you do baby. Thanks! And yes I do love shopping for everyone.

Anonymous said...

David Edward

Yes - word has just gone around, it has been noticed and the limit of 50 reaffirmed.

PS. why do I get the impression that the above contribution was written by hubman?

David Edward the fertile

Anonymous said...


My wife is sort of the same way when it comes to the festivities and rituals of the holiday. She's a crafty sort and each year makes the most adorable little ornaments to give to the teachers at school. They are always different, and she loves taking the time to show others how much we appreciate their efforts on behalf of the kids.

And she does love decorating. We're a one-tree family, so she goes all out, with different sections of the tree reserved for ornaments from a specific year. Walking around the tree is like a stroll down memory lane.

This year, more than any other year, we are taking the whole "PRESENTS" hoopla out of the holiday. I love to give gifts, and I do so throughout the entire year, so Christmastime has become more and more about just being together and enjoy the company.

Sounds like you guys are set for a wonderful celebration. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Reply to Another Suburban Mom

Oh I thought you meant just for Christmas, like my dear old mum, though my wife loathed Christmas, and sent a handful of cards and was really annoyed if some one distant sent a card to which she had to return.

Reply to huwoman

Quote from hubwomas's blog - Rather than respond, I brought his comments to Shelle’s attention, since it’s her blog. Based on my complete dis-satisfaction with how the subsequent chat went, I’ve decided to quit as a contributor to In The Real World: Venus vs. Mars, - Unquote

Wow, that didn't last long did it? and it's “dissatisfaction”

David Edward the really fertile

Anonymous said...

David Edward

Off to lunch - but 'I'll be back'

David Edward the really really really fertile

Another Suburban Mom said...

thecheekofgod: Your wife sounds incredibly crafty. I am incredibly jealous. We have always kept the presents to a minimum. Can't say the same for the grandparents, but I find that you cannot stop the grandparents.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

David. Can you drop it with Hubman please?

I don't know why but none of these comments have come to my phone. I can't delete any personal attacks until I get home.

But for the sake of my sanity.

Stick with discussing and let go of the rest...please??? I'm begging you.

My husband, like David, has a bit of a scrooge like spirit about Christmas. Hates to put up lights, not fond of Christmas cards at all, and wishes that people would stick to the real meaning of Christmas.

I on the other hand, like you Veronica, tend to donate to every sob story or charity that is presented to me (cry every time) and provide a Christmas to a family struggling.

I like the lights and decoration and music.

And if my husband wasn't around to remind me to put a cap on buying gifts...I'd buy every darn gift they wanted. But my guy puts me on a budget and makes me stick to it. I allow this because I like to be able to afford my hair appointment come Jan!

Great post Veronica :)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

On the other hand David as a quick side note I love your response to yesterday's group therapy post and your advice for Jessica and your relevant comments today about going overboard for Christmas the limit of 50 cards for your office made me laugh.

I work with a bunch of guys and so I'm lucky if I see ONE decoration up during ANY holiday!

Cheek of God--your wife sounds amazing. I wish I had that drive or let alone an ounce of creativity! :)

Hubman said...

it is true that I am no longer a contributor, that is someone who authors posts on this blog. However, I may continue to read and comment, especially on a day like today, when my wife is the author, contrary to your insinuation otherwise.

Hubman the proudly infertile

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Seriously both of you quit it.

David if you have anything personally to say to Hubman and Hubman to David then don't say it here take it to Hubmans blog or elsewhere where you guys can battle out your personal attacks on a post relevant to attacking each other.


Next step is comment moderation and a dunce cap where you will have to stick your nose in a corner!

Other than that feel free to comment as long as there is no name calling or direct personal attacks.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Or indirect for that matter!

Anonymous said...

ASM, I too help out with charitable organizations as I can. This year, I have volunteered several times to ring the bells and have also been helping pass out food at the local Community Harvest food bank. My kids have come along to help, which makes it that much more enjoyable. They get to people-watch, see others give as they choose, and learn a bit about how charities work to make things a bit more tolerable for those on the downside of advantage.

Unknown said...

I think the banter between David, the really really really fertile one and Hubman is quite funny because it is a debate from differing points of view- minus the name calling. I can see how Hubman gets irritated when his ideas are challenged,(no offense but that is how it leaps out from the pages) - albeit some of the challenges and points made by the other debater was completely ludicrous (response to the man pill). So far, I enjoy reading the banter and have visited the site frequently because of it. So I say, let them banter so long as there is no name calling or threats. It is a nice break from all the half naked photos that are sometimes should just not be posted.

Anonymous said...

Dang I'm glad I'm a scroge. ASM that seems like frickin a lot of work to me!

Sheeesh. I couldn't do any of that I don't imagine.

Anonymous said...

David Edward


This is so unfaiiiiir!!!!

HE started it.

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Quote -
"So far, I enjoy reading the banter and have visited the site frequently because of it. So I say, let them banter so long as there is no name calling or threats
- Unquote

Shelle's growing indignation and irritation is quite entertaining too.

But enough is enough and I will retire from this thread.

Sorry Shelle
Sorry hubman
Sorry everybody

David Edward the umm - never mind.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

David I thought it was pretty funny were talking about the dunce cap comment right?

I say Amen to WV...I've been saying that all along.

As far as irritated and indignant? Nah...not to bad, just more roll of the eyes and shake of the head.

But a right good sport of you to say sorry :)

Later David

OneZenMom said...

Great post, Veronica. You're sweet and thoughtful nature shines through. It's been a rough couple of weeks around Casa Zen and I've had a hard time staying in the "holiday spirit", but your cheery post has helped put me in a more chipper mood. Thanks. ;)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't necessarily term it "overboard", but I do enjoy the decorations & lights. There are some decorations that we collect from Germany, and I like to "add" one each year.

I probably go a bit overboard on the advent calendars, mainly so that there is no fighting over the treats.

Holiday music (various types), probably overboard, but we enjoy it.

I like to do the St. Nikolaus day tradition (thanks to my Swiss heritage) where the family puts their shoes out on 12/6 for a treat or toy, or other surprise.

Treats, baking and chocolate - maybe a little overboard. Sugar-free January always seems to be a good idea after the fact.

We try not to go overboard on gifts, but I do like to take care in the selection & presentation of them.

We like to pick a family and do the 12 days of Christmas from a Secret Santa. The kids probably go overboard in planning how to remain incognito.

Mostly, I enjoy the time spent with family, friends and neighbors, and the reason for the season (for me).

Anonymous said...

A friend once shared the following quote w/ me which sums up what I try to keep in mind during the holidays.

"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. ... Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. ... Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. ... Speak your love and then speak it again."

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

Great post I need my hubby to be more like hubman. He is just as bad as me and we buy waaaay too much for the kids and others. We are both such big givers and we both just get all caught up in the hoilday and give and give and give!

But on the other hand we also give to alot of others and cheritys too.

Missty said...

Wow, out shopping and busy the last few days, and I stop over to a TON of reading. lol

But I am with you - I LOVE to shop, decorate, bake, cook and whatever I can think of during the holidays! Matt is great with me doing what I need to do. ;o) lol

I take care of it all. He takes care of me. It works for us.

We also try and pick a family or two to help out each year.

And for D.E. many of us know the real reason for Christmas. We just decide to add some extra fun along with it.

Just Jules said...

I used to be bad. But the longer we went the more I started to dislike the season. In fact I started to despise the season. This is the season I chose to get married - that is how much I loved it. As we had children and the stress added up I decided it was time to change. This has been the most stress free season yet and it is because we cut all gifts to adults. (except our parents) We went from buying 35 gifts (outside of our kids) to buying 4 gifts. It was actually fun to go look for gifts last night.

I also have 4 or 6 totes of Christmas stuff that I didn't put up. I do not feel that it made our house any less festive - rather, it made me less stressed.
Me less stressed is a good thing.

What I did go overboard on is NOT shopping. I have put it off so long now that it IS becoming last minute.