SEB’s Christmas template is now up.

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas around here because I felt like it. Slightly different from last year, but same basic color scheme. Was going to try and get a pic of me in my new Santa hat, but haven’t found a good background for it yet. If I get around to it soon I may set it up as a rotating image similar to what I did with the Halloween pics.

We’re slowly decorating the house as well. The tree is up and we’ve got a string of LED lights (a 33% energy savings over standard lights!) across the fireplace mantel. I need to get the outside lights strung up and the animated deer set up as well. Oh, and I finally broke down and bought myself a USB powered Christmas Tree that blinks between several different colors. It was $3.99 at the local Micro Center so I figured what the hell.

How about you guys? You got your Christmas decorations up yet? Are you an early starter like me or do you wait till the last minute?

21 thoughts on “SEB’s Christmas template is now up.

  1. I would say I’m about halfway done.  Two trees are up and decorated.  Not sure I really want to go all Clark Griswald this year and climb on my roof.

    You?  Do you decorate outside.

  2. Tree is up and one window of the apartment that is actually front facing is decorated (even if the darn lights keep falling).  My girlfriend got in the Christmas kick so we purchased (first year out of college) everything we needed and got it all setup this weekend.

    Post-Thanksgiving decorating doesn’t necessarily seem early to me, but I do have a major problem with radio stations that start playing Christmas music a day or two after Halloween. That always ticks me off.

  3. I exchange gifts, but I resist the urge to put up decorations unless there are specific small children around to impress. I’d do without the gifts too, except people get offended if you don’t give them.

  4. Twelve, count em, twelve days of Christmas.  Don’t succumb to the Christmas marketing machine.
    tongue rolleye

  5. I typically don’t decorate my current pad. Maybe sometime in the future. I’m totally with MM on this one: I’d dodge gift-giving if people didn’t expect it.

    It’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of good gifts worth giving, I just don’t think the holidays should be your reason for giving them. I’ll be buying HouseMD, seasons 1 through 3 and Incubus’ discography as gifts for some friends south of the 49th in May. I haven’t decided what to get family members although it isn’t likely to be as much.

  6. Dilemma. Rule in our house is NO decoration before 1 December (Though the wife would start in October if I let her). Can I still visit SEB for the next 30 hours?

    Christmas Decos are a matter of compromise worked out over the last 13 years, including amending treaties in 1996 and 1998 for the birth of children.

    Current pent-lateral agreement governs tackiness of tree ornaments, which room’s tree said tack goes on, whose turn to put Jesus in the crib, who turns on the lights, who puts which star/angel on which tree, shape garlands are strung in, which garlands on which ceiling.  Seperate protocols govern the dining table.

  7. It strikes me odd that an atheist blog reacts to christmas
    I don’t see the point in decorating either (at least when it’s only for you), because that has no relevance to what the days supposed to represent.

    That said children like christmas, but only for presents – maybe it would be better to teach them that life goes on and not to expect any more than usual, and not to get excited about a load of lies on an arbitary day

  8. I should add that I find it odd that people react more to christmas than they would to hannukah, ramadan, dilali, etc – you don’t prepare for every religous holiday, so why give prefrence to the christian ones?

    And these are from just the organised religions that only rose to prominence in the first place on the back of blood, and that’s supposed to make them more worthy of celebrating?

  9. We got the tree up at my pad, and since I am in an apartment right now that is all there is going to be.

    I like what one of my friends is doing. His entire family is going to take the money they would spend on gifts and instead spend it on their favorite charity. That to me is a much better way to spend money, especially if you don’t have any kids.

  10. Charity can be good, but for food ones my old maths teacher said something interesting;
    – That unless you provide enough food regularly to remove threat of starvation then you’re just prolonging their pain – if they just do parachute drops of sparse amounts of food that they all fight over, some of them are going to die of starvation anyway even if they do eat a little, but it’d be days, maybe weeks more of hunger pangs

    Are we just trying to satisfy our own concience by giving material goods like money- helping others just to feel better about ourselves? A possibly good thing done for a selfish reason? How much do you give? Where do you draw the line? Should the working class always be the ones to make feel compelled to give? Why only give at christmas?

    Maybe volenteer work would be more genuine, that actually uses skills and a genuine comitment, and maybe help someone psychologically, where it really counts

    By the way, I like it when people enjoy themselves, but here’s an oppertunity to get people to think about it deeply, and think why they do it

  11. Kevin, I try to decorate outside, but I don’t own a home of my own as of yet so my outdoor decor is somewhat limited. Here at the in-laws I have a few strings of lights that we get on the eavesdrops, around a couple of shrubs, and a little lighted deer sculpture.

    Benoir, you know it.

    LH, Christmas sounds particularly complicated in your home.

    Bahamat, you’re not the first person to find it odd that an atheist celebrates Christmas, but a lot of us do anyway. In my case I tend to focus on the secular aspects of the holiday over the religious ones and I find the ideal of Santa Claus one worth emulating. There’s also a certain nostalgia aspect to it for me as well. As a kid my family was never particularly religious so the whole supposed bith-of-Jesus part took more of a backseat to the Santa’s bringing toys as long as you behave part. Some of my fondest memories from my youth involve Christmas and it was the one time of the year when it seemed like wishes really could come true.

  12. In some ways I wonder if by depriving children of childhood things like fun+excitement, maybe they will be adult sooner – I talk to children as if adults and am sometimes impressed by how rational they can be.

    A good thing though? No fun perhaps, I do not remember my childhood, but without fun what is life? Giving children full explanations to things (one step at a time, as much as they are curious) I feel is important to avoid letting them become brainwashed or held back with the parent’s illogical conditioning +prejudices. When I see a child ask something like ‘how does that work’ and the parent cops-out of the question with something like ‘you’re too young to understand’ it makes me sad, because it’s completely unnecessary. Lies about santa I also don’t like to see, because it is deception that they could become emotionally dependant on, and hence it might hurt when they find out santa isn’t real.

    Children will though feel peer pressure if they see all their friends celebrating christmas, I am not sure whether I’d get them presents, or use it as an oppertunity try to teach them to resist peer pressure and explain that it’s just another day. I would not stop them playing though, as that is their choice.

  13. LH, Christmas sounds particularly complicated in your home.


    My wife notes down who did what previous years, so we know whose turn it is. It’s not that complicated- my wife and I both know when to stand our ground, and when to give in (at least on the Christmas decorations)
    “I don’t care how old he was when he made it, it’s not going on the tree”
    “Well I want those beads in the dining room”

    My wife loves to entertain, so Christmas dinner can get crowded.  I am left in charge of the wine cellar.

    This year will possibly be an upsetting one, as my mother in law has dementia, and isn’t really ‘there’ much of the time. At times its like having a 1 year old. 

    Dinner will probably be 8 people.  We will have the normal entertainment of watching my dad wind up my father in law. FiL tends to have the politics of a cab driver, and thinks Maggie was a great PM.

    I will be enjoying some rather nice Fitou, which I believe we still have left over from the wedding.

  14. Yeah, but Bahamat, man, you aren’t indoctrinating anyone to the cult of fun that hasn’t already been brainwashed. We are all one giant Zombie mass and damn if it isn’t a blast when we get together to worship.

    Religiously speaking, I’ve no regard for Christmas. I’ve been asked many times, however, why I celebrate, as an atheist, as have those around me. I blame it on the political environment in Calgary. I’ve lived in many places, but never once did has this become an issue; it was never difficult to understand elsewhere.

    As far as the lessons you want to teach – teach them that this day is as good as any, and if they see something you might like as a gift, to go ahead and try to get it. It’s silly to elect a day to be a good person and be an ass the rest of the year.

  15. Is Fitou some kind of cake?

    Patness – It’s difficult to predict what conditions of upbringing will result in what mindstate – I suppose it kind of equals out eventually when they try it out on the world, but meantime I suppose also children sometimes try to be the exact opposite. Christmas has become an occasion where people expect things from each other, higher expectations meen less satisfaction with what they do get, and it’s almost a commercial gimick to me. I have nothing against fun itself, as it’s a feeling that need not involve harm, but I wonder if people should be kept in mindstate ‘hell’ sometimes for their own benefit.

    i.e. mental torture victims can be quite resiliant and able to face any challenge if they survive and have time to figure things out afterwards. Good things can come out of bad deeds, so it’s possible to harm somebody with the good intention of making them resilient or make them understand pain. I do think though that the torturer needs to feel what they do to understand it themselves.

  16. Bah! Humbug! You have little enough to celebrate, Cratchett…I digress. Celebrating the Winter Solstice seems reason enough for me. It means the earth, or at least the temperate zones, will be born again and it won’t even prosilatize us. Another reason to celebrate.

  17. Is Fitou some kind of cake?

    Barbarian.  It’s a red from the south of France.  Just noticed the ‘white’ end of the cellar is lookung a bit sparse- we’re down to about 4 bottles, excluding the Fizz.

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