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I love it after all the guests have gone on Christmas Eve, after all the dishes have been done and the wrapping thrown out, after we've stuffed the stockings for Christmas morning. We turn out all the lights except the ones on the tree and we settle in and watch "The Christmas Story" in its loop on TBS.

Is that warm and fuzzy enough for you, Mr. Shelby?

I just got my favorite thing about Christmas: a bonus check.

What? It made ME feel all warm and fuzzy.

Karen - warm and fuzzy enough. Well done.

David - see? It's all about the getting, not the giving.

Dammit, I tried to post a comment earlier and it apparently didn's post. I agree that most holiday stress is self-perpetuating and my favorite place at Christmas is the shrine to holiday stress: the mall. I love malls during the rest of the year, but I REALLY love them at Christmas. This year it was even better because I got to take my dog with me to see Santa.

Shut up.

Bryon - your comment probably didn't post because I have the spam filter set really high and I believe it blocks comments from anyone who takes their dog to the mall to see Santa.

My sisters and brothers and I laugh like loons whenever we get together, and keep a succession of goofy movies in the DVD player -- "Spinal Tap," "So I Married an Axe Murderer," and of course "A Christmas Story." This year I think we're adding "Superbad," but only after the little ones have gone to bed.

I love Christmas. For Jews, it's sort of a guilty pleasure like ham, which I love too. If I were to name one favorite thing about it, it would be my daughter's face when she sees all the presents from Santa. I know we won't have too much longer with her believing in him (when she was three, she said, "How come Santa has the same wrapping paper we do?") so I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can for the time being.

Ah, Alison, you have to have a secret stash of wrapping paper that the child never knows about. Our Santa always has different paper, thus perpetuating the myth even longer.

Yes, Karen! We learned from our mistakes and now have the secret stash of Santa Wrapping paper. Last year, though, she said, "If Santa's at the mall, then how come his sleigh isn't in the parking lot?" (She came to her own conclusion he sends "imposters" to certain appearances he doesn't want to go to. But still...)

I love Christmas because that's the night I met Mr. LGA. Best. Present. Ever.

And yes, sweetheart, if you're reading this and going...awww...I DO expect bling under the tree from you this year - diamonds would be nice - because I know the size of your...bonus check.

Jeff: it's disturbing how much we're alike in this: I too love the silly little stocking stuff. I too, like to take the family on drives to find the tackiest Christmas displays (the perennial local winner: Bob's Pizza on US #1, which has a light display that can be seen from space). I too an am inept wrapper, and as for getting presents...oh, yeah.

What do you think this means?

Alison, Karen: Santa presents are never wrapped. They're left next to or under the tree. Duh.

Dusty - I think this means that at some pt in our lives, we need to spend the holidays together.

And I'm totally with you - Santa does NOT wrap presents. No brainer right there.

I find this wrapped/unwrapped Santa presents issue interesting. We should take a poll. Growing up, we ALWAYS found our Santa presents wrapped in plain red tissue paper in and next to our stockings on the hearth.

So who gets wrapped Santa presents and whose are unwrapped?

I always got wrapped Santa presents! (Of course, like I said, I'm a Jew so what the hell do I know?)

No wrapping.

The best part of Christmas morning is walking out into the living room and seeing something brand new immediately, like Santa just yanked it out of his bag and set it there for you.

Favorite things? Home made gifts. Nothing better then getting something someone made for you. Or making something for someone you care about.
We wrap now, but growing up we woke up to all the presents set up under the tree ready to play with. We were very poor so I think it was an economical decision on my parents part. I think that was better waking up to see the stuff under the lights of the tree, but the dh likes wrapping...

Shortbread Cookies.

I also have wrap just from Santa. And remember to sign the tag with your non-writing hand. (Bonkers I know) I only know one person who didn't get wrapped presents. She thinks us wrappers are crazy.


My wife and I have this family schism, too!

I believe everything should be wrapped. She says no.

I think it comes from our backgrounds. My mother dusted the cans in the pantry. Her mother hired a maid.

I've come to really enjoy the leadup to Christmas. Granted, our Christmases have moved to an aunt's house in recent years, so there's less prep, but I find the anticipation as valuable if not more than the actual day. I can't enjoy the day, after all, if I haven't gotten in the mood beforehand.

Santa gifts...unwrapped.

Lori - so this means Mr. LGA was "unwrapped" when you "received" him?

Just checking...

My Santa gifts were wrapped, but I always wondered why his handwriting was just like my dad's, and why Santa wanted a beer instead of milk.

I like getting presents, but I really like buying things for everyone and watching them open the gifts I bought for them.

For the record, I'm a horrible gift wrapper too. My presents end up with a lot of tape on them.

Funny. Ha ha.
Jim Born

Karen, that's so weird. My Santa presents were wrapped in plain red tissue, too. Sometimes they had a Christmas seal on the know...the ones you got in the mail for free. Maybe Santa just ran out of tissue before he got to Jeff's house.

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