Holiday nerd

I am so conflicted about Christmastime.

On the one hand, it’s a heyday of clinking cocktail glasses and plates of delicious nibbly things shared with friends and family.  These, I support wholeheartedly.

On the other hand, there’s the terrible music.  And the mile-long shopping lists.  And the annual paradox of how to manage multiple family units in multiple time zones requiring multiple (ridiculously expensive, because we never have our shit together enough to book in advance) plane tickets and just…[insert head explosion here].  Christmas in Cancun, anyone?

But if there’s one thing I can always get behind, it’s holiday smells.

Which is why I am totally geeked out over these:

Why, yes, I would like my hands to smell like a peppermint patty and/or freshly plucked pine needles every time I wash them.  And the dishes?

A kitchen sink full of clementines makes me a happy girl indeed.

Holiday nerd, I tell you.

Aside from getting overly excited about snazzy-smelling soaps, there’s the matter of the tree.  I almost didn’t share this because it is really that nerdy, but here it is.

Somewhere in this apartment is a box of ornaments. But I cannot for the life of me find it.  So I adorned the tree with the race bibs that have been piling up in a drawer.  Totally dorky, but kind of entertaining – and seeing them makes me smile.  2010 was a fun year for racing.

So…yeah.  You won’t catch me listening to Christmas tunes, but I celebrate the season in my own way.

Off to wash my hands superfluously and get another hit of that hollyberry….

Today’s EAT: Remember when I yammered on about sharing cooking failures as well as successes?  I’m keeping my word.  My oven produced a pan of sad soggy tofu tonight.

It seemed like a good idea in theory: tofu marinated in leftover cranberry sauce, loosened up with a little vinegar and honey.  But…the marinade was too thick?  Or maybe I didn’t press enough water out of the tofu?  They never crisped up and were just sort of blah.

A snappy side dish saved the meal though:

I cubed up and sauteed this teeny delicata squash in apple cider.  Super simple and surprisingly delicious.  (Recipe here – via Epicurious)

Dinner of cubes:

The tofu was alright when smothered in goat cheese and candied pecans.  Lesson learned: don’t get all fancypants and improvisational with the tofu marinade.  I’m still a novice with the stuff!

Today’s DRINK: I polished off last night’s yummy Petite Syrah.  Look for cocktail night tomorrow – Friday night, time to get wild!

Today’s RUN: I set out to do 4 today.  I ended up doing 7.  Oops.  I was running with some local running buddies and yapping away and it just happened.  Oh well – my Achilles doesn’t seem to be any worse for the wear. Taking tomorrow off so I don’t blow through my self-imposed mileage limit for the week.

Today’s QUESTIONDo you travel for the holidays – and if you’re married/engaged/dating, how do you deal with multiple families? And more importantly, does anyone want to go to Cancun for Christmas?  We just need an airline that will fly us there for free and an unoccupied villa on the beach.  Margaritas are on me. 🙂

33 responses to “Holiday nerd

  1. Now that’s a Christmas tree with character — nerdy character, sure, but endearingly so. Although at first glance I got nervous and wondered whether a string of Christmas lights has the power to set a racing bib on fire… but that’s ridiculous.

    Glad to hear the crankalankle is cooperating after an impromptu seven. The running buddies sound like a great crowd!

  2. lifeisbeachykeen

    I love the tree. I think it’s cute. I’m w/ sweatykid though, the lights can’t set it on fire, right?

    The holidays are always kind of a pain when trying to figure out which family get’s graced w/ our presence the most. Our families live in FL, but they are 1.5 & 2 hrs away.. So, they don’t both get seen on the same day anymore. We have no idea what’s going on this Christmas ,but Christmas in Cancun sounds delightful.

  3. My holidays are super easy since I’m single and known as being the Grinch. It’s my least favorite holiday so I just pop over to my moms and then my dad’s to eat all of their food, drink their booze, and grab my gifts. I then head out to the REAL parties that my friends are throwing.

    Your tree is cute!

  4. Q: So what wouldn’t taste better smothered in goat cheese and pecans?
    A: Pickles. Probs. But I’m hard-pressed to think of anything else. Tuna?

    We do not travel for the holidays. We travel to the Paramus multiplex, and then to the Chinese restaurant in Teaneck. That is our family’s idea of a wicked crazy Christmas. I actually just listened to the most recent [Dan] Savage Lovecast, and he said he refuses to fly for holidays, seeing as he flies so often for work. I was like, “Asshole!” but I see the reasoning.

    • I used to travel a ton for work (on a plane every.single.week and I made the same threat during the holidays! I was never able to follow through on it though.

      Do you guys have a movie picked out yet? 🙂

  5. Your tree made me smile – I love it and I am a full-fledged holiday nerd.

    I travel home to Buffalo for the holidays – considering there is a blizzard-like situation going on there now, it should be interesting. My parents are divorced, so juggling both side of our families and no one killing each other is tough enough (i.e., no S.O. for me right now!)

  6. aaaaaaahahaha. now that is a fantastic idea! I like Christmas but I hate decorating. I have to drink while trimming the tree. I have no choice in this.

    I have the whole week between Xmas and New Years off for the FIRST time in my adult life. Too bad family’s going to be here. 😉

  7. I love your tree! Good thing to find first thing in the AM. I’ll be driving from Boston to Upstate NY all along I-90 for the holidays which can be very interesting, weather dependent. Once there- mom is one of 5, dad and stepdad are both one of 6, and almost everyone lives in the Rochester area. Holidays are all about some sort of family party everyday for a week. I love it though!

  8. that tree is truly nerd-tastic. and your cubed dinner looks yummm. as usual, i want to eat everything you eat. sigh.

    i’ll be skiing at my favorite ski resort (mad river glen whattuuuupppp) in vermont with my dad. yeah, we go on a father-daughter getaway that used to involve the rest of the bunch (mom and big bro) but they kind of gave up on the ski vacation thing, so my dad and i spend christmas skiing and eating vermont chinese food, as all good jews do on christmas. good times.

  9. that IS a nerdy tree, but i like it! 🙂 guess i’m a nerd too.

  10. Love the tree! I find it perfectly acceptable. Really, what does one do with all those bib numbers besides pile them in a drawer? Yet they’re like a badge of honor that you can’t discard.

    I’m still a novice at the tofu thing too. It’s either breaded with panko and coconut then baked, or carefully camouflaged in a stir-fry for the hubs. Thank you for blazing the trail to delectable new tofu recipes.

  11. I have a sinking feeling that most runners who celebrate xmas will start mimicking your tree idea

  12. I love the tree. Such a great way to decorate it and it’s totally fitting for you! Now if you could just fine your ornament from our exchange last year… 😉

    As for the holidays, it’s very hard for me this year. In the past, the husband was always in Chicago for his family Christmas and I stayed back to be with my family. Last year he stayed home with me so this year he expects me to travel to Chicago. I am going, but it’s very hard for me to deal with for multiple reasons. One being the fact I have never spent a holiday away from my family and another that I am my dad’s only family! (other than my step mom & her family). So I have decided that we will drive out on the 23rd and drive home on Christmas day. I can spend Christmas night with my mom & step dad and then have my step mom and dad over the day after christmas to celebrate. I am hoping this works out for every one.
    Trust me, I have shed many tears over the fact that I am leaving MI for christmas this year.

    • I miss my PR ornament! And I’m still waiting for my PR! Haha. I’m guessing the ornament box will turn up eventually – I saw it when we were unpacking, I just have no clue where I stashed it.

      Hang in there with the Christmas travels. One of the joys of being married = holiday compromises, huh? Kind of sucks sometimes. 😦

  13. I love that tree! Did your husband like it or totally laugh at you? Mine would make fun of me to no end about it, but secretly be amused.

    We have always had to do some sort of holiday division since I am from The Garden State, while Chris is from Los Angeles. For Chrismas #1, Chris was in India, so naturally I went home to my family. Since then, we have alternated Christmas and Thanksgiving. (If I get Thanksgiving this year, then I get Christmas next year type of thing.)

    That has worked out pretty well until this year when we are skipping Christmas altogether. Chris was supposed to get Thanksgiving, this year, but he traded it away for one extra trip to LA during the summer. (Then conveniently forgot about it…ahem. ::evil eye::) But yeah, it mostly works out and I did get to go home for Thanksgiving as planned.

    • Well, he REFUSED to participate in decorating it, so he pretty much gave up the right to make fun of it, right? He kind of rolled his eyes but then I pointed out that HIS race bib from his first and only race a couple of weeks ago was on there too, and I think he was secretly pleased 🙂

  14. I’m a holiday nerd too, no worries. Every night I have holiday scented candles lit, it’s fantastic. The bf is Jewish, so luckily on Christmas we are with my family, makes it easier.

  15. My husband and I are extremely lucky, we live about 3 miles from my parents and a 1/4 from his . On one hand it makes it easier and on the other it makes it kind stressful trying to divide up equal amount of time at both places. Oh well that’s our holiday and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂 ! And I love your tree, fantastic idea.

  16. I so need to get my hands on that peppermint vanilla hand soap 🙂

    I celebrate Hanukkah, so it’s not really a big travel holiday. I’ll get together with the family one day during the 8 to exchange gifts and have latkes, but that’s pretty much it. And occasionally I’ll trek to the parentals on XMas to partake in the annual Jewish tradition of Chinese food. That is, if I’m not too hungover from too much inbibing at the Matzo Ball on Xmas eve, in which case I prefer staying on the couch and ordering Chinese takeout 🙂

  17. Normally my partner and I split for the holidays and return for NYE (or not) but that’s when we were in school together and saw each other non-stop the rest of the year. Now we’re working two jobs each and have tons of other responsibilities that keep us from spending time together that does not involve doing dishes, doing laundry, or scooping cat poop. So the time between Christmas and New Year’s is a major opportunity to actually see each other. As a result, this is the first year we are beginning to alternate families starting with hers in Michigan. Of course this also means I’m flying from LA to NYC for about 36 hours to see my folks next weekend as a surprise for my mom’s 70th birthday. Apparently, we don’t handle multiple families well 🙂

    LOVE the tree idea!

  18. The tree is cute!

    I have had more blah tofu then good tofu when I make it at home. I think I need one of those fancy presses, but the frequency at which I eat tofu doesn’t quite warrant the necessity of tofu specific device. Plus, I am negative on cupboard space the way it is.

    I am with you on giving up on the holidays and heading for the tropics. I am such a grinch this year. The shopping alone makes me crabby. And we have been shut out 2 xmas’s in a row in making it to my in-laws because of the weather. Pretty sure I have been written out of the will.

  19. Lucky or unlucky – we live 10 minutes from H’s parents and about an hour from mine. This means that for all holidays we are expected to be at both places. Usually we do Christmas Eve at one and Christmas Day at the other, but with H’s family we usually end up doing Christmas with both MILs and FILs family. So, every year we have to work out an elaborate scheme that makes severyone somewhat satisfied. It’s important to see everyone, but it would really be nice just to stay put for once!

    We don’t have our tree up yet, but pretty sure one of my coolest ornaments is the red shoe you sent me last year in the H&F exchange. Maybe I owe you some Christmas ornaments if you can’t find your ours in a few weeks? But, I do like the race bibs. Besides, they’re coated in something or other so I doubt they’ll start on fire 😉

  20. I LOVE your tree!!! What a fantastic idea!

  21. Ahhh… the tree is awesome!

    And I like the smells, too (that sounds weird). I geek out over the candles.

  22. best. christmas. tree. ever.

    I’m pretty sad that I didn’t think of that idea, actually.

  23. Yay, love the bib numbers as ornaments! You could also be-deck the top of the tree with a marathon medal if you so desire 😉

    I love all things peppermint and christmas-y. Starbucks peppermint mochas basically own my soul.

  24. Pingback: Shorter is better | eat, drink, run

  25. I love the bib tree!

    We split the holidays. Christmas Eve is the in-laws. Christmas Day is my side.

  26. U inspired me! At 51 have just started running (period)marathons, and this year at 62 and a cancer survivor, my husband ran his first! After this post, we now have a “race tree”! Thanks for the ew tradition!

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