Let’s get cranky, shall we?

Debby, you’re going to love this post, because I’m letting loose Cranky Jill. (Debby loves Cranky Jill and I’m not sure what that says about Debby, but consider this my cranky gift to all of you.)

Let’s just go ahead and get our crankiness out of the way early in the season, whaddya say? Let’s talk about CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!

More specifically, what is your least favorite Christmas song? This is the time to rail against those songs that come out only at Christmastime to annoy and bug us for 25+ days straight! Because I’m a giver, I am providing a safe place for you to get it out of your system – tell me which songs make you absolutely insane when you hear them.

I’ll start. And no, I’m not even going to link to these songs…that’s how much I dislike them. If you want to hear them, I’m sure Youtube would be happy to oblige.

Ready? Let the snark begin!

#1) The Christmas Shoes

Oh. This song. You know, hate is such a strong word and I try to not hate anyone or anything, but this song…this song brings up feelings in me that I’d rather not face. What really pisses me off about this song is that it was written SOLELY to elicit tears from the listener. I don’t like being manipulated to cry…I can do that easily enough on my own, thankyouverymuch, so when I hear songs like this that are exceptionally sappy…I just get angry instead. This song just WANTS me to have an ugly cry and I just won’t have it. I’M NOT HAVING IT, CHRISTMAS SHOES, OKAY?!?!

#2) Santa Baby – Madonna

Now, I have a caveat with this song. I LOVE the Eartha Kitt version of this song. I love how sultry she sounds and I can just picture her Sugar Santa giving her everything on her list. However, the baby-voiced Madonna version just sounds bratty and spoiled and it makes me feel murdery and just generally annoyed. GO AWAY MADONNA with your stupid baby voice. It bugs.

#3) Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Oh jeez. I just can’t with this song. I’ve never ever thought this song was funny – I mean who jokes about their grandma dying by sleigh accident??? It’s cruel and stupid and I DON’T LIKE IT.

#4) Anything by Mariah Carey

Ugh. Please stop, Mariah. You’re ruining Christmas for me.

#5) Wonderful Christmastime

Really, Paul McCartney? This is the best you could do? You have one of the most successful musical careers in history and this shite is the best you could come up with? I mean, it’s like you didn’t even try, Paul! I’m so disappointed in you. Now go sit in the corner and think on your sins and never EVER let me hear this song again.

#6) Happy Christmas (War is Over)

I mean it’s like John (like his bandmate Paul) just gave up. I’ll admit I kinda like the beginning of this song, but when Yoko starts singing…that just kills it for me. Sorry Yoko, but I DO NOT LIKE YOU. And then at the end where all you hear is that screechy “Waaaar iiiis oooooverrrrr”…that’s when I go looking for the ice pick to shove in my ear (that’s graphic, I know. Sorry.)

 

Ugh, okay that’s all I can do for today. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about all these abominations to my ears.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me in the comments which Christmas songs you dislike hearing the most. It’s actually been a little cathartic to get this off my chest – hopefully, you’ll feel the same.

Aaaaand go!!

 

How not to feel like a crazy person for the next 26 days.

It’s here y’all. The Holiday Season. We are IN IT. This year I want for all of us to have a smooth-sailing season, so I’ve been thinking of some ways that we could make this a stress free-ish holiday. And if you have any tips of your own please feel free to share them in the comments below.

  • Identify something that tends to make you crazy during this time of year and rework it. What is the one thing that stresses you out the most? For me, it’s not the big gifts that cause me grief, it’s all the dozens of little gifts that have to be bought before The Big Day. These are the gifts that I typically buy last because it’s so easy to forget that you need a Secret Santa gift for your kid’s school Christmas party. It’s stocking stuffers and gifts for teachers and a little something for the mail carrier and all the little gifts that tend to pop up at various times. This year, I decided to buy these gifts FIRST. It’s not even December 1, but I have approximately 75% of these little gifties already purchased and I hope to get the rest of them soon. I already feel better knowing I have these things stashed away for when I need them. Big load off my mind!
  • Identify a tradition that you would really like to give up. Do you hate going to the office Christmas party? Then don’t go. Beg off and go do something enjoyable instead. Do you hate the disaster that is exchanging gifts with your Aunt/Uncle/Cousins/InLaws? Then suggest that you all go out to dinner instead and just skip the gifts. Do you really have to exchange gifts that none of you really wanted in the first place and really can’t afford? No, actually you don’t! If the tradition is no longer working for you, then scrap it and make a new tradition to take its place.
  • Get the fun stuff in early. Go see the Christmas lights the first weekend in December. Go ice skating as soon as the rink opens up. Bake a Christmas treat on a random Tuesday night as a treat. Don’t wait to do the fun things the week before Christmas – do them now! Let that fun spirit carry you through the whole month.
  • Improve the moment. Do you love mailing out Christmas cards, but hate the time it takes to address them? Make it an experience: have some cocoa or tea (or wine), put on some music or a movie in the background and snuggle up on the couch with a writing tray and big blanket and spend an hour addressing cards. Or invite your girlfriends over to have a Card Addressing Party – you’ll get in some good gabbing time and your cards will be done before you know it. I sometimes hate wrapping gifts, but one of my most treasured Christmas memories was when I was 7 months pregnant with my first baby and I couldn’t sleep, so I got up in the middle of the night, turned on the Christmas tree lights and wrapped presents at 2:00 in the morning. Sitting in the soft glow of the tree lights, with a Christmas movie playing low on the TV, I wrapped for about 2 hours, just by myself. It was such a sweet, peaceful time that I’ll never forget. Even if it’s a chore you don’t particularly like, there are always ways you can make it more enjoyable.

The thought that I really want to embrace this holiday season is that it’s okay to do things differently. If something isn’t working, why continue it? We can make things hectic and crazy for ourselves, or we can focus on the things that really make us happy and peaceful. I don’t want to spend the next 4 weeks being crabby and stressed out and repeatedly saying “I’ll be glad when it’s over”…no, I want to be happy to be celebrating all month long. We can refuse to buy into the thought that Christmas always has to be stressful and ridiculous. We can instead choose to have a joyous holiday and enjoy being with family and friends.

Have you given up a holiday tradition for a better one? What do you do to keep yourself sane during this time of year? Share in the comments below please!

 

 

Giveaway!! I got your holiday cards covered.

Hey gang! Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is officially The Christmas Season and one of the first things I usually do is figure out my card situation. As in, am I going to send cards this year or not?? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, it just depends on my time and financial status.

But this year, getting my cards ready to go will be a breeze. I was contacted by Cards Direct a couple of months ago to review some of their holiday cards – I was sent a sample pack of cards to preview and I have to say, they are so pretty! If you go to their website, you can see they have many different styles to choose from. They have some really beautiful cards…I warn you, it will be hard to choose just one style.

You can customize each card and you can even get a sample card sent to you so you can see how it will look.Or there is also a sample pack of cards that can be sent to you as well (like the sample pack I was sent).

In addition to regular cards, Cards Direct also offers photo cards, so you can really personalize your holiday wishes. And all of the cards are affordable – there is a price to fit anyone’s budget.

And because Cards Direct is a super nice company, they have offered to give Sassypear readers 15% off using code SassyPear16. This code expires 12/31/16 – plenty of time to get your cards ordered and delivered, but if you’re anything like me, sometimes my cards get sent after Christmas…hey, it happens.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Cards Direct has also offered to give one reader 25 CARDS FOR FREE. Yay!  To enter, leave a comment below telling me what you look forward to most during the holidays. I will use random.org to choose a winner from the comments on this blog post.  Giveaway will end on 12/4/16 at midnight and winner will be announced Monday morning, 12/5/16. I will email the winner to let them know how they can get their cards.

Good luck!

A couple of new faves to share

Hey guys! I got some cool new spectacles and I love them. The best part? I paid $14 for them! FOURTEEN UNITED STATES DOLLARS. FOR GLASSES. I ordered them from Zenni (no, this isn’t a sponsored post, but hey Zenni…hit me up!) and although I can tell the frames are not the highest quality plastic that money can buy, I still like them a whole heckuva lot. And I can see out of them really well – which is why I wanted new glasses in the first place: my old ones were bifocals and they bugged the crud out of me. I think I jumped on the bifocal bandwagon too soon – something my new eye doctor pointed out to me when I went in a couple of months ago. I’m sure bifocals will be in my future at some point but NOT TODAY.

Please also note my pretty, pretty lipstick. Lipsense is my new favorite thing and this color, Napa, is one of my faves, but I always hesitate to wear it because I sometimes feel like it’s too bright, but I kinda like how it looks in this pic, so maybe I’ll wear it more often. (You’re welcome for that run-on sentence, btw.)

Those are two of my favorite things right now…what are your favorite things lately? Share below because I’m going to start Christmas shopping soon and I need some ideas.🙂

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Would you still do it?

I just finished reading James Fell’s post The Exercise Myth and as I read it, I kept nodding my head in agreement. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with exercise my whole life – I love it when I do it, but I hate feeling like I have to MAKE myself do it. To paraphrase Fell’s post, he basically says that functional exercise is better for the majority of people than regimented formal exercise like running or lifting weights. Things like walking to a coworker’s office instead of sending an email, playing with your dog outside, or walking to the store instead of driving, are all ways that most people can increase and stick with daily movement. He writes that only a small percentage of people truly love exercise and that most of us just do it as a means to weight loss and we hate it while we’re doing it. But actually, the theme of the post is that exercise does not lead to weight loss and we don’t have to kill ourselves with workouts we hate. And this got me wondering…

If you knew that exercise had zero effect on weight loss, would you still do it?

I mean, really…think about it for a second, would you still get up for that 6:00 am run if you knew it wouldn’t help shed the pounds? Would you still scramble to make it that 7:00pm Zumba class if you knew the number on the scale would be the same the next morning?

Remember, we’re talking about exercise in regards to WEIGHT LOSS ONLY. Would you keep doing the exercises you’ve been doing if it had absolutely no bearing on losing weight?

Here’s what delights (and confuses) me about the question: I feel I would be more inclined to exercise if we took weight loss completely out of the equation! Because my history with exercise has only ever been based on calories burned and pounds shed, it comes as no surprise that working out is not my favorite thing. Taking weight loss out of it feels more liberating to me – like it opens up a whole other space for self-care.

If you say that getting in that early morning run keeps you from stabbing your coworkers later in the day? I believe you and think wholeheartedly that you should keep running (I’d hate to see you go to jail just because Bob in accounting made a snide remark on your presentation). Also, if getting to that Zumba class is the only hour you have where you don’t have toddlers hanging on your legs? Then absolutely, you should go. And if swimming every day eases the soreness in your joints, then swim on, my mermaid friend!

So, I’ll ask the question again, but with an addendum: If you knew that exercise had no bearing on weight loss, would you still do it and if so, what would you do and why?

That’s your assignment for today – answer these questions. You can put your answer in the comments below or just think about them in your head as you go about your day.

And remember, this is all just hypothetical. I know there are a lot of you reading this right now and you have your email ready to send to me saying YES IT DOES JILL! EXERCISE ABSOLUTELY LEADS TO WEIGHT LOSS!! Calm down, okay? We’re playing pretend here. We’re just seeing how it feels to explore this point of view. IT’S GONNA BE OKAY, I PROMISE.🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a lame Halloween parent

When I was a kid, Halloween meant taping a cardboard jack-o-lantern to the window and maybe a cardboard skeleton to the glass front door, and setting a badly carved actual jack-o-lantern outside. I’d pick out a cheap plastic costume from the store or make one up from old clothes that we had in the back of the closet. My mom would take me trick-or-treating for a couple of hours, I’d come home and dump my candy out on the floor, eat a bunch, then go to bed. Laid back, easy, one-and-done.

So that’s pretty much how, as a parent, I have done Halloween for the last 19 years. A few decorations here and there, buy my kids a costume off the rack, go trick-or-treating in the “nice” neighborhood, come home, raid the kids’ candy stash and be done with it.

Browsing The Facebook this morning though has me thinking I might be a Lame-O parent when it comes to All Hallows Eve.

I’ve seen pictures of Family Costumes (where each member of the family dresses up in related costumes like Star Wars, etc), whole neighborhoods who had a decorating theme, big family parties complete with food and drinks…which leaves me wondering, when did Halloween become A Huge Deal and why did I not get invited to the party?

Of course, I’ve always known people who really got into Halloween and I think that’s great. It was just never really my thing because Halloween was always, in my mind at least, a minor holiday for kids, not really a holiday for planning and spending large amounts of dollars and Doing It Up Right. But the FOMO this morning is strong. The inkling that maybe I should have made a bigger effort…except my kids are nearly grown now, so am I too late? Only one of my kids did any actual trick-or-treating last night…the oldest one came along for the ride, and the middle one just hung out with a friend (burning all my gas as they drove around town for 2 hours…*sigh*).  But still, this morning I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have made more of an effort to make Halloween a big family celebration instead of just a walk around the neighborhood.

Thanks for the #momguilt today Facebook. You rock.

Except…I really feel like celebrating Halloween (I mean really celebrating) has only become a thing in the last few years, don’t you? And honestly, I’m too old and too tired to put much effort into Halloween. I mean, come on…Halloween is supposed to be the fun, easy-going kick off to the American holiday trifecta! Thanksgiving and Christmas are stressful enough without having to add more work to Halloween. So yeah, maybe I could have put more effort into Halloween, but I’m sincerely okay with keeping it low key. I’ll leave it to my kids to make Halloween  a big deal with their own families someday if they want to.

So here’s my question: Do you make Halloween a BIG DEAL or do you just do it old school like I do? Am I seeing only a small percentage of people who make Halloween a festive holiday while the rest of us just gawk in amazement? What do you usually do for Halloween?