Chani, Christmas 2014, December Delights

Going Au Naturale

Christmas is a time of giving and sharing and although I do love all the glittery lights, tinsel and ornaments I do feel a slight pang at how much it takes to make these and there is always so much waste at the end.

I know that although we sometimes want to be more Eco friendly when we go to the gift shops or craft stores the earthy stuff always seems a bit dull and boring compared to all the shiny nice stuff in cellophane boxes. But I found some great ideas online and I think these add a touch of sophistication and rustic glamour to any living room. I hope you will try them out !

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Tree decorations made from coir

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Pine cone deco ideas

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Origami Trees

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I do love personal homemade gifts

Napkin-Ring-mdn Table-Runners-mdnThese are some simple fabulous table deco ideas. I think its wonderful how cost effectively you could incorporate these.Gnome-Ornament-mdn Owl-Ornament-mdn

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IMG_0124 Chan is a writer, blogger and yogi with a passion for history and romance. She is a management professional living in the beautiful paradise island of Sri Lanka with her husband and two furry soft toys she refuses to part with, much to his chagrin. An avid reader and health food junkie, she also loves to keep up-to-date with fashion trends, travel and binge on everything chocolate at the slightest excuse.

On Deranged Writers Chan writes her personal blog Whispered Monologues, as well as the popular fashion feature Pret-a-Blogger. – Follow Chan on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Celebrations, Chani, Christmas 2014, December Delights

Santa Baby!

Christmas songs are all over¬†the radio, and I am sure like everyone else I anxiously wait¬†for my favourites.. like I’ll be Home for Christmas, Silent Night, White Christmas etc.. but there is another one that always gets me and that is¬†“Santa Baby”.

Now, the first time I heard this, I was quite young and didn’t really understand the lyrics ( not that you could Google it those days) and at first I was intrigued as to why this woman was calling Santa (whom at that time I considered purely a kid’s person… he brings gifts for kids¬†FFS. ) He was an old man so why was this woman calling him “Baby” !?!

Then much later I learnt the lyrics by listening to the song over and over again, and it seemed as if the lady was asking for gifts after all, and at first I thought her damn list was much better than mine. Sables, 54 convertible, platinum mine, duplex, Tiffany ornaments! Hell, I was smacking myself for asking for a Barbie.

But, there was always something about that song that seemed to make the adults in the room ¬†a bit squirmy. But I was an innocent (still am) and simply chalked it up to me not thinking ‘Big’ and resolving to ask for ‘real’ presents next time, like a car for example, even though it would take me at least ten more years to be able to drive it.

A few more years later, after I had learnt what a fantastic thing sarcasm was and also a lot more about the birds and the bees, my vivid mind began to conjure up all sorts of things when the radio cooed “hurry down the chimney” (does it mean that? Yes.) Basically what this woman wants is a sugar daddy… the fact that from the time Eartha Kitt did this song, to today, every version depicts a very sexy woman in very suggestive body language teasing Santa to give her the most expensive things in the world ( in my earlier notes I forgot to mention a yacht) .

‘Think of all the fun I’ve missed,

Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed,

Next year I could be just as good”

The implication is that she has been very very good to deserve all this, but really she has been very very naughty. I imagine that when this came out in the 50’s it would have caused quite an uproar, but I was surprised to learn that it was an instant hit.

If you look back in history that was a time when women were homemakers and husbands were the breadwinners, and for those blasphemous few who do no believe in Santa (gasps!) He was the husband. The gifts were bought by him (another song which hints at this is ‘I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’) so maybe this woman is actually singing this to her husband. Maybe this is the way to hint to your very own Santa what you want for Christmas?

Or maybe ‘Santa’ is the plumber and looks like Jake from Melrose Place (who wouldn’t want their pipes cleaned by him???¬†I mean the chimney.) Okay, so maybe not a plumber, but whatever you call that profession which cleans women’s pipes… NOT a Gyno. (Yikes) but you know what I mean.

So,  I give you two versions, the original and my favourite one by Miss Piggy.

Santa Baby – Miss Piggy

Santa Baby! “Original Song 1953” Eartha Kitt

Lyrics

“Santa Baby, slip a sable under the tree, For me.
been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa baby, a 54 convertible too,
Light blue.
I’ll wait up for you dear,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’ve missed,
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed,
Next year I could be just as good,
If you’ll check off my Christmas list,

Santa baby, I wanna yacht,
And really that’s not a lot,
Been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a platinum mine,
Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex,
And checks.
Sign your ‘X’ on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree,
With some decorations bought at Tiffany’s,
I really do believe in you,
Let’s see if you believe in me,

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing,
A ring.
I don’t mean on the phone,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry, tonight.”

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IMG_0124 Chan is a writer, blogger and yogi with a passion for history and romance. She is a management professional living in the beautiful paradise island of Sri Lanka with her husband and two furry soft toys she refuses to part with, much to his chagrin. An avid reader and health food junkie, she also loves to keep up-to-date with fashion trends, travel and binge on everything chocolate at the slightest excuse.

On Deranged Writers Chan writes her personal blog Whispered Monologues, as well as the popular fashion feature Pret-a-Blogger. – Follow Chan on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

______________________________________________________________

 

Anne, Celebrations, Christmas 2014, December Delights, Music

Joyful, all Ye Nations Rise

I often like to joke that Christmas is the one time in the year that successfully brings out my “Catholic” in a big way. It’s not that I get overtly spiritual or prayerful, but I am a traditionalist at heart and the family customs of the season always appeal to me much more than in other seasons.

I feel fortunate to have been born in a family whose religious and cultural roots go all the way back to the Portuguese/Goan colonies in India, with a dash of British in there as well. It’s where my grandparents and their parents were from, and the cultural customs they carried with them to where I live now and how devoutly they practised them have always enriched the season of Christmas for me. I know without all of that I probably wouldn’t have had much to enjoy come Christmastime today.

They are the ones who taught me to appreciate and respect tradition as well as diversity, the importance of kinship and community, but above all, I learned from them how Christmas is universal and not limited to a single community, religious or otherwise.

Imagine my surprise then, when a few years ago a local news channel conducted an interview with a few Christian families during the holidays and talked endlessly about how Christians celebrate “their Christmas.” The show was quite literally presented like some sort of classroom lecture. “Christians do this at their Christmas,” “this is how they do this at their Christmas,” “In Christian homes and churches you will see blah blah blah during their Christmas.”

“Since when,” I asked my husband, “do people here need to be taught about the holidays, and why in the world is the season being shown as a Christian only thing?”

He was as stumped as I was, because both of us had grown up with wide circles of friends, many of them non-Christians, and we could not imagine any of them not knowing what the holiday season was all about. These were the people who would spend hours in our homes helping to decorate our Christmas trees, then we’d trot into their homes and drape streamers on their trees. Entire neighbourhoods would come out of their houses in the week before Christmas and together hoist up massive stars over main streets and lanes. Before that they would spend weeks constructing those same stars, fixing them up with lights and tinsel.

Non-Christian kids who were our neighbours and friends joined us at Christmas parties, and all of us received those ‘magical’ gifts from Santa who whizzed in on a sleigh complete with oddly donkeyish looking reindeer. We went caroling together, from lane to lane in large groups stopping at every house regardless of which religion the family living there followed. No one turned us away, in fact they welcomed us with smiles and sometimes Christmas song requests of their own. We’d sing at church events, attend holiday dances organized by local clubs and parishes, the ever fun-loving Parsi community, hotels and various homes in different parts of the city.

I had no idea what had happened to that culture, I had no idea why I saw so many people within my own country and in neighbouring ones claiming to know nothing about Christmas, or alternatively thinking of it as just a Christian thing. That’s not really how it worked in the rest of the world, so why were people in South Asia behaving like this? Why were there so many people in this region insisting on remaining on the outside looking in on something being celebrated globally? Of course, deep down I knew the answer, had been aware of the growing intolerance around me, watched scores of people leave our homelands for more accepting and distant shores, the rise in religious conservatism which secluded people more than it bonded them with community and country.

Just last week the huz and I were at a pre-Christmas dinner at a friend’s home, and one of the other guests had brought along a musical instrument. A bunch of us began to sing songs which included holiday ones, while another group just sat and looked on (mostly giving us the wtf side-eye as if we were misbehaving at someone’s wake.) After a particularly boisterous version of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph medley, a gentleman from a third group of elderly (and completely non-Christian) people told us to “knock it off and sing something everyone could join in and sing along with.”

He and a female from his group then proceeded to serenade us all with a beautiful rendition of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’¬†which nearly knocked our socks off. Neither of them stopped there, and soon their entire group was singing everything from Silent Night to Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and Joy to the World. What a performance they gave us all.

Needless to say the side-eye crowd were in shock (although why people in their twenties and early thirties should have been is beyond me.) One of them asked the gentleman where he and the others had learned “those Christian Christmas carols” and the old man’s response was classic. He sipped from his glass of whiskey, glared down at the guy and said, “You don’t learn about Christmas, young man, you experience it.”

I wanted to hug the old guy, so I totally did, and I wanted to stick my tongue out at the side-eye WTFers and flip them the bird for being such party poopers, but the huz got in the way asking “If I sing you Silent Night will you hug me too?” and totally ruined the moment.

Call it the holidays, X-Mas, or Christmas itself, celebrate it with mass, or a plastic snowman on your front porch, mistletoe on your door frame, spend endless hours preparing traditional fare or sip hot chocolate and listen to holiday music alone, go Grinch if you must, but there is no denying that this festival is a global celebration, unmatched and unlike any other in the world.

The beauty of the holiday season, always, I believe, lies in its openness and acceptance. There are no closed doors on which visitors need to knock before they are welcomed in to ‘sample’ Christmas. The season itself is all encompassing, whether you acknowledge its pagan origins, revere its Christian message, or enjoy its secular aspects. I think this is why it is celebrated with such zeal in almost every corner of the world, why entire villages, towns and even countries put in tremendous effort and time to making it as beautiful as they can. Some use new and creative ways, others hold fast to age old tradition, even more join in adding their own sparkle and warmth.

I’m going to take a moment and give a special nod of gratitude to my city folk, the many Karachites who have begun to break the mold of intolerance and celebrate this wonderful season once again.

The holidays are right there for the taking, and it is everywhere, so no one can really miss it if they choose not to. There is no glass window you need to stand on the other side of and observe festivities, the magic, the beauty, and don’t let anyone tell you that there is one or should be one.

Here’s wishing you all a season of peace, goodwill and most of all, acceptance.

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December Delights Christmas Songs (updated)

DECEMBER DELIGHTS HOLIDAY SWAG

WEEK THREE

ENTER & WIN!

 10841644_10152567370642362_1608786438_nmbymosh.wordpress.com

For a chance to win this trendy statement from the extremely talented and fashionable Shalini aka @1Mosh1 of the amazing DIY blog Metamorphoshiz.

1. Like our Facebook page and let us know you did via a comment there or here – (One entry)

2. Share this post using one of the buttons below, and post the linkback in the comment box so we know who you are. – Your name gets entered once for every social media button you use, so share using as many of the ones listed or simply re-tweet us on Twitter. (Limited to one entry per button, not # of times shared)

3. Leave a comment in the box below to let us know why you like this post (repeat comments by readers will be counted as one entry)

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The winner will be announced on Monday December 22, and will be entered in our December Delights Bumper Draw !

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anneblog

¬†Anne is a fiction writer and blogger, and a former hotelier living in the sprawling coastal city of Karachi, Pakistan, with her husband, two kids and a pet fish. A city girl at heart, she likes her coffee strong, books always within arm’s reach, perfumes by the boatload, music of the old school variety, beaches sans the crowds, cozy cafes early in the mornings, and intimate encounters with Jack Daniels on Saturday nights.

On Deranged Writers, Anne writes her personal blog Eight in the Morning, and the humorous feature Pillow Talk.

Follow Anne on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

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