Dec 14, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009 Samantha Wine

Theme: Keep It Under You Hat - Three items that you can cover with a lid. (Both cover and lid are slang for hat.)

17A: Comical character in "Star Wars" films: JAR JAR BINKS.

33A: Novel by a hack: POTBOILER.

41A: Ticket-selling place: BOX OFFICE.

59A: "Stop complaining!" (and what you might do to the start of 17-, 33- or 41-Across): "PUT A LID ON IT!".

Argyle here. Tough for a Monday. Things like 35D: Fitzgerald of scat: ELLA. are ok but 6D: Elephant boy portrayer of film: SABU. seem like they are later in the week entries. I'll admit 39D bolloxed me up but good!

Today's constructor Samantha Wine is Rich Norris himself. Anagram of "What's in a name".

Nice looking lay-out. Scrabbly too. Three J, two Q's, 1 X and five K's.


1A: Trumpet mufflers: MUTES. Trombones, too.

6A: Like pretzels: SALTY. Like Popeye, too,

11A: CD-__: ROM.

14A: Observe Yom Kippur: ATONE.

16A: Latin lover's verb: AMO.

19A: __ Bartlet, "The West Wing" president: JED. President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet (Martin Sheen)

20A: O.K. Corral event: SHOOT-OUT.

21A: Old enough: OF AGE.

23A: French designer's monogram: YSL. Yves Saint Laurent

24A: Father of Isaac: ABRAHAM.

26A: Takers of pics: CAMS. As a mechanic, I don't think of pics when I hear CAMS.

29A: Be superior to, as in the military: OUTRANK.

32A: Japanese sash: OBI.

37A: Hit on the noggin: BONK.

39A: Davis of "Dr. Dolittle": OSSIE. He portrayed Dr. Dolittle's father, Archer Dolittle, in the 1998 Eddie Murphy film.

40A: "Golden" principle: RULE.

43A: P. Hearst's kidnappers: S.L.A.. Symbionese Liberation Army. She was kidnapped in February of 1974.

44A: "Is the gamble worth it?": "DO I DARE?".

46A: London guy: CHAP.

47A: "Fencers, prepare to duel!": "EN GARDE!".

50A: Sine __ non: essential: QUA.

52A: Seismic event: QUAKE.

53A: "Could be": "I SUPPOSE".

58A: Suffix with sub: URB.

62A: Lead-in for metric: ISO.

63A: Whisky __: Hollywood disco: A GO-GO. Note the spelling of "Whisky".

64A: Dad's brother, in Bordeaux: ONCLE.

66A: Excited cry: WHOOP.


1D: They're above capts.: MAJS..

2D: Great Salt Lake state: UTAH.

4D: Gets a kick out of: ENJOYS.

7D: Not very much: A BIT.

8D: Data-sharing syst.: LAN.. A local area network (LAN) is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small group of buildings, such as a school, etc..

9D: Displeased cluck: TSK!.

10D: "Make up your mind!": "YES OR NO!".

11D: Indian bigwig: RAJAH.

12D: Last Greek letter: OMEGA.

13D: Digital data transmitter: MODEM.

18D: Hershey's caramel-and-chocolate brand: ROLO.

22D: Hindu wonder-worker: FAKIR. Alt. sp., fakeer, faqir, faquir.

24D: More hoity-toity, in a cultural sense: ARTIER.

25D: Ruth of the Yankees: BABE. "The Sultan of Swat"

26D: Actor Lee J. __: COBB. He had a long and illustrious career in film and on Broadway. He died in 1976.

28D: Hussy: MINX.

30D: Rising trend in the market: UPSIDE.

31D: Puccini title heroine: TOSCA. She is Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer in Rome about June 1800.

38D: Instamatic maker: KODAK.

39D: "The Wizard __": OF ID. Oh, yeah, I had OZ. Messed me up for quite awhile. The Wizard of Id is a daily newspaper comic strip created by American cartoonists Brant Parker and Johnny Hart. The Wizard.

42D: Cat's front foot: FOREPAW.

45D: Same: Pref.: EQUI.

47D: Furnish with gear: EQUIP.

48D: Emergency room VIP: NURSE.

49D: Eva or Zsa Zsa: GABOR.

51D: High hair styles: UPDOS.

53D: Othello's betrayer: IAGO.

54D: Sty food: SLOP.

55D: In days gone by: ONCE. In days gone by, my boyhood job was to slop the hogs.

56D: Fancy hat fabric: SILK.

57D: Sorbonne summers: ETES.

60D: "That's icky!": UGH.

Answer grid.

Here are a few wonderful pictures J.D. took during her recent trip to Las Vegas. Click on each one for clearer photo. J.D. has been busy babysitting and helping her daughter moving out.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - almost another fast-as-I-can-write Monday puzzle today, just under 4 minutes. Fun theme as well.

Whiskey a go-go reminded me of Carol Doda of Condor Club fame; we discussed her attributes before. Also, I enjoyed seeing Jed Bartlet's name; I thought West Wing scripts were as brilliant and tightly-written as any on TV.

Thought 'Suffix with sub'/'urb' was just terrible.

Today is National Bouillabaisse Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there is too much fraternizing with the enemy." -- Henry Kissinger

Some more Fun Facts:

- Butterflies taste with their feet.

- There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

Hahtoolah said...

Morning, CC, Argyle and Friends. This was a good Monday puzzle. I seem to be in the minority who thinks that the Monday puzzles are getting to be a bit of a challenge. Not complaining, just my observation.

I thought of JazzBumpa when I read the first clue (Trumpet Mufflers).

I immediately thought of Wizard of Id only because I had just read the comic before doing the puzzle.

Favorite clue: Make Up Your Mind / Yes Or No.

It's going to be a very warm and foggy morning here in Southern Louisiana.

QOD: Between friends, differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality. ~ W.H. Auden

C.C. Burnikel said...

Echo your view on URB. I also don't associate NURSE with VIP. Your Butterflies Fun Fact sounds bogus.

JAR JAR BRINKS is new to me. The only theme entry with two LIDS.

Robin was right the other day. "Ni hao" is Chinese for "Hello".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Your interpretation of ZEREX sounds plausible. Thanks. What's your planning for Christmas?

My experience as well. Monday's puzzles have been more challenging than Tuesday's.

Dennis said...

C.C., I agree it sounds bogus, but it's evidently true.

Off to the gym. 10 & a wakeup.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Argyle and All,

I got hung up in the middle of the grid mostly due to writing Of OZ instead Of ID. I also couldn't remember Tosca and wanted Artsier which wouldn't fit. I would agree with Hahtool that Mondays seem a bit trickier than they have been and add that I still very much enjoy them.

I'm glad I'm not a butterfly. I never know what kind of s**t I'll be wading in day to day!

Have a great Monday!

Dick said...

Good morning C.C>, Argyle and all. I agree about the level of difficulty of the Monday puzzles; they do seem to be getting harder. That said, I thought today’s puzzle flowed very smoothly and with the perps it was very solvable. Mistakes on my part was misspelling of 17A as Jarjarb(i)nks in lieu of b(a)nks and for 39D I had “OFOZ” just like Argyle. Otherwise the puzzle was pretty straight forward.

Hope you all have a great Monday.

windhover said...

Christmas here is somewhat unconventional. Since my children are grown (and I have a total of 8 grandchildren, from 18 months to 16 years), and since the Irish and I have not (yet) had children, we usually travel to visit family at Christmas. My LEW has laid claim to my children and grandchildren on the actual holiday, so we get together with them on another day (Dec. 20 this year) for a Christmas dinner. Then on the 24th we drive to the mountains of western North Carolina (weather permitting) to spend Christmas with Irish' family.
One other distinction: although (as has been mentioned here in the past) I am a sceptic regarding the religious background of the holiday, I do know and understand well the "reason for the season", and over the years have been somewhat disgusted by the crass commercialization of what is essentially a sacred celebration. So about 15 years ago I reached an agreement with my children and family that we would no longer exchange presents at this time of year. Instead, we try to get together just for fun, food, and fellowship and enjoy being together. I do the gifting to my grandchildren on their birthdays, and for others whenever the notion strikes. One positive result is that I am not in
the shopping malls fighting the crush, trying to buy one more bit of "stuff" for people who already have plenty. Another is that there is no anticlimactic letdown after the presents are opened. I hope that doesn't sound to Scrooge-like, because I think it actually gives the season more meaning, whatever one's religious beliefs might be.

I hope you and Boomer and all our blog friends have exactly the Christmas they are hoping for.

Dennis said...

Windhover, I agree with your philosophy regarding the holidays. Although I own retail businesses, I'd be quite happy if a lot more people adopted the same attitude. I'm very fortunate in that I don't depend on the stores for income, but rather the fun of getting to play with various hobbies all day, and sharing that enthusiasm with customers. I hate that last-minute 'sell me anything' rush, which is done only done because they feel pressure to buy something, anything.

Your line about 'fun, food and fellowship' was on point, as always.

Maniac, yeah, you're the last person that should be a butterfly, lol.

Anonymous said...

The owner of the iconic LA bar spells it whisky.

Whisky agogo

Jim Morrison and the Doors played there and when Jim would get drunk he would cuss out the manager of the bar and he would be fired. Jim would then convince his girlfriend to cal and have her girls friends to call and ask when the Doors where going to play again forcing the manager to rehire Jim and the Doors.

39 D wizard I thought "Wizard of Oz" first.

Kelev said...

Strange as it my seem, butterflies do, indeed, taste with their feet. That is where their chemoreceptors are located. The same is true with houseflies. Butterflies also "smell" with their antennae and have hairs on their wings that detect changes in air pressure.

Windhover, I admire your Christmas spirit. I never understood the commercialization of any religious holiday. I think the holidays are a time to reflect and appreciate those who are dear to us.

A very nasty and foggy day in New Orleans. One can bearly see a few feet ahead. Not a good day to be on the road.

Spitzboov said...

Did not know JARJA*BINKS or *OLO, so the cross didn't work. Like Argyle, had Oz at first for 39D but when ENGARDE loomed, saw that it had to be OFID which I used to read.

Wanted a verb for 6A before SALTY was obvious.

French summers, ETES have been quite frequent recently and are getting a little trite. Could be clued as past participles of 'to be' in Brest.

A little harder for a Monday, but enjoyable.

JD said...

Good morning Argyle, CC and all,

Just enough guessing (jar jar binks) and knowing to get 'er done.Never thought of urb as a suffix, but it worked. Spelled Ossie with z's at first-wrong guy.Last fill was qua...should eat worms on that as I know we've seen it many times.Was it me, or did this puzzle lack a bit of pzazzz?

WH, I agree with your attitude about C'mas. I dread the shopping ;I'm too practical to buy just anything. I do love the lights and music, and wish we had snow.Our rain is pitiful.

We finally got my daughter's family moved into their house yesterday, but now we need to clean and paint our duplex(their old digs) for new tenants.

kazie said...

I had the same problem with OF OZ/ID, further disrupting OSSIE because I was thinking ARTSIER for ARTIER, had the S but left out the I which meant one S for OSSIE was in the wrong place and I was looking at O-SSE for the longest time.

I have read the FF about flutterbies before.

SUB has the meaning of below. The concept arose when walled cities outgrew their walls and homes began to be built literally "below" the walls, i.e. in front of them. In French they are faubourgs--false cities, German calls them Vorst├Ądte--"before (=in front of) cities".

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I finished this puzzle last night. It did seem to be on the high end of difficulty for a Monday. I still had (and have) a stuffy head, so it wasn't so easy.

Other than the theme answers, which were very inventive, I really liked FORE PAW and DO I DARE. CAMS and URB were on my UGH list.

Philosophically, I'm with WH about Christmas. We do give gifts to the grandchildren, but we only have three, not eight, so there is little hassle and there is a very modest limit on the costs. Over the years we've found than they enjoy a less expensive gift just as much as a Wii (OK, I exaggerate, but since they will never get a gift like that from us, we'll just assume they are delighted with a sweater.)

This year we'll be going to my daughter's home for the day. They live about an hour's drive away, so there won't be any overnighting and we'll come home to sleep in our own beds.

Anonymous said...

Wanted UPTICK for 30D.

Warren said...

Hi Argyle, C.C. & gang, we finished all but the bottom right before my wife left. I've never heard of the 'Wizard of Id' cartoon, it's not in our paper. I wanted it to be OZ too.
I had some problems parsing 53A 'I SUPPOSE' kept trying to make it 'IS UP...' also stared for a long time at 'NU_SE' for Nurse. Just one of those days I guess.

The comment about Jim Morrison made me think of this whiskey song.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c., argyle and all,

i agree about mondays lately, always nice to wake up to a challenge.. makes for a more satisfying finish.

besides all the scrabbly letters argyle mentioned, there are also 9 u's. only complete unknown was COBB, no idea. had to make a few passes to fill it all in. sub-URB, definite groaner.

couldn't agree more about what makes a meaningful christmas .. the best gifts don't come with a pricetag.

Jerome said...

C.C.- A nurse is indeed a Very Important Person. Anyone who has been in critical care or an operating room can attest to that.

There has been some discussion among constructors recently about how we have been cluing NURSE. In general, many of our clues have made it seem as though we think of nurses as support personnel instead of VIPs. "Surgeon's aide" or "MASH extras", for example. Many of us have decided to give nurses their just props from now on. Rich's clue reflects that.

carol said...

Hi Argyle, C.C. and friends....

Easy enough puzzle today - I did stumble a bit on 39A and put in OF OZ also put in AFRO for 51A, did not know 50A (QUA) or 17A JARJARBINKS (have never seen Star Wars).

Dennis - where are you going in 10 and a wake up?

WH- Count me(us) in on your thoughts on this upcoming holiday. Too much pressure to ensure a 'perfect' experience puts many people in financial and emotional peril. It really is a shame! I feel it is better to be with family and friends to enjoy food, music, drinks, stories and memories.

rich scholl said...

i wanted to force 'uptick' and 'of oz' too long but what really got me was that i thought 'majs' were below 'cpts' and 'cones' is a term for 'mutes' so i was stuck on 'cols'

Jeannie said...

I got this one finished with a little outside help I am afraid. Having never watched West Wing I had no clue who Jed Bartlet was. I also didn’t know the Puccini heroine Tosca. Perp help included Qua, fakir, Cobb and equi. I fell into the same trap as a few of you others with Oz in for Id. All in all an okay puzzle for a Monday. Very cold here in MN today with 5 below expected tonight. I woke up to about 1-2 inches of snow. Apparently just enough to snarl traffic.

My party Saturday night was fun. For once I didn’t go overboard with the food. This is the wrong time of the year to buy affordable seafood or I would make Bouillabaise in honor of today.

Dennis, my guess is that in 10 and a wake up you will be somewhere in a warmer climate.

Windhover, I second your thoughts on the commercialization of the holidays. I do however hope you and the Irish enjoy the holidays with your growing families.

Dennis said...

always nice to wake up to a challenge.. makes for a more satisfying finish.

I like the way you think. Works for crosswords too.

Carol, Jeannie, off to Boca/Ft. Lauderdale/Miami. It's becoming a traditional Christmas getaway.

IRISH JIM said...

Good morning Argyle CC and all.

Agree with others on the difficulty of Mondays.
Did anyone else write GUNFIGHT for 20 A. Also fell for OF OZ and had YORE for 55D.

WH, thank you so much for your thoughts on Christmas. I resent being made to feel like a scrooge or a heel for not participating in the orgy of spending every year. We are encouraged through incessant advertising to buy what people dont need and probably dont want.
End of my rant.

That said, a good week to all.

melissa bee said...

dennis .. oh yeah .. crosswords. those too.

JimmyB said...

I'm often oblivious to themes, but do I detect a possible sub-theme of "indecision" with the scattered YES OR NO, DO I DARE, and I SUPPOSE?

Jerome - Thanks for sharing the inner workings of the constructors' cabal. Very helpful and fascinating.

I also share the common hesitation/dread of Christmas shopping. It's only truly enjoyable when I have an inspired idea, and those never come when I need them.

kazie said...

I still haven't done any serious Christmas shopping. With no grandkids, that's not so bad. But a few years ago, our son gave us a "gift" through Heifer International, and since then, that has seemed a good way to express the real meaning of Christmas--giving to those in need instead of to those who want for nothing. Kids are different--they enjoy the whole present thing, but for adults, it's just meaningless.

Chickie said...

Hello All--Just a little more challenging today than the usual Monday puzzle. I fell into the trap of OZ-ID. But that was righted with the Engarde answer. However, I didn't know Jar Jar Binks as I've never watched Star Wars. It did finally come with all the perps that I did know.

I think a nurse is definitely a VIP. My daughter is a trauma nurse and I think Robin would agree, also? Nurses are on the floor night and day, thank goodness.

JD, Your camera (and you) have captured some exceptional pictures this past fall. Good to see you and Bob. Great picture of you both.

We have a traditional Christmas here, as this is one time of the year when my children are here to celebrate together. We make a group of 17-19 if everyone can come. The food, family, and fellowship extend to after dinner with rousing games around the dining room table.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I have all sorts of mute from a plunger (literally) to a Harmon mute - not usually used on trombones. Even tubas and violins use mutes.

Nothing to add on this puzzle beyond what has been said.

Performing tonight - first of four gigs in eight days, with three different groups. Jazz band winter concert up first.

JzB the busy trombonist

DCannon said...

It went pretty fast for me, even with a slightly greater degree of hard for a Monday.

I never watched Star Wars,
but the "Jar Jar" part was familiar for some reason. I had to "g" for the "Binks" part, partly because I didn't know "Sabu," either. I inadvertantly left one square blank, the "d" for "Jed" and "modem." Had a "WHOOPS!" moment there as I was reading the answers.
My "guru" is still working on my compupter off and on. He installed Windows 7, and I don't like it very much. I know I will get used to it, though.

Pretty nice weather here the last couple of days. The forecast was for lower temps for last night and this morning, but the lowest I was was 40-something degrees. Not bad at all.

Dick said...

@ Irish Jim, yes, I also had gunfight for 20A.

@ WH several years we recognized that our family had shrunk in number and everyone had a satisfactory amount of “stuff” and it would be unnecessary to exchange gifts. At that time my wife and I started taking cruises, to warm climates, at or around Christmas. My daughter and her husband never needed anything so we started a college fund for my granddaughter and now every Christmas and her Birthday we add money to her college account. I cannot see the sense in purchasing another toy to be thrown in the box and be gone forever. When possible we all get together for a nice dinner, but that is all we do for each other. And, we all enjoy it much better than giving a bunch of not wanted, or needed, “stuff.”

Anonymous said...

From VERN:

Also got caught with "uptick" and "oz." With 4 kids and 14 grandkids (always together at Christmas), gift giving became a real chore. The adults are fortunate to have enough money to buy anything they want so three years ago, we switched to a grab bag. All adults (including those recent college graduates) are included. The gifts are funny, unique, sometimes "gross", but always great fun. We pick numbers for first, second, etc. and set it up so that as we move through the picks, anyone can steal another's gift and then take a new one. Even the little ones enjoys this portion of our Christmas.

Robin said...

Ni hao C.C. and all

I echo the same sentiments, fun easy puzzle with some degree of difficulty.

C.C. I want to learn chinese, seems hard, Rosetta Stone, it that the way to go? Anyone with that experience?

Just remember C.C., that NURSe could keep your doctor from accidently killing you in the ER! LOL, sad but trUe. Thanks Jerome and Chickie, I know you have heard the scary Doctor stories from your daughter!

RSD, Interesting story about Morrison.

WH our sentiments also, about the Christmas holiday. It is fun but not so complicated. I guess if my husband and I are lucky enough to adopt a little one, that may change! The Dirty Santa exchange is kinda fun.

Tell me again why Rich Norris is now Samantha Wine? Have a great one! Go Cardinals.........

Mainiac said...

On the X-mas thing I have the same feelings as WH. Way too commercialized and frankly, I can't do it. Both our families draw names for gifts which even with a dollar limit adds up. I used to mass produce home made wood items (cutting boards, wall hangings etc) but the mass grew out of control. Part of the problem is little kids. My wife has a huge family (seven in the first wave, I think their up to 15 grandchildren and 4 great grand kids). Next Sunday is that get together which is always a hoot. My side has 4 in the first wave, seven grandchildren with one great grand kid (And don't I get a hoot out of calling my older sister Grammy! She is truly thrilled).

I'll be cooking some stuff for in-laws,my folks and others again this year. I usually do some sort of meal and break it up into frozen lunch and dinner sized meals. I've got to get more creative with the wrapping. My urgings of "open this one first" and frost coming through the gift bags is a give away.

I broached the topic of presents with my two yesterday while trimming the tree. My oldest was warm to the idea of saving the money to go on vacation but my youngest wasn't quite ready to give up on the goodies. Of course the grandparents on both sides go completely berserk on the grand kids, so its a tougher sell.

A couple more years and we'll either be snorkeling in warm water off white sand beaches or in western Maine skiing!

PJB-Chicago said...

Hi, all!
"Yea!" for BOUILLABAISSE (which would be my wish for the proverbial "last meal on earth"), FOREPAW, and that MINX, TOSCA

"Not so hot" for URB, CAMS, and JARJAR BINKS (not the answer, just the horrible, monstrous movie character).

Nice, uncluttered start to the puzzleweek. I debated between ID and Oz, and Conk and BONK. Theme was A-OK for a Monday. Rest solved itself.

"Amen" to WH et al. for decrying how the holidays have become crass shopping sprees. That's why our family tends to congregate over Thanksgiving. Less pressure, lots of games and no gifts. Several friends organize a Winter Solstice party every year on 12/21 (?); no Wiccan or neo-Pagan pageantry, just "Fun, Food, and Fellowship" plus a little Frolicking in the outdoors. Snowball fights or pine cone wars, that is!

Annette said...

Well, I think all the comments I had on the puzzle have already been stated.

Jerome: Thanks for the insight into the Constructors discussion about NURSEs.

Dennis: LOL, good catch on the wakeup call! If your schedule permits, maybe Lemonade714 and any others in the area would be available for a SE Blog Get-together while you're down here. Let us know!

Annette said...

In my head, I agree with what's been said about the holidays.

But, our family has been trying to cut back on the gift exchange for a few years, and as stressful as it is when time's short and no ideas come to mind, none of us have been able to break ourselves away from it yet.

A couple years ago, we tried picking a name and buying/making a fun hat for the person we'd chosen. It worked out really well, but everyone still bought gifts for everyone else too! We just couldn't do it.

I have spent some time the past week debating about the point of the gifts I'm buying for my family, particularly in deciding when is "enough". I haven't come to any conclusion yet, but I have finished shopping for my relatives (15 of us), and am satisfied with my purchases.

To me, finding a great gift is like the AHA moments we get from the puzzle, but they seem to last longer and are felt deeper. And they give nice "aaaaahhhhhh" moments too! ;-) (Cigarette, anyone?)

windhover said...

You may be sure that if I got that "cigarette" sensation from shopping, I'd be out at the Mall settin' that plastic on fire right now. I do know what you mean
by the feeling you get when you find just the right gift for someone. I try to do that throughout the year, on no
special occasion. It can backfire, though. The Irish sometimes wonders, "What has he done now?"

Susie said...

Greetings -

Neither my daughters nor I enjoy shopping in general but we get together and go once a year - in late fall for 2-3 days at a major mall & buy clothes for ourselves & each other, household items from lists we made all year, and Christmas presents for all family members. We know we are buying items others want/would like but might not necessarily buy for themselves. How much is spent varies from year to year depending needs, ages, and economic situations.

I don't exchange gifts with people I don't know well enough to buy for and I am on the look out all year round for those special things I know will be enjoyed and appreciated. I figure that I know right now that Christmas will arrive on Dec 25, 2010 and there is no reason to be stressed or "having to buy something" at the last minute.

Because the girls each have another set of in-laws, we get together here when it is convenient for everyone - weather having its say.

Years ago we discontinued having a huge meal and have either pizza or ham sandwiches, salads & snacks with Christmas cookies/Christmas ice cream for dessert, therefore eliminating the need for food preparation.

The grandchildren are appreciative of anything they receive and they don't get big money items.

If the gift buying/exchanging is a chore then it should be by all means discontinued for it has no purpose. The gifts have no meaning. I'm sure that if we reach that point we will make changes in our routine but for now it is fun and enjoyable to watch others receive their gifts.

PJB-Chicago said...

Interesting topic! I do appreciate the joy associated with finding and giving presents--and to be honest, I love getting gifts too. I hate crowds and don't shop very wisely under pressure. Still, no bah-humbugs from me to a round of Christmas music, Thai New Year songs, Chanukah tunes--though I need the lyrics.

My favorite gifts to give/get are those that somehow link the giver and receiver. Although I'm a klutz with technology, I've been able to come up with playlists of favorite music to load onto someone's iPod or hard-drive, or to assemble/"draw" a cartoon series commemorating highlights of a friendship: e.g.
*The Time We Got Lost in Santa Fe,
*Your First Date with "Mr. Too-Much-Hair-Gel'"
*We "built" bookshelves. What happened?

One couple brought me a print by the same artist whose work I'd admired at their house..... Fun stuff, no need for a holiday, but if there is one, that's cool too!

HUTCH said...


Annette said...

I've tried shopping for Christmas throughout the year, but usually can't wait, and give it early when the time seems appropriate.

Then when Christmas approaches, I'm buying another gift for that person so they have something to open from me!

Robin said...

Wishes people would not yell!

Jeannie said...

Okay, here's my take on gift giving at Christmas. My parents taught us four kids early on to give each other gifts based on what we could afford. There was a period in my life when I made a transition from MI to FL and then to MN in one year and had basically no money or a way to make it back to MI for Christmas. (My car at the time was a 1969 Pontiac Catalina that I bought in FL and made my way to MN.) I lived in a shitty apartment over someone's house that you could literally move from the stove to the refrigerator and sink in one step. The year was 1984 and I scraped up the money and made gifts that year on a friends borrowed sewing machine. My sister Karen had just married so I made her a "lap quilt" from remnants bought at a surplus store. Matter of fact all came from that surplus store. For my brother and his wife I made placemats I designed, for my Mom I made a bathroom cachet. For my Dad I made a naugahide seat cushion for his tractor that he plowed his drive with. For my little sis Steph I made a big pillow (minus the stuffing). I think I spent about $10.00 on the supplies and about 20 hrs making them. Karen still has the lap quilt draped over her couch, Steph still has her pillow, Nick and his wife bring out the placemats anytime I visit. My dad has long since given up his tractor but the pillow is in the garage next to the John Deere and my Mom's cache is proudly displayed in her bathroom. I am thinking the lavendar and cloves have long ago lost their aroma. I guess what I am saying is those presents were from the heart, and probably the best gifts I have ever given. Oh, and that was the loneliest Christmas I have ever spent. Matter of fact, tears appeared.

I have come a long way from then. Sorry for the long post C.C. I have a long and sorted past.

Anonymous said...

I agree with comment on Monday puzzles, and while they are not too difficult, I like them a little tougher. So happy I am.

I had OZ too, but quickly knew it couldn't be right. Just took a while to get ID.

As for Christmas gifts, I absolutely hate giving something without meaning. My in-laws always suggest gift cards for my nieces/nephews. I won't cave. I end up doing so many other peoples shopping for my immediate family that it just becomes a burden. My extended family long ago quit giving gifts, but I cannot get my in-laws to stop. Yikes. My kids and I do not need stuff. I would be so happy to skip it.

I have a father-in-law that never wants anything, and is so mediocre whenever you give him anything that it makes you uncomfortable. Last year he was given a lifetime achievement award from the Univ of Iowa athletics. Big deal, bigger ceremony. On the jumbo-tron at the football game, the whole kit and caboodle. I took the camera and made a photo book of the weekend's events. He is still in awe. He takes it with him absolutely everywhere and shows everyone. Absolutely best gift I ever gave anyone hands down. I have never before seen him appreciate something.

I try to listen to what people say they want during the year and take notes. It is so fun to give that special something. Rarely is it the monetary value, but rather the thought. That is Christmas giving.

carol said...

Jeannie - I just had to respond to your last post...I went through a very tough time my early 20's and had no money for gifts. I found a crafts class in the apartments I lived in at the time and for Christmas that year I learned to make rag rugs on a loom using clean panty hose, pin cushions using fruit jar rings and pieces of velvet, beautiful stationery using found leaves and flower petals pressed into pretty paper. Every thing was so happily received and treasured.
They were the simplest of gifts but given from the same heart as yours and I think that is what really matters.

IRISH JIM said...

That is a beautiful and moving story. The survival of those gifts for 25 years really shows how much they meant to your Siblings and Parents.
Thanks for sharing.

Chickie said...

Another little aside on the Christmas giving of gifts. My grandchildren,there be 8, draw names. They really put thought into getting just the right thing for a cousin. It is so much fun to see them open those gifts from the heart, espcically when the 25 year old draws the 5 year old's name and he has had a ball buying for the youngest one.

Names are kept secret until the gifts are opened, so no one knows who has their name and that is half the fun. The one thing that we do control when the names are drawn is that no brother or sister gets a sibling's name.

When my father was alive he made a wooden Santa of some sort for all the grandkids. We have 10 beautifully crafted and painted Santa's of all sizes. I found some extras when we cleaned out his home, so the married great grand-kids get one of their Great-grandpa's Santas the first year of their marriage. We treasure these things more than any purchased gift.

My father's biggest pleasure was wrapping those Santas. He put them into a big paper grocery sack and stapeled the top. Each family name was written in black Sharpie Pen on the front. He would chuckle at his Christmas Wrap.

PJB-Chicago said...

Jeannie, KQ and Carol:
Thanks for the stories and a reminder about the true spirit of giving, and how your heartfelt gifts were--and still are--treasured.

I bet I'm not alone in needing and appreciating what you have to say!

Jazzbumpa said...

Jeannie -

From-the-heart gifts, and a from-the-heart story, too. Very touching.

1983-84 was the low point for me, too, in a lot of ways. I had a guy rooming with me, and the $150 he gave me every month kept me afloat.

Things started looking up pretty soon after that.

Our 11 grandchildren also draw names. The LW can't stand the thought of not giving, so she buys for all the grandkids. We give their parents gift cards to a restaurant, and will babysit on no notice, if needed.

I'm hard to buy for. Don't want or need much of anything.

Concert went well tonight. I wasn't at my best but the ensemble was fine.

On tune that went really well was my favorite Stan Kenton arrangement. We actually did it a little better then these guys. Our lead trumpet NAILED the high part.

Jzb the has it all trombonist

Annette said...

No, you're not alone. I'm enjoying hearing everybody's stories and viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

@Robin, My daughter is using Rosetta Stone. we went to China last year.