MacGyvering your Christmas
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KiwiTek
Posted: 23 December 2012 - 09:05 PM                                    
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This Christmas I've gone back to focusing on taking a more MacGyver approach to things. By MacGyver I mean making everything more simplistic and relaxed and more focused on people and family traditions rather than presents and debts I'll be stuck with for years to come.

Our traditions start with the decorating of the tree, which we all do together while Xmas carols play on the stereo. Then on Xmas eve we have dinner in front of the TV and watch Xmas episodes of our favorite TV shows on DVD. MacGyver, Home Improvement, Knight Rider, then we move on to a Xmas movie complete with popcorn and drinks during which we're all huddled together on the sofa. That usually takes us through to 10:30-11pm at which time it's off for a drive around the town to see all the Xmas lights on houses then home to lay out the Santa sacks with drink and cookies and a hand written name tag on each sack, and then, finally, off to bed around midnight.

My kids are too old for Santa now, but even with Santa aged kids there are some basic ways you can still MacGyver Xmas starting with the choice of what they want from Santa. Be involved and guide them through the decision to make sure they don't' ask for something way out of your budget. I always took care to ensure they only got one main present from Santa with the sack being filled with a hand full of cheap 2-5 dollar toys along with the usual candy gifts. I also made Santa's gift the main present for Xmas because Santa always brings the best gift. laugh.gif

Presents under the tree usually consisted of one present each from me and finished off with presents from other family members such as grand-parents etc. In a case where a gift has multiple parts they can be given as separate gifts. The example I can think off straight away is something like an xbox which normally comes with a couple of games included in the pack. Take them out and wrap them separately, 1 present suddenly becomes 3. Even if the mail present is from Santa, the others could be under the tree from you. Same thing could go for things like Nurf toys, barbie dolls, anything which needs or includes accessories, make them separate gifts if you can. Presents are for immediate family..i.e. my kids. Nephews, nieces, aunties, uncles etc don't get gifts, they should be happy with my presence not my presents. Even more so if this is the only time of the year I see them.

Love doesn't come wrapped in a box, it comes wrapped in your arms.

Focus on the people you are with at Christmas, not what they are giving you.


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When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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MacGyverGod
Posted: 24 December 2012 - 09:47 AM                                    
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Christmas has lost a lot of it's magic for me. When my aunt was still alive we used to celebrate at her place because her kids were very small. Even I was only seven at the time we did that for the first time. Same thing, year after year. Aperitive and between courses the presents. When I look back at it, I can't believe the fakeness. Of course during growing up you don't see that but at some point around age 18-19, I was getting fed up with it.
'What would be in this present? Or in that one?' Every year the same old song.

Than when my aunt died a whole family kinda fell out of the boat during conflicts. A family of eleven got reduced to six. Than my grandpa died. Especially after his death, Christmas lost a lot of it's meaning. We always had a great time, fooling around, cracking one joke after the other.

What I miss the most after his passing, during Christmas Eve they always air Home Alone 1 or 2. We used to watch it together after dinner. He cracked up every time Macauley Culking pulls a prank or when the burgulars fall or get something on their heads.

Than when we moved out, my brother left for Asia and still lives there. And from six we went to four. Now, it's just my mother, my grandmother, my mother's boyfriend and me. It's just not the same anymore. And now after a very miserable second half of the year and one major fight with my mother, I actually don't see any reason to celebrate at all. The fight is a long story and maybe I shouldn't be angry anymore after all this time, but I also have my (if not dumb) pride.

The presents doesn't mean anything. Whatever I need or want, I buy myself. Cinema tickets are always welcome however. wink.gif

But every year it just seems more and more overrated. Than when I started working at the store (where I still work), I had to do the Christmas decoration. At one point I was so fed up with that I didn't bother to decorate my house. This is only my third Christmas after moving out. During the first move, it was almost Christmas so that's not so strange, the year after I didn't bother, this year after yet another move (that's what the fight is all about among other things), I made an attempt.

There's no tree standing here. I just took Christmas-lights and placed them over the cupboard in the living room and I have an enlightened pyramid next to it. It gives enough light though and since I don't have a lamp or anything in the living room, I might leave them there. Further, I have a few candle holders to put tealights in them.

We're just so thinned out as a family with the passing of my aunt and grandfather. They both died in the same week but three years apart.

Now with everything that has happened in the past months, I don't feel the need the celebrate and act as if nothing happened.

This is not exactly Christmas-spirit and I don't mean to ruin the topic but this unfortunately is my reality. A reality I am at peace with though.

They say during Christmas miracles happen. Well I can use one right now. I wonder if I can say: 'Wonders never cease.'

I think the poison that was used was applied to this knife, passed to the mutton when it was cut and then activated by the wine. - MacGyver.
Sometimes you just have to die a little inside to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you.
It's better to be a little sad than to be fake content.

 
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MacGyverGod
Posted: 24 December 2012 - 04:59 PM                                    
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Well, didn't expect to say it but they indeed never cease. I was beginning to have real doubts. If I didn't receive that phone call, I wouldn't have celebrated at all.

Anyway, Merry Christmas y'all. smile.gif

I think the poison that was used was applied to this knife, passed to the mutton when it was cut and then activated by the wine. - MacGyver.
Sometimes you just have to die a little inside to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you.
It's better to be a little sad than to be fake content.

 
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Wheeljack
Posted: 25 December 2012 - 01:12 PM                                    
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Although I won't go into such detail as MacGyverGod, Christmas has lost most of it's magic for me over the years, no matter how hard I try to recapture it. I loved how it once felt, but that seems long, long ago now, faded memories of almost a different life. I don't have enough money to buy gifts for anyone, even for myself, that probably plays a small part, but even if I did.... egh.

Anyway, here's a Charlie Brown style tree I made this year. The base is pretty much a copy of the one from the cartoon. It's glued together with epoxy for strength, and a copper pipe fitting makes a socket that holds the tree up. The trunk is a stick I found in my backyard, the branches are cut from a cheap little christmas tree that belonged to my mom, and the decorations are vintage plastic clothes pins that also belonged to my mom. They have little people and animal faces on them.

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KiwiTek
Posted: 25 December 2012 - 01:20 PM                                    
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Very MacGyverish. biggrin.gif

So the branches are fitted into the trunk? I thought it was one whole branch from a tree - cool.


When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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Wheeljack
Posted: 25 December 2012 - 01:43 PM                                    
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Hehe, yeah, I can see that a little. There's holes drilled into the stick/trunk, then I just stuck to "pine tree" limbs into them. It's all crooked-y, but I wanted it to be that way.

 
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KiwiTek
Posted: 25 December 2012 - 01:59 PM                                    
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Merry Christmas Charlie Brown smile.gif


When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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AussieMacFan
Posted: 13 March 2013 - 12:12 AM                                    
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I wish there had have been more than just one MacGyver Christmas episode... happy.gif

"How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?"
-John Lennon


 
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denizen
Posted: 1 November 2013 - 03:30 AM                                    
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Well with Haloween behind us, and with some focusing on Thanksgiving, I have started thinking about christmas too and wondering how I could MacGyver mine this year.

From a person perspective, I have been wanting to create a great holiday for my fam including my newborn son. He is only 5 months old but still have every intention of making as many visible lights as i can (He just gazes at lights). As for my family, invite them over to a great lunch/dinner and give them memories. Maybe a nice set of photo frames with some great pictures taken earlier this year.

From a practical point of view, our tree is a little broken and chances are, my wife wont give me a second chance when it comes to fixing it (I think she wants a new one blush.gif ).

You guys?

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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MacFan092985
Posted: 1 November 2013 - 09:18 AM                                    
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I'm single, not involved with anyone at the moment, so I don't put up a tree or decorations of any kind really. I had an artificial tree but got rid of it because I hadn't put it up in years and it was just taking up space in a closet. Eventually I plan on getting a pre-lit, but right now it's not a priority. I suppose if I were dating someone I'd be inspired to decorate more, but when it's just me and my cat I can't bring myself to take the time to decorate. Besides, Rose, my cat, would probably re-decorate for me every time I left my place.

My parents decorate their house, so I get my fill of Christmas by visiting them.

The number of presents I give and receive are minimal but they really count and are specific to that individual. I usually give a joke gift of some kind, along with a real gift, to at least one person, usually related to some inside joke we've experienced in the last year. Last year I gave a buddy of mine, who's a big "Knight Rider" fan, a pair of vintage children's sized "Knight Rider" mittens with an image of K.I.T.T. on them, complete with a letter from his "evil twin" seeking reconciliation. The letter I created was inspired by Michael Knight and his evil twin Garthe. Again, this was an inside joke between be and my buddy so it's not nearly as funny to anyone reading this.

Each year my parents and I get together, usually two weeks before Christmas, and bake anywhere from 10 to 12 different kinds of cookies, fudge, bark, etc. which we give as gifts to friends and neighbors as well as enjoy ourselves. It works out great, with each of us focusing on two or three recipes, with each of us having our own specialty that we've made our own. My parents have a good sized kitchen with two ovens and lots of counter space, so we're all able to work together but not get in each other's way. Aside from the sugar cookies we make, all the recipes are only made at Christmas time, thereby making sure they're something special instead of something we eat throughout the year. We usually have Christmas songs playing while we're baking. The best Christmas song ever, IMO, is Colorado Christmas by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. My family and I identify so much with that song, as we lived in California for a short time and missed the feel we had for Christmas in Colorado.

Christmas isn't what it used to be when I was a kid, but then again I shouldn't expect it to be. As we mature, our perspectives change, so things aren't better or worse, they're just different.


"Jeep. My Jeep? What are you talking about? Penny! My Jeep?" - MacGyver

"Look at me. I'm a hurtin' guy! I'm beat up. I need a month's worth of sleep . . . and I need a haircut!" - MacGyver

"It's been said, 'The best gift a man could ever give another, was his life', Jack Dalton was never one to settle for less than the best. Thank you Jack." - MacGyver

"Reboots are born out of the lack of imagination." M. Lance Frank

 
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MacFan092985
Posted: 1 November 2013 - 09:32 AM                                    
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Wheeljack . . . I LOVE THE TREE!

I thought about buying one of the officially licensed "Charlie Brown" trees at Wal*Mart, but I like the individual, one-of-a-kind look yours has.

"Jeep. My Jeep? What are you talking about? Penny! My Jeep?" - MacGyver

"Look at me. I'm a hurtin' guy! I'm beat up. I need a month's worth of sleep . . . and I need a haircut!" - MacGyver

"It's been said, 'The best gift a man could ever give another, was his life', Jack Dalton was never one to settle for less than the best. Thank you Jack." - MacGyver

"Reboots are born out of the lack of imagination." M. Lance Frank

 
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Grazer
Posted: 1 November 2013 - 02:51 PM                                    
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Yeah Christmas really has become over commercialized to the hilt these days. I think this is being made worse by the way it's now simply referred to as "the holidays" which has focused on the wrong aspects of it.

Anyway, one idea I have is to use colored/flavored pop corn and string them together with dental floss (it's stronger and slides easier than string) to make long strings of colorful decorations which can be used both inside and out. And if you use them outside you'll provide some winter food for your local birds to peck at. wink.gif


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"One time we were on a camping trip. This bear ate all our food! I got all wimpy scared, but my grandpa, he said to me, 'Bud. . . we'll just go grazing.'"

 
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YopeGyver
Posted: 1 November 2013 - 07:22 PM                                    
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I need to post a pic of our "Charlie Brown Tree" my dad did. X3 We have a this really ugly cedar tree that our neghbors jokingly call Beauty. We haven't cut down Beauty yet because she's so close to the power lines and my dad hasn't been doing well enough to do any heavy work.
So, last year and the year before, my dad bought this huge red ornament and hung it on one limb. And then he made a sign out of some styrofoam and old chipboard, and painted, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!"
The neighbors get a real kick out of it.

"Our principles are the springs of our actions. Our actions, the springs of our happiness
or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles."
-Red Skelton

"You can't live in the past - there's a future to be had!"


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denizen
Posted: 2 November 2013 - 06:31 AM                                    
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Well, for what its worth fella's , I hope you all have an awesome one. I am aware of the over commercialized marketing campaigns out there. Stick you what you remember. Even as a kid. Try to make a Scrooged Christmas for yourself. Give someone a sandwich, or a blanket.

Buy something for yourself that you had when you were a kid. A slinky or something biggrin.gif

Love the popcorn idea, Grazer. blush.gif

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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Joe SAKic
Posted: 2 November 2013 - 05:43 PM                                    
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We have a large family get together each year on Christmas Eve. Off the top of my head - nothing is too macgyverish or overly elaborate for that matter. The region where I'm from in eastern Canada is one of the major producers and exporters of Balsam Fir Christmas trees and decorations in the world .... so this basically means that you can purchase an 8ft tree for about $30.00 inclusive of delivery to your door. I have switched over to the LED lights in recent years which are incredibly stingy on power usage and emit magically hues as an added bonus.

Here is last year's version .....

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The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.

Whether you think you can or you can't .... you're probably right!

"Nature often addressed our problems much better than the doctor." - Henry Miller

"So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and don't be sorry." - Jack Kerouac

"No one is remembered for being normal" -- Albert Einstein

 
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Grazer
Posted: 2 November 2013 - 10:43 PM                                    
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surprise.gif That looks awesome! Looks like a Christmas postcard or something.




"One time we were on a camping trip. This bear ate all our food! I got all wimpy scared, but my grandpa, he said to me, 'Bud. . . we'll just go grazing.'"

 
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denizen
Posted: 3 November 2013 - 11:26 AM                                    
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I second that.

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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YopeGyver
Posted: 3 November 2013 - 12:16 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Grazer @ 3 November 2013 - 02:43 AM)
surprise.gif That looks awesome! Looks like a Christmas postcard or something.

Ditto! ohmy.gif That looks amazing!

"Our principles are the springs of our actions. Our actions, the springs of our happiness
or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles."
-Red Skelton

"You can't live in the past - there's a future to be had!"


Art

 
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Joe SAKic
Posted: 4 November 2013 - 08:23 PM                                    
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Thanks for the kind words, folks. I was a Light Engineer in another life - so I have a few ideas about what works and what doesn't with respect to various light sources and intensities .... but it's all pretty much straight forward and store bought these days - not too much macgyvering involved.

If candles weren't so dangerous - it would be fun to implement them into the equation - especially with power bills getting higher & higher each year. But as it is, the insurance companies even frown against the usage of fireplaces these days .... so there's not alot of wiggle room for improvisation - Mac style.

I do have a large collection of about 500 Christmas LPs that I've collected over the years and I integrate to amplifiers together each year for some multi-room sound that works well with background Christmas carols and overall ambience. For the snow falling factor on Christmas Eve - no macgyvering will help - all at the mercy of Mother Nature, I'm afraid . Extra special when the flakes fall at the time of year though.

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.

Whether you think you can or you can't .... you're probably right!

"Nature often addressed our problems much better than the doctor." - Henry Miller

"So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and don't be sorry." - Jack Kerouac

"No one is remembered for being normal" -- Albert Einstein

 
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denizen
Posted: 5 November 2013 - 04:26 AM                                    
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Well Joe, whatever youre doing works. Looks awesome. biggrin.gif

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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MacGirl
Posted: 9 November 2013 - 09:06 AM                                    
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This will be the first year I'm in my apartment (I moved at the end of June), and the first time in quite awhile that I'll be putting up my own tree. I have a six-foot fake tree I bought years ago, and while it does look kind of scrawny, once it's decorated it's not half-bad. I use strings of gold beads and white lights, and I have a bunch of really cool bird ornaments. This year I'll also add my new KITT ornament. Wish Paramount would license Hallmark to make an "official" Mac ornament... how about one made to look like an SAK with the show logo on it?

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What's that?
Lateral... cranial... impact... enhancer. *whack* Last Stand

 
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denizen
Posted: 11 November 2013 - 03:54 AM                                    
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That sounds awesome. But perhaps I am in the dark here. You mentioned a KITT ornament?? This I gotta see.

I vote we post pics of our trees when they are up & lookee. Mine will probably only go up at the end of the month sometime. biggrin.gif

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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MacFan092985
Posted: 15 November 2013 - 09:24 AM                                    
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I've seen the K.I.T.T. ornament, it's pretty cool. I'll let MacGirl give more details.

"Jeep. My Jeep? What are you talking about? Penny! My Jeep?" - MacGyver

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denizen
Posted: 16 November 2013 - 10:45 AM                                    
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A pic of it would be great! Are they still available?

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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Grazer
Posted: 16 November 2013 - 04:05 PM                                    
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You could Google it. wink.gif cool.jpg

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MacFan092985
Posted: 16 November 2013 - 11:19 PM                                    
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Yes. Check your local Hallmark store.

"Jeep. My Jeep? What are you talking about? Penny! My Jeep?" - MacGyver

"Look at me. I'm a hurtin' guy! I'm beat up. I need a month's worth of sleep . . . and I need a haircut!" - MacGyver

"It's been said, 'The best gift a man could ever give another, was his life', Jack Dalton was never one to settle for less than the best. Thank you Jack." - MacGyver

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denizen
Posted: 17 November 2013 - 01:06 AM                                    
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Doing it now!

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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MacFan092985
Posted: 26 November 2013 - 08:07 PM                                    
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Hey Denizen,

Were you able to find a K.I.T.T. ornament? hmm.bmp

"Jeep. My Jeep? What are you talking about? Penny! My Jeep?" - MacGyver

"Look at me. I'm a hurtin' guy! I'm beat up. I need a month's worth of sleep . . . and I need a haircut!" - MacGyver

"It's been said, 'The best gift a man could ever give another, was his life', Jack Dalton was never one to settle for less than the best. Thank you Jack." - MacGyver

"Reboots are born out of the lack of imagination." M. Lance Frank

 
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denizen
Posted: 27 November 2013 - 04:32 AM                                    
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Hiya,

Yea, actually I saw it on a website. Looks awesome. Living on this side of the world, one tends to miss these lovely things. smile.gif

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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Wheeljack
Posted: 11 December 2013 - 08:39 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacFan092985 @ 2 November 2013 - 06:32 AM)
Wheeljack . . . I LOVE THE TREE!

I thought about buying one of the officially licensed "Charlie Brown" trees at Wal*Mart, but I like the individual, one-of-a-kind look yours has.

Thanks. It's out for this year too, I just finished some garland for it made from old buttons, I'll post a new pic soon. I'd like to get some of micro led lights for it, too. I saw the Charlie Brown tree in a craft store, they had two versions, a regular one, and one that has a speaker in the stand that plays that piano song. I almost bought one, but decided to put together my own so I could decorate it more.

Since everyone's talking about their plans, here's mine. smile.gif Most Christmases I'm just home by myself, my family isn't close and everyone has their own gatherings or whatever. I put up some decorations and lights though, and I have my own little tradition of playing Super Nintendo on Christmas. I don't know why, I just do, it brings back memories from when I was younger and life was easier I guess. This year I was suppose to go to my girlfriend's grandparent's farm, which I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately she decided she "wasn't ready for a serious relationship" and ended things. After that my friend invited me over, so that's where I'm going. I'll be the only one there that isn't a relative I suppose, but hey. I plan on baking some bread to bring along.

 
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