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Steason’s Greetings

24 Nov

After what seems like a good long while, in which I haven’t been doing much but working,  I’ve finally had time to sit down and compose some thoughts.  I was going to do a book review but the words just aren’t materialising today so you are stuck with some thoughts bungled together on my day off.  Sorry about the quality.

Found at Mansfieldtowncentre.co.uk

I started my Christmas shopping at the weekend, having already watched Die Hard 2 it felt it was the right time to start. You can’t beat a good thriller with a thin veneer of Christmas tacked on, to make it all feel somehow festive.  Anyway, after spending last year’s Yuletide season on another continent,  I expected to feel a little novelty in town this year.

Alas, it was disappointing to find that everything was still the same.  By which I mean the some shops and the usual stuff for sale in said shops, everything was as it was as if time has stood still. I like tradition, in fact a lot of things follows the same routine for me around this time of year but the shopping trips are starting to feel really tired, the same products just appear in new packages..

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, for the music piped into the shopping centre was a welcome remembrance, it has been the best part of two years since I’ve heard those classic tunes that are the soundtrack to my month and a bit build up to Christmas day.  Last year I did come across a couple of new tunes that have entered my established play list, as with so many things across the pond it has changed my perspectives on what I do in the old country.

Digression aside, I found myself looking for some item of clothing for the work’s Christmas do to make me appear less scruffy and then something for myself as this is the time for giving after all.  It didn’t take long to become aware of an overwhelming malaise when it comes to actually shopping.  I decided that my years old clothes will do for the night in town as the lighting might be inadequate allowing me to get away with my fashion ‘sense’ and as for treating myself well a magazine was my prize because I am pretty cheap.

It may make me sound Scrooge-like (which is apt for the time of year) but I think I am becoming inured to having things, it is all about the simple pleasures these days.  Like the pint I had accompanied by a wonderful book read in the pub, that made me feel all smiley but more on that later, as I have just decided that I am back in the mood to review books and feel suitably seasonal about it as well.

I appreciate your patience as I catch up with you all, it’s always overwhelming to go through the many great blogs out there after a break, as you probably all know.

Taken from the local paper website chad.co.uk

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40 Comments

Posted by on 24/11/2014 in Life

 

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40 responses to “Steason’s Greetings

  1. shadowoperator

    24/11/2014 at 21:12

    You think you’re Scroogy this year–I didn’t even step outside of my house to go shopping. I just ordered out of a couple of favorite catalogs, and got some great sales, and some free shipping, but the ol’ Christmas spirit of that “personal touch” of trudging around with parcels and packages just didn’t appeal to me this year. I guess I’ll have to wait for the baking part of stuff for other people to really get my Christmas groove on!

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    • Ste J

      24/11/2014 at 21:22

      All the pushing and shoving does get a bit much, I think you have the best idea to do it as stress free as possible. Doing those traditional things are always the best things of Christmas, humming along to the songs and actually feeling festive out of the cold weather. I seem to be fairly schizophrenic, at work I completely forget about it yet when i am outside of work, I am getting into it, it is all new to me this year.

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  2. shadowoperator

    24/11/2014 at 22:33

    Well, Ste J, consider yourself the recipient of a virtual homemade loaf of “light bread” (a delicate and slightly sweet white roll and loaf mix from my native area, W. Va.) and a batch of sourdough English muffins (probably known to you as crumpets, you know, the things you split all the way around with a fork that have lots of holes in the inside, which soak up butter galore–that is a crumpet, isn’t it?). I’ve decided to take the high road and not bake any cookies this year, as much as people might want them, because everyone I know practically is on a health kick, and if I make them, I’m actually not doing anyone a favor, because they’ll eat them. And then gain weight. And so on into the New Year. But the sourdough English muffins and light bread are a little bit fattening and rich too, so no one has to feel too deprived. Just think, though, you’ve had yours before everyone else had theirs, because yours is virtual–not only that, you can have it again and again, just by re-reading my comment and thinking hard about it. This week is American Thanksgiving (Thursday), so you can start early and celebrate with us! Just find a cooked turkey leg to gnaw on in honor of the holiday (I’m actually having a Cornish game hen, though, because no one else wanted to do turkey this year. I would’ve settled for goose or duck, or even preferred them, but my Mom wants steelhead trout–a more delicate version of salmon–so I insisted on sticking to something that once had feathers for my part, and she’s going to get her fish). Anyway, I will probably have to go out shopping at least for the dog’s gift (last year I got him a 4 1/2 foot cow bone to gnaw), and that will be my trip out. Maybe next year, I’ll run my legs off again Christmas shopping.

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    • Ste J

      25/11/2014 at 18:55

      I feel well and truly podged after reading your comments, fantastic aromas, tastes and visions were running through my mind. I loved thanksgiving, watching the parade and the cooking, it was wonderful, I shall definitely raise a glass to you. There is always next year for the insanity of the shops, you put your feet up with a cuppa and enjoy everybody elses stress haha.

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  3. Letizia

    24/11/2014 at 22:35

    Steason’s greetings – oh how I love that! I’ve done my Christmas shopping already. Wanted to get it out of the way and avoid the crowds… We also have some birthdays around the holiday season so have to get extra gifts.. sigh…

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    • Ste J

      25/11/2014 at 18:33

      Hey, don’t sigh, my birthday is eight days before Christmas, it’s not our fault lol. Kudos for getting your shopping done, as usual I will lament my lack of foresight again.

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      • Letizia

        25/11/2014 at 20:19

        Another Christmas birthday! You’re right, it’s not your fault, haha! It’s hard sometimes because I want to make sure the birthday stands out from Christmas. The good thing is that we’re often on holiday so can make a real event of them.

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        • Ste J

          26/11/2014 at 19:14

          Holidays…he says with a wistful tone. I usually work on my birthday which is annoying as we can’t book any days off that close to Christmas but I keep myself merry by telling everybody that ‘it’s my day and you all have to do as I say’. It sometimes works as well.

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  4. vsvevg

    25/11/2014 at 02:48

    Christmas. Hum.(bug) I hated it with all my best cynic’s stance when I lived in the US. But in my little rural town…with no lights and no trees and no 24hour carols, no toddies, no presents, just pozole(pig head and hominy soup)and punche(a weird NA?! fruit punch that manages to be both cloying and tasteless) I miss the tinsel of Christmas in Chicago. Seems I can’t be pleased on either side of the border. So have an eggnog(rum with a splash of nog) for me, and waste some gasoline looking at an insane amount of electricity being wasted on decorative lighting, love and joy come to you Senor J : )
    ps, your right about the stuff, everything is better with less stuff

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    • Ste J

      25/11/2014 at 18:45

      Christmas is a strange beast, we crave to escape the wall to wall insanity but it seems to be polarised either way, it would be nice to get a decent mix, especially with the rum. The only stuff I like to hoard are books but that is at least educational, well except for my colouring books hehe.

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  5. nancyrae4

    25/11/2014 at 02:50

    Welcome back. Seems like a lot of us are taking a mini-break from blogging for the tedious necessities of life like work:) For the first time in several years I’m actually feeling a bit of the Christmas twinge, thinking about putting the tree up, dragging out the old, beautiful ornaments, and baking something other than everyday food. You know, decorating Christmas cookies, baking a fruitcake. (Yes, people do really eat those if they’re done right!) So, I’m easing into the season and looking foward to it!

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    • Ste J

      25/11/2014 at 18:37

      It is tough to blog sometimes, especially this time of year but I do feel bad for not being around, after all the work I have put in to the blog it always feels a little a little sad to neglect it. I too am feeling Christmassy this year, there must be something in the air, working in retail I never thought I would enjoy Christmas again but it is the time for miracles and all that.

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  6. gargoylebruce

    25/11/2014 at 03:07

    How many times a day is Christmas in New York playing at the moment? What about Shakin’ Stevens, Merry Christmas Everyone?” You should treat yourself to a Southern Hemisphere Christmas if you want to feel traditional on your return. It’s not yet summer and for the last two weeks we’ve had temperatures in excess of 30 degrees nearly every day. It’s appalling. It makes me wish we could celebrate Christmas wearing ugly Christmas jumpers.

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    • Ste J

      25/11/2014 at 18:50

      I have been avoiding a lot of the music, moderation is the best thing, I am waiting until I feel really in the mood then blasting out all the classics and milking my happy mood. it is my cunning plan to get me through in a good mood. I can just about cope with 25 and even then I am pathetic but I think I would be even more pathetic without my questionable festive garments. They may be ugly jumpers but they are comedy gold as well.

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  7. Alastair Savage

    25/11/2014 at 07:29

    The main square in Mansfield looks very nice. Is that where you sneaked off for your pint?

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    • Ste J

      25/11/2014 at 18:32

      It’s a decent market square but to say we are a market town we get little of the actual market there, which is sad. There are a couple of decent pubs around the market square, perhaps a blog post about perspectives of the square from each one could be in the offing.

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  8. danniehill

    25/11/2014 at 20:50

    This is my first Christmas in several years back in the States and I must say I enjoyed the spirit of Christmas more without all the sales pitches. I was completely surprised during my years in Thailand- a country of 95% Buddhist- to see Christmas trees and hear carols in the big stores. I always wondered about that. I’ll try to enjoy the merriment but enjoy the spirit of Christmas as I did in Thailand.

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    • Ste J

      26/11/2014 at 19:39

      Everything is too commercial and in your face these days, it seems like everybody trades on the tradition of it whilst ruining it. Even the Buddhists love a good Santa hat…or so I like to imagine. I am also trying the less is more approach for this Christmas, avoiding all the shops and TV adverts as much as possible.

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  9. readingwithrhythm

    26/11/2014 at 04:57

    Well, I hope your season gets a little cheerier as it goes along! We get to start off with a festive Thanksgiving here! LOVE Thanksgiving! Turkey and pumpkin! Yum!

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    • Ste J

      26/11/2014 at 19:21

      I will get jollier as I go along, I usually do. Thanksgiving is great, a fridge chock full of left overs is always a welcome sight.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. Lyn

    26/11/2014 at 08:16

    I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet and I have nine grandchildren to buy for. ~sigh~ I think I need to get my act together. Thing is, I hate shopping — any sort of shopping. It stresses me out, and my osteoarthritis makes it hard to walk around the shops. Oh well, I’ll get there in the end 🙂

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    • Ste J

      26/11/2014 at 19:32

      Blimey, I don’t envy you with all that shopping, it’s enough to get around in the crowds without mobility problems, so I hope you get things done with as little trouble as stress as possible my friend.

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  11. Jeff

    26/11/2014 at 23:12

    If you need to improve your wardrobe on your limited budget, why not find some charity shops in a posh area? The donations are usually of a high standard. I recently got a zip-up Ralph Lauren winter cardy for, if I remember right, around a tenner from Oxfam in Jesmond, Newcastle. You might find a decent dedicated charity bookshop too!

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    • Ste J

      29/11/2014 at 14:10

      That’s a bargain, I did hunt through a few charity shops in Nottingham but got distracted by the books, which is not a bad thing, in fact it was a more ideal way to spend the time.

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  12. Seyi sandra

    27/11/2014 at 19:25

    I’ve just started my Christmas shopping and I’m already bored. I love Christmas, it holds a deep religious meaning for me but the shopping spree gets on my nerves. A friend commented recently on a night out (one of those rare days when I let my hair down) that I’m like a grumpy old woman. Can’t help it when the burden of shopping is on my shoulders. Enough whining :), I hope you’ll have fun Ste J! 🙂

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    • Ste J

      29/11/2014 at 14:12

      The shopping is only fun when you did the last few bits and everybody else is stressed as you meander around, if you are grumpy then I am joining your club lol. Christmas is so much better when all the hassle of shopping is stripped away.

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  13. Sherri

    28/11/2014 at 17:46

    Oh I know just what you mean about the same things in different packages. I’m so glad you mentioned this as I thought it was just me feeling jaded looking around the shops. Isn’t it so nice to find those little shops that sell things that are unique but not so overpriced that you feel ripped off…but they are few and far between. It feels strange not celebrating Thanksgiving anymore since I returned to the UK but it’s my middle boy’s birthday tomorrow so we will be celebrating that instead. I even made a pumpkin pie as my daughter found the exact same canned pumpkin I used to use in the States online. I like it now but couldn’t stand it when I first tried it. I hope you have a good time at your office Christmas do…I’m sure you will look very nice. And I hope you manage to enjoy the true spirit of the season in those simple, and more meaningful moments…

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    • Ste J

      29/11/2014 at 14:19

      Thanksgiving is something I will always remember at this time of the year and miss it, I only had one but it was enough to make me wish for it every year, instead we get lumbered with Black Friday and those cheap TVs lol. The Christmas do is tonight, I have a new jacket and some black jeans so I won’t let the side down, I am actually quite excited which is something new for a works do. Christmas is like wandering through a busy city, a bit of a nightmare but every so often I come to an oasis of calm where I can appreciate the finer points of the season and listen to The Fairytale of New York just one more time.

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      • Sherri

        02/12/2014 at 14:47

        Oh for that oasis of calm…we do need that amidst all the craziness of the season…a time to pause and reflect as it should be, hopefully. I hope your do went well…sounds like you cut quite the dash…do tell all 🙂

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        • Ste J

          03/12/2014 at 18:19

          I was told I looked good that night actually which is something new for me lol. It was a do involving lots of doubles and chicken legs, I actually managed to get up in the morning with nothing more than a bad throat so I got off better than most people haha. It was fairly tame though as far as Christmas work parties go.

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          • Sherri

            04/12/2014 at 11:39

            Wonderful 🙂 Christmas parties have changed big time since ‘back in the day’, you know, the good old 70s and 80s. I’m aging myself here, lol. But I can see why they were banned from taking place in the actual office…say no more…
            Hope your sore throat disappeared…and you are still grinning happily…but not like you know who lol! (I’m still laughing, thanks Ste!).

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            • Ste J

              07/12/2014 at 07:43

              Luckily our Christmas party avoided a photocopier and any of THAT…although there was the one inevitable rumour. The sore throat is still with me but is mercifully fading now so I shall be back to talking at strangers for no reason in no time.

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              • Sherri

                08/12/2014 at 12:14

                LOL 😀 But not for the sore throat…so glad it’s fading…those strangers don’t know what they are missing 🙂

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  14. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    02/12/2014 at 00:27

    Internet shopping is perfect for me ’cause I never really enjoyed going to stores and shopping! When I’m online I know what I’m looking for, there’s no impulse buying, and I spend what I have in mind I’m meant to spend!! Happy you’re getting back in your groove 🙂

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    • Ste J

      03/12/2014 at 18:52

      There is something to be said with freestyling on presents though, especially for yourself as an early treat. I hate the idea of not getting something that I am totally satisfied with or worse damaged but I can see the reasons why more people are doing it. It also keep the shops less busy for those of us that do brave the stores which makes everybody happy.

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      • Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

        03/12/2014 at 21:13

        You’ve got a point…it’s like reading a real book…rather than one on my Kindle! When I was younger I liked going to a nice Mall, with list in hand and shopping…even in hoards of people…now a days not so much! For the years that my husband was bedridden I didn’t have time to go Mall surfing…very early on I decided that Online Shopping was a blessing 🙂 The offline shops LOVE you…and thankfully there are still plenty that like hands on shopping!

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        • Ste J

          07/12/2014 at 07:37

          A Kindle is never going to tempt me although I have an app on the computer just for reviewing purposes. Online shopping eases the stress of this time of year which is always a plus point, I feel so behind the times for not using it, it is nice to be archaic sometimes though, at least in my mind lol.

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  15. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    14/12/2014 at 03:03

    It is slightly overwhelming. I wouldn’t worry about being out of fashion–a year is not that far behind and some clothing is timeless. Oh and never say never. That’s what I said about a Kindle, but now I have one and love it. 😀 If I don’t make it back before Christmas, have the best holiday ever.

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    • Ste J

      15/12/2014 at 15:05

      A Kindle…I actually used one slightly this year but I don’t think I will turn to the dark side yet. I hope you have a great Christmas as well, but I am sure we will bump into each other at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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