The colors of Christmas

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Some, who are reading this, may wonder why a black and white photo with no snow was chosen to be included in a blog post entitled “The colors of Christmas”. It’s really quite simple. For some, the season of Christmas brings no color at all, no fancy lights, or dinners or parties. No joyful trimming of the tree or waiting for presents to be received or to be given.

For some, this can be the darkest time of the year, when they may feel most alone. Now, there are some that revel in the loneliness and in some ways actually welcome it. For those individuals, this time of the year is not unlike any other time. Just another day in which to get things done while others are spending time with friends and family.

Yet, for most people who dread this time of the year. It is a 30 day reminder that they do not share this joyous time of the year with someone. No one special for them to sit with and enjoy the endless onslaught of Holiday movies, nor to share a hot cup of cocoa at the end of the day.

Well, if you find yourself reading this, and find yourself one of those individuals, no need to fret this year.

I, myself, have been one of “those people” for a few years now. In fact, this will be the eighth Christmas and New Years season I have spent alone, and am hear to say that, it may not be easy, but, you can make it to the new year.

Instead of focusing on the fact that I have no one special in my life right now with whom to share the holidays. I focus on myself. During an eleven month period, one can accumulate quite a lot of stuff. During the holiday season is, for me, the perfect time to reduce the “stuff” I have.

Old clothes go to the Salvation Army, old books go to the library, and I go through and clean out my “catch -all drawer” (and we know we all have one!). As a photographer of community events, I then go through my SD cards, drives, and pictures folders on all PC’s and devices, to make sure that they have all been categorized and uploaded to the cloud, so that they are readily available.

After that, I get into my own “Holiday Traditions” of watching “The Thin Man” with a nice cup of hot tea (with lemon), some chocolate chip cookies (is there really any other kind?!),and then settle in for the showing of the “Doctor Who Christmas Special”.

This year, however, I am adding a new tradition to the mix. And that is of being online. If you read my blogs, and I know there are not a lot of entries, if you find yourself not having anything to do this weekend, give me a shout-out.

We can email, exchange thoughts on movies, music, or just whatever. Just my way of saying that “no one should be alone on the Holidays”. Yep, sounds a bit cliché and a bit sappy. But, I will be here blogging all weekend and if you wish to chat, let me know in the comments.

Till then and make sure you are ready for this years “Doctor Who Christmas Special”, it comes on this Sunday (Christmas night) at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America.

 

Cooking, Relaxing, “Doctor Who”-ing, and What Not.

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Merry Christmas to all! And I hop that it is a wonderful and blessed Christmas Day for everyone. May you be surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones. And may the day be filled with joy, laughter, and the beginning of many a fond memory.

Believe or not, just last night, I finally got around to putting up some Christmas lights in my apartment. I know, I know, but I figure better late than never. Strung up some nice LED lights that came from Menards, got out some decorations (including a Christmas ornament made by a very good friend) and set about getting all “festive up in this place”..lol. At the moment, the only centerpiece that is missing is the actual tree itself, but that is a task for the coming year. After I put up the lights and decorations, then came the time for a nice cup of hot cocoa, some chocolate chip cookies, and a nice relaxing Christmas Eve. Oh, and let us not forget the sending out of a “bazillion” Christmas cards to all friends.

Got up today, and actually at the moment, the Cornish Hen is being marinated. Funny thing is, that with all the other foods I have decided to make along the hen, found out that there is not enough pots! So, instead of the sweet stuffing being made on top of the stove (my preferred method) it will be fixed and the cooked in a pan in the oven. And what is the menu of the day you may ask? Well, here is what to expect for Christmas dinner at my place:

  • Glazed Cornish Game Hen
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Candied Yams
  • French Cut Green Beans
  • Stuffing
  • Cherry Pie (with Whip Cream) for dessert.

I know! I can’t wait for my first Glazed Cornish Hen with all the fixings! And of course, yours truly will be having his favorite drink for this holiday meal – chilled Cranberry Juice! Now the trick is having the entire meal done in time.

Time for what?? Well, of course in time for “Time of the Doctor” ( #TheTimeofTheDoctor ) on BBC America at 9:00 p.m. tonight. Those of us who enjoy watching the show have been waiting for the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special and I for one have enjoyed each of them very much. Naturally, it will be watched with eyes and ears wide open, looking for all and any clues as to what may be coming in future episodes. For me, just a fun show to watch.

Now, the sad part is there will be no watching with any fellow “Whovians” of the special tonight. And, I know that there may be many a person who will be celebrating the holidays without someone special and this can be a little hard this especially this time of the year. So, here is a little something to remember…just as I did for myself here, treat that one very special person in your life – YOU!! Yep, all the exciting items on my menu, I picked out because I wanted to do something special for myself. Do that for yourself also this season. Put the lights up, decorate YOUR place, Watch your all-time favorite movie and laugh out loud. Enjoy the special and important person that you are this season because you are indeed so very special.

And then..And then..still feeling a little lost and disconnected? Tell you what – drop me a “hello” line on my Google+ page ( https://plus.google.com/+CharlesMcGill ), that “hello” goes straight to my tablet (which is always by my side, just in case I need to jot down some marketing campaign thoughts) and I will reply to your Hello!

Until then, my friends, have a wonderful day and take care of yourself and each other!

 

3 Days and counting!

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The Time of The Doctor

In just three days it will be Christmas and families will be together celebrating the closeness and unity that comes with that day.

In just three days, the time of The Doctor will come to an end, and another Time Lord shall rise! Oh yes! BBC America this coming Wednesday shall once again please all of Whovian Universe with a simulcast of the annual Doctor Who Christmas special. And as it must happen with Christmas specials, this one sees the last of the current Time Lord (Matt Smith) and will show him “regenerating” into his new form of The Doctor to be portrayed by Peter Capaldi.

To my knowledge, this is the first time that a Doctor Who alumni will be taking over as the titular character. We first saw Peter Capaldi acting skills on the show with and episode called “The Fires of Pompeii” It should be also noted that The Doctor’s traveling companion – Amy Pond brilliantly played by Karen Gillan – also was seen in that same episode as one of the Sisterhood who worship a space creature referred to as a Pyroville.

The Christmas special has always been a good one to watch. And I am sure that this one will answer a number of questions, along with starting a list of new ones!

Early Christmas (totally unexpected too!)

Saturday, I got quite an unexpected early Christmas surprise! One of my web clients presented me with a Visa Gift card and dinner at a local restaurant called The Fuel Woodfire Grill. It was a total surprise to me. Sometimes, it is the little things that you don’t expect, that can brighten your day.

Change of Menu

And because Christmas Day will now be a little bit busier for me, there has been some changes made to the menu. Stuffing and cranberry sauce has now has been added to the dinner menu (forgot, you can’t call it a holiday meal without stuffing and cranberry sauce), The glaze for the Cornish hens has been changed to honey-glaze. I will be making the glaze from a base of real butter (melted), added to that will be brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon (for taste and color). Still haven’t decided on whether to make real mashed potatoes or Yams. Although, I feel the choice has been made for me. Friday, on my way home from work, I stopped at my local Kroger and lo and behold, they were all out of Yams! Yep, both fresh and prepared (my favorite prepared Yams are from Bruce’s Yams – so good!) So, I will check again on the way home on Monday and hope that my luck has changed…a little. Oh, and the chocolate amaretto jelly roll cake has been changed to the old “tried and true” cherry pies. Reason: was unable to find a cake pan that was suitable for making the jelly roll cake in at this time. But, it is a recipe that I look forward to trying and seeing how it comes out.

Anyway, looking forward to this Holiday Season and all that comes with it. And I hope that yours will be a warm, wonderful, and blessed day to spend with family, friends, and loved ones as the joy of Christmas Day brings a little joy and warmth to your heart.