Here Comes, Umm, Santa Claus

WARNING: This post contains mature themes, so if you are a child, you MUST stop reading now!!!


As a kid of course I was like every other child on Christmas Eve. I got maybe two hours of sleep. I was imagining the bounty Santa would bring.

I think I figured out the truth about the fat, bearded man at about age nine. Of course I played along for my sisters, age five and six (and they say I was a mean big sister!).

The 33-year-old Erin finds the whole Santa thing quite ironic. When you’re a child your parents tells you to always tell the truth. It’s one of the Ten Commandments. Even God tells you not to lie.

Yet every single adult is in on the ruse. There are mall Santas and airplanes that track his whereabouts. I even heard on the news he was spotted over Saskatchewan.

I guess to adults, Santa is more of a fib than a lie. A fiblet, perhaps. A fiblet I plan to tell my future nieces and nephews.

The Holiday for the Rest of Us


I’d like to wish you a Happy Festivus!

What am I talking about? My parents were huge fans of “The show about nothing.” Even today, over 25 years later, we can’t have soup for dinner without one of them talking about the soup Nazi and usually when it’s about time Dad for to set up the Christmas tree he starts talking about Festivus.

Unfamiliar with this holiday?

I was, too. It’s a show I didn’t watch, so I googled it. explains the entire celebration.

When I think about it, this post was really a post about nothing, too. Fitting, don’t you think?

I Love Christmas, But…

Day 2 Assignment: Lists

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not in way a Grinch or Scrooge. I LOVE Christmas. But for day two of Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration I had to come up with a list.

Although I’m no Grinch, there are some things that annoy me about this wonderful holiday.

The 12 Annoyances of Christmas

  1. The church up the street from us having their tree up since
  2. Everyone, especially stores, “celebrating” so early.
  3. Gaining weight (can you say “good food?”).
  4. Commercialism.
  5. Cold (although today is about 60 degrees here and it’s freezing to us, the rest of the country would probably kill for that).
  6. Crowds.
  7. Pressure of finding the right gift for everyone.
  8. Candy canes (not really an annoyance, I just can’t stand them).
  9. Not being able to put my tree up in my room this year (sorry, small black puppy, I’m not really annoyed…).
  10. Any Elvis Christmas music.
  11. Having to burn a pine-scented candle for a Christmas-y smell (our tree is fake).
  12. Sports on TV on Christmas (I have no idea why it annoys me, it just does).

Is It The End of December Already??

Less than two weeks till Christmas (and less than three of 2016, how is that possible?). I’m almost done with my “shopping.” Our family is donating to charities again, and I know the charity for Kelley, I just need to do it.

I guess until I do I shouldn’t judge, but driving to dinner last night we passed a shopping center. From the freeway I couldn’t see all the stores, but I know Barnes and Noble and Best Buy where there. Needless to say, their parking lots were full. Poor Mom does grocery shopping at Target and why she doesn’t say “Oh, the heck with it,” and flee, I have no idea. This time of year there should be a “I’m-not-Christmas-shopping-I’m-regular-shopping” cash register open.

What I don’t understand is Christmas isn’t like, say, Easter. The date has always, and will always be, December 25th. Why do people act like it’s a sudden surprise come mid-December?


image courtesy of

I can understand why people like to be out in the hustle and bustle of a festive environment, but when that environment includes harried shoppers and tired kids, count me out.

Thanksgiving Part 2

For this post I’d like to thank the people at WordPress. The photo challenge prompt fit exactly with what I was going to talk about anyway.

You knew that the whole family was going to fly to Seattle to surprise my sister for Thanksgiving. Well, we’re back. The surprise worked perfectly, as you can see.

Thanksgiving was just a lazy day. We all watched “Intervention,” played Uno (which caused some salty language) ate a delicious turkey, and watched “Christmas Vacation,” a Tharp tradition.

Our Thanksgiving definitely strayed from the typical. It wasn’t a formal occasion, which is the norm for many. But all the people I love were together. It couldn’t be Thanksgiving without that.

Thanksgiving, Part 1


Recently my youngest sister moved to Seattle, where her former boyfriend, now fiancé, got a job. That was part of the deal. She wouldn’t leave her family in Southern California without a ring. She is braver than I!

I’m writing this on Friday, November 11th. Tomorrow, the Tharp “girls,” which includes Mom and the three of us, are going wedding dress shopping.

On Sunday the whole family is gathering for “Thanksgiving dinner” since we won’t see Kelley on the real Thanksgiving. Kelley doesn’t know this, but the four of us are flying up to Seattle for the real Thanksgiving to surprise her. We’ll just have pizza, but we’ll be together. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?

In conclusion, it is the tiny moments in life, like wedding dress shopping and Thanksgiving dinner, even if it means eating pizza, can be the most special. As long as your family is by your side.



Miss it? Don’t worry–it’ll be back next summer.

This post uses the photo challenge title “Now” as inspiration, but I’m obviously not using photography.


At this moment, here I sit in the kitchen, the house in disarray as the Christmas decorations come down. I hear the zipping of the bag containing our tree. Yes, it’s fake, something my 29-year-old sister is horrified at.


This time was always sad as a kid. Christmas was really over. Eleven more months, which was an eternity. Now, it’s kind of like, “The show’s over, back to your lives!” Almost a relief to return to normal.


Time flies at the age of 32. Although it’s dreary and bitter cold, by Southern California standards, it could be May 2015—seven months ago. Or at least it seems like it could be May. Or should be May.


So, with that logic, I guess Christmas will be back next summer, fake tree and all.


Image courtesy of

December Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year


At church, our priest discourages his parishioners from doing any Christmas-related activities until after Thanksgiving, especially Black Friday shopping (although since Walmart offers Black Friday deals all day long on Thanksgiving, I suppose you could call it Black Thursday. Or Black Thanksgiving.). My family has always waited to decorate or listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but to the majority of Americans, Christmas starts after Halloween. Okay, I know I’m exaggerating, but it sure feels like it. Right after Halloween, up went the Christmas decorations in our city. Sirius/XM started playing Christmas music (actually that might been before Halloween!), and Christmas trees, along with Santa in some cases, graced every mall.


Aren’t we forgetting something? Oh yeah. Thanksgiving. How did a nice holiday, complete with good food, family, and a good message, get swept away like that? Being thankful for what you have shouldn’t be one of those calendar-filling holidays like, say, Arbor Day. And if you are giving thanks, Christmas just might be a little more special.


Happy Thanksgiving, readers!

Halloween, Circa 1994

Erin the Picnic, Kelley the Hula Girl, and Sarah the Bag of Jelly Belly's.

Erin the Picnic, Kelley the Hula Girl, and Sarah the Bag of Jelly Belly’s.

Ah, Halloween. It was the one night when bedtimes didn’t matter (within reason), and a sugar rush was acceptable—almost expected. And for one night you could experience being somebody other than yourself.

Then comes the year when you stop trick-or-treating altogether (I was probably in junior high). I felt so grown up—trick-or-treating was so juvenile! But being on candy patrol wasn’t as much fun, as it turned out.

Today, HALLOWEEN, PERIOD, even if I dressed up, just isn’t the same. There are just too many creeps who are ready to “pounce” on unsuspecting children partaking in an innocent pre-November tradition. You see on the news the stupid people hiding razors and things in candy or lacing it with drugs.

I know I sound like an old geezer, but I miss the innocent days. My sisters and I got costume ideas from American Girl magazine, Dad was the designated pumpkin carver, and a fun-size Reese’s Cup made my night.

I’m now 32 and my sisters in their late 20s. I’m positive they would wholeheartedly agree when I say I wish I appreciated those days of trick-or-treating, when my only problem was which candy bar to eat first.