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Did you remember to log out? Thursday November 19, 2015

My eldest daughter forgets to log out of the computer after she has written up her homework. The computer doesn't receive its cue to take its anti-virus and general-security smoothie and so we end up with a computer that needs to do a fair bit of preening in front of the mirror before we can use it properly. And so I am gently encouraging her to remember. (For 'gently' read "aaahh, you've done it again, its driving me crazy!".)

We are sitting in the dawn of silly season. The season where everyone goes a little crazy. Life-loving people have an excuse to ramp it up (hello science-experiment cocktails) and people you see as Stalwarts of Sensible suddenly show a little of what's under the guise and it can be shocking, worrying, amusing and warming. My work no longer gives me colleagues and so my exposure is limited. I enjoyed it, but I didn't realise how much it drained me. What else drains me? Exposure to the full-on Christmas Express. TV, radio, packaging, advertising, catalogues... Oh the catalogues!!! Here is what I'm doing...

When the postman drops the leafy bricks through the door, I lift them up and I put them straight into recycling. They do not pass 'Go'. If I open them, the scenes my eyes feast upon will send my brain and body into "it's time I...", "should I...?", "they do it with matching pyjamas...", "do we need a...?". Silly turns to panic. I end up feeling not only feeble for not BEING a Christmas scene but I feel I need to keep up! Stop. It.

It's the equivalent of being a child and looking at the sweet counter. Don't look. Be your parent and pull your eyes away. It's not needed. You will buy sweets when you are allowed. You will make your Christmas season the way you can handle it and unless you are very strong minded, you might need to operate a bypass system. Catalogues straight to recycling. You can even draw a face on the recycling bin, give it a name and feel good that you have "just fed George". I'm not a big TV watcher but if there is something I'd like to see I record it... that way I can fast forward through the 743,945 adverts every 15 minutes. They too make me feel inadequate and have me craving a version of 'The Waltons' existence. CDs at the ready to avoid constant Christmas music trundling through your subconscious winding up the conveyor. Be prepared to prepare less. REBEL!

Log out. Login to precisely what you need and only what you need. Joy will be yours!

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Debs Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 7:19am

Ahhh Room, your words are like a soothing balm... It's absolutely time to rebel and stand up for what we believe will serve us best. I use the same tricks as you - catalogues straight in the recycling, no adverts on TV and alternative music on a loop! Christmas feels like a symbol of all that is crazy in this world to me - rampant consumerism, false outward displays of 'perfection' covering up underlying issues, enforced joy and distractions on overdrive. I am checking out this year - my son is going to his dads and I'm going to spend Christmas with crisis in London. That might be a rebellion too far for some but I'm with you in encouraging self-preservation through the silliness. Let's protect ourselves and do what we need to do to stay seasonally sane ;-) xxx

LillyPet Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 7:24am

Good for you Debs! :) LPxx

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 9:28am

What a wonderful peeps you are Debs....even in the midst of your downs you have already been thinking of others and have good plans set - this will be one of your best Christmases ever just by giving if yourself. I do hope you can see brighter days at the moment. Love and hugs, from Bear with tinsel and bells on x x x

LillyPet Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 7:22am

Good morning Ratg!
I have a box for junk mail by the front door and will name him George! Lol! :))

Anonymous Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 8:04am

I often stick a label on those catalogues, saying "unsolicited - return to sender" and get a bit of a walk by taking them to the postbox. I feel strongly that the Royal Mail shouldn't be dealing with junk mail in the first place!

I, too, whizz past all the adverts - and I wonder how many others must do? And food shopping means avoiding the aisles crammed with "Christmas treats" since last month!

LillyPet Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 8:29am

Sorry Ratg, pressed 'add comment' before getting my Crimbo rant out of my system!!!

The thing that gets me is the pressure, wanting to make it nice for my two, who love and look forward to the little traditions that make it so nice for all 3 of us, (it's not their fault I feel like I cant face it!) but if it was just us it'd be fine!
Wondering what gifts to buy for extended family, worrying that it's not right and wanting to avoid feel guilty if I am given something wonderful. Having to endure opening gifts in front of each other! " Oh that's lovely......" For the kids, excited anticipation, for me, mega cringe city!!! I want to say "lets only do kids", but it seems that I'm the only "bar humbug" in the family! :( We've tried cheaper, less pressure alternatives, but to no avail! They know and they care, but they get on with it and I always feel cr**! Embarrased that I'm not imaginative enough, or with it enough to put on a beautiful spead to the standard that has been set. I dont really feel embarrassed because I know it'd be a ridiculous amount of pressure and I'm not doing it! But the guilt is under there no matter how sensible my reasoning is.

There is always the true meaning of Christmas, which even though I'm not religious, I could give alot more thought to. Charity this year I think, not as gifts to or instead of family, but just whatever feels real, that wouldnt be a pressure, it would be a choice from the heart. I feel pressure when I feel that I have little choice and fear too much expectation.

Oh and do I deserve to even have a crimbo rant when there are so many less fortunate..... Aghhhhh!

Does anyone have the huge pressure of not wanting to go to a big family Christmas day, but being the only one "missing" like the elephant not in the bl**** room!! :))I'd rather watch the adverts at home! :)) I've got to laugh about it I guess, maybe I'll go dressed as a grumpy Santa or something!
Back to the point though, does anyone have the dilemma that I have, that I'm being selfish putting my needs before my parents, one of whom loves all things Christmas, loves each and every family menber, loves nothing more than to have them all there on that day and as each year passes with ill health, the pressure that it might be their last, could I live with my selfishness??? In fact turning my back on my lovely family, who I really am lucky to have? (all bar one dalek inlaw! ;) in truth, doesnt my negative energy make me the opposite of who I want to be?

#crimborantover! Where there's a will there's a way! I've put it out into the universe and all will work out perfectly. Thankfully I have determination and faith in my true self. I'll find a way through it with love for them and kindness to myself. What a carry on!!!

Love to each and every one of you out there! LP xxx

danielle Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 10:17am

LP i completely agree!! In my little family there is me, OH, Mum, Mums two brothers and Nan - no kids these days I am the youngest at 26. Both me and Mum are not huge christmas fans, whilst we enjoy all getting together and laughing and sharing stories we dont see the need for the over extravagant presents. Saying that, mum likes to get everyone a little something, as do i - I enjoy shopping for people and getting them something nice, but we dont go overboard, maybe a book or two etc and enjoy a nice meal on the spare chairs all squashed around the table and enjoy each others company. On the other hand ---- my OH family go a bit overboard - they buy quite a lot of presents, have christmas lists (this to me is horrible - i can see why they do it because people will buy them things so they think it might as well be something they want, saying that there is something about it i dont like, almost they are 'expecting' and 'asking' for gifts) and eek the present giving out all day! I went there for christmas 2 years ago and it was a lovely day but the presents i just dont like - i am like you- would rather not do presents, or would rather say lets set a limit per person of £5. but who am i to be the scrooge and take the pleasure from others! then comes the expectation on all the tv ads etc that you must be happy because its christmas! bahhh!!!!!

LillyPet Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 8:20am

Lol! Thanks Danielle! Gift list fow weddings I understand, but Christmas? Wow! Sounds ghastly! You OH side have taken the tradition of bringing gifts to a whole new level! I'd be bery tempted to say "Cheers guys but I'm good for Myrrh and Frankincense... can I have a porche! Lol! :))) xxx

danielle Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 8:48am

haha LP this is great!! I might do a joke one next year and see their faces! dont get me wrong they are a lovely family, but in our family the big deal has always been spending the day with loved ones not the pressies. I also like surprises and buying surprises so I dont bother using their lists xx

LillyPet Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 9:32pm

Good for you! :) xx

LillyPet Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 8:39am

Ps, Love the "log out" otherwise you might catch a nasty crimbo virus! Will rember to do that if any related worries or pressure come my way! Hope you are ok Ratg, Thanks for a great blog! Xx

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 9:38am

Tee blooming hee, Lillypet...your rant has made me larf out loud!!! You go for it!!! You will find a way through the turkey, tinsel and trash as no doubt we all will....just don't feel that you have to be a performing seal for the benefit of others. You say that one particular parent adores Christmas and loves each and every member of the family...I thnk if that person knew how much you didn't want to 'do' Christmas the way that THEY want, and if they truly wanted everyone to be happy, then they would help you out and suggest you only be there for part of the day. Please don't let the 'Oh but this might be their last Christmas' thing be part of it. We went through that for twenty years after my father died and sixteen years after father in law died...we were so worried about the Mums left behind and being alone and whether they would see another Christmas....NO STOP IT NOW!!!!! What if it is YOUR last Christmas?? Go on, be a cheeky liddle ELF and be sELFish in that respect, and do what makes you and your children happy.... :) x x x x

danielle Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 10:18am

well said Bear :)

LillyPet Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 7:27am

Thankyou Honey Bear, you're sooo right! Will do! Glad I made you ( and me!) chuckle!! Love LP :)) xxx

Lou Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 9:03am

Oh RATG! How timely your blog is today! I was just commenting yesterday that the whole thing is filling me with dread! I used to love Christmas but now I seem to be being bombarded by adverts for it on the TV, no matter how much I try and avoid it, and just seems to be another opportunity to (painfully) highlight any lack of those impossibly perfect relationships and families we are all expected to have at this time of year. Ugh. If you need me I'll be curled up away from it all with my cat and a good book. Maybe a turkey sandwich...

Good to know I’m not alone in my humbugginess!! :)


Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 9:52am

Hi RATG...oh wise one....yup its getting to so many of us now. The pressure! The ads! Who gets what -- what if I don't spend as much as someone else...does that make me canny/frugal/a miser???!!!! No...makes me commonsensical!!! When I can, I make things, when I can't I buy things as and when I see something I think is perfect for so and might be in the sales in January..summer or it might be full price. So that's the gifts sorted.

Christmas dinner? As I said a couple of weeks's like Sunday yunch with crackers! And a few extra veg, oh and maybe pigs in blankies...and some wine? Ok that's enough....!!

Years ago, when I was a performing seal and doing what everyone else did, running around like a headless chickchick (that's a strange image of a seal and headless chicken all in one!) I decided enough was enough: I was fed up with getting to Tessie Cohen's at stupid o'clock on Christmas Eve morning (5.00 a.m.) to get sprouts and carrots, parsnips etc to beat the crowds...the crowds came earlier too!
Now, I do my usual weekly shop and add maybe a Christmas pud and a few nibbles and drinks so that if someone arrives, we have something different to offer...because after all the old ways I shopped til I dropped (literally), I found I always bought too much and we didn't need to overeat for three days solid...we always ran out of milk and bread, but these days the shops are open again straight after Christmas so what's the point?

Keep calm and log off! (In the nicest possible way!!) perhaps that should be Yule Log off!!
notgoingtogetstressedoutthischristmas/ x x x x

danielle Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 10:27am

Bear this is my first ever year of being a christmas hostess. I am going to follow your rule! Just do a roast with some crackers! every year there is tons of food left which goes to waste so I am just not doing it! Our family did the unthinkable a few years back and stopped getting christmas pud as no one ate it - we had cheesecake instead! I will get OH to make a small dessert, something that will keep in case people are full. I have been buying one bottle of wine each week with my shopping (were only 6 and not big drinkers so wont need much) and I might get cheese as that will keep and we use cheese a lot. but i like your thinking :)

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 11:35am

Oh yes...cheese is good, Danielle as any you don't use can go in the freezio! Yay for you and just by a ve ve small Chrimbly pud...ours is usually one for two peeps...and there's usually three or four of us!! It's enough!!! ** **** * sending you twinkly stars for your tree! Bear x

Leah Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 10:03am

thanks for your informative blog. I suppose I am permanently logged out of Christmas as I am of a different religion. I also loved people spending money on presents as that is when I make some money.No turkey, no special food, sometimes I open my shop on Christmas day. as for keeping calm, well I still have other things to worry about as mid December to mid January is my busiest time!
stillstressedbutnoChristmassowhat is that

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 11:36am

Hi Leah....that's because your shop will be busy so there will be more stress than usual? I love Christmas, but x x x x

danielle Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 10:23am

RATG, thanks for another great blog. I like Christmas, I like the decs, I like the food, I love the time off work! But I dont like that it starts in October, its shoved in your face all the time (this doesnt happen with any other festivals like Diwali or Eid?!) and the expectation is so high, kids go to school and its like a competition of who got the best most expensive present, parents have a lot to live up to as kids want more and more, then there is the food, who can do the best dinners etc, its all so over the top and self indulgent. I would like a nice low key christmas period - see trees no earlier than the week before, enjoy a lovely meal with people you enjoy spending time with (on your own if thats what youd like) and give small gifts if you want to but not because you feel you should. I admire my mum here, one year when I was with my dad, she decided as she was on her own (which she loves btw) she wasnt doing christmas, she bought no presents, sat and ate a huge plate of prawns (her indulgence) and snoozed on the sofa with the dog! she loved it! maybe we should all try and defy expectations a little this year and do something we enjoy instead :)

Sal Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 10:54am

Great blog, RATG. Thanks :)

Paul Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 12:56pm

Christmas soon passes, and on the upside we will have passed the shortest day so the days will start to get longer which is a bonus.
Then comes the new year resolutions. My new year resolution is going to be is to stop planning to far in advance (joke )

Dave Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 2:53pm

Excellent post....wife and I were just talking about how we now dread the holidays when we used to love them so. It is nice to know there are many others who feel the same way. And yes I keep telling myself that they will pass and everything will be fine..but many anxious thoughts and ideas still surface.

The Gardener Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 5:58pm

What a chance for a general rant! Went to my first 'girlie' lunch in my life last week - enjoyed it -, then it was book in for the Christmas shindig. The 'girls' have found, in an area of France noted for the quality of food and cooking, an English chef who will do it 'proper' with enough gravy. I said that one of the many reasons for leaving UK was to escape the punishing Christmas dinner and the obligatory puerile TV. (Last year was an exception, hilarious silly games with a load of youngsters). But beware anyone who tries to stand firm against over-indulgence in all forms - just read John Grisham's 'Skipping Christmas', The 'emotional blackmail' starts even before the first decorations for sale and the 'must have' brochures. The 'have you logged out' is another matter - scares us oldies (for the health of our computers) and the health of our youngsters who have abandoned humans in the flesh for the (social??) media, much of it now seems scarily 'anti-social'. Anything from grooming terrorists to bullying a school'mate' to suicide. One of our normally excellently behaved younger generation is obsessed with trying to get into adult computer games, absolutely forbidden. If the grown-ups are nicely occupied she creeps off - she opened 8 'windows' and was being demanded her credit card by about three organisations. She even managed to get the computers taken over by a management system we'd never heard of. It took the professional over an hour to put it back - cost good money as well.Doc given good news about Mr TG today - if he gets home and stays home - our Christmas will be a monster welcome to all our friends, no prezzies (no time, no money) but all the windows on to the road leading to the church will be candle-lit - it has even got through his somewhat confused brain that he can and must use the word 'Hope'.

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Nov 19th 2015 @ 6:37pm

Ah TG, am chuffed to liddle mint balls that you have both had good news today :) heart singing inside, for you! Him home, and you looking after yourself and him will be gift enough and a candle-lit road? ...the stuff of romantic films and you both playing the major roles! As for the wayward computer girl...they need to make her actually pay for the professional to fix it...that might make her think twice about messing around on these pootery things!! Anyway, I have to go out this evening but am still thinking about you and Mr TG and much hope...with love Bear x

LillyPet Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 8:28am

A fabulous post TG! Wholeheartedly agree! Am also chuffed yo bits for you to have had some good news re Mr TG. LP xx

the room above the garage Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 6:22am

Thank you everyone, sorry not to be able to reply yesterday. I don't think its bah humbug to struggle a this time I think we are already holding up so much just to be able to tip toe through each day that to throw something big into the equation is quite an undertaking. Keep breathing out then in. Run your version of Christmas and we will get there!

LillyPet Fri, Nov 20th 2015 @ 7:17am

Will do our lovely Ratg!!! :) xxx

Silly Sally Sat, Nov 21st 2015 @ 3:41pm

Like so many of you, the whole Christmas Season is feeling like a mountain to climb at the moment. I know there are certain parts of it that I'll really enjoy but RATG I think you've hit the nail on the head with "we are already holding up so much just to be able to tip toe through each day that to throw something big into the equation is quite an undertaking". It's the totality of it that I find daunting. But as my better half says, 'How do you eat an elephant?'... 'one bite at a time'! :-)

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