Are you Betty-Booping?

My darling mother has been giving me Betty Boop-themed gifts since I was a pre-teen, and I’ve never had the heart to tell her – I don’t like Betty Boop. I never have. In fact, the first Betty Boop gift she ever got me was a mindless mistake.

When I was about 14, my mother purchased adorable Disney princess beach towels for my sisters and me, based on the Disney princess we liked. My older sister got a Princess Jasmine beach towel; my younger sister got a Mulan towel, because that was her favorite. I got a Betty Boop towel. (She’s not even a Disney princess.) When my mother handed it to me, she simply said, “Well you like to be sexy, so…”

Let me point out three things. 1: Betty Boop was sexy in the 40’s, around the time my mother was born. That was a long time ago. 2: A 14 year old girl with no breasts or hips who still secretly plays with dolls is not “trying to be sexy,” just because she wants to join the 21st century and wear a denim skirt above her knees. 3: My favorite Disney princess is, was and always will be Sleeping Beauty, because she lived in a castle, got to nap while she waited for her prince, and said prince knew how to Waltz. I know how to Waltz. I learned how by watching Sleeping Beauty, among other ways.

Princess Jasmine
Princess Mulan
Princess Aurora - Productive Napping

Because I never told Mother the truth, I’ve been receiving Betty Boop-themed gifts I don’t like, want or need for years. This leads me to share that I’ve had several friends tell me in the past few days how unhappy they were with their holiday gifts. Not because the gifts weren’t expensive enough, but because they were neither age appropriate nor purchased with the recipient in mind… much like that Betty Boop towel.

One friend told me that she received a Christmas stocking from her parents containing (among other things) a toy car piggy bank with NYC printed on the side (she lives in NYC by the way), and underwear. Nevermind that this friend is 32, married, and with child. She says she’s pretty sure that her father walks into a gift shop, eyes closed, grabs whatever he touches and wraps it up. Another friend told me that she received several bejeweled/name labeled gifts for Christmas. Please note that I said name labeled, not monogrammed (I love monograms), as in your full first name, 6th grade camp style. She’s 36, and also married.

I'm an adult, please don't buy me this

I bring these things up because the consensus today was that receiving mindlessly gifted objects actually makes a lot of people mad. It makes them mad because others could benefit from the money wasted on unusable gifts purchased in haste. (I’ll be honest – I’ve been guilty of it on occasion.) There seems to be a growing percentage of people who would rather see a donation in their name to a cause they love (animal rescue, food for the hungry, etc) than a gift they’ll never use. If your sister, brother, mother, father, or any other relative asked for a small donation (of any amount) to a charity of their choice in lieu of a holiday gift, would you be offended? Or would you give the $25 you’d planned on buying underwear with to the cause of their choosing?

A great organization.

Homemade for the Holidays

A few years ago, my sister began making homemade gifts for me for Christmas. Among my favorites was a scrapbooked shadow box with photos of our activities that┬ásummer, and sisterly sayings neatly arranged inside. It’s one of my favorite things, and I now look forward to receiving something homemade from her every year. Though I’ve received really fun (and more expensive) things for Christmas in the past few years (Uggs, the camera that took all the photos below, etc), I believe the best gift of all is something personal, made by the hands of someone you love.

This year, my sister FINALLY made me one of her prize-winning quilts (well they haven’t actually won any prizes… YET)

Tabbie’s quilt – front
Tabbie's quilt - close up
Close up

My brother-in-law made me a Chargers themed, monogrammed ceramic coaster:

Forrest’s xmas tile

In past years, I’ve received a one-of-a-kind Christmas pumpkin:

Christmas pumpkin 2010

How do you feel about making homemade gifts for loved ones for the holidays? Would you rather wrap a gift card, or make something more meaningful? Tell me what kinds of handmade things you’ve received!

Winter Solstice 2011

I lived my whole life in 70 degree weather with sunshine in the wintertime, and now that I live in NYC it’s almost like that life never existed. Except for recent “global warming” (the only reason I can think of for a 50 degree winter in Manhattan), the last few winters of my life have been spent in knee deep snow and down-filled puffers. Depressing, when you consider how many days it’s been since your toes have seen sunlight.

On the first official 2011 day of Winter, I feel compelled to have a mimosa in the sunlight and toast to this holiday season, spent in the warmth of my hometown, San Diego. Today, it’s 61 degrees in sunny Pacific Beach, where I will be unwrapping Christmas cheer and many mimosas with one of my two darling sisters (the other one doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and that’s a story for different blog). It’s my favorite way to spend Christmas; with cocktails and family. What’s yours?


1. I bought a Steve by Searle puffy last season, but I’m still doubting its warmth. What kind of puffer do you wear? Rate it, on a scale of one to ten. I’m obsessed with puffy coat ratings!

Steve by Searle, 7/8 length down filled coat with removable hood

2. I feel the need to have a pedicure once a month. How often do you get a pedi during the winter?

Solution: OPI Muppets colors, if you can still find them. Delightful!


p.s. Do you open everything on Christmas day? Or do you open presents early? I just unwrapped fun holiday jammies!:

Cute, warm, and from Target!