Coffee Break [20/11/23]

Your mid morning pick me up

If your neighborhood looks anything like mine, there is a clash of fall and Christmas decorations. A few people are hanging onto their sad Jack o’ Lanterns. Many are still displaying whole pumpkins and gourds.

But with more lights going up and the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to think about proper disposal. Compost your rotting pumpkins or offer them to friends with gardens. Some farms and zoos will accept donations of whole pumpkins as food or toys. But please don’t toss them into the woods as food for wild animals. It’s never a good idea to train them to become dependent on humans for food. And for some creatures, like hedgehogs, pumpkin can be fatal.

I usually wait until the first week of December to decorate. But the weekend forecast looks pretty good, so I think I’ll get an early start this year. What about you, DeadSplinters?



  1. It’s time to get out the shovel and send my Jack o’ lantern into the compost.

    It feels early to get lights up, but the sooner I get that done, the sooner I can focus on shopping.

  2. Holiday tree trimming, traditionally on Thanksgiving eve. I also have a holiday gnome-themed shower curtain, tissue box, soap holder, towels, etc. The gnome stuff is either festive or tasteless – I can never decide . . .

  3. I don’t decorate for the holidays anymore. It’s too much of a hassle especially considering that Mrs Butcher and I basically spend the whole time by ourselves so there doesn’t feel like there’s a point to all that effort.

        • I’ll do a wreath and garland swag with lights on the front door. Not sure if I’ll bother with anything else. I think part of my problem is the Christian Nationalists are so gung ho about Christmas that it makes me more Grinchy than usual.

  4. I normally don’t.

    I got labeled as the Grinch who blew up pumpkins, napalmed Whoville and roasted Rudolph by the former housemate (and mom) because I demanded accountability on both Halloween and Xmas stuff.

    I don’t do either (because I’m lazy), but I don’t mind if someone else wants to. However, if I’m the one who is throwing out the rotting pumpkin and dealing with last year’s xmas tree then I’m putting my tiny feet down. What pissed me off the most was that former housemate “expected” me to do the dirty shitty work. Nope.

    Whereas mom liked to push (because dad didn’t like to do it) and that was how I ended putting up the Xmas lights on a breezy winter day. I was fortunate to still have fast reflexes and jumped off the ladder when it was about to topple over. Let’s say I was not jolly with mom at all.

    • There’s so much pressure to make holidays magical. My mother was that way but a lot of the work fell on my sisters and I. Holidays were never much fun for me.

  5. It’s time to put Whoville back up. I get neighbors asking me about it all through November. “Are you putting the Grinch up?” Yes, after Thanksgiving like a normal person.

    No new figures this year. I’m currently refurbishing the Who tree. It needed to be re-engineered and then repainted. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty fast at getting everything up, but the tree was complicated and cumbersome. My daughter suggested that we rebuild it this year to make it more modular and easier to handle.

    • One of mine still has their giant skeleton up and it’s holding a dog skeleton by a leash. If they don’t do something Grinch and Max with that I’m gonna be pissed.

  6. We leave the xmas lights around our cherry tree on all year because our front step area is too dark at night.

    I like decorating for Xmas. For us that means hanging a wreath on the front door, getting an Xmas tree, placing an Advent wreath on the dining table, hanging advent calendars up as well as any winter artwork the kids make this year. I think that maintaining some traditions is soothing for the soul.

    I’m feeling very anti-consumerism these days. We usually get the kids 3-5 gifts each (a book, clothes, STEM/art project, toy they ask for, and something silly that I know they will love but totally don’t need). This year we’re cutting back to one gift that they ask for and one gift that will help keep them entertained throughout the holidays (like a sensory bin kit or art project).

    I usually send out Xmas cards with our family picture on them. I’m thinking of scaling that back but then I worry that people will feel sad or lonely to not receive a card… Then again I also worry that sending cards with our happy smiles on them might make people feel worse if they are in a rough spot. So I dunno. What do you guys think?

    • …I don’t really do the cards thing…possibly because I spent years growing up help my parents stamp & address what seemed like hundreds of the things & it seemed like a herculean labor

      …but my grandmother used to get so many that it was part of the decorations to festoon the living room with them…so I think whichever choice you make is valid?

      • It’s a lot of work to send out those cards. Even if you don’t include a handwritten a note on each one (which I do). I love receiving cards and also display them on our windowsills.

    • @hammerzeitgeist If you can bring yourself to do it, I vote yes for holiday cards. If sending cards is a pain in your neck, don’t do it. You are a busy mom of three smallish children; IMO you can take a card sabbatical for a few years if you wish. I didn’t send cards when I was simultaneously caring for my son and my elderly parents; it was just overwhelming to even think of it.

      These days, as an empty-nester with few living relatives, sending cards enables me to feel connected to others. I send cards to friends, family, and coworkers, because it gives me joy to remember these good people.

      We have some friends who opt for sending New Year’s cards instead, after the holiday rush. I love seeing the photo cards, and enjoy reading the holiday letters some folks print and add to the mailing.


  7. we dont have any outside decorations (which is fairly common over here) and the tree doesnt get put up till after dec 5th…gotta get sinterklaas out of the way first…or st nicks day

    most people up here in the north wait till after dec 5th….also means most shops dont play xmas music till then either….so thats kind of a perk

    but yeah we have the wreaths and glittery shit indoors…along with the tree…assuming this year isnt the year that walking the tree home kills me

    (walking a 7ft tree home is one way to start conversations with strangers…as they all want to know what the fuck you are thinking….well some old people just want to talk about how thats how they used to get the tree home too before cars were invented)

  8. I’m not sure how much my wife will want to decorate this year.  Usually, we do the whole lights, tree, and full house decorations but this year maybe not.  She talked my eldest daughter into going to meet my youngest in Europe for Christmas so she wouldn’t be alone for the holiday.  Very happy for them being together but I am super sad to not have either of them here for Christmas.  I bet she still wants to do lights & will decorate the house to have friends over but don’t think we will be going and cutting a tree down like we usually do.

Leave a Reply