I escaped a long-term abusive marriage homeless with a lot of hermit like attributes. It's been about three years of clawing and crawling out of that hole, and while I'm not completely out, I do have an apartment, job, friends, and enough money to feed me and my kid three squares a day. That deserves a celebration and I'm determined that I'm going to spend a long weekend with my best friend in London in December as a combo birthday/holiday gift to myself. I want to see Hyde Park done up for the holidays, do a Jack the Ripper tour, eat in a pub, and visit a museum [more inside]
My family has decided to spend the holidays in Italy and at the Vatican. I'm doing all the planning and booking and I need some advice both in general, and specific to the holidays/closures etc. We will spend about 2 weeks and plan to see Rome/the Vatican, Florence and Venice. [more inside]
Recommend Christmas carol recordings by unusual pairings of singers? [more inside]
I need straightforward, unadorned recordings of English Christmas carolers. No crowd noise, no ambience, no accompaniment, no perfect professional chorales. Just ordinary folks singing in an otherwise quiet room ... or even outdoors if it's recorded well enough. (They must be songs in the traditional English repertoire.) [more inside]
What are some good Arduino projects involving Christmas lights for someone new to microcontrollers? [more inside]
My direct manager is having an open house / work-related party tonight (the 30th) and he has invited me and most of the department. We are planning on bringing a small 'host' gift, i.e. flowers or chocolates. Since it is so close to Christmas my wife thinks that we should also bring a small gift for each of my manager's two children (~6 and ~2 years old). I'm unsure whether this would be seen as 'sucking up' or if this is a good idea. [more inside]
For Christmas, I decided to set up a 529 college savings account for my 7 month-old nephew. My sister and her husband flipped out, saying I am trying to use their child for tax deductions. I don't understand what I did wrong. Insight please? [more inside]
I got an amazing calligraphy set for Christmas. I have never done anything of the sort before. Where do I start? [more inside]
Where can I find this sitar based Christmas carol that I heard on NPR? [more inside]
I got my husband a painting by his favorite artist for Christmas, and never doubted for a second he would love it. I was ... incorrect. How do I keep up my Christmas Spirit? [more inside]
I am roasting a whole lamb leg for Christmas day. I would like to cook it most of the way at my house, take it out, transport it to my sister's place and finish it off in her oven, so that it will be hot and freshly cooked when we sit down to lunch. Is this a fool's errand? [more inside]
So a friend and I are recent transplants to SF, originally from NYC. For reasons, neither of us can go home for Christmas and we barely know anyone out here. So we've decided to try to find a place to hang out tomorrow and could use advice from locals. [more inside]
In true sitcom-character form, I've gotten myself in a situation. I promised weird and exciting Christmas presents for work people by accident. I was half-bluffing half-joking, but now it has been taken seriously, and I didn't kill it soon enough, so now it is too late. And I need to deliver. By tomorrow. [more inside]
I'd really like to go out to breakfast on Christmas morning, without having to venture downtown or Capitol Hill. Looking for a place in Ballard, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Broadview, even Shoreline. Anyone know a place that would be open, or a place that has been open in prior years that I can call to check? Thanks! (Prefer a regular breakfast joint vs a fancy set-menu brunch.)
I'm in Reykjavik for Christmas! But what should I do? [more inside]
We are looking for a "midnight" mass Christmas service in Providence or Warwick, RI. We are not religious and don't live there, but nonetheless have very specific desires (after the break). [more inside]
THE SITUATION: One of my good friends loves foxes. "Obsessed" is a strong word, but... she is deeply enamored. Fox socks, fox backpack, fox everything. [more inside]
I need to plan/make breakfast for 8 people on Saturday at my brother's flat. What should I make or do? There are complications including dietary restrictions, travel and lack of equipment. [more inside]
I would like to build up a large playlist of songs celebrating Yuletide, Solstice, and winter in general, but leaving out Jesus and the Christian god. Can you help? [more inside]
I am looking to get a poem printed on canvas.... before Christmas. I am in Manhattan, NYC. Does anyone know of either a place locally or somewhere online with rush shipping that I can get this done?
What dessert can I bring to a family holiday get together when I've lost all my love of baking? [more inside]
Hi! Looking for two restaurants that are open on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. I'd like one or both of these restaurants to be somewhat upscale. They should be able to accommodate vegetarian + no dairy + no shellfish + no fish. At more expensive places they're usually very helpful and willing to prepare me something off-menu, but I'm having some trouble narrowing down the field. Brooklyn ideal, Manhattan okay, Queens is probably pushing it. [more inside]
A few years ago I heard on a classical radio station a version of "What Child Is This" that I'd love to find again. It was for choir, either alone or possibly with piano? and the harmonies became increasingly... strange. [more inside]
Another Christmas gift question! My older brother loves to BBQ – and since we live in the Southwest, it’s grilling season. Last year I gave him a box of spices from Penzey’s, so this year I’d like to give him a nice set of BBQ sauces. [more inside]
Where can I buy zante currants and sultanas (golden raisins) in Seattle? Amazon has some options but the reviews appear mixed, so ideally I'd buy them in person.
My husband cheated on me and left me after nearly two decades of a wonderful, loving, respectful marriage. The betrayal came out of nowhere, and involved emotional and on occasion physical abuse. I can't just go no contact, because we've got a daughter, we're financially entangled, and we will be for years. I am having trouble forging a new, post-marriage relationship with him because I'm deeply hurt, raw, angry, sad, and disoriented. I also can't picture what that relationship even looks like. And he has asked to spend all day on Christmas here at the house ... I don't know if I can handle it. [more inside]
Where can I find a classic, professor-style tweed blazer... cut for a woman? (Serious bonus points: before Christmas??) [more inside]
My family is hosting a teenage girl who is an orphan from Columbia for Christmas eve. She is here with one of my sisters as part of a Catholic Charities and KidSave program which helps older kids to network with people to look for potential adoption candidates. [more inside]
We're going to be in Austin for several days before and including Christmas Day. What is there to do on Christmas Day, including places to eat (bonus for vegetarian) - i.e., what's open?
This will be the first Christmas in my life where I'm alone - no significant other or family. While I've never thought of myself as much of a holiday person, the idea is beginning to weigh on me and I'm looking for suggestions as how to spend the day (and days leading up to it) in a happy manner. Extra challenge: I'm quite extremely broke. [more inside]
My dad put together a not-really-serious Christmas list which includes items such as "world peace" as well as a few other clever things. This year I'd like to give multiple charitable donations in his name targeted to the causes/issues he touches on in his list. Help me select a few organizations. [more inside]
I remember something on the blue, likely last year, about a day's long video of a boat sailing somewhere in Scandinavia. Thought it might be Christmas related. Does anybody have a link to last year's or even better whether they're doing it this year?
At my workplace, there are 6 people on my team along with 2 leaders who we all report to. Collectively, we bought group gifts for both leaders. I had been planning to get a small gift (a few jars of homemade jam) for each of the people I work with (both leaders and my co-workers) and I had been thinking of doing this since before we decided to get a group gift for our leaders. I'm wondering if it's somehow inappropriate or weird to be getting my leaders a gift on top of the group gifts that I already contributed to? But then, the alternative of just getting my co-workers, but not my leaders a gift seems awkward too. I suspect I'm overthinking this, but I feel like I don't have a good sense of what the right thing to do here is.
We decided to not worry about the in-laws this year and booked a last-minute Christmas trip to New Orleans instead. So where do we eat on Christmas? [more inside]
What low cost item has changed your life recently? I'm looking for gifts that you could give to anyone; male or female, 20 to 60 years of age. Preferably in the $5-$10 range. [more inside]
My lovely clear plastic icicles have aged through the years and I need help returning them to their pristine wintry looks. [more inside]
Try to find a Christmas song I saw on YouTube years ago. It's sung by a young woman, I think in a big city, I remember coffee cups, possibly Starbucks reds, and that there was a lyric about liking Christmas "even though I'm a jew..."
What would be the best (lowest cost / least hassle) way to get my immediate family (wife, son, daughter, myself) up and running on iPhone 6s for Christmas this year? [more inside]
The Grandparents sent our kids gifts that are ridiculously wrong for them. Do I return them ASAP and buy things they would actually like? Do I address this with them? [more inside]
Mom and I have been searching for a choral Christmas album that we love since our favorite Christmas tape died. Naturally, snowflakes follow. [more inside]
My impossible-to-shop-for mother has gotten into beading this year. I know absolutely nothing about beading except that involves beads. What are some good gifts for a beading person -- things that she might not buy for herself? [more inside]
We're thinking about making a quick visit to Manhattan the day after visiting my family in the Hudson Valley for Christmas. Is this a bad idea? If we decide to do it, what (other than the Midtown Xmas dept store display / Rockefeller Center sights, which I know about) would be good activities, including cheap but yummy lunch options, we might not have thought of. For reference, we visit NY a couple times a year, have done so by both train and car, just not usually at the holidays.
I'm doing some holiday gift shopping in NYC this weekend and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for one-of-a-kind stores that are fun to browse and would provide gifting inspiration! [more inside]
Inspired by this thread, I'd like to go all out wrapping Christmas gifts for my wife this year. What ideas, concepts, methods, etc. have you used in the past, or seen online that are sure to impress? [more inside]
My family is taking a trip to Lisbon in May! We are very excited. What present can I get my mother to make this trip even better for her? Looking especially for specific tours or tickets although other ideas will be considered. [more inside]
When my daughter was born my partner and I decided not to do the Santa lie but this year (she's five and a half) she is really upset about it all now that she's picking up on other people's beliefs. What do you say about beliefs when it's the rest of the world who did this to your kid? [more inside]
I've looked through the archives, and all the usual websites, but I'm not finding what I'm looking for, and was hoping someone might have the perfect Idea - She's 26, my employee, and has taste that I don't have...
How do you secure a Christmas lawn ornament to the ground? I'm talking about the plastic 40 inch high decorations, like the Santa Clauses, and Mrs. Clauses and snowmen. [more inside]
We have been assigned the ham for this year's Christmas party. We will be roughly 20 kids (age 0-16) and 17 adults. What do I buy and how do I cook it given that my conventional oven does not hold a temperature? [more inside]
For a while in the 90s, icicle lights were super popular Christmas decorations. Not the kind with dangly strings of little light bulbs, but ones that actually looked like lighted icicles. I haven't seen them in years - not in stores, not on anyone's houses. Where did they go? [more inside]