I've Always Hated Christmas
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Thread: I've Always Hated Christmas

  1. #1
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I've Always Hated Christmas

    It's not that I don't like the family getogethers, the present giving and receiving, the feasting,.......it's the burden of the gift giving. Mainly it was the financial burden, plus the trying to buy gifts for people you only see once a year. I start dreading Christmas in February and it builds for the next 10 months until the presents are bought. I work at the freakin' Post Office and this time of year is a freakin' nightmare trying to make everyone else's Christmas merry.

    I was pretty dirt poor, paycheck to paycheck poor, most of my life until only about 6 years ago. I'm now 60. Each of my parents has been married 3 times and they were only married to each other long enough to have me and then divorced after 4 years. I have 3 half brothers and 3 half sisters, all older, married, and I have 10 nephews, dad remarried after the divorce. In my family that meant that I had 25 people to buy presents for once I became an adult. I never married or had kids, so I had to do all that present buying by myself. I'm the one that bridges the 2 halves of my family, my mom's kids don't buy stuff for my dad's kids, they were only forced together for those 4 years. I don't have a wife, who enjoys shopping, to do the work for me. I know guys who have NEVER had to buy a gift, except for their wife, for almost 40 years. I know folks that have one brother and one sister and they do polyana and only buy for one of them. Not me. Every year: 25 gifts, plus whoever I was dating at the time.

    I've hated and dreaded Christmas for 40 years.

    By age 30 I couldn't handle it any more and I started buying individual gift certificates at specific stores for each one. Except for the girlfriends. If it ain't made out of gold it ain't a Christmas gift from your boyfriend.

    By age 40 I couldn't handle that any more and I dealt out 100's and 50's to everybody. All my Xmas shopping took place at the teller's window at the bank. When you don't put any effort into your present buying, you have to make up for it by giving a little bit too much cash.

    But over the past few years I stopped buying for the 10 nephews, they never gave me anything anyway. Deaths and divorces have whittled down the remaining bros, sisses, and parents to just 5.

    Okay, I can handle the 5, two of those are spouses of 2 of the other 3. So, last year I bought the super unbelievable deluxe assortments of cheese, sausage, crackers, and stuff from the Swiss Colony catalog that came in the mail. By all accounts, they were well received.

    I just now bought the super unbelievable deluxe wine/cheese/chocolates/pastries/pears/etc. assortments from the Harry and David catalog. Normally almost $800 for the 3 assortments I bought, but I caught the remnants of their Black Friday sale, so it only cost me $700. They'll get delivered to their houses before I even get there for the holiday festivities.

    The presents are bought. I now have Christmas spirit.

    Merry Christmas everybody!



    Feel free to share your tales of Christmas woe or joy.


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    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Hey Gordo.

    Thanks for buying the H&D stuff.

    We just finished making the boxes a month ago. (not kidding).

    As for Christmas. I am not terribly fond of trying to find stuff people will like. My buy load is pretty small, all things considered, but it's still a burden for a single guy. Not the money side but the deciding side. Add in that two of the three grandkids has a grandma that, somehow, knows exactly what I was going to buy the rugbrats and they open the presents at her house first. So, no matter what I get them they already got a version the night before.

    The other grandchild that I buy for I only get to see once or twice a year so I have no idea what she's into. Luckily she's 4 right now so barbie dolls work.

    I do love my grandkids though!!! They're worth it.
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Oh boy don't even get me started

    ba hum bug,
    I don't even bother anymore It's gift card or you ain't gettin shcnitt not a damn one of ya
    Oh I wish you would have got this color
    Oh I wish you would have got the smaller one ( go big or go home)
    ah man I would've like that one with the ( well go get the, your darn self)
    oh it's ok if you have the receipt I can go ( stick it up your a$$ for all I care)
    Oh I wish you woulda coulda shouda
    I've never been a fan of Christmas for what it seems too have turned into
    Christmas is for not any of the reasons we seem to celebrate for now and that in my mind is
    Bring on the family member (s) I can't stand I'll deal with them for a day
    Bring on the good food,the carol's,the roasted marsh mellows by an open fire, the snow , the Christmas light show's
    The Christmas lights on an opel inside & out (that was for you Gordo)
    But don't tell me you want this and that and when I get it you turn your fat little nose up so High if it rained you'd drown.

    hhhuuuuhhh Christmas no thank you.
    Just kidding I wuv Chwissmas
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    3000 Post Club Site Supporter P.J. Romano's Avatar
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    How about having two Christmases?

    We are Orthodox Christians. Back in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the 10 days following October 4 wouldn't exist, so Gregorian calendar was established. Alas, Eastern Orthodox Church continued to use Julian calendar, meaning Christmas comes on the January 7th.

    When we moved to Canada 34 years ago, the kids were small and we didn’t want them to feel embarrassed for not getting gifts at the same time as the rest of their friends, so we started to celebrate Christmas on both dates. The kids were delighted with the idea and that never changed even today when they are grown-up people.

    The biggest problem is keeping Christmas tree till mid January. By that time, you don’t dare to sneeze near it as all the needles fall off momentarily. Finally, when we take it out from the house, the town has finished collecting Christmas trees and we are stuck with it. I usually toss it on the lawn where it gets covered by the snow. Sure enough, when the snow thaws in the spring, I still have to deal with what is left of the tree. Talking about extended Christmas!
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    I mostly figured out/decided 15 years ago that most people aren't happy around Christmas time.

    When you ask people they'll say they love giving gifts, and seeing family, etc etc. But when you see how stressed everyone is, it seems more to me like they like the idea of Christmas more than they like actual Christmas.

    And almost all of that stress (other than inlaws) is centred around money and stress of buying the correct gift. Looming dread as the day approaches. Anxiety. Take gifts out of it, and Christmas is a lot more enjoyable for everyone. But, everyone does what they're supposed to do and feel pressured to do.

    ...

    So, I stopped giving gifts. And I was upfront about it. I'd tell people "This isn't one of those, we say this but then still buy each other small things. And, even if you just want to give something, I promise there is nothing you can give me that will make me feel as happy as me giving you nothing makes me feel bad, because I'm actually not going to get anything for you."

    With a few friends, what I tell them is, at the height of their Christmas frenzy, on their most stressed day, to take the hour they would've spent driving to the malls and through the crowds, and just do nothing. Just relax, have a beer, and let's do something in January.

    Took a few years before it caught on and now lots of people I know do the same thing. Long as it's mutual.

    It's amazing. I see all these frantic, worried, rushing people, and it's almost like everyone around me is tweaking in rehab, and I have no addictions.

    ...

    Children are the exception. They don't have a source of income or achievement, so, presents are something special to them.

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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    How very true Matt. I get a kick out of seeing all those people herded into Walmart and other stores/malls. I watch the news at night and see all the traffic, not only at Christmas, but all the time. I see "The porch pirates" taking things. I sit out here, in the Country, way away from the maddening mobs and chuckle. We, my wife and I, used to go all out with Christmas for my son. He is grown now, and even though he doesn't live with us, he lives next to us in the little house my mother and father built before this one. We, wife and I, just buy a couple of things for each other. My son might get a small item. We put up a fake tree from Balsam Hill so we can see the lights. I put small lights in the Boxwoods out in front of the house, both sides of the driveway. I put the Moravian star up, hung off the light above the front door. The above outside is all accomplished in about 2 hrs. So that is Christmas for us. No fuss, no muss. No rush at all, and above all, no stress. Christmas is for the children, all mine are grown. My children are grown. My grandchildren are grown now, so they don't need any presents. So I, we, celebrate Christmas quietly and enjoy the quietness that surrounds us here on the farm. Often on Christmas day, and other days. I'll go out on the farm and just sit and look/listen to nature around me. I like the calmness and the Peace and Serenity. So everyone have a nice Christmas, just don't sweat the small things and enjoy life. Not being "Churchy", but tomorrow isn't promised, so enjoy it. Jarrell
    You lose your dreams, you lose your mind. (The Rolling Stones)

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    Member opeljohn's Avatar
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    Gordo
    You have touched on a number of things the wife and I dealt with over the years. We were in fact talking a bit about the subject today. We both came from low income backgrounds. My father seemed to have a hard time keeping a job, the wife's dad worked 2 low pay jobs to try and feed and cloth 6 kids. We paid for our own wedding by both working 2 jobs for a couple of years and selling my first 73 Opel GT. I dragged her around the country for the first ten years trying to make a decent living. Everything we now have was gained by both of us getting up every day and going to work, we had no kid's. Early on we tried to buy for all the parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. It was more than we could handle at the time. Also as others have said the gifts both to us and from us were crap. Stuff from some place over sea's that would sit in a drawer or on a shelf until you threw it out. I think the better system would be, you buy yourself what you want and I buy myself what I want. Actually the wife and I do very little now for the holidays. Since we are for the most part able to get what we need and want thru the year, it leaves little to get for Christmas. As Gordo said, I try to get a little something Sparkly for my Girl. She stresses about getting me something so I have to leave a very unsubtle hint. We sleep late Christmas morning, have a light breakfast. Later we work together on a ham dinner and go to a movie. We gave up on everyone else long ago. My favorite Christmas Movie is "Scrooged" with Bill Murry, so take that for what it's worth. Like Gordo I have issues with the season going back to childhood. The real problem is the Corporate World has turned it into such an economic engine, it bears little resemblance to what it started out as.
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I've had to deal with very serious depression over the decades on this subject. And I'm an upbeat guy, I bounce back from every set back in life even more upbeat than I was before.

    But this issue just won't go away.

    The solution would be to have moved to the other side of the country, so that I'm not in close proximity to my relatives. I like them, we're not a disfunctional family, we laugh our asses off at our getogethers. I just needed the excuse that I lived too far away to attend Xmas. But your parents usually don't let you pack your bags at age 10 and move to California.

    I also had something similar to PJ's "2 Christmas's". Mom's side of the family is German, we do Xmas on Xmas Eve after dinner. Dad's side of the family is fully Americanized, Xmas is first thing in the morning on Xmas day in your pajamas, dinner and me showing up in the evening. Xmas has always been a two day affair for me. I have two fully developed families that are my ONE family, but I only see 1/2 of them one day and the other 1/2 the next day. I have to spend a good hour at each event answering the question "So, how's the other half of your family doing?".

    Uuurrgghh.


    But, really, the whole point of my opening post was that I don't get Xmas spirit until the presents are bought. Then I'm like a drunken sailor and all is good in the world. Well, my presents are bought nice and early this year and I have a warm fuzzy feeling going into the holidays. Yay!


    As an addendum, I rent out a room in my house for some extra cash. I don't need to rent, I can pay the taxes and the utilities by myself. I do it to help people out. Most of my renters have only stayed 6 months until they got themselves on their financial feet. I feel good because I helped someone out, they feel good 'cuz they had a nice place to live cheap while they got their act together. Seeing the expensive stuff I buy for my GT might make some of you think that I'm rolling in dough. Far from it. The rent pays for all my Opel projects. I've spent almost $40K on my Opel projects over the past 12 years. None of it came out of my paycheck.

    Nobody WANTS to rent a room in their house to some low budget stranger with drinking or financial issues. I've set up some firm dividing lines between our 2 lifestyles. They do their thing, I do mine. But you can't stop developing some sort of friendly relationship with someone that you live in such close proximity to. That means another Xmas gift. So my gift to my tenants is that they get the month of December rent free. That's a $600 gift to someone I barely know. But if you're so financially flocked up that you can only afford to rent a room for $600 a month(one bedroom apartments around here start at $1000 a month), a $600 windfall right at the holiday season is like a gift from Heaven. Well, call me Jesus.


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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Man Gordo, didn't know all that, I would say that with what you've written so far that you are what we've known. A good, Decent, person. Someone who goes all out, be it with their car or their interactions with other people. The way you interact with people, either on the board, or elsewhere it seems, with a upbeat attitude says a lot about you. You might act "Wackadoodle" at times, but you are a very smart, upbeat individual, who overcame a lot, acts like and does things that the "Common" person would find strange, but a teddy bear at heart. As Linus said to Charlie Brown, "Your'e a good man, Charlie Brown" so we say, "You're a good person Gordon Payton" and we aren't trying to blow smoke up your arse. Jarrell
    You lose your dreams, you lose your mind. (The Rolling Stones)

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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soybean View Post
    Man Gordo, didn't know all that, I would say that with what you've written so far that you are what we've known. A good, Decent, person. Someone who goes all out, be it with their car or their interactions with other people. The way you interact with people, either on the board, or elsewhere it seems, with a upbeat attitude says a lot about you. You might act "Wackadoodle" at times, but you are a very smart, upbeat individual, who overcame a lot, acts like and does things that the "Common" person would find strange, but a teddy bear at heart. As Linus said to Charlie Brown, "Your'e a good man, Charlie Brown" so we say, "You're a good person Gordon Payton" and we aren't trying to blow smoke up your arse. Jarrell
    Agreed,
    for he's a jolly good fellow,
    for he's a jolly good fellow
    for he's a jolly good ffffeeeeeelllllloooooowwwwww
    Which nobody can deny
    COO DOS to you Gordo
    can't spell today
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm just some dude in Jersey, I'm sure there's plenty of folks out there who have had situations much worse than mine. Let's move on....
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    Quote Originally Posted by OpelJohn
    I think the better system would be, you buy yourself what you want and I buy myself what I want.
    Before I had my "no gifts" policy, I had a trial for a few years in college where friends and I would each meet, exchange hundred dollar bills, and tell each other thanks and how much we could really use that money right now. . We'd then buy each other a beer at a pub (with each other's money), and then pocket the rest that we obviously couldn't afford to spend.

    "So what'd you get for Christmas?"
    "Well I got X from A, Y from B, $100 from Matt..."
    "Wow you got $100 from Matt?"
    "Yeah well, we're pretty close friends."

    ...

    I usually make an effort to give an occasional gift to someone that is memorable and not just an obligated gift. Sometimes it's on an occasional, but often not. If I had the idea that it would be nice for them, then I do. And it's usually something I made myself. And it's (so far) usually only been one or two gifts for people in their lives, because I only make something for someone once or twice a year (and there just aren't that many people that like me ).

    ...

    The real problem is the Corporate World has turned it into such an economic engine, it bears little resemblance to what it started out as.
    That's the problem with big business gets their hands on things.

    I refer of course to Saturnalia and the original pagan sun-god Mithra, the winter solstice's traditional December 25th celebration, before the Roman Empire hijacked the day that was already being celebrated so that they could corrupt it to push their religio-corporate message about Jesus and paying their taxes to the Empire.

    "What considerations led the ecclesiastical authorities to institute the festival of Christmas? The motives for the innovation are stated with great frankness by a Syrian writer, himself a Christian. “The reason,” he tells us, “why the fathers transferred the celebration of the sixth of January to the twenty-fifth of December was this. It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. [...] Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of Righteousness"

    ...

    But I think it went more like:
    "Hey guys, we never get invited to parties. Let's throw our own party. When was Jesus born?"
    "I dunno, no one wrote it down, it was hundreds of years ago. But one thing we do know is that prophets always die on the same day they were conceived, and we think he died April 6, so, how about January 6th?"
    "Wait, we don't know?"
    "No, not really."
    "Well, we have all these heathens throwing a wicked party we're not invited to every December 25th. Can we pick that day?"
    "I mean, I guess, but why would..."
    "We're all invited to a party! They have to let us in this year!"
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    ahahahahahahah not that's some of Matt"s awesome stuff oh danm that's funny

    I like you Matt, what were you planning on making?
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    what were you planning on making?
    I've been too busy and without much of a shop for a few years, so, nothing's on my plate right now.

    In the past...

    I made this miniature tree out of some 28g copper wire and a rock (it's about the size of a volleyball, it's sitting on a birdbath for me to take the picture). The tree is leaning out over a cliff, point being that people don't often have a choice of where they're planted, but, they can not only survive, but thrive in those circumstances. Blah blah artsy bs blah:



    A friend's cheap pool cue case broke, so I built him a new one and styled it out with some scrap stainless, brass and copper:





    A pure palladium and niobium necklace made from wire:





    A combination miniature spot welder and variable anodizing power supply from some junk, for someone who wanted both but could afford neither:



    Nothing really consistent, just, whatever a person would seem to appreciate at the time.

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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    that's pretty cool stuff, really like the tree
    Nothing wrong with artsy fartsy
    I had an electrician working on my site when I was a builder for us homes that used to make stuff outa left over wire on his lunch brakes.
    He made this for me oohh 12 to 15 years ago.
    funny I still have it after all this time
    ahh now I get it it's a pool stick case that's pretty darn cool man
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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattsAwesomeStuff View Post
    I've been too busy and without much of a shop for a few years, so, nothing's on my plate right now.

    In the past...

    I made this miniature tree out of some 28g copper wire and a rock (it's about the size of a volleyball, it's sitting on a birdbath for me to take the picture). The tree is leaning out over a cliff, point being that people don't often have a choice of where they're planted, but, they can not only survive, but thrive in those circumstances. Blah blah artsy bs blah:



    A friend's cheap pool cue case broke, so I built him a new one and styled it out with some scrap stainless, brass and copper:





    A pure palladium and niobium necklace made from wire:





    A combination miniature spot welder and variable anodizing power supply from some junk, for someone who wanted both but could afford neither:



    Nothing really consistent, just, whatever a person would seem to appreciate at the time.
    Matt, that all looks pretty darn nice. The tree is cool, the pool cue is awesome, the necklaces are very cool indeed, and the miniature welder is just plain ingenious. I built two capacitive discharge units many years ago. I did try 3, but I blew up one. It went up with a bang. Lol. Let us know if you plan to do more "artsy" stuff , that tree is really sweat. I wouldn't mind one of them at all.
    Thanks for sharing with us, way cool. Jarrell
    Last edited by soybean; 1 Week Ago at 07:46 PM.
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    Senior Member GTRoy's Avatar
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    I have not celebrated 'Christmas' since I was a teenager.
    Matt is correct about 'pagans' celebrating on December 25th centuries before Jesus' birth.

    "I refer of course to Saturnalia and the original pagan sun-god Mithra, the winter solstice's traditional December 25th celebration, before the Roman Empire hijacked the day that was already being celebrated so that they could corrupt it to push their religio-corporate message about Jesus and paying their taxes to the Empire." QUOTE

    If you are curious, Google "Origins of Christmas' or "Origins of Christmas Customs".

    Q...What does this have to do with OPELS ?
    A...You can give me, or each other, something for our OPELS..... any day of the year !
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    Gentlemen,

    I can easily live without the stress and gift shopping, but I do enjoy Christmas eve and the family getting together.

    Christmas this year will be celebrated with my sister, which also my include brother in-law and four nephews. They have been expats in Singapore for a couple of years but returned to Denmark in August. They now live in the same town as us. (Us = me, my wife Jane & our 17 year old daughter Isabella), so commuting will be easy. My mother will be there as well. (my father passed 16 years ago).

    I'm the crazy / funny uncle who have always been making fun with my nephews driving my kid sister insane..- she did not for sure fancy our "fun with microwaves", and "how to light a advent wreath the fastest" - experiments . My daughter just think I'm embarrassing, but I'll live with the shame. Fun fact : Uncle = Onkel in danish, which my two oldest nephews couldn't pronounce when they where younger. Instead of Onkel, they said Onde, and in danish Onde = Evil , and it have been so since then

    We decided some years ago that we'll only give presents to the kids, and instead of just changing greens or gift-certificates between us adults we donate the amount to a Christmas charity organization who works for making Christmas a less troubled time for single parents on a very tight budget, and homeless people.

    A typical Danish Christmas dinner consists of roasted duck, roasted pork with cracklings, white potatoes, brown potatoes, gravy, red cabbage and red wine. For desert danish almond rice pudding with cherry compote. A Sherry or Port goes nicely with the latter. Contrary to many of you we open Christmas presents the 24'th after all the dining and dancing around the Christmas tree. Yes we crazy Danes dance around the Christmas tree while singing Christmas carols and hymns.

    HO HO HO from chilly Denmark.
    Last edited by GTeglman; 1 Week Ago at 08:49 AM.

  21. #19
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTeglman View Post
    Fun fact : Uncle = Onkel in danish, which my two oldest nephews couldn't pronounce when they where younger. Instead of Onkel, they said Onde, and in danish Onde = Evil , and it have been so since then
    Wah! Ha! Ha! Ha! I had a girlfriend with 2 kids for about 5 years, we were engaged, and her 4 year old(at the beginning) boy called my Jeep Cherokee the "Zeep". The name stuck so I kept using it. "Hey kids, wanna go for a ride in the Zeep?"


    Quote Originally Posted by GTeglman View Post
    Yes we crazy Danes dance around the Christmas tree while singing Christmas carols and hymns.

    HO HO HO from chilly Denmark.
    Now THAT is just plain weird.

    We'll need to see a video of that.....

    soybean and GTeglman like this.

  22. #20
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Yeah Anders, we got to see a video of "Dancing around the Christmas Tree". Sorta sounds like too much Port before that happens. Jarrell
    GTeglman likes this.
    You lose your dreams, you lose your mind. (The Rolling Stones)

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