Ever Wonder About The Lannister Family Holiday Greetings?

*Don't worry, NO spoilers from the books for HBO fans! I tried hard not to spoil anything.*

If you read and/or watch "A Game of Thrones" you know that in King's Landing, the Lannister/Baratheon family is currently in power. Like a lot of leaders whose priorities are self-centered, I imagine they spend an obscene amount of money on holiday greetings, doubling as PR for themselves.

I mean, can you imagine the Lannister swag? With all that GOLD?!

They could send out the BEST holiday gifts to everyone in the kingdom! 

I don't know why they would, since Monty Python taught us long ago that you "don't vote for a king" but it would still be pretty boss.

Since I unfortunately don't reside in the seven kingdoms, I did a little research. Somehow I got in touch with a former castle-keeper at King's Landing! 

She was very recently fired by Queen-Regent Cersei for looking pretty one day, and she was thrilled to share some Lannister family paintings, holiday moments from the past AND a very interesting note she received from the QRC, regarding the latest annual Baratheon/Lannister holiday greeting to all of King's Landing. 
They look SO MERRY, don't they?
She told me they have previously sent their greetings to ALL the 7 kingdoms, but with all of them at war now, that probably won't "fly" this year. 
from awoiaf.westeros.org
Get it, fly

(Messages are mostly sent by raven in fictional medieval times.)

Anyhoo, she shared a lot of these interesting pictures, some were considered for holiday greetings, and some are just pictures of good, clean Lannister family fun that she found around the castle. 

Here is a warm, loving shot of Tywin, loving father that he is.

Smilin Tywin   from narutobase.net
Obviously this picture was taken after Tyrion was born (since he never smiled again after that.) 

I don't know where Cersei and Daddy went on THIS vacation, but they look SO MUCH more relaxed! 
They look like totally different people!

This scene is a little more what they normally look like. 

A little festive flair as Tywin chastises Tyrion, probably just for existing, as usual.

I imagine the hardest part of these group photos was getting them all in the same room. 

They do have their share of family drama. 

Ah, families at the holidays, amiright?

It looks like various painters from around the realm tried to capture their family magic in some different types of family paintings.
Why do I immediately hear rhythmic snapping?
from neatorama.com
Mmmm, this next one is a little too cutesy. Tommen though!
from 7kingdoms.ru.com

This looks like a card they received from the North. Is that Santa Ned in a direwolf-drawn sleigh? Adorable.
from mundovariado.blogspot.com
Here is a card they must have gone with in the past. 

Seems weird, mayhaps Tyrion sent out his own cards? 

I can see that. 

According to things overheard by this woman and Morrec (traveling companion of Tyrion's,) trying to get everyone to decide on the same THEME was a big fight every year. Tywin and Cersea have their minds on one thing and one thing only.

The others did not go for this theme, but Tywin had new money printed up with his updated picture, so it wasn't a waste of time, and it gave Cersea an idea of how to do her nails for the next family funeral.
Cersei is So Money from LauraLoveBeauty.com
 You probably know what kind of tom foolery Tywin wants to put poor Tyrion through with these pictures.

This was the only one I could bring myself to show. Fortunately, his ideas were shot down fast. So to speak.

I doubt very much this photo of Jamie was ever intended to be sent out to the seven, to the chagrin of every woman everywhere, and Remly and probably quite a lot of gents, who would love to see Sir Jamie in his gold Lannister small clothes. 

Sorry ladies, this is being sent via raven to other realms with families. Mayhaps I can make a calendar after the holidays?
Don't bet on that. How very dare you!
from fanpop.com
Not sure if this was a past family card, or a rejected theme.
This IS Cersei smiling
Another year they went post-modern, meaning post-medieval times.

I thought this next picture was cute, Jamie playing a holiday song. I'm sure Cersei was moved, but apparently Joff wanted no part of it and started "Off with her head!" ing, so.......
The guys wouldn't even let him finish.

They clearly wanted their greetings to be jolly, and to send some happy Lannister elves for cheer.

That's the spirit, King Joffrey! 

Dance, dance, ants in the pants! 
Isn't Tywin the very picture of FUN!

Makes you want to just boogie.

Relax, Imp, at least Bruce Jenner's not in our picture

Tywin wanted something more classic, so black and white really captured the moment last year.

An instant classic. One for ye old mantel!

They even made a lovely dance video while in costume. The holidays really bring out the best in all of us.
Here's hoping your holiday is as happy as the Lannister family dancing elves!

She said they still hadn't decided on any holiday greeting for this year as of the day she was fired, but she did receive this very strange letter from Cersei:

"Someone needs to work on a message for King's Landing. Even with everything that is happening here, the people must not forget who is in charge! 

Jamie normally handles this, but neither he nor my father have responded to any of my requests on this subject. More than ever, do not accept anything, regarding anything, from Tyrion or Joffrey's....wife. 
Merry Margaery!
from fanpop.com

Never send anything from that...woman without my approval first.

We won't be sending any paintings this year, just the family crest and a greeting. 

Please arrange the parchments, inks and ravens."

None of us can wait to see what that kooky family has brewing for us in 2014!

This is an old one, I just really love this picture.
from rebloggy.com


What My Kids Know

Whatever you celebrate and hold dear,
We hope you have LOVE and LIGHT all year.

My kids have taught me so much about life and the bigger picture.

Whatever happened yesterday, each day is a fresh start.

No matter how crabby or stupid I was the day before,
They greet me each morning with a smile and a hug.

They give zero shits about anything I did or didn't do in the past, anything I forgot or messed up. They care about NOW.

These angels don't know hate, and I hope they never learn.

They don't even know it's an option to judge someone by their past, their jobs, their race, religion, or anything else.

They fear everyone, until someone comes up and smiles or waves.

Then they smile or wave back, no matter who it is.

If you get down to their level and talk to them, they love you forever
regardless of any of your choices or mistakes.

They can teach us so much about how to live with each other.

Peace and >>ONE LOVE<< in 2014 to everyone always!


What I Can't: Even. Holiday Edition

People need to say "ho ho NO" to all the stress this time of year. I feel like everyone KNOWS this, but then my social media newsfeeds say differently. I'm seeing a lot of pressure-filled rants, complaining about costs, schedules, To-Do lists, and general love-hate for the holidays, heavy on the hate.

Get it, I do. I try to build our lives around avoiding stress whenever possible, and sometimes you just can't even. I couldn't plan our annual family photo in November like we did last year (in a word: teenager) so we had to wait until last night. Huge mistake, lots of stress, rushing and doing it ALL MYSELF because he gets home late, lines, and the tired, almost 2 year old holding a concert at the top of her lungs called "NO!" 

The all-kid picture we had to go with is her obviously trying to run away from her brother. Which is kind of hilarious.
Look at the mannequin hand
 This is my Norman Rockwell family playing with a mannequin outside the portrait place, flipping my camera the bird. This SHOULD be our holiday card, but no baby.

I told my husband:
"There really needs to be ANOTHER Mother's Day, right after the freaking holidays." 

Maaaaybe Father's Day, too.....for single dads.

Part of the *magic* is all of the various traditions that come with this time of year. The pressure to do these, whether they make you happy or not, is part of why most parents hate this time of year a little bit.

I know that some people really enjoy their traditions, and some are really fun and great. By all means, if/when that is the case, do take part, take pictures, savor every moment! 

We should also recognize the less enjoyable traditions, some that maybe just won't work this year, and the more "we've just always done it" type things people tend to do, not even realizing why they do them.

No one wants to be considered terrible parents if they deny their children....say, waiting in a long, boring line to sit on the lap of a stranger in a smelly, red suit and tell him what they "want." 

Let me put my "When I was your age" hat on for a sec.

My parents couldn't give a rip what we "wanted" for Christmas. Their philosophy was: 
"If someone is nice enough to give you any present, you say 'Thank you' smile, and be grateful." 

My parents each worked 2 or 3 jobs all year just to pay the bills. We always got something under the tree, whether it 'fell off the truck' or my dad bought it from some dicey guy's trunk, or it came out of the garbage, or whatever, and we were always grateful to get it. 

I don't think we ever made lists of what we wanted, and even if we ever did and I just don't remember, it was just to keep us busy. We got what we got. Period. We got more than we deserved I'm sure.

I remember more than once seeing something on TV I liked, I told my dad who would say, 
"Save your money," (I can still hear this clearly in my head)
and I would reply, 
"I don't have any money," 
and he would say something about getting a job, staying in school, and whatever else olde timey dads said. 

That might sound harsh to modern parents, and at times I thought he was a big old crab, but at the same time, what he did spent with us? Was a lot of his time. He talked to us, listened to us, hugged and wrastled with us, he would sit on the floor with us and share a giant plate of cut-up tomatoes, and we would fight over the last one, and that kind of thing. 

He worked weird shifts, so most of my childhood memories are with my dad, while my mom was at one of her jobs. We did a lot of things that didn't cost money, like picnics in the front room, walks to the park, he would throw us into dumpsters to look for treasure, true story. 

The point is, he took us everywhere, probably just because he didn't want to pay a babysitter, but he still did it. He even took us to weddings that were "adult only" on the invitation.

What it taught me was the old cliche expression, which is mostly true, that children want your presence more than presents.

The point I'm trying to make is, take a note from my 'had way too many kids' parents: Any time of year, try to embrace that which makes you and your family happy. It's perfectly okay to skip some things some year if those things are going to cause more stress.

I am not a huge fan of traditions, our lives change so much, we always have to change them. I also try to be very realistic about which traditions do NOT make us happy. Ever. Any year. 

If, for example, I forced my family to go Christmas caroling, it would make me so crabby I would be yelling, and so drunk I couldn't drive. That wouldn't make happy memories. Why do it? 

There are just certain things I can't force myself to do. 

Just some things I can't even.
from persephonemagazine.com

There is nothing wrong if you like these things, you are welcome to voice your opinions in a reasonable manner in the comments. 

Some traditional holiday doings are just not for me. 

For us? We're all better off if we skip:

Elf on the Shelf
My husband and I will forget, it's just another thing to do, and I feel children should be afraid of ME, rather than a jolly, bearded man on the opposite end of the earth. We'll pass. 

I do enjoy the parental elf shenanigans, until about mid-December, and then I'm OVER IT.

St. Nicolas Day
See above. My kids don't need another day of candy or toys. Growing up, we put our shoes outside our door, someone left CANDY in them. In our gross, smelly shoes, and my brothers and I had no idea why, who St. Nick was, what he did that made him famous, and how he was different from Santa. 

Show me a day where kids have to MAKE something, instead of GETTING something. I'll call it "Elf Day" and the kids get to wear pointy hats and make gifts for the family.

Horrible Christmas movies 
Of course I am not including any cartoons, clay-mation specials or National Lampoons products.

Duh. I'm under 80, and I'm with Aunt Edna. 

from Fridayfunfact.wordpress.com
"...you were the ones that sent me the fruitcake for Christmas. It made me SO SICK.

"We're sorry, we thought you enjoyed fruit cake."

"You enjoy throwing up every 5 minutes, Claude?"

"That's Clark."

"I thought so!"

I want to say "Figgy pudding"
but I haven't tried it, nor do I know what it is. 

Getting my kids the "it" gift that year
This is a punch right to the soul. Mayhap I will change my mind when my girls are older, but for now? I'm not trampling people, or paying extra for this year's most popular hunk of plastic just because Britney B and Hayley C have it. Pass. 

My gift to you is my time, I stay home and watch other people's annoying kids to help pay for groceries. No, you cannot exchange that gift. If you desire something else, see the Grandpa Eddie file of answers:
"Get a job." 
Find a new one for your brother while you're at it.

FYI: Gpa E's #1 saying:
"Suffer quietly."
This works with almost everything.

Pictures with a mall Santa 
I just can't. I tried one year, and my son's meltdown melted down all possible future desire to Can. 
Christmas pajamas 
I'm not saying they're not adorable, of course they are. Especially on my adorable girls. It makes me insanely unhappy to spend any hard-earned money for any item, especially clothing for growing children, they can only wear at a certain time of year. I file these with "guest towels" and "decorative soap" under: NOPE.

That said, if I do find them at a low price at resale/Goodwill, (even Halloween clothes,) yes, I get them.

Caroling, or anything Dickensian
as it makes me want to violently vomit. Do you enjoy throwing up, Claude? I thought so.

Any show "on ice." 
Again, if you like it, awesome. You don't have to tell me. I like a lot of really raunchy things, so if you try to convince me on this one, I will barrage you with a shitstorm of increasingly disturbing jokes. Because that's what I like, and it's my America too. 
from the giflibrary.com
I don't enjoy musicals, crowds, lines, ice, being cold, throwing up, or anything that costs $50-$100 per ticket, especially something INSIDE that is COLD. I don't get it, so....PASS.

Sometimes parents in the 70's and 80's had just the right idea with their philosophy:
"Because we said so."
End of discussion.

I probably sound like a binch,
which is a term for a female bitch grinch that I just made up, but knowing my own limits is key to our happiness. 

Call it a survival technique, it's also a smart move. On an airplane, when the oxygen masks fall, they tell parents to put their own masks on first. Our instinct is KIDS First, but if you can't breathe, you can't be very comforting to your children. I should have that embroidered on something.

Not pushing myself too far keeps me at least partially sober, mostly sane, and no one gets assaulted year after successful year. 

And THAT is what our holidays are about in Comfytown. Avoiding assault charges. Oh, and being happy.

There are lots of traditions I can get behind, most of them contain the word "spiked" but I think that should probably be another post.
from thatswhatchesaid.net
Are there any traditions you are definitely PRO or AGAINST?


Sunday Confessions: Day Late And Dollar Short

I'm a day late on Sunday Confessions, playing the holiday time card. 

Sunday Confessions is a special kind of a blog hop, you're given a prompt and you write a quick post about how that prompt makes you feel. If you want to link up, copy the picture below, look at the prompt below and tell us how you're feeling about it. Then click here for More than Cheese and Beer Blog and let her know in the comments you're playing!

Today's prompt is eating. Tis the season in America, though it seems to always be in season in ComfyTown. 

I don't beat myself up about it, it's my only vice. Besides swearing, drinking, social smoking, biting sarcasm.....stopping myself here because I cannot indulge myself in those vices much any longer. I'm surrounded by children all day, which I'm happy about, don't get me wrong, and they eat at least 6 times a day. I know, that doesn't mean I have to, but I obviously choose to.

I should probably feel guilty about that, but when you've had and grown up around people with much worse habits, over-eating seems pretty tame in the scheme of things. Since I hate exercise, this vice does result is some unsavory bulging results, but again, buying bigger and usually uglier, clothes seems like a relatively solvable problem in my life, so I don't sweat it. In fact I try not to sweat. At all. Ever. 

When this bothers me, I will do something about it. Probably. I wish it did bother me a little more sometimes, but mostly years of therapy have trained me to think ahead about my happiness. Being overweight has never really bothered me much. My husband & I might be enablers, as we both over indulge, but it's the one area of life I allow to be out of balance, to us the happiness it brings outweighs the consequences. For now anyway. 

There will probably be a point when this stops being true, and at our current girth we may dip into medical issues, and hopefully we will start to make healthier choices and get more exercise. Or get that lap-band surgery. Anyone know if that works??


TToT: Last of 2013

The last TToT of the year! Come join in, link up or just READ UP and glow in the bask (strike that, reverse it) of the Things Thankful!

1.      Thankful I started this list a couple of days ago! Busy weekend, and aren’t they all in December??
2.    Ugly Christmas sweaters. Can't help it, I love em.

3.    Thankful our snow started early this year, hoping that means we won’t get as many snows in April. I have no knowledge of weather and that’s probably not how it works, so don’t tell me. My cold bones and lack of Vitamin D NEED THIS hahaha.

4.    Eternally grateful my life partner is less concerned about holiday traditions, and understands I need to be flexible at stressful times, or we will all be miserable. (Explained more in the post here if you click the link.)

5.     My sister is watching my girls tonight. SO THANKFUL for a small break. We will have to do Christmas shopping, but at least we can stop for drinks now!

6.    This is going to sound weird, as I was thankful for the opposite a few weeks ago, but I’m thankful my son realized his current job is not working out (loooong story, but they send him home. A LOT. Without pay and then they still take Union dues. Not working, not to mention how far it is.) We just need to get him another job, hopefully that will happen, but it was taking almost TWO HOURS every day to drop him off, get home and have him call me to come BACK and get him right away. For no pay.

7.     I’m really trying to be thankful for dentists. Bad experiences, bad teeth, bad dentists, bad insurance make me fear/loathe going to the dentist, but I know that if I never went to my dreaded once a year (I know) appointment, my awful teeth would be so much worse.

8.    Thankful my teeth aren’t worse than they are. I couldn’t handle or afford any more dental appointments right now. (I’m blowing off tons of work I do need done.)

9.    While I’m at it, so thankful we’re all healthy. My horrible housekeeping has obviously built up our immune systems to weapons-grade.

10.                     The wonderful pictures I find online, like this one which I LOVE.
Cersei, Danny and Tyrion are brunettes IRL. Jamie though!

If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you'll appreciate this photo. If not, click here for a wonderfully informative explanation-slash-review. With NO spoilers!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. Hope you all have a magically happy and THANKFUL holiday season!


WW: Winter Comfyland

PURPLE salt, Lola loved this


Tree fell over, only 20 mins this year - new record!


Sweet sisters

Awww, snow-covered dumpster

FU Pinterest, I would have to SUPERGLUE this to work w/the little kids' pictures