Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Any Recommendations?

I have been shopping to spend my parents' money today. It is rather embarrassing to be shopping for trinkets and baubles when one worries about one's daily bread, but my parents are pretty firm on spending X amount of money on Christmas gifts and that it cannot be put into the family budget. They are also very firm about not helping us while we are in the situation we are in. I will leave the editorial to you all, but I'm sure you can imagine my feelings on the matter. I do need some wine glasses though. Well, relatively speaking, I do not need wine glasses. But I don't have wine glasses. I never have. For a while it was no big deal because we were all right out of college and in to either beer or mixed drinks. But there gets to be a point where serving wine in juice glasses is a little embarrassing. I will admit to having 8 very formal Waterford crystal wine glasses, but they have been packed for the last four years because they really only work with my Wedgewood china. And well, I just thought I would be so formal when I got married. Silly silly. I have rented wine glasses for parties before, but it is really to the point where someone is drinking wine, albeit Two Buck Chuck, at least a couple of times a week around here. And rentals are crummy anyway. 

The bad thing about me shopping around for anything is that I want the best version of whatever it is if I am going to exchange money for it and take it into my home for years to come. So, okay, I know nothing about wine. And if I want just one kind of glass instead of two, which one should I get? Looking around on the internet had me convinced almost immediately that I did need at least two kinds of wine glasses and both by this hoity toity expensive brand--until George gave me his "my family is from blue collar Midwest America, you have got to be kidding me with this blue blood Southern nonsense" look. I knew I would get that look. I am glad I married someone that can give me that look (most of the time). Imagine the financial foolishness of a pair of me! George is also usually very generous in his understanding of this inconvenient little peculiarity of mine, asserting that I merely understand and place a high value on quality. In the moment though, I usually just get the look. And it was win, win really. Because I really started out just wanting the Pottery Barn wine glasses. George was pleased with the price on theirs after seeing what the swanky ones cost. But earlier today, he felt confident that I could go to the Dollar store and get a fine vessel. So while I am not getting Riedel wine glasses, I am also not going to the dollar store, which is a very happy thing. 

Another thing I have looked into is Christmas music. I know that some people would say that Christmas is over, but I would remind you that it is just Advent that is over and that Christmas lasts until January 6th. But most people don't pay that much regard, which I get, I just happen to be in a church that does. And I am glad because I get to keep listening to my Christmas music and still have a few days to get some cookies to some folks I meant to bake for. Anyway, I didn't say much about Christmas music this year. I have particularly been enjoying Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas. George got me an Emmylou Harris Christmas CD, Light of the Stable, this year too, and I spent some time enjoying getting to know it. And then there's the usual stuff, two radio stations of 24/7 Christmas music, Amy Grant (since I was a kid!) and Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God, which I have raved about in years past, and still love so much I gave copies to several people this year. But I need some new albums to add into the mix. I have listened to a kazillion samples on Amazon today and I am thinking I might enjoy Mary Chapin Carpenter's Christmas album, though it sounds very mellow. I loved Mary Chapin way back when, but I haven't listened to her for years. She can be very dull, you see, and very liberal as well. But there is nothing dull or political about Christmas. But George hates the samples from her Christmas CD on Amazon. And history proves that I cannot maintain enjoyment of something that George abhors, so I think it better to go with something different. The other one I think I might like is Sara Groves' O Holy Night. Does anyone know anything about her or have her album? I am not much in to the Christian music scene. But I enjoyed the samples I heard. I am open to other recommendations as well. 

Wine glasses and Christmas music- what say ye?


Fittsy said...

Do you know that they carry Riedel at Target? They were what I would recommend (b/c I'm a Southerner, of course!), and I thought if they came from Target maybe they'd be ok? (We love our stemless glasses, and they're dishwasher safe, a great plus!)

As for Christmas music, do you know that Red Mountain has a new Christmas CD? It's just traditional carols, sung traditionally. It's lovely.

Jessie said...

I got the Pottery Barn wine glasses 2 years ago, and now all but 2 are broken. I finally resorted to buying 6 Ikea wine glasses (that are indistinguishable from PB ones) for 4.99 - just sayin....I've been just as happy with much cheaper glasses. And I have 12 so that I can actually host big parties. And they are easy to replace....really easy.

As to music, I think you should skip Christmas and buy the Fleet Foxes (they only have one album - but are wonderful, my new fav.)

Abby said...

Jes, George just got that fleet fox cd with his best buy gift card he got for christmas. I had never heard of it, but now I will have to take a listen. also, he is in love with that vito dude that y'all know. well, with his new album. i am not sure if that is the same thing. he was amused when i came in and said "hey, who's that singing a Smiths song?" it was the vito people. it's always funny when our tastes cross over in unexpected ways. also, good to know that the PB ones break. i wondered at that.

rebekah, i will have to check on the target riedel situation. thanks! and i did know about the red mountain cd, but i like how they change hymns up and was sort of disappointed that they left the carols the same as they ever were. but i still thought about getting it. anyway, i sure wish i was in fosters right now! a way to get a visit with y'all is in the front of my mind these days, just so you know :)

jennifer h said...

What Jessie said is so true! I think it is good to have a few "nice" wine glasses (you decide how nice), but having a few from the dollar store or IKEA or, heaven forbid, Goodwill, is not a bad idea since they are bound to get broken.

Also, I am a big advocate of using the wedding gifts, even if they don't go with your other stuff. If you wait around until you have everything you "need" for the nice things you got for your wedding to be used, they may be in boxes forever. If you use them with slightly less nice things, they bring everything else up a notch. This philosophy caused me to get out my lovely Mikasa water glasses about 10 years ago (7 years into my marriage), and I often use them for adults when we have dinner guests. Just my 2 cents.

Enjoy spending the Christmas money!

Wright Family said...

i second the ikea rec. we have them too and none have broken so far. and we use our nice stemware a lot too because we use our china every sunday. i am determined that if we are going to have all that china we are going to use it! but for all the time, i vote ikea. and then you could use your leftover $$ for necessities or something else fun.

Abby said...

i think the reason i have gotten away from using my china and crystal is because we kept moving! i really did use it the first four years, but then i packed it when we moved to st. louis and we found out we were moving again before i had a chance to unpack them. then, when we found out we were moving AGAIN, i just sent them to my mom's house! they have been spared two moves since then, which is a mercy. i think i will use them again someday. but by that time, i will need more than the eight place settings i have!

all the ikea glasses i looked at are not available for online order, so i am curious how everyone has them, and am thinking they would be hard to replace if i have to go to chicago or nyc to get them. but the idea is a good one- don't spend a million dollars on breakable glass, especially when you already have Waterford. what does everyone else think about the Target ones? they are also not available online, but it appears several st. louis area targets have them. the bad news is that i won't know the price until i get to the store.

courtney said...

I use my Waterford red wine glasses all the time (or, when I'm not pregnant!). I love them. But, I also got a great deal on wine glasses this time last year at Pier One and I really like those. They usually have a huge sale on wine glasses and all alcohol related stemware after New Years. I actually took back my Lenox platinum rimmed stemware b/c I like the Pier One so much better. Even 6 years later, they take it back! Also, I got those Pier One glasses for about $1 each. So, I got 12! Fantastic!

Abby said...

had you used your lenox glasses yet, courtney? that is amazing that they took them back! i wish i had done the thing where you swap some pieces from each place setting of china to expand your set. i mean, how many times do i need bread, salad, and dessert plates? i could've swapped all of eight of one of those for two more place settings (give or take). but i've used it all by now. oh well, live and learn. but thanks for the pier one tip too! i will keep them in mind too. you can't beat $1. and george would be very excited :)

lauren said...

hey abby-i'm in the cheap wine glass club too. i do have a set of PB ones that were a gift for my 30th, but when i entertain, i use cheap ones from target, pier one, crate & barrel, or world market. i think i've owned some from all of those places. that's how often we break them and therefore the reason we don't spend much on them! :) i just figure i'd rather splurge on other stuff that brian won't break when he's loading the dishes!

about music-have you heard of mindy smith? good stuff. also, do you know about lala.com? you can listen to the entire song/album before purchasing, unlike itunes.

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