Category Archives: Christmas

Goodbye, November! I Gotta Get a Move On…

In an email I sent to my Uncle listing possible things he could get my son for Christmas (hey, he ASKED, I don’t just make up lists and send them out to people), I told him: “Anything NOT Star Wars or LEGOs would be good.  We are drowning in LEGOs and Santa’s bringing more and if I have to hear Snags go on and on about Star Wars and Obi Wan Kenobi anymore I swear I will poke my ears out with the first thing I can get my hands on – probably a LEGO.”

But that’s a lie.  A total bold faced lie.  Because actually, at the time I wrote that email, I had already dug my ear drums out with the tines of a fork.  The whole ordeal was a bit messier than I had anticipated and so I tried to staunch the flow of blood with the first thing I could get my hands on – and that WAS a bunch of LEGOs.  Only LEGOs aren’t cotton, so they aren’t very absorbent in that impervious hard plastic surface sort of way, and so I was forced to sit there and build tiny LEGO dams while the blood poured from my empty ear sockets all over my keyboard.  I shoved the little plastic LEGO dams into the holes that once held ear drums, and here I type with sticky fingers telling all the world the truth.  That I am a liar and I am sick to death of hearing about Star Wars.  Honestly, I only lied in the first place because I didn’t want to alarm my Uncle over all the blood.

But like I said, Santa IS bringing more Star Wars LEGOs to our house this Christmas, so I fear I can’t escape the coming waves of Star Ships engaged in the battles of my obsessed child’s devising.  I have seriously considered calling Santa and telling him “NO! Return those LEGOs to your toy storage locker that is Toys R Us, don’t bring them here!”, but then they were the first thing Snags asked for in his letter to Santa, and they were the first things he marked as “Top Choice” on his list, like a butcher grading cuts of meat.  So I can’t bring myself to do it.  Plus Santa I can’t find the receipt.

So Christmas is coming and thankfully I’ve already completed some of my shopping.  I got my parents… oh wait, they might read this so I can’t say. But I got my husband… nope, better not tell you that either. Okay, so instead I’ll tell you about my brother’s Christmas wish-list.  He didn’t prioritize it so I don’t know if this was his “Top Choice” or not, but one of the items on his list was the Magic Wallet.  Have you heard of it?  It’s been around for years.  I think my brother even had one once upon a time. It must have worn out. He wants a new one. But he wants the Original Magic Wallet, not the new Magic Wallet Plus.  Basically the concept is you open it up, drop in a dollar bill or a receipt or something, close it up, and it “magically” moves the paper to it’s proper place.  Well, more or less.  It’s not really magic at all, having elastic bands that hook it all together not unlike a Jacob’s Ladder toy.  Something which, by the way, I always wanted when I was a kid. Something I still haven’t figured out to this day.  But anyway, the Magic Wallet…  I can just picture my brother now, using the wallet as a prop for his pick-up line at a bar, saying something like “Hello beautiful!  See if you can find what I have hidden in my Magic Wallet!”  Word to my brother: If I DO get you the Magic Wallet for Christmas, DON’T use that line.  It’s awful. It’s sure to get a drink thrown in your face and very possibly a kick to your nuts.  So you know, you’ve been warned.

But Christmas!  It’s almost here.  Only 26 or so days left and there is still so much to do!  I’ve got gifts to wrap, bows to tie, cards to sign and mail, and decorations to dig out of the basement.  The tree has been up for a week now but I’ve got to rearrange the ornaments.  Snags hung them all at a six year old level, so the bottom third of the tree looks like it’s wearing a skirt of baubles, the rest looks quite naked.  Rearranging is definitely in order. 

I have menus to plan and more presents to shop for.  I have to buy more Scotch Tape so I can wrap the things I’ve bought.  Snags has used all that I had in a fit of creativity.  He’s building some sort of display, something that combines Star Wars figurines and space crafts, LEGOs, scraps of wood from the garage, and I think, some of the figures from our Nativity Scene, all Scotch Taped together on my coffee table.  Warning to those coming for Christmas: there may not be any place to set your drinks down. 

Which reminds me, I have to go to the liquor store.  Drinks!  I am going to need them.  I hear they help numb the pain.  And my ears, shoved full of LEGOs as they are, they are starting to throb.

8 Comments

Filed under Christmas, humor, LEGOs, life, Magic Wallet

“Good Morning… No!”

I spent the morning telling Snags “No!”

No, you can’t wear your red Spiderman robe to school over your clothes so you can “look like Santa Claus”.  No, because a robe goes with pajamas so it’s considered pajamas and you can only wear pajamas to school on approved pajama days.  That’s in the school rules – it’s part of the dress code.  And today is not a pajama day.

 No, you can’t take the red pillow case to school with you even though you think it looks like Santa’s bag of toys.  Because…  It’s uh,… considered bedding!  Like pajamas. You wear them to bed. And the pillowcase belongs on your pillow which belongs ON YOUR BED. See? Sorry.

No, you can’t wear your new snow boots to school today.  It’s part of the school rules, too.  You can’t wear snow boots if it isn’t snowing out. Sorry.  I know you think they look like Santa’s boots. You still can’t wear them. Put your tennis shoes on.

In the end, he settled on wearing a red short sleeve polo shirt.  On top of that he wore an “orange red” fleece sweatshirt.  He had on brown cords but changed into gray sweatpants because they “looked more like Santa.”  He took a Santa Hat with him. You know the kind. Red, kind of fuzzy material, has white trim.

He thought he was going to fool his kindergarten teacher with this outfit.  Fool her into what, I don’t know.  Into thinking HE was Santa Claus?  Because if he walks into class saying “Yo, ho, ho!” like he’s been doing around the house for the past 48 hours… saying “Yo, ho, ho!” instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Then instead of “Santa Claus?!” his teacher will probably be thinking “Christmas Pirate?”

5 Comments

Filed under Christmas, humor, life, Santa, Snags

Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat

And by Goose I mean me.  Boy do I hate the weeks between Halloween and Christmas.  I’ve read all the advice, how not to gain that average 5 pounds or so, but you’re reading the writing of a woman who gained the Freshman 15 back in college and kept it ON so really, advising me to be mindful of my holiday eating or to eat BEFORE I go to a holiday party… well, that only ends up with me eating two meals.  The one before the party and the one AT the party.  So that isn’t going to work at all.  Last year’s 5 pounds on my left hip are proof of that.

But Christmas is coming and Snags is EXCITED! EXCITED! EXCITED!  More so this year than any year past.

He’s already made his Christmas list for Santa and revised it twice.

It started off as a simple one page letter asking for three things.  It has since morphed into a small catalog of photos cut from toy magazines and glued onto a stack of paper from the printer in the basement, stapled together, then attached to a cover sheet, lest Santa get confused as to whom the list came from.

Recently he decided to prioritize the list.  Only he wrote “Top Choice” by each and every item on his list.

I finally had to sit down with him and explain that EVERYTHING can’t be his “Top Choice.”  And as we flipped through the pages of his ever expanding list, I had to point out that Santa was not likely to bring him a rock tumbler because it was for children ages 10 and up. Ditto the chemistry set. “Darn it!” Snags yelled.  And then he drew a big X over the items.

“Also,” I said, trying not to dampen his Christmas spirit but also wanting to keep my house fee of bugs, “No ant farm.  Even when you turn eight and are old enough for an ant farm, see here where it says 8 and older?  Even then, I am not having ants in my house.  Not even if they live on a farm.”

“Why not?” Snags demanded to know. 

“Because,” I said, “that’s why I pay the exterminator in the first place.  Too keep ants out of here.  Sorry kiddo.”

“Darn it!” He yelled again as he crossed the ant farm off his list.

My husband and I have been having a bit of a discussion lately too.  He wants to limit what Snags gets for Christmas, set a budget.  And I do too.  We just can’t agree on what that budget should be.  Because when your kid is six and wants a couple of $90 LEGO sets, well, there won’t be much under the tree if you say $200 is the limit, you know?  And then also, my husband is of the opinion that the best presents should come from mom and dad and Santa should only bring maybe one or two gifts.  I’m all against that.  Because when I was a kid, SANTA BROUGHT EVERYTHING.  Or nearly everything.  My husband grew up differently than I and seems to think this puts the appreciation of Christmas on Santa, and not mom and dad.  Jesus, some of you may notice, is left out of this part of the discussion.  Yes, the holiday is about him, and he is lying in the manger we set up, but then, as Snags notes, Jesus was a baby at Christmas, and babies don’t bring you presents.  But Santa, he does! 

“Look at it this way,” I tried to explain to my husband.  “We’ve probably only got another year or two of Santa left around here.  Some older kid at school will spill the beans soon enough.  I’d rather Snags be all excited about Santa while he can.  He has the rest of his life to appreciate the fact that Santa was US.  He can appreciate you and me and what we gave him from Santa when he’s grown.  Right now, let’s let the mystery and excitement go on as long as possible.  That’s what being a kid is all about, isn’t it?”

Well, that and being able to eat all the holiday junk you want without gaining an ounce.
 

4 Comments

Filed under Christmas, humor, life, Santa

Please Check Your Calendars

Please check your calendar.  Somebody, no… EVERYBODY, please check your calendars.

Can you confirm to me that today’s date is, in fact, August 8, 2007?

And that means it is still summer, right?  At least, technically? 

I mean, I seem to recall that the official start of summer falls somewhere around June 21st on what’s known as the summer solstice.  And then fall doesn’t officially start until September 23rd or so, the date of the autumnal equinox.  And all the days in between… summer.  Summer, summer, summer.  At least, that’s the way it is here in the Northern Hemisphere. 

More so than the dates on the calendar, I have this other evidence to present in the hopes of proving it is still summer…

It’s 100 degrees outside.  It feels, when you walk out the door, like that Jaws ride at Universal Studios in Florida where you’re in the boat and there’s a big fiery explosion and the searing heat is more than a touch alarming and you check to see if your skin might be blistering before your eyes.  In the end, it’s really not, it’s just hotHOT LIKE FIRE.

Also, there’s baseball.  As far as I know, the major leagues are still in action. Then again, baseball season is so damn long that it might not be an actual indicator of anything anymore.  Still, I’m claiming it.  Baseball equals summer.

School hasn’t started yet either.  It’s still, for better or worse, summer vacation.  At least for a few more weeks.  And I know this counts because there’s that song with the lyrics, “School’s out for the summer!”  I think Alice Cooper sang it.  And I think, if it’s in a song, then it must be true.

So to recap the evidence:

a. the calendar says it’s August and August equals summer
b. It’s hot out, and HOT LIKE FIRE usually only happens in the summer (well, unless there’s an actual fire)
c. Baseball equals summer
d. Alice Cooper said so

So, if all evidence points to the fact that it’s still summer, then WHY, pray tell, is my local grocery store already pushing HALLOWEEN CANDY?

Why did I get this fall catalog in the mail today?

And most worrisome of all, why today when I bought some LEGOs for my son from Target, did the cashier put them in this large CHRISTMAS bag?

O Holy Night!

Give me some time to buy school supplies first, won’t you?

I don’t know.  Maybe the cashier thought I was buying the LEGOs as a Christmas gift since I was shopping alone and when she asked, I told her that I didn’t need a gift slip for them.  That must mean I’m keeping them, right?  But I’m a grown woman, and grown women don’t usually play with Star Wars LEGO sets, ergo, Christmas gift!

When she handed over my bags, all of my other purchases, like disposable razors and shampoo and Burt’s Beeswax (incredible deal on a 3-pack!) and gauze for wrapping up my husband’s mangled foot, were in regular Target bags.  You know, the white ones with the red Target symbol on them?  She handed over the LEGOs and said “And here is your toy.”  And she kind of winked and nodded at the bag which was not see through.  So I think she was suggesting that the LEGOs should be a Christmas gift and that I shouldn’t hand them over to Snags to play with the moment I walk through my front door.  Perhaps she thinks that giving children toys for no reason, in the middle of summer no less, is akin to spoiling them.

But I like to think I’m fostering his creativity because he got a mini-set of LEGOs and has been spending hours upon hours making things with them and entertaining himself for hours more.  And I was thinking that more LEGOs would allow him to make more things and be more creative and entertain himself for even MORE hours.  And more is better, right?  When you are talking about five year olds playing quietly with LEGOs for hours, more is better.  Just… trust me on this.

But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  I’m used to seeing Christmas stuff go up early.  It takes a lot of time to set up 20 trees with ornaments and lights and tinsel.  I start the day after Thanksgiving at my house, and I only put up one tree, some stockings, and a wreath.  So stores, with all their twinkling lights and snow globes and dancing Santa’s have to start early.

And then there’s the whole thing where they start selling bathing suits in January.  Now that totally pisses me off because if I wait the 6 months it will take me to lose enough weight to look good so people won’t vomit when they see me in a bathing suit, it would be June before I could buy one.  Only by then there won’t be any bathing suits left except for those on clearance, and those are all in a size 2 and I couldn’t pull one of those up past my ankles even with a weight loss.

But really, I don’t recall seeing Halloween Candy out THIS early before.  I’m especially perturbed at this because it means I have two additional months where I can stock up for trick-or-treaters only to say “Oh, what the hell, just one piece” and then before you know it, I’ve not only opened the bag, I’ve eaten the entire contents, all 240 pieces.  And then I have to go buy MORE.  This is bad enough when I do it through the entire month of October, because after that, I’ve still got Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies I can’t keep myself away from.  So come January and bathing suit sales, I’m in trouble.  Only now I’ve got August and September stretching before me with Halloween candy on the shelves, and with those two extra months, I can do some serious damage.  I might have to tape 20 large Target Christmas bags together just to make myself a bathing suit come January.

7 Comments

Filed under Bathing Suits, Calendars, Candy, Christmas, Halloween, humor, LEGOs, life, Weight Loss

Dead Santa

Tell me, just WHAT do you say when your 5 year old child, riding in the backseat of the car asks you out of the blue, “Mom, does Santa Claus die? And what do they do if he dies? Do they get a replacement for him? How quickly can they get a replacement for him? And what about Mrs. Claus? Does she die? Or can Santa just live forever? How could he be that old to live forever?”

You can only stall for so long. Eventually, you have to answer the question.

After I did as much hemming and hawing as I thought I could get away with, I responded with something like: “Wow! Um… That’s a good question! I never thought about it. I mean, I don’t know. I suppose he might live forever, I mean, he does have Christmas magic. But then, he’d be the only person around that could live forever, so maybe he does die. But if he dies, I mean, they never announce it on the news. At least, I’ve never heard anything on the news about Santa dying.  I’ve never read anything in the paper about it.  And I watch the news and read the paper a lot, so I think I would have found out about that if it happened, you know?  But Santa’s been around as long as I can remember. I mean, they’ve always had Christmas, as far as I know.  I never heard anyone say they didn’t have a Christmas when they were a kid.  I know he was around when your grandparents, and great-grandparents, and great-great-great grandparents were kids. But some of those folks are dead now, so I guess that would make him really old… Or maybe he does die but they find a replacement before Christmas and they just don’t tell us about it so people won’t be worrying about whether there’s going to be a Christmas…” and then, just for that extra special touch, I added, “You must be the smartest kid in the world to ask that. I mean, I don’t think many kids even think about that to ask. I mean, I’ve never thought about it before. Wow! So, um… How was your day at school today?”

Really, I tell you, it’s hard to come up with an answer when your head is spinning from the shock and you haven’t been given a copy of “The Parent’s Guide to Answering Difficult Questions”.  And even if you had a copy, it’d be a little difficult to look up the answer while you’re driving.

After we got home, I distracted my son from his thoughts of a dying Santa with some comic relief in the form of Sponge Bob cartoons on Nick Jr.  Then I pulled my husband into the garage where I hissed “HE ASKED ME IF SANTA CLAUS DIES?!”, and I proceeded to tell him the rest of this horrifying exchange. When I finished, my husband said, (rather smugly, I might add), “Santa doesn’t die, he RETIRES and he trains a new Santa in his place. Didn’t you know that? That’s what all the Santa’s in the malls are, Santa’s in training, hoping one of them will get picked to be his replacement when he retires. That’s what you should have told him…”

And I’m thinking, “No. I didn’t know that. And since you’re so damn smart, YOU answer the question next time.”  

And there will be a next time.  My son was quietly playing the other day, and I heard him talking to himself, something about babies in tummies, and then something that sounded suspiciously like “and the mom eats a babysicle… ”   I closed my eyes and pretended that I didn’t hear him.  But when it comes up again, I’m going to hem and haw and say, “Hmm… I’m not sure…”  Then, I’m handing him the cell phone and say, “Here, call your dad, he’ll know!”

Merry Christmas in July!

14 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Christmas in July, death, humor, kids, life, parenting, Santa Claus