Posts Tagged 'Holidays'

What a Grinch Needs

You may gasp, or shake your heads, but I’ll be completely honest here.  Holidays are pretty much a pain in the butt.  They’re extra work; traditions created to induce massive spending and contrived to evoke fake holiday cheer.  Bah humbug!

I’ve never completely fallen in lock-step.  If the weather is pleasant and I’m not feeling lazy, I may get in the mood to decorate outside.  It’s a rare occasion that I bake  Christmas cookies, but I’ll happily eat any sent my way.  I finally talked hubby into getting a fake tree last year, but I don’t have any immediate plans of putting it up yet.  I’m getting tired of having people ask me what I want this year, because I don’t want to think that hard.  I’m starting to feel a knot in my stomach because I’ve only just started my online shopping for hubby and the kids, and only one of the kids has given me any kind of list.  Oldest son keeps saying that he really doesn’t want or need anything.  He’s dead serious.  He’s the most non-materialistic person in the world.  But I’m a mother, for God’s sake.  Even though I don’t buy into this game, there is no way a child of mine is not going to have some nice exciting things to open Christmas morning!

Once again, nobody knows what to buy my mother.  She’ll get the same assortment of gift cards we’ve all decided would be the most appreciated gift for her on her fixed income.  Then we’ll wonder if she really remembers to use them.

This whole deal is starting to become a little forced and humdrum to me.  It used to be a little more exciting (although a lot more exhausting) when the kids were little.  We had fun being sneaky, staying up late, sipping wine and waiting until the kids were finally asleep to load the presents under the tree.  No one could get up and look at the presents until we all were awake.  Then Big Daddy and I would load up on coffee and take pictures amid the excited shouts and squeals of delight.  It was so much easier to buy toys!

On Friday, I sent out the final bits of information, complete with a required family photo and brief letter to a potential child, to the foster care agency where we’ve applied.  There was a lot of paperwork involved, which really makes me wonder how some kids end up in crappy homes.  They check everything.  If I’ve really succeeded in not forgetting to send everything, we could actually get a call soon for a final walk-through of our home.  I’m not even sure if this is possible, but I’ve started thinking it might be fun to have a rugrat here for Christmas.  I’m thrilled to death to have my three big wonderful sons here with us on Christmas, but the real magic of Christmas is in the eyes of a young child, who has absolutely no idea what Santa may have brought.  I think we’d all get a kick out of it!

Room for one more?

The Pictures Say It All

This is how we spent our holiday weekend:

Youngest Son running local 5K

Youngest Son running local 5K

Oldest Son (shirtless) across the finish line

Oldest Son (shirtless) across the finish line

Me--Stuffing My Face

Me--Stuffing My Face

Notice there is no picture of me running the race.  No wonder I can’t lose any weight!!!

Merry Christmas, EVERYONE

My boss and his family do not celebrate Christmas.  It is not a part of their religion.  However, when people come to the office during the holiday season and wish them a Merry Christmas, they do not get offended.  They smile and accept the good wishes sent their way.  They graciously accept the tray of Christmas cookies sent up from our good neighbor, the bank downstairs.

People in the USA have taken the political correctness thing to extremes.  We’re afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone.  We walk on eggshells sometimes worrying about whether we may hurt someone’s feelings when we’re actually hurting ourselves by overthinking our own words and actions.

When people wish others a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, they are merely spreading the goodwill of the season.  Christmas means a lot of different things to different people.  For those that have grown up celebrating it, the holiday evokes happy memories for many of them.  For some, the birth of a Savior gives them hope.  Others recall the warmth and joy of holidays spent with loved ones.  Pretty lights and Christmas carols take the edge off a sometimes cold and heartless world.

We just want to pass the joy along.  When I happen to wish someone a Merry Christmas, I’m not assuming that they celebrate it the same way I do.  I don’t know or care.  I’m just passing along the spirit of the season, sharing good thoughts to another member of the human family.  I’m assuming you’ll be alive on December 25th and hoping that the day will be a good one for you.

There’s no reason to take offense.  Just accept the good thoughts and be happy that YOU will not be spending the rest of your winter paying off holiday debts, working out to shed those extra pounds, or sweeping up pine needles out of your carpet.

Yay! I’m Saving Trees

After years of pleading, begging, and reasoning, I have finally gotten my way.  Tonight, we went to K-Mart and bought an artificial Christmas tree.  A Martha Stewart one, to be precise.  With pre-hung, Never Out, tiny clear lights.  It was even on sale.  My world rocks!

Big Daddy is such a traditionalist.  He had to have a real wedding.  With people.  And food.  I couldn’t care less about that kind of crap.  I wanted to be married, sure, but I didn’t need all that wedding junk.  My parents weren’t much into it either.  My mom even offered us money to go get married and skip the drama.  Yes!  Great idea!  But Big Daddy would have none of it.  Just like he would have no part in depriving himself and his children of the prickliness and piney scent of a real Christmas tree.

It’s not like I wanted a spiky silver aluminum tree with revolving color wheel like the tree I grew up with.  A realistic tasteful green tree would do just fine.  I would even spray pine-scented fragrance.  There are several reasons why I longed for the artificial beauty of a boxed tree:

Reason One:  I’m cheap.  I hated forking out the bucks every single year for something that was going to die in a couple weeks.  And prices could skyrocket–you were totally at the mercy of the Christmas tree vendors.

Reason Two:  The mess.  I actually had to vacuum more than ONCE A MONTH with all those blasted pine needles.

Reason Three:  I’m tired of being responsible for living things.  I raised three kids.  They’ve even suckered me into a second dog.  I just want to rest!  They want the live tree–and guess who gets stuck slouching down and watering it every single day?  Me.  The giver of sustenance who is not allowed to retire.

Reason Four:  And this may be the reason that Big Daddy took mercy on me and finally agreed that since the kids were all grown, he would indulge me and suffer the cruel fate of celebrating Christmas without a live tree.  And this may convince some of you that your first impression of me may have been right — you know, the nagging thought that there may be something just a bit wrong with Mama?  But I’m totally sincere when I tell you that I felt sad and guilty every year watching the poor tree we selected wither and die.  It’s just wrong, I tell you.

I’ve heard the arguments.  They grow these trees on farms on purpose just to be sold as Christmas trees.  They replenish them.  It’s no different than a farmer raising cattle for beef.

Well, yes it is.  A steak helps keep me alive.  A Christmas tree dies a pointless death.  Like a vestal virgin.  You dress it up in beauty — only to watch it sacrifice its life in its prime.  Then it lays in your yard for months with remnants of holiday sparkle shivering in the wind.  You finally watch it return to the earth as ash.  Or mulch.

Happy tree shopping, y’all!

Life Sucks and Then You Die

I’ve been thinking about that big juicy 20+ pound turkey all week. “Let’s make a bunch of extra stuffing,” I said to Big Daddy this week.  That’s my fave.  I ran out in the freaking cold weather Tuesday to pick up lots of bread and other goodies we might need to make a sumptuous meal.  I spent days swiffering up all the little dust bunnies that accumulate in between my holiday house cleanings.  I could almost smell that juicy bird roasting.

Then last night, I started feeling a scratchy throat.  Must be all those dust bunnies getting scattered through the air and then caught up in the airways.  Not to worry.  No runny nose, no sniffles.  I still had a working set of taste buds.  On Thanksgiving Day, that’s the key.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I am sniffling.  And jamming tissues up my nose to stop the water works.  I’ve choked on gobs of mucus and squirted pee when I sneeze.  Ladies with kids, you know what I mean.

Yeah, it’s still a holiday.  A warm and fuzzy day to spend with the folks.  Who cares about the rest, you might be saying.

But it’s THANKSGIVING!  All you get is a feast!  A feast you’ve been waiting for for weeks!  There are no presents to ease the sore throat pain.  There are no fireworks to ooh and ahh over.  No candy to save for later.  That turkey will be long gone before I’ll be able to properly savor it.  Aaaargghhh!

So, yeah.  Happy Thanksgiving, America.  And have fun shopping Black Friday.  I’ll be sleeping in my bed all day.

Good Stuff and Holidays

Big Daddy received a text today from Soldier Son in Iraq.  It said that their replacements were there and it shouldn’t be too long before he’ll be home!!  It sounds like he should definitely be here for Thanksgiving!  Even though we’re still stuck cooking the turkey and spuds here at my house, it will be so much better with our oldest son home.  Which doesn’t mean we won’t be sorely missing Middle Son J.  He’ll still be in Germany.  I have no idea what the poor boy will be doing that day.  He’s going to try to come home on leave in February because one of his friends is supposed to be getting married then.  And get this–his girlfriend is supposed to visit him after Christmas.  If he can get the time off that he requested, they plan to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris!  Kind of makes up for the Thanksgiving thing.


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