Tag Archives: Christmas

Real Mom Look at Christmas

Image isn’t actually Nancy. Or Julie. But it could be.

 They say Christmas is for children. This was not said by my good friend who has five of them. Her holiday wish list probably includes copious amounts of wine, an undisturbed nap, someone else to decide what’s for dinner, and some space to just vent. So I’m handing her a glass of wine and this space. Go ahead, Nancy (the name has been changed to protect Julie’s identity), this is your opportunity to speak to the Christmas manager.

“I don’t want to see another saccharine-sweet movie about this ‘most wonderful time of year’ where it shows the post-Oprah makeover picture of Martha Stewart decorations and food prepared by Julia Child. Instead, I’d like to see a movie about how dinner is poured from a Campbell’s can or a fancy boxed pizza is thrown in the oven at 8 o’clock. I’d like to see a kitchen that looks like a tornado went through it.

“I’d like to see movie with a room littered with 15 bins of Christmas decorations spilled on the floor just waiting for someone to be motivated or a movie about how a mom is struggling to repair a vacuum that has just sucked up the equivalent of a forest-full of artificial trees. I’d like to see a movie showing how cats are taking advantage of this chaos and making a toy out of giant tumbleweed balls of Christmas lights. I’d like to see a movie about how some parents forget to pick up kids from their activities or maybe one about how a mom learns to navigate all her commitments without losing her mind.

“What I NEED is an all-hands-on-deck approach to helping me even START preparing for Christmas. I’m having a sleigh-full of problems getting in the spirit and focusing on the real Reason for this Season. So while I cry in disbelief at all the decorations I have collected or received with open arms, I’m going to take a few minutes and listen to my Feel Good Not Christmas Music and try to remember that I’m doing all this for the kids (on top of all my regular whirlwind of chores, chauffeuring, scheduling, shopping, oh, does it ever end?).”  

Thank you, Julie … err, Nancy. For all you do. Let’s remember that even the very first Christmas wouldn’t have happened without a special mother. Hug one this season.

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Santa 101

Three hundred Christmas trees in Target stores the first week of October is bad. Three hundred Santas in the lobby where you work the first week of October is crazy good! It means your facility is hosting one of the oldest and preeminent Santa schools in the country and class is in session! Try having a rotten day at work when the line in the ladies’ room is all jolly, holly-draped grandma-types who drank too much peppermint tea during the “Being Mrs. Claus” breakout session.

 One might wonder – okay, it’s me. I’m wondering! – what exactly goes on at Santa school? Do you debate the number of ho’s in your ho-ho-ho’ing or frosted sugar cookies vs sprinkles? I tried quizzing random Santa’s between classes to see what I could find out, and they were all pretty tight lipped. It’s not like I was asking for the secret formula for flying reindeer corn. They just all chuckled and told me to work harder to stay off the naughty list (like that’ll happen). While Undaunted is not one of the reindeer team, it’s exactly what I was, so I went to the internet.

According to the Charles W. Howard Santa School website, aspiring and seasoned Santas can, among other things, “Practice Santa Flight Lessons.” That sounds a little like Santa has a posse covering the exits and a plan to jet the scene if the po-po shows to break up the ho-ho. Do we really want Santa to be a flight risk?

Santas can also attend the session on “Live Reindeer Habits.” What? I’m doing a quick check with building maintenance to find out who gave clearance to have a 400-pound caribou in the auditorium. I’m hoping the first habit that’s getting covered is how many times does a 400-pound caribou need to be walked outside every day to avoid a localized carpet catastrophe. Exactly how many Santas have a reindeer anyway? It’s not like you can run over to the local animal shelter and adopt a Rudolph.

As expected, there are sessions on handling terrified toddlers, what must-have toys need to be coming off that elfin assembly line in China, and accounting advice to keep Santa off the IRS naughty list. But most importantly, they’re all learning “He errs who thinks Santa enters through the chimney. Santa enters through the heart.” (Charles W. Howard, 1937)

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Really? Halloween Trees?!

halloweenOkay, I’m done. Just shoot me. I just found out that Halloween Trees are a real thing. All my hope for the future of humanity is gone and I’m devoid of a desire to go forward. There are actually people out there with way too much time and way, way too much disposable cash, all coupled with a twisted drive to prove they own a glue gun. What the heck has happened to just carving a pumpkin, stapling some cobwebs around the front door and calling it good?

Oh but wait! It gets better (and more expensive)! You can order your own 9-foot PRE-LIT Halloween tree for about $975 plus tax and shipping. It comes with purple and orange lights, all ready to be adorned with spooky… I don’t even know. Ornaments? This means, I’m going to guess here, that we should start seeing Halloween trees and the necessary accompanying decorations in stores some time right after Easter.

I can’t help but wonder: where is this coming from? Is Halloween having some kind of bizarre crisis of holiday gender identity? Is this a holiday that doesn’t want to be constricted by societal expectations of spooky fun and happy, costumed kids wanting candy but wants to explore its more Christmassy side? This is just weird.

And where does it stop? Will we have Fourth of July trees? Labor Day trees? We can’t have Columbus Day trees because there are folks that will think they should be Indigenous People trees. Will we need to decorate our Arbor Day trees with just more trees? You do see how this just opens up a virtual Pandora’s Box of wrongness, right?
This is, of course, a conspiracy. Big business craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s are obviously in cahoots with Pinterest and such to drive those poor souls afflicted with crafting skills into a buying frenzy. They’re planting this sick belief that you must over decorate for every occasion. How long before you have to put up your “I have a dentist appointment” tree?

Because I’m open-minded and tolerant of all things (HA!), I’ll point out the one benefit I see: I don’t have to ever put my Christmas tree back in the attic. I can decorate it for every possible holiday and just leave it in the living room until it rots.


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Christmas Music of Mass Destruction

colonel sanders
I love Christmas – the lights, the excitement and anticipation, the cookies, the idea that for at least a couple of days we still believe in the concept of Peace on Earth. But then there’s Christmas music. When did the sound of the season go from a festive celebration of the holidays to a Chinese water torture? Once again we’ve missed that “Everything in Moderation” lesson and charged unharnessed into a two month “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” bender. It’s an ugly thing to witness.

While I could probably set Josh Groban singing “O Holy Night” on auto replay for the rest of my life, there are a number of others that make me want to jam a rusty meat fork into my neck. If ISIS recorded Christmas music with the intent to overtake the West by making us all blithering unresponsive idiots, this would be the Top Five Christmas Songs of Mass Destruction (in no particular order):

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a song about a bunch of drunk rednecks and the senseless hit-and-run death of the family matriarch. The only question more disturbing than “Who writes this stuff?” is “Who agreed to record and play this stuff?”

“Christmas Shoes!” The first time, and maybe the second time, you hear this song, it’s touching and sentimental. After that, no amount of shrieking can drown it out before you can change the radio station. I’ll gladly and generously chip in on a pair of Jimmy Choo’s if we can just never play that song again ever.

“The Little Drummer Boy.” The pa-rum-pum-pum-pum is guaranteed to throb in my head like the precursor to a nightmare migraine well into February. The cure is the same for both: stick my head in the oven until I pass out.

“Blue Christmas.” I love Elvis. It’s almost a requirement to get your baby boomer membership card, but I think I’d rather overdose on peanut butter and mayo sandwiches than hear that one again. Nothing will give me a blue, blue, blue Christmas more than this song.

“Feliz Navidad.” I can’t hear this one that I don’t sing, “Fleas on my dog.” That right there is enough to put it on the list. Admit it, you’re singing “Fleas on my dog” in your head right now. I avoid the all-Christmas-music-all-the-time stations because of this song.

I understand that there are so many others that deserved to make this list (Chipmunks and hippopotamuses GACK!), so please feel free to compile your own list. Otherwise, Come All Ye Faithful and Deck the Halls because it’ll be a Holly Jolly Christmas. From my family to yours: Merry Christmas!

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Creepy Shelf Elf

chucky elfAm I the only one that thinks this whole Elf on the Shelf thing is creepy? As I understand it, the Shelf Elf is in your house to watch you. Then it flies around the house at night while you’re sleeping. But don’t touch it, because you’ll ruin the magic. Personally, I have no interest in having a doll that looks a little too much like a cleaned up version of Chucky from all those horror movies in my house watching me and waiting for me to go to sleep so he can move around and do whatever. I’m sorry, that’s creepy.

First of all, you’re supposed to name your elf. Okay, sure. Name him Chucky! Then put a heavy duty lock on the knife drawer and remove the fire arms from the residence. I’d even sleep with one eye open just to be sure he isn’t taking samples of your hair out of a brush and collecting your fingernail clippings so he can assume your spirit in a crazy elfin voodoo ritual.

It seems like everyone I know is posting pictures of their elf on Facebook. One family woke up to find the elf in a deep embrace with Barbie! What they didn’t mention on Facebook was that the elf’s name is Vladimir, and he was actually sucking plastic blood out of Barbie’s neck! Ken was just standing by helplessly, of course. He probably didn’t want to mess up his hair or soil his golf pants.

Supposedly the elf flies off each night to report to Santa on your every action and movement. Let’s get this straight: it’s not okay for the government to monitor your internet activity, but it’s perfectly acceptable to have complete in-home surveillance by a small, creepy doll. No secrets. No privacy. No hiding from the small, creepy doll because it also has access to every corner of your house.
What’s worse, everyone seems to be okay with the small, creepy doll watching their children. If I were a little kid, I’d have nightmares wondering what was going to keep Chucky the Elf on the Shelf from coming into my room to smother me in my sleep after reporting to Santa that I copied answers for my math homework out of the back of the book.

I get it that this is intended to be cute. Rudolph is cute. Frosty is cute. This Shelf Elf, I’m sorry, is just creepy.

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