Tag Archives: holidays

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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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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Our First Holiday Without Him

tgivingThis Thanksgiving, I joined the countless other forgotten, unloved parents who raised ungrateful, thoughtless children who have the unthinkable audacity to grow up, go away to school, get lives of their own and forget to come home for major holidays. (Insert pathetic sob here.) That’s right, my college student did not spend Thanksgiving Day with us. I always knew one day he’d break our hearts. Instead of being here within the clawing grasp of our loving arms, he went to Toronto instead.

Despite pointing out that he’d have plenty of time to hang out with his friends and see the world after we were dead, he went off anyway. So we cried. Just a little. We can only have small crying fits as crying upsets the dog. And the dog is really old, probably just one upset away from the Rainbow Bridge. Not that it matters, because Buster is so old he probably doesn’t remember that we even have a rotten son. Unfortunately, the rest of us aren’t that old and will likely die of a broken heart long before we can get that old. Not that this matters to anyone in Toronto.

Oh sure, he tried to sort of make it better by coming home for a few days before his little adventure. This was probably an attempt to get us use to what the future holds for us: the days when he’ll speed past our nursing home and honk twice, too busy to actually stop in and wipe the Ensure® off our trembling chins. Never the less, we’ll still be telling the nursing staff what a good son he is in our thin, failing voice, the whole time hoping we haven’t been dumped in the next facility to be investigated by Channel 11 for health code violations.

Honestly, I blame myself. It was me, after all, that raised him to be independent, to jump on opportunity when he sees it, and to chase down every adventure. And I’m not too proud, though, to say I was wrong. Those were bad parenting decisions on my part. Therefore, I think it’s now on him to realize that, forget that whole independent thing, and be home with me every chance he gets. There are millions of kids still living at home with mom, refusing to be launched! Why, oh why, did I get the one that won’t land?! (Insert big sigh here.)

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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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