Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Much Family Togetherness


Lately I've been feeling like Christmas is hurtling towards me like one of those high-speed trains they've got in Japan.  Well, if that train were a demanding one with a lot of expectations and shipping requirements, then I guess the analogy would work.  I honestly do try not to let the holidays drive me insane.  I enjoy the decorations in our home, I love watching "Muppets Christmas Carol," and I do love a nice cup of mulled Christmas wine. I get a kick out of my daughter's holiday-induced giddiness.  As I type this, there are two post-it notes stuck to my monitor.  One says "Nic list" (nice list) and below that is a drawing of the illustrious classmate Tyler and some random dog (not one of ours apparently). The other note says, "Santa Clos. I love you Santa." She has been laying it on pretty thick with the man in red lately. She colored him a picture yesterday and instructed me to send it to the North Pole.

Lest you think I am one of those who ignores "the reason for the season," fear not. Although we are Unitarian Universalists* and may celebrate Christmas a little bit differently, we talk a lot about the birth of Jesus and how Jesus was a great teacher who taught us about love and kindness. Just to confuse matters, we also talk about the solstice. I think it will all click in her mind a bit better as she gets older. I hope.

Because I have to ship so many of my gifts out of state, I do have to get my act together ahead of time, and it does get a bit hectic.I started this weekend with a tight jaw and a stress headache after ending the work day on Friday with a phone call from an irate client who had an email issue.  An email issue that apparently was my fault, personally. Because, you know, I randomly delete people's email accounts just for sport. On Saturday, I had a pretty long "to do" list but then a funny thing happened on the way to overachieverville . . . a winter storm rolled in.

The snow was supposed to start in earnest by early afternoon, so I did get a few things done prior to that.  However, the skies were still empty after lunchtime, so I took the kid downtown to a museum.  At Christmastime, the museum always features department store window displays from the 60s.  The animatronic dolls and whatnot have been restored and the nostalgic displays are fun to see.  A gleefully chatted with a talking Christmas tree (she told him she wants an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas - woot!) The museum also offered a "children's holiday shop."  Kids were invited to step inside a little house and shop sans parents.  I handed the kid $12 and sent her in (she was allowed to buy up to four gifts, priced at $2-$3 each).  "Get Mama an iPhone!" I called out as she walked through the wee door.

When we got home, we decided to make Christmas cookies.  Although she was a bit more judicious with her sprinkles this year, the cookies still got a heavy dose.  It took me the better part of two hours to clean the kitchen after the baking project was done.  Later, I took a hot bath while the kid watched the Muppet movie and her dad played something-or-other on the PS3.  As I was enjoying my bath, a note flew under the door and skidded across the tile. "I love my mom."

By Sunday, the storm had done its damage.  The drifting was unreal.  Church was canceled.  My other half set about the job of snow blowing the driveway.  We have a snow blower given to us by A's Godfather.  This particular snow blower is roughly the size of a Smart Car and was made somewhere between the end of Vietnam and the start of the Iran Hostage Crisis (I am not exaggerating). P had no idea how to use it.  We studied some videos on YouTube (do not ask me why men film themselves blowing snow and fondling their snow blowers, but there are literally hundreds of such videos out there) and he was able to figure it out. The authorities all but banned travel today, but we'll have to leave eventually.

Anyway, we spent lots of time indoors this weekend.  We played games, we watched movies, and we wrapped gifts. The good news is . . . we are still speaking. Mulled wine does wonders.

*P is Christian, but as far as I can tell, the denomination is "The Church of the NFL" and is conveniently held right in our living room on Sundays.

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