Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I Want For Christmas

I don’t remember making a Christmas list as a child. I don’t remember my mom asking me what I wanted, and I don’t remember seeing any advertisements on TV and hollering “Mom, MOM!! Come see hurry up this is what I was telling you about it’s the coolest thing ever MOMOOOOOMMMM!!” That may also be due in part to the fact that when I was a child we had four channels, only one of which – PBS – showed children’s programming on a daily basis. Also, once Mr. Rogers was over I was booted off the TV so my mom could watch Dinah Shore and Another World.

My parents (and by that I mean “my mom,” because my dad was always just as surprised as we were) always made sure we had pretty cool gifts mixed in with our practical ones, like socks and underwear. I carried on that tradition with my girls, because it was usually the one present I’d let them open on Christmas Eve. I love being a mean mommy.

Last week as Maddy was trolling the interwebs looking for new and exciting Wii games to add to her Christmas list, I jokingly asked her at what point she might ask me for my Christmas list. As I gave her a few ideas, she asked that I email her the list and then she and Craig would go shopping.

So, here is what I asked for:

Fuzzy socks. As much as I love shoes, I hate wearing them around the house. Slippers make my feet sweat. I also have a strong redneck streak and tend to wander around barefoot, even in the winter. And I don’t like wearing just socks without shoes. Consequently, my feet are always freezing. So, one year Craig bought me some hot pink soft fuzzy socks and I love them – they are warm without making me sweat, comfortable without making me feel like I’m wearing socks, and I can run outside to the garage without putting on shoes. However, I only have one pair right now, so I’d like more.

Star Trek Movies or TV Episodes. I am unabashed in my love for Captains Kirk and Picard, and all things Enterprise-related. I would love to have the original TV episodes, and need to buy the movie DVDs. As there are so many, I thought this would be a good suggestion that could also be used for Valentine’s Day, my birthday, Mother’s Day, Arbor Day, etc. I’m considerate like that.

An Oval Pasta Pot. I saw this on Rachael Ray’s show, and then I found one that matches my existing cookware. It’s an oval pot so when you cook long pasta, such as spaghetti or fettuccini, you don’t have to a) stand there while the water is boiling and slowly smush the pasta into the pot or b) break it in half. Genius! One more thing I wish I’d invented.

Philosophy Bath Gel. I am running low on my pineapple coconut bath gel, which smells so delish and reminds me of summer. I suggested either the margarita or the daiquiri scents. However, since this requires a trip to the mall, I doubt I’ll get it.

Earbuds. Because I am a dork, I cut the cord of my earbuds with my three-hole punch. I know, I know, you’re wondering how in the world I managed that? Well, first, I am a dork, and second, my desk was crowded and as I was punching holes in documents to put them in a binder, the cord got hung under the paper and with one pass of the punch, they were in two pieces. Now I have to listen to my co-workers.

And that was it. So, what was on your list?

Monday, December 20, 2010


I’m not a huge fan of The Holidays. Yeah, yeah, I know – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Sometimes the forced frivolity, the Christmas carols that have been playing since October, the decorations that have been in the stores since August and the incessant commercialism all makes me stabby. Maybe it’s because I’m older, or cynical, or I’ve just had too damn much loss between November and January. However, I am a private Scrooge – I don’t begrudge those of you who get a kick out of all of this, and besides, I have a child who doesn’t need to be influenced by her mother’s Bah Humbug-ness.

I wasn’t always this way – I was young and happy and carefree once upon a time. I started my Christmas list in January, and counted down the days until it was Christmas morning. My favorite gifts from my childhood were my two bikes, my Barbie Dreamhouse, and my Holly Hobby doll made with love by my mother, complete with a matching dress and bonnet in my size. As I got older, I remember getting the Saturday Night Fever album (my dad was into country - thank God my mom was a disco fan), and every year a bottle of Love’s Baby Soft.

I like buying gifts for my family and friends and finding things that they don’t expect. I like taking easy-to-guess gifts, like CDs or DVDs and wrapping them in a way that makes it hard to know what’s in the box. I like matching the bows to the paper, and making ribbon curls.

I love the original Christmas TV specials, like Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown, my favorite. Linus’s recitation of What Christmas Is All About still makes me tear up a little, even after 40 some-odd years.

I nag encourage my husband to hang the outside Christmas lights, which makes him laugh because I resist decorating the interior of our house until Maddy nags encourages me to bring up the Christmas boxes. He asked me this year why I was hounding him so much when I didn’t even like Christmas and I replied that I didn’t want to be That House – my lack of festiveness is a private matter, no need for the whole neighborhood to know I’m a freak.

I love the family time, even though it can be stressful to try to visit everyone in one or two days. We are lucky that most of my husband’s family lives close, and my dad is only a few hours away, so he’ll be able to drive up for Christmas Day. I’m cooking Christmas lunch this year and I’m using a retro menu. Coke ham, cherry jello salad, broccoli rice casserole made with Cheez Whiz – all the classics from my childhood.

I love the cooking and baking. I’ve given my mixer a workout over the past few weeks with sugar cookies, and I’ve made pans of fudge and peppermint bark. My pants still fit but I might want to visit the treadmill this week, just to keep them from shrinking.

I love midnight Mass – true midnight Mass, not this late afternoon/early evening trend that a lot of churches are doing. There’s something about the stillness of the world at that time of night – it’s even better if it’s snowing when you leave the church.

So, after writing all the things I do like about Christmas, maybe I’m not such a Scrooge after all. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I’m done. I’m so done. Once again, the Court met, and once again, they failed to issue a decision. What is taking so damn long? It’s been seven months since we wrapped the court hearing, and five months since the Commissioner issued his recommendation. I thought maybe, just maybe, they’d have a heart and give us some closure before the holidays. Nope, apparently it’s too much to ask for. Merry Christmas to us once again, without Jessica and Kelli, and without any end in sight to this court ordeal.

I don’t know how much longer I can hang on. I’m pretty close to the end of my tolerance.