Saturday, January 19, 2008

Christmas wrap-up (I guess that's a pun)

I've been meaning to post about Christmas since shortly after I put up my posts about keeping Christ in Christmas (actually, He's never gone anywhere). I'm such a perfectionist that I couldn't bring myself to write this post -- Excuse No. 846: Not Enough Time To Do It Right (whatever that means) -- until only the detritus of the holiday season remained to be packed away:

Yeah, I preach a good game, but I didn't do any better than anyone else. I pushed myself too hard trying to make it all perfect. Of course, it wasn't so perfect, and I got stressed out about that. But . . . I'm still married and my kid still loves me. I managed not to cry about anything. I didn't stand there proclaim that some inconsequential glitch had ruined the holiday for me. Nope, it was fun!

Christmas by the numbers:

0 gifts purchased on credit cards
1 dance recital
1 chocolate cheesecake
1 bourbon fruitcake
1 rum cake
1 10 lb. rib roast
2 kid concerts
2 batches of candy
4 batches of cookies
6 batches of muffins
And, of course, one happy kid!

Highlights? Or are these low lights?

I am not one of those mothers that gets all horrified when someone gives her kid a Barbie or something with the Disney Princesses on it. After all, Madeline is a child whose favorite subject in school is science and who tries to play football with the boys. Here's the undeniable proof that I'm not allergic to The Princesses:

This is a tent. My mother-in-law gave it to Madeline -- at my suggestion, no less, as the child was making tents out of the sofa cushions and throws in the family room. I pictured a pup tent. Instead, the tent in question fills half the living room. That's okay. We don't have any furniture there anyway.

And here's the Christmas tree in the process of being decorated. Note that it lists.

Our trees for the last four years have listed. Last year's tree listed so bad that we had to rig up a contraption with Joe Weider free weights and kitchen twine to hold it in place. The tree three years ago listed so bad that it fell over, breaking a bunch of my funky blown glass ornaments. (Now I keep the expensive ones on a tabletop tree instead.) All of these trees have had crooked trunks. We bought them all at the same lot. This year, it finally occurred to us why all our trees have been crooked: they are seconds. Yes, seconds.

We found the lot near our house 4 years ago, the first Christmas we lived here. We decided to buy from there because the trees were all so fresh. The cashier told us they truck in a new supply in from North Carolina every week rather than bring them all at once early in the season. The price is also good. The trees run $10 to $20 less than those sold by various civic clubs and churches. But every darned one of them is either crooked or suffers from severe gap-osis. So we're betting that these people sell the fullest, fluffiest and straightest trees they harvest to high-end nurseries, where people who are richer than we are willingly pay $150 for 7-foot trees. The seconds go to the neighbor tree lot. Or that's our theory.

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