12 December 2013

Deck the Halls

Another year, another holiday, another chance for tiny terrorists (I mean, our children) to run wild on sugary treats and destroy fragile decorations that represent cherished memories.

The monsters.

At the same time, they are really fun when it comes to other people’s decorations. And I know it’s a bit of a cliché at this point, but their immense wonder is really staggering to behold sometimes. Their genuine enthusiasm at seeing colored lights strung up outside of a stranger’s house practically makes me sob every time it happens. They are so excited about those lights. One night, Little Brother actually shouted out, “Christmas lights, I love you!” No, really. That happened.

It just kills me. I’m an emotional train wreck. Sure, I thought I was before, but my kids, I don’t know, it’s like they’re two little engineers shoveling piles and piles of coal on the fire, until the train is exceeding its speed limitations and starting to bust apart before it even jumps off the tracks. What did you do to me? I thought I was a functioning adult. Quit being so damn adorable all the time.

Of course, sometimes I wonder if the Doozer even knows (or cares) that Christmas is coming. We got him a kit for a gingerbread house and he insisted that it be a spooky gingerbread house with ghosts and zombies and bats—today is December 12, kid, can we stop celebrating Halloween already? Seriously, why do you keep bringing home Halloween books from the school library? They have hundreds (maybe thousands) of books—do they not have any about Christmas or, you know, any other subject that isn’t Halloween? By the way, it is December 12 and I have decided that whatever Halloween candy of yours that is still around is now fair game. Yeah, I said it.

I am the one that eats the candy.

But I am not the one who hangs the stockings from the mantle. No, really, we can’t even hang up the stockings because we’re convinced Little Brother is going to pull one down and cleave his skull with the stocking holder, Hot Fuzz-style. What’s this? Giant sock? Let me put it in my mouth like the ones from my feet. The first day the tree was up, he crawled under it and into the corner of the room. My wife was not so pleased, but he thought it was hilarious, sliding on his belly, like going under barbed wire. First morning! How does he know that this is what he’s meant to do? He sees the tree and he’s like, I’m going to crawl under there. What is the thought process? How does he get there?

It’s like living with a miniature version of Evel Knievel. He’s really not going to be happy until he’s wrecked everything of value. Hey, Handsy McGrabs-a-Lot, chill out already. Really, why did we have kids again? They ruin everything. You can’t have nice things. I find myself walking in the door every night and I just start shouting “No!” It’ll apply at some point, I’m sure, even if it’s not apropos at that exact moment.

Another (new) fixture of the holiday season is Pepper, our Elf on the Shelf. The Doozer gets super-excited about seeking him out every morning, wondering where he will be and what he will be doing. Is it just me, or is this a crazy weird phenomenon? And what does he really think about that thing? What goes through his head? I mean, our kid is pretty savvy, so is he just playing along? Does he suspect us of being “Santa” yet? I hope not. If he is just playing along, I’ll take it. Throughout the process, he taught Little Brother to call him a “cheeky elf.” That’s worth the price of admission.

The Elf on the Shelf is not the only bizarre element of Christmas these days. Have you been to any store lately with Christmas decorations? The other day, I saw a light-up Darth Vader with a Santa hat. We’ve lost our minds now, right? And this is coming from a guy who loves Star Wars. And Christmas. But not necessarily together. (1978’s The Star Wars Holiday Special notwithstanding.)

Ho ho ho. Pass the eggnog. It’s spiked, right?

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