Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Random Reflections (some ranting) on Winter and Christmas

I live in Michigan. Yep. Cold-and-gray-for-the-better-part-of-the-year (or so it feels), state-map-literally-in-the-palm-of-your-hand, Michigan. Seriously, this map always on the ready is something we all get pretty jazzed about. Just watch a Michigander’s face when they point out on their hand either where they live or where someone they know lives. Some of us could probably even get some style points for the draw...but I digress... Anyway, we just had our first major snow storm Sunday with some frigid cold temperatures to add to the challenge, er... excitement. That combined with the fact that Christmas is a’coming left me to ponder some of the finer points of both. WARNING: some of this could be considered ranting. If you want all saccharin, I would suggest watching your kids’ favorite Christmas cartoon instead.

 Please don’t worry about the babies. The best stuff they make for staying warm is made for babies. My daughter is currently at the stage where she can wear a layette-the wearable sleeping bag, or as I like to refer to it, a baby straitjacket. When we get inside our location and I take her out of it,  there is so much heat released from inside of it that people begin standing over her to warm their hands.


My first order of business today was winterizing the Mustang. Yes, that’s right. This process involves loading the trunk with Slate landscape stones, salt bags, and whatever other heavy object can be found in the garage, followed by a laying-on-of-hands and a very anointed prayer that God will put a force field around it and keep it on the road. Consider yourself “schooled.”

I HATE when people tell me that Mustangs are not good cars for winter conditions. Thanks, Sherlock. Or Mr. Goodwrench. Or whoever you THINK you are.  You have been most helpful. And when I strike it ridiculously rich, I will have myself a summer car and a winter car.

Okay, Trucks and Sport Utes, we get it! You can go fast. Just remember when it comes to stopping, we are all equal. Yep, that’s my little, rear-wheel drive car still on the road and pointed in the correct direction. No bigger fail than seeing a large, impenetrable, beast of a vehicle in a ditch. (*My smugness only comes after it is revealed all parties involved are suffering from stupidity only and not injuries.)

On a related note~if you are driving what amounts to a city block on wheels, do everyone a courtesy and clean the snow off your hood and roof in addition to your windows. When the snow starts to free itself from said roof and hood, to you it may only seem like snow blowing onto your windshield, but to those of us driving cars behind you, it is more like suddenly finding yourself driving through an avalanche. Just sayin’.


You know those lights you bought last year? Yeah, they are not going to work. And the more expensive they were, the less likely. Mystifying, since they worked when you packed them up last year and especially considering they have done nothing more than sit in a box since. Even more mystifying is the fact that the light string you still have from your high school days, twenty years ago, still works. I swear it is a conspiracy to make us all switch to LED lights, which if you squint, you may even see.


Do not under any circumstances decide to go to Target on what ends up being a snow day for all the children in your state. Do not go to the mall, either. You will thank me for this. Since I do not have a school age child, I was left out of the huddle where EVERY mother with school-aged children decided that this would be a great way to spend the day. When you are a stay-at-home mother you kind of get used to having the world to yourself a little bit. Even at Christmas time.

Ho! Ho! Ho! ‘Tis the Season for the mall parking lot stalkers. C’mon you know what I’m talking about... That car that follows slowly behind you, a “respectable” distance away,  as you search for your car, giving you the feeling that a felony is about to be visited upon you. At any other time of the year all those prickly feelings that the body gets when it senses impending danger would be active. Ever see the look of anger on the face of the stalker, er...driver when they see you change course abruptly because you realize you have been walking in the wrong aisle? As if you were plotting against them... Nope, sorry I am just the “idiot of the moment” who can’t remember where I parked my car. If you are not familiar with the stalker concept, it is because you are a stalker. Go ahead, admit it. It is the first step to healing, after all. Me? I have sworn off this practice on sheer principle.


Being only six months into this whole parenting thing, I had no idea what a huge deal the whole Santa thing is. I mean, yeah, I know a lot of families do it as a point of tradition and I have seen the lines, but what I did not know was that you could get shut out of Santa. Yes, it’s true! The mall where we chose to visit Santa is a very popular one. If there is such a thing as a Chi-Chi Santa, he can be found at the Somerset Collection. My friend had gone there and told me about all the extras you get (the announcement of your child’s name as they enter the very elaborate Santa Castle, photos processed for free at Ritz Camera in the mall, and three magic coins that can be redeemed at participating stores for toys/small goodies) Another big selling point was that you don’t have to wait in line. After registering, you are assigned a time at which your child will see Santa. My friend warned that the weekends are usually crazy and that there might be a longer lag between registration and assigned time. But my thinking was “hey, it’s a mall at Christmas time, I have plenty to do to kill time since I am chained to a time instead of a line.” Had I talked to parents with more senior Santa experience they probably would have said, “I was like you once, dreamer.” So we arrived at the mall Sunday around 1pm. Santa is there on Sundays until 7pm. Should be no problem, right? There were no appointments left!   I spoke with a mother who informed me that it took her four years to get her kids to Santa. You could almost see the tears in her eyes, at this, the triumphant fifth year! She told me about the moms and dads that camp out at the mall in order to procure a spot. Isn’t it crazy the things we find ourselves doing where our kids are concerned? I am not this crazy...yet... (Although, we did go first thing (8am!) Monday morning so daddy could join us before he went to work. An event that a year ago that would have seemed far outside our potential reality) But my child is only six months old and for her this was more of a challenge to face her fears rather than a celebration of Christmas. This brings me to my next point....

It is tragic irony the way we teach our children to not talk to strangers or take candy from them, but then place them in the laps of burly men with a questionable amount of facial hair or (even scarier) over-sized bunnies with large heads and what can only be described as sinister smiles then expect them not to cry or be even a little “weirded” out.


Now that I have filled your mind with the warmth and reality of the season....


1 comment:

Ruby Red Slippers said...

Thank you for starting my day with some laughs!!!
I enjoyed-and related to- everything! Especially the Santa thing...We have taken a morning off school to go as soon as the mall opens...yeah, seriously.
With me working this year, I am in a panic (not a real one-) on when will we see Santa??!!!
Love to you,
Ruby Red Slippers...