Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yesterday morning my kids (or at least several of them) seemed bent on proving that we are in desperate need of peace on earth. In a bid to get everyone a breath of fresh air so that emotions could settle, I took the three who are home around the corner to the pizza shop for lunch. There was a group of kids inside, laughing and huddled around what turned out to be a five-foot singing/dancing mechanical Santa.

Question: Does the world need singing and dancing mechanical Santas? In my pre-Christmas Scrooginess I thought, This is why our country is in a recession: we import Santas that sing ""Up on the Housetop" as they rotate their geared hips, instead of making things ourselves that have value. Meanwhile, my offspring sprinted off to squander an inordinate number of their carefully-hoarded quarters on made-in-China doodads from the gumball machine. Oy.

My youngest two thought the moving Santa was funny. Snuggler went over and pretended to waltz with him. Little Guy mustered his courage and went to turn on the  sound after it stopped, but when the machine suddenly called out "Happy Holidays!" just as he reached for the button, my boy was back in his seat in a flash.

Day morphed into afternoon into evening, and the last thing on the day's frenetic agenda was to go get our Christmas tree. Eldest and Big Guy didn't want to go, which was fine, but made Dancer very sad. Dancer loves family traditions, and until this year we all went as a bouncing mass to choose the tree.

The youngest two, especially Little Guy, made up for the gap in bounciness. He ran and jousted and pounced the whole eight blocks. We chose our overpriced evergreen, had it wrapped in masses of fishnet, plopped it in our granny cart, and headed home. Hot cider and carols made the tree decorating go quickly, and there was some consolation for Dancer in that her older siblings still enjoyed participating in that aspect of the day-before-Christmas Eve. We've never found a tree-topper that we like, so we put our favorite alien ornament near the top of the tree:

Afterwards, Little Guy put the tree netting to good use...

And then the three youngest kids slept in the living room, next to the tree. All of which, I think, is a lot better than a gyrating Santa. But maybe next year we'll make a trip to the pizza parlor part of our traditions, too.

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