Friday, December 28, 2007
Santa came, and he was a good boy
Jackson and his buddy Jacob (Theresa's son)
Many a conversation has been raised between Scott and I about today's consumerism - and how it directly relates to Jackson and our future children. Not to get too serious about what should be a playful and fun season, but how in the world can a kid have a level head about the realities of other economic classes (and, furthermore, other not so first-world countries) when he cannot see over the huge mound of toys in front of him? And, really, do kids NEED to have "it all?"
So our resolution to the conflict of "we-want-our-children-to-have-humble-surroundings" and "our-loved-ones-want-to-enjoy-the-fun-of-buying-for-a-child-and-watch-the-little-guy-go-nuts-over-the-novelty-of-new-stuff," we requested a few specifics: money for Jackson's education fund (check!), classic books that will involve both quality time and memories (check!), and - this one we did need - bath toys (check!). So Santa cooperated marvelously... or should I say, the Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles cooperated marvelously. And there were those darling outfits that popped in the mix too. Who can help but buy the soft fuzzy jackets & matching mittens/hat from Old Navy (thanks Aunt JO) or the adorablely sophisticated one-piece outfit from Jack and Jane (thanks AC and UB - Jack and Jane is my weakness, introduced originally by Girlfriend Beth)?
And the next round of requests will involve two new themes: experiences for Jackson (like zoo passes or tickets to the science museum) and family board games we can all play. Our thinking is that experiences are better than material items. But, I'm sure we'll get sucked into it all eventually (who are we kidding?).
Our holiday was really great. As I have been telling folks, the collective family time on Christmas Day was far less melancholy than I was preparing myself for. Everyone felt free to discuss Mom without reservation... memories and stories. And we had the excitement of all the cousins being one year older and the newness of a baby. So, it really felt celebratory. The place Mom's absence was felt most by me was in the more intimate family traditions: Dad, Scott and I opening gifts and being together on Christmas Eve and later Christmas Day. We not only were missing Mom, the one who added all the motherly female touches to Christmas, but we were also missing my brother, who is currently in Florida working on putting himself back together. So it felt small, VERY small. But not bad, really. Mom was just REALLY obviously NOT THERE. Where as in the bigger family gathering her missing role was not as clear-cut.
So, the funniest story of Christmas was when my heroic husband saved the night. I should say that 89% of the overall event was NOT funny. Only the end was funny, thereby making everything OK. My mother had the tradition of making breakfast pizza on Christmas morning EVERY year. Since we moved up the family gathering to earlier in the day, Dad, Scott and I decided to prepare our breakfast pizza this year for dinner.
It was my job. I was my role. It was my way of honoring the family tradition that Mom put into place years ago. So there I was in the kitchen, browning sausage, spreading the crescent roll on the pizza pan. When it came time for the sprinking of the cheese.... no dice.... I had forgotten the cheese! THE CHEESE! I mean, come on folks, there's a lot of ingredients you could potentially substitute or even forego. But CHEESE? It was a necessity. The whole plan would have been foiled without the cheese. I handled things pretty maturely, I must boast. Calm and collected, I reported this dilemma... not sure what exactly I wanted out of my report. I guess I just wanted to not think and to have the problem solved. Scott was well aware of the breakfast pizza's significance, so at 6:30pm on Christmas Day he strapped on his cape and flew out the door yelling, "I'll save the day!"
OK OK, so there was no cape. But looking back, that's how it felt. Needless to say, about an hour and five stops later, Scott returned. No grocery store or drug store or mini mart in town was either open or had any cheese remaining (been picked over by forgetful Christmas-Day-bakers like myself). So he returns with a plastic to-go cup filled with shredded cheese. It was PERFECT. And it came from a bar. He had walked in, worn out from his investigative journey, and said to the hostess "I need cheese. I'll pay anything for it. You have no idea the symbolic nature of this cheese." Thank goodness for the holiday spirit (or my husband's good looks), cuz she headed to the back and returned with that to-go cup with NO charge.
So the breakfast pizza was a huge success. Thanks to Scott.