Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “holidays”

Hah Bumbug!


The Beadstork family is a bit eccentric. I will seamlessly offer proof in the form of a list of our Christmas Day activities:

1. My husband did actual billable computer work. On Christmas. He works EVERY DAY. And he fixed my Mom’s computer.

2. My father consumed an entire pound of homemade fudge between the hours of 9 AM and 7 PM.

3. My daughter’s favorite gift was a bow and arrow – a toy, but much better made and high tech. She spent the entire day shooting the suction cup arrow down the hall into the front door. By bedtime she had a blister.

4. We ran the dishwasher 3 times.

5. I gave my husband a sterling silver chain maille choker that I made, worth hundreds of dollars. He gave me a library book that he made my daughter wrap.

6. We spent a good part of midday creating multicolored polymer high bounce balls with a chemical reaction that occurred in our kitchen.

7. My father read me poetry out of his poetry book that he published.

8. We had an exhaustive conversation about social status and personal responsibility. Somehow it turned into a discussion about how longbows and crossbows had rendered body armor obsolete.

9. My mom Facebook messaged me from her computer upstairs to my phone downstairs : “So where are you spending Christmas this year? Ohio? North Dakota?” From downstairs I messaged back: “Um… at your house?”

10. An enormous Wile E Coyote wearing a Santa hat sat in one of the living room chairs the whole weekend.

11. My mom gave me this AWESOME “Happy Light” designed to treat seasonal depression that I can also use to make my jewelry. Bonus: she says she got it free with the purchase of a lightbulb that cost a fraction of the free lamp!

12. We drank 3 pitchers of Crystal Light lemonade.

13. My father spent the day reading my “gift” book from the library. He’s a quarter of the way through already.

14. My seventy-something mom showed us videos on her smartphone.

15. My husband spent the evening reading a book on beginning meditation. New obsession!

16. Mom turned the sound off for every TV commercial during The Grinch.

17. My daughter and my mom made the annual “granddaughter-grandmother” cheese ball from scratch – a tradition now spanning 4 generations.

18. There were exotic chickens roaming through our yard. The peacocks were off duty today.

19. We temporarily lost the cat.

20. We found a picture of my friend’s dad on Facebook that had a mysterious glow between his legs, and three generations giggled about “Christmas balls”

21. I tantalized my daughter with tales of a tongue twister that results in horrible obscenities if said incorrectly.

22. We schemed to take up money to buy the neighbor a new muffler, since the poor man clearly can’t afford one.

23. My dad would have eaten all the mint brownies, so mom had to hide them.

24. We discussed the pros and cons of collecting copays up front in a doctor’s office.

25. I taught my daughter about super-nummerary nipples. She asked me if I have an extra boob, and when I said no, she said “Aww… I wanted a special mom!”. I told her that I am way too special already without one.

26. We discussed the importance of protecting book spines and dust covers.

27. I ranted about super-conservatives who equate using the word X-mas with satanism because ” you’re taking the Christ out of Christmas “. I worship Satan because I don’t write the word out longhand on every box I put back in the attic? Honestly, I told my husband, it’s not like we’re replacing the word Christ with a SKULL or anything, at which point my husband said, ” Bwa ha ha! Merry Skullmas!”, which became an instant family classic.

28. I got an email notifying me that I made Delta Diamond Medallion. It’s good to be the queen!

29. We argued over whether or not Will Wheaton was in Stand By Me (he was – ha!)

30. Mom read aloud an entire article about 18 little known facts about the movie A Christmas Story.

31. My daughter’s second favorite gift was a huge hardback set of the Lemony Snicket books. She lugged the box up and down the stairs all day.

32. My husband picked all the nuts out of his fudge.

33. I ate my husband’s ice cream, which made him avow eternal wrath.

34. My mom’s tuner croaked Christmas Eve, necessitating that we stream free Amazon Prime Christmas playlists off my phone via a little bullet speaker. We listened to Straight No Chaser nine hundred times.

35. I spent, like, a whole lot of time searching for sterling silver letters I bought to make a gift bracelet. I SWEAR I brought them. I KNOW I brought them.

36. I gave my dad a beaded bald eagle I made to add to his beaded bird collection – he has four now. I stayed up late Christmas Eve because I HAD to finish it.

37. My husband took four or five fists full of vitamins every few hours because he is attempting to purge mercury from his body.

38. Mom and I went through ALL of my daughter’s school pictures, only to discover that she has three sets that I don’t. What?

39. I caught my sweater on some blinds and knocked over a window-worth of Christmas decorations.

40. We discussed how the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors changed the Mayan social caste system.

41. Also, my husband texted me AS ME on my own phone demanding hot Christmas sex.

42. I ate something other than yogurt today.

43. My daughter made a Lego set containing police alligators with red and blue lights, moving tails and (SCORE) mouths that really open.

44. My husband gifted me an awesome fossil ammonite pendant from his trip to Slovenia.

45. I don’t think anyone ever got dressed.

Last flight home to the North Pole!  A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Losing At Cards

It is so hard to buy my folks a card these days.  My mom is 71.  My dad will be 80 in March.  Their anniversary is this week, so I wanted to send them something.  I went to look at cards.

I had to skip all the ones about doing fun things or traveling, because my Dad has gotten to the point where he can barely walk; he loses his balance all the time, and he gets nauseated in cars now.  Sometimes they don’t even make it all the way out to Sunday dinner.  My folks had planned to travel for their retirement, but after only a few trips, my dad was stricken with this strange malady where he can’t walk and falls over all the time.

Jokes about lawn mowing and barbecuing are out, because although he used to do these things, all he can manage now is a little lawn mower pushing before he is tired and has to come in.  But he still feels like he needs to try and help.  He became too depressed to do grilling and gave it up many years ago.

Jokes about enjoying a beer on your special day are out, because Daddy is a recovering alcoholic, so we can’t joke about beers.  Don’t want to even put that idea in his head.

Jokes about becoming forgetful in your old age are out, because Daddy has been diagnosed with early stage dementia, probably due to his long standing alcoholism.  He is increasingly distressed by his loss of memory of his once incredible vocabulary.

Teasing references about grumpy dads are out, because my Dad has always had an anger problem, and the dementia had only made him more irrational.

So what the hell do you send?  I finally settled on a card with a cute little animal couple on it, suggesting that they debate about which of them is “the better half”.  Even that one is a little dicey.

I never knew buying a greeting card was going to get so hard.  There are so many things that you are not  prepared for.  No one tells you that when your folks get old, that nothing, not even innocuous things , are easy to do ever again.

Is It Cynicism?

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m struggling with a blog post.  I would love to share my New Year’s resolutions, but they are utterly pedestrian, and they are all the same as the ones I failed to follow last year.  New Year’s is a difficult time for me.  It is really a young person’s holiday, with the drinking and the partying and the staying up well into the night.  Those are all part of a lifestyle I’ve given up in the interest of family and being a functional adult.  I’m not wondering who’ll kiss me at midnight.  With any luck, I won’t be up at midnight.  If I am, I will have been called into work.

Of all the holidays, I like New Year’s the least.  It’s at the end of Christmas; at the end of all the holidays that make the winter bearable.  There is nothing but cold and resignation afterward.  We make resolutions; we don’t keep them.  We know we aren’t going to keep them when we make them.  We didn’t keep them last year.  There are the fireworks (here in the South they are legal, and we enjoy them mainly on July 4 and New Year’s Eve).  The catch is, it’s so dang cold on New Year’s usually.  It hardly makes going outside bearable, fun explosions or not.  And this year it is supposed to rain, all night.  That puts a, well, damper on the firework thing.

I remember when I was a kid my folks went to bed about ten o’clock on New Year’s Eve.  I never understood why, but I do now.  What was going to be any different in two hours?  Staying up until midnight was pointless.  We didn’t even have a TV.  No ball dropping for us.  What is the point of watching a ball drop in a city where you are not anyway?  It’s like being allowed to peek in the door of a party you weren’t invited to.

My favorite New Year’s was Y2K.  There was truly the possiblility of a Zombie Apocalypse, or some similar event (what is the obsession over Zombie Apocalypses, anyway?).  People had stocked up on flashlights and filled their bathtubs with water.  I thought the whole thing was ridiculous.  I prepared for nothing.  I woke up in the morning and the world was still there.  I was on call that year too.  The only thing that happened of note on that New Year’s Day was that I got somebody pregnant.  Literally.  I had an artificial insemination to do in the office on New Year’s because the nice lady was ovulating.  It later turned out she got pregnant.

One year when I lived in New Orleans we went out partying.  We went down to the river to see the fireworks at midnight.  The fireworks never came.  Mounted police came by on their horses to tell us there would be no fireworks and cleared us out.  It turned out the fireworks had exploded earlier in the day, on the barge, killing one man and horribly burning another.  How festive.

Another New Year’s, I went out with a boyfriend to see Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown play at a local club.  I was all excited because I was finally going to have somebody to kiss me at midnight.  The boyfriend was totally antiromantic and was in a cluster of people when the witching hour came.  I got no kiss.  At least he wasn’t kissing someone else.

So as far as I’m concerned, New Year’s is a total wash.  A total non-event.  I won’t be making any resolutions.  I probably won’t be keeping any.  And once again, I’m on call.  Mainly because I don’t mind.  Of course, my patients are giving me all kinds of trouble.  The nurses are blowing up my phone.  I have one in particular who has every kind of problem it is possible to have, at least it seems that way.  I have three different doctors consulting on her.  I am sure they are enthralled to be called out on New Year’s Eve.

So there you have it.  A total nothing.  I’ll sit here by the fire until I go to bed around 10.  Providing I don’t get called in.  Feeling sorry for myself?  Probably.  I excel at that.  Being realistic?  Also probably.  Here is my New Year’s question for you:  is it cynicism if it’s true?

Christmas At Beadstork’s


Christmas at our house was a success.  My parents arrived Christmas Eve in time for lunch – we had sandwiches.  After lunch, Amanda and her Grandmama made the traditional yearly cheese ball – I used to make them with my Grandma when I was a kid.  Amanda got to get up to her elbows in squishy cheese ball goodness to squish all the ingredients together.  We coated with pecans and voila!  Then she and Grandmama made the gingerbread dough to be chilled for the next day.

Christmas Eve dinner was our traditional oyster stew – passed down from Christmas Eves at my dad’s house as a kid.  Then we packed up the van and headed to the big city of Huntsville to see the Galaxy of Lights at the Botanical Gardens.  They were charging $20 a carful as a fundraiser for the Gardens.  It took us an hour and a half to make our way through the long drive through the Gardens and to see all the lights that lined the way.  The day was a success!

Christmas day started early (for some).  My daughter woke up at 2 AM and went into Grandmama and Tuppa’s room to inquire whether she might now open her presents.  She was told to go back to bed.  She woke up again at 3:30 and went into their room to inquire as to whether it was late enough for gift unwrapping.  She woke up again at 4:30 and decided to read a book.  Her dad woke up at 5:30 and read to her to help her kill time until the rest of us got up at 7:00. 

She really raked in the goodies this year!  Santa brought her a real camera and a new laptop.  She got a huge Lego house and an American Girl Doll from Grandmama.  As an extra special treat, at New Year’s, Grandmama and Tuppa are taking her to Atlanta where the American Girl store is for two nights in a hotel within walking distance of the store and bistro, with a special doll bed waiting at the hotel room, a high chair for the doll at dinner, pink lemonade and cookies at night and a movie night with her doll.  What a moneymaker those American Girl people have!  Grandmama said her wallet will be empty at the end of the trip.  They have a hair salon where the doll’s hair can be curled and styled, and you can get your doll’s ears pierced (no doubt for an exorbitant price).

I got what I asked for this Christmas:  a new Nikon Macro lens for my camera.  My husband bought it for me as long as I promised to study up on my camera, read the manual, and learn about the manual settings.  I started on that on Christmas day.  I also madly photographed any tiny thing that would hold still long enough for me to snap a picture.  I posted some of my photos on this blog yesterday.

My husband must have been good, because he raked in some stuff too.  He got some clothes, a cover and a docking station for his phone, some books and a sort of a joke gift (but not really):  a shirt folder like the one Sheldon had on Big Bang Theory.  When he saw it on the show, his face lit up and he said, “I want one of those!”  He didn’t know I’d remembered. 

Christmas dinner turned out pretty good.  We had a Honeybaked ham, which turned out a little cool for my taste.  They recommended that it be served at room temperature, but I wanted it a little warmer than that.  It wasn’t.  I tried to make Atkin’s-y things because my hubby and I are on that diet, so we had green beans with almonds, creamed spinach with horseradish and cauliflower/broccoli salad, because my daughter actually like cauliflower.  Grandmama had brought Christmas cookies and chocolate mint brownies from home, which of course hubby and I did not get to eat.  Sigh. 

After dinner, we baked the gingerbread men and my daughter and Grandmama and I decorated them.  We wound up making homemade icing because the cake icing from the store came out too thick in enormous globs.  We added currants and redhots and little holly leaves to the icing.  Little Bit got crazy and put all kinds of stuff over her cookies. 

After the cookies were done we retired for a while to our respective books and new gifts.  I took some macro photos (one of which is at the top of this post) and read my camera manual, as I had promised my husband.   After we settled down for a while, Mom wanted to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol, so we watched that.  By that time, the bad weather that was predicted for Christmas day set in.  There was a big low pressure front coming through and tornados were predicted across the South.  They were supposed to hit a bit south of us, where my parents live, so they were a bit concerned.  Fortunately, the storms weren’t as bad as predicted and there was no tornado damage.  There was a good deal of thunder and wind, however.

The day after Christmas, today, I had to return to work and be on call for New Year’s Eve weekend.  This holiday has been all too short and I have the promise of hard labor over the next seven days.  But Christmas was fabulous, our family was happy, and I was blessed to be there.

Martha Stewart For Christmas

Courtesy, Flickr Creative Commons: Joits

For today’s Christmas Eve blog post, I am borrowing an email that’s been going around the internet:

Dear Family,

I know that you were eager to accept our family’s invitation to Christmas dinner when you found out that the famous Martha Stewart would be joining us.  However, due to scheduling conflicts beyond her control, Ms. Stewart finds that she is unable to grace our table this year.  With that in mind, there will be a few minor changes regarding the meal and decor, as outlined below.  Please be aware of them, and adjust your appetite and dress appropriately.  Thank you.

Our driveway will not be lined with homemade paper bag luminarias.  After several trial runs and two visits from the fire department, it was decided that, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, please note that the foyer will not be decorated with swags of garlands and home grown holly.  Instead, we included our dog in decorating by having him track in colorful autumn leaves from the back yard.  The mud was his idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china or crystal goblets.  If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork.  Since this is Christmas, we will refrain from using the paper SpongeBob dinner plates, the leftover Halloween napkins, and our plastic cup collection.

Our centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers.  Instead we will be proudly displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper and pine cones.  The artist assures me it is a reindeer, albeit one without legs, tail or horns.  The red nose is a fine cotton pompom.

We will be dining somewhat later than planned.  However, our daughter will entertain you while you wait.  I’m sure she will be happy to share every choice comment her mother made regarding Christmas, reindeer, stuffing choices, the turkey hotline, and, especially, her husband.  Please remember that most of these comments were made at 7:00 AM upon discovering that said husband had only remembered to pull the turkey from the freezer at 6:00 AM, and that the thing was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

As an accompaniment to our daughter’s recital of these events, I will play a recording of Native American tribal drumming.  Curiously, the tribal drumming sounds a great deal like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, but that only enhances the holiday appropriateness.  If our daughter should mention that we don’t own a recording of Native American tribal drumming, ignore her.  She’s only seven; what does she know?

A dainty silver bell will not be rung to announce the start of our feast.  We have chosen to keep our traditional method of assembling when the smoke alarm goes off.

There will be no formal seating arrangement.  When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like.  In the spirit of harmony, we will ask all the children to sit at a separate table… in a separate room… next door.  And I would like to take this opportunity to remind our younger diners that “passing the rolls” is neither a football play nor an excuse to bean your cousin in the head with bread.

The turkey will not be carved at the table.  I know you have seen the Norman Rockwell image of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers.  Such a scene may occur somewhere in America, but it won’t be happening at our dinner table.  For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in the kitchen in a private ceremony.  I stress “private”, meaning DO NOT, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me.  Do not send small, unsuspecting chilren, or older, helpful grandparents into the kitchen to check on my progress.  I have a very large, very sharp knife.  The turkey is unarmed.  It stands to reason that I will eventually win the battle.  When I do, we will eat.

For the duration of the meal, we will refer to the Kraft Cheese Sauce by its lesser known name:  gravy.  If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or makeup of the gravy, smile kindly and say that you know the answer, but it’s a secret that can’t be revealed to them until they are 18.

Instead of offering a choice among 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and dog tongue marks.  You still have a choice: take it or leave it.

That concludes our list of alterations.  Again, I apologize that Martha will not be joining us this year.  Come to think of it, she probably won’t come next year, either.  Merry Christmas!

Nightmare Christmas

Normally, I will do anything to avoid WalMart.  As in, I don’t think I’ve been in there for a year.  But today, in the name of Christmas, I had to suck it up and go in there, because they have a Honey Baked Ham kiosk, and we have a gift card for Honey Baked Ham and a need for something to eat for Christmas dinner.  So I bravely took my daughter with me, and despite some serious trepidation, off we went.

First we had to park.  We drove up and down the vast parking lot, searching for anywhere to park.  I wasn’t being choosy.  Even a spot in the back would be fine.  We were nearly smacked into by aggressive senior citizens seeking spots close to the building.  There were bazillions of people milling through the crosswalks, so it was nearly impossible to progress to the next lane.  We finally found a spot far, far to the back, and of course it started to rain.  We walked a mile to the store and I was cursing my choice of footwear – boots with heels that looked very nice with my outfit but which felt not so good on such a hike.

We made it in the crowded doors and I began looking for the Honeybaked Ham kiosk.  I couldn’t see it anywhere.  I decided to go back and look for a Wii dance game I’d asked my husband for for Christmas – he told me to go get it myself and wrap it up.  As soon as we got back to Electronics, my daughter began begging for Nintendo DS games, and Pokemon games and a new Nintendo DS3 and basically anything she could see within eyesight.  It was annoying.  She begged and tugged at my arm until I couldn’t even think.  I told her to hush up and I got a kid’s version of the Wii dance game that came free with my version.

Off again we went to hunt Honeybaked Ham.  We finally found the kiosk over by the produce – they had three people manning one little booth.  They of course did not accept the gift card – those are only accepted by the real store.  At least they took the coupons.  I bought a boneless ham for Christmas dinner and a roast turkey for lunch the previous day.

Then we had to go stand in the checkout lane.  And we stood, and we stood, and we stood.  There were two girls in front of us who were so psyched about Christmas in the air that they were jumping up and down and bumping their chests into each other.  At least I think that’s what they were excited about.  I was holding two Honeybaked things and they were getting very heavy.  My daughter did not want to help and hold the bag from Electronics.

Next we set off to Publix – parking lot, same scene.  Awful.  We finally found a spot and went in with our immense list.  Little Bit threw a fit because she wanted a cart with a car on it – she is wayyyyy too big for those and I told her so.  So she pouted and climbed into the cart and sat where I needed to put my groceries.  The only thing that saved me was that she saw my Kindle and wanted to read a story on that.  So I gave that to her and was allowed to get my groceries unmolested.  Except for all the people trying to run me over.  They were out of several things I needed.  I had to call Mom and ask her to bring currants, because they didn’t have any.

The whole thing, needless to say, put me in a vile mood.  I am in a vile mood right now.  I feel a crash as hard as if the holidays were already over.  Letdown like they are already gone.  My husband managed to rip into the new lunch meat and sliced cheese that I had gotten for Christmas Eve lunch with the folks, and gave them to the babysitter instead, so now I will have used cheese and meat to offer when they come.  He didn’t even think to ask.  And he has burned up my new Christmas candle before Christmas is even here.  I spent the day cleaning the house and it doesn’t even look like any of it was cleaned at all.  And I’m on this stupid diet and I’ve missed eating all the good Christmas things and still have barely lost five pounds.  I have about forty to go.  And my daughter messed up the guest room bed by climbing on it even though I told her to leave it alone because I had fixed it up for my parents.

I’m about to go… batshit.  And the day after Christmas I have to return to work, to a clinic that is so full that it will run until one o’clock and restart at one fifteen.  And I am on call five days in a row for New Years.  I am only getting one gift for Christmas.  And I wrapped that myself, so it is hardly a surprise.  So I am having one big old feeling sorry for myself fest right now.  And I can’t get this album to play the songs in order on this stupid computer.  I can only hope things will get better tomorrow when the folks get here, but I think I will just feel put upon and irritable to have to do all the cooking and dishwashing that goes in when you have people over for the holidays.  So Merry f’ing Christmas.  And a Happy damn New Year.

The “C” Word

Now I know what you’re all thinking.  You’re letting your minds run amok in the gutter, and you figure I’m an obstetrician, so you think you know what the “c” word is.  But, you’re wrong!  The “c” word is actually something much more devious:  Christmas.  I keep track every year of the first time someone lets the “c” word slip – it usually happens around August and causes me spasms of revulsion.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the idea behind Christmas.  I love the meaning of Christmas.  But I hate what Christmas has BECOME.  The fact that it must be mentioned in August when it happens in December says it all.  Every year the stores put up the Christmas stuff earlier.  Hobby Lobby and The Cracker Barrell had their stuff up already in August.  You can’t even buy Halloween stuff (a month in advance) because all that CHRISTMAS stuff is taking up all the space.  I hate that Christmas has STUFF.  There is more stuff, and more knicknacks and more junk to collect for Christmas than is rationally possible.

I loved Christmas as a child.  All children do.  I loved the rituals:  the decorating of the tree, the making of Christmas cookies, the Advent calendar, and the annual cheeseball.  (Yes, cheeseball.  I made one every year as a kid with my grandmother until she was gone and now my daughter makes them with my mom).  I loved the AVARICE and the GREED and the anticipation of MORE STUFF.  I was always so excited on Christmas Eve that I hardly slept at all.  Then I would wake up at four AM and want to open gifts.  I would be allowed to investigate my stocking in the interest of peace and a little more sleep for my parents, and I would have crammed my face with chocolate before the sun even came up.  So of course I loved Christmas. 

I loved it not so much when I reached adulthood.  Bear in mind, I did not get married until I was thirty five and did not have my child until I was thirty seven so nearly twenty years were spent waiting for Christmas with a family that just didn’t exist.  I still had Christmas with my folks every year, either with or without whatever guy I was dating at the time, but it just wasn’t the same.  There was no Santa Claus.  And the responsibility fell on me to decorate and make whatever apartment I was living in feel festive.  And I had to go out and buy presents for everyone.  And I learned that the only time I really do NOT love shopping is at Christmas.  All those crowds.  All those pushy people.  All those ringing bells.  All that desperation to find the perfect gift for each person on your list.  That for me was misery.  And there was little joy.  The greed of the season and the anxiety of the merchants to SELL, SELL overshadowed any deeper meaning that Christmas might hold.  I didn’t want or need anything, or I would have already bought it.  My family didn’t want or need anything or THEY would have bought it.  The whole buying and selling and marketing and decorating thing just shut me down.

I thought I would enjoy Christmas again when I had a child of my own.  That was true for about four years.  The first Christmas was enjoyable from a cuteness standpoint; many elfen pictures and cunning pictures of wrapping paper being eaten were taken.  Year one was still pretty clueless.  Things got a little more magical at age two, three and four.  At that age, Santa was a given and our daughter wasn’t old enough to understand the greed factor yet.  However, things began to slide downhill quickly after that.  In kindergarten, my daughter had a first grader help her make a list of Christmas wants.  It was endless and included “a Nintendo DS – pink”, and “a thousand dollars.”  I think these were more the wishes of the assisting first grader, but it was obviously the beginning of ridiculous greed.  The next year, my daughter visited her cousin and her Christmas list consisted of every toy her cousin owned.  Ridiculous.  And of course she didn’t play with a single one of them for more than a day or two.  This last year, the list was incredibly specific and all goods were material and fashionable.  She doesn’t even believe in Santa Claus any more.  She’s only seven.  So the joy of Christmas has again been reduced to greed.  My parents and I have an agreement just not to buy each other presents – we don’t need anything.  My husband and I play at exchanging gifts, but again there’s that “If I wanted it I would have already bought it” thing.  So now I just acquire more decorations for the house,  because the common knowledge is that where Christmas is concerned, more stuff is always better. 

Next year, I swear we’re just going to attend a Christmas mass, and buy gifts from the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  And maybe I’ll get enjoyment out of Christmas again when I have grandchildren.  If nothing else, we’ll make a cheeseball.

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