Friday, Dec. 22, 2006 | How’s your Christmas going?
Wait. Don’t answer that. I can’t hear you.
But I can tell you about mine. It’s been going pretty well. As much as I joke about the holiday, I really love it. Especially now that I have my own family.
My daughter Alex, being 3-and-a-half, is at the perfect age to start appreciating the finer points of the holiday – not just the presents.
For instance, she has been playing “baby Jesus” around the house, which is pretty cute. But her version of the event is definitely not in any book or verse of the Bible. In her game, she runs around the house like a banshee saying, “I’m baby Jesus. I’m baby Jesus. Look, Dad, I’m baby Jesus.”
I thought this was cute at first until I was watching a football program on ESPN. Then I tried to point that the real baby Jesus was swaddled up tightly and probably couldn’t run around so much. I offered to show her how tightly Jesus was bundled up, but she didn’t take me up on the offer.
Still, my heart wells up with joy when I see her enjoying the finer points of tradition. She loves singing “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” so I was happy to take her to first caroling party a few days ago.
She loved almost everything about it. She loved singing. She loved running from house to house with other kids. She loved shaking jingle bells haphazardly.
The only thing she didn’t like was when we told her she couldn’t have any more cookies. Then she had a meltdown. All the way home. And when I was unbuckling her car seat. And up the walkway. And while I was opening the door to the condo.
But then, like a typical 3-year-old, she was really sweet when we tucked her in, saying, “I love you Daddy. Merry Christmas.” Then she promised not to sneak into our bed in the middle of the night. Then, in the middle of the night, she snuck into our bed.
When that happened, I groggily told her, “Breaking a promise is a naughty thing to do. Santa might not bring you any toys.”
She told me: “I have enough toys,” and climbed into our bed.
I’d like to tell you that I turned this into a “Supernanny” moment but, frankly, I shrugged it off and went back to sleep.
So I’m shopping for my wife – and that’s not easy. I’m not good at remembering things. She gave me broad hints about buying Clinique Stay Neutral powder and I had to call her at work three times to double check. I had the Clinique part right and I remembered that it was powder, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the “Stay” the first time and then I forgot the “Neutral.”
I did remember to buy a card though. And I also remembered to take out the trash. That should count for something, right?
So I’m at Macy’s and I’m without my glasses for the first time in ages. They’re being repaired. Seems my 9-month-old son has learned how to grab them from my head and now there’s a screw loose (just like the guy who wears them).
I’m at the makeup counter and the woman looks at me indulgently, like I’m a little kid trying to buy booze.
I explain what I am looking for, while I am holding pieces of note paper two inches from my eyes so I can see what I wrote down.
In my nervousness, I think I asked for “Clinique Swiss Natural Powder,” but I think the woman knew what I was talking about. That makes one of us.
As I walked away with gift in tow, I suddenly had a question: Why do women who work at makeup counters wear white lab coats. It’s not like they’re scientists and, if anything, they probably don’t want to remind customers of the animal testing that goes on behind closed doors at cosmetics companies.
That’s a point I will continue to ponder.
I must be getting younger because the cheesiest Christmas stuff now brings a smile to my face. I enjoy seeing pictures of little kids crying during their first visit with Santa. I get warm and gooey when I see that someone is now selling a replica of the Charlie Brown Christmas treat. I even feel envious of people who are wearing big ugly Christmas sweaters.
But the thing that most made this Grinch’s heart melt was this link that my wife sent me that allows you to put a picture on the head of an elf. My wife put a picture of Owen and it showed an animated version of him herkily jerkily dancing around.
For some reason, I thought it was very cute even though on the surface it’s really stupid. I must be getting younger.
I am calling this the Beaujolais Nouveau Christmas. Although it’s nice to enjoy a good aged Cabernet, sometimes it can be too somber, too serious.
This year, I am more like young, fresh, fruity wine. Wine that is barely off the vine and practically juice.
Maybe it’s because I have kids who are young, fresh and fruity themselves, literally bursting off the vine.
Whatever the reason, I certainly hope to take this Beaujolais viewpoint into the New Year because it seems more fun to see things from their eyes, rather than my slightly more cynical peepers.