Sunday, December 23, 2007

Clever holiday headline here

Last night, Gene and I celebrated the holidays with our annual viewing of It's a Wonderful Life. I'm very George Baileyish this time of year--the George Bailey after Uncle Billy loses the $8000. (Why did we have to go and have all these kids anyway?) There's no picture of Bobby Anderson who played the young George Baily, which is too bad, because he was a good-looking kid and good actor. His career seemed to end in 1956.

This year was a fairly stress-free Christmas season until three nights ago when my annual belly ache woke me up in the middle of the night and burned a few holes in my mid-section for the next couple of days.

Some freelance work involving a writer, a client, a publisher and me as editor turned into a confusing, difficult game of round robin, pushing deadlines into Christmas day and beyond; my dream of introducing Miracle on 34th Street (with the wonderful Elizabeth Perkins) to my six-year-old was not only sneered at by said six-year-old, but couldn't happen anyway because, even though I pushed record, I'm not allowed to record on the Starz channel.

And then there's the angst over whether I've purchased enough holiday joy for Christmas morning. There's a diary with a star-shaped key that a neighbor girl's grandmother bought for her three years ago. It comes with stickers and markers and she wears the star on a chain around her neck. My daughter is certain that Santa can reproduce this for her.

I assure you Santa cannot.

I'm also a bit squeamish about the Santa Clause in my parenting contract, in great part because of the magic diary that won't appear Christmas morning, but also because my mother disabused me of that fantasy in the bathroom of a Monterey Inn Mexican restaurant when I was five years old. It was my entrance into adulthood.

My daughter is a whole year-and-a-half older than I was when The Truth was confirmed to me. Is this another example of infantilization in our culture? I have neighbor kids who believed in Santa until they were 11. My husband is sternly warning me to lighten up.

I am retaliating by threatening him with lists of things yet to be done for the big day--don't make me write things down, Mister! Once it's written down, it has to happen, you'll be responsible for getting it done and if you don't, it goes on your permanent record!

It's not really as bad as that--we're excited about seeing family, but I am reminded of a Family Guy episode where Lois complains, "You all think Christmas just happens. You think all this goodwill just falls from the freakin' sky. Well, it doesn't! It falls out of my holly jolly butt! So you can cook your own damn turkey. Wrap your own damn presents. And hey, while you're at it, you can all ride a one horse open sleigh to hell! "

During all of this excitement, my daughter has extra excitement, which comes with extra bouncing and jumping and questions (if you knew my daughter, you'd wonder if there was time in the day for her to ask more questions), and my three-year-old son has less excitement. Why? Because he has a belly ache, that's why. [Update: He just threw up. All plans on hold.]

Runs in the family, I guess. Merry Christmas.

[Update: we are all safe and healthy at Grandfather's house. Merry Christmas, all!]

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Blogger Dana said...

Oh Nancy, you take me back!

If I had a book, The Woulda-Shoulda-Coulda of a Guilty Parent, #11 would clearly state:

"Should have let them believe in Santa Claus as long as they wanted! Reality has a mean way of making itself known and cutting childhood off at the knees, and really, what harm would there have been to let them keep such merriment and fantasy alive a little bit longer? None. Absolutely none."

Merry Christmas!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Mike LaRoche said...

Merry Christmas, Nancy! :)

1:56 PM  
Anonymous allan said...

Your writing is getter better and better. I can tell because I see pictures, not words. Well done, QotM.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous me again said...

No, that was not any alcohol creating the word getter. Just thinking better before I got to it. But on the other hand, it kind of fits...getter better. Never mind.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Dana, your comments are good guidance.

Thanks, allan. I actually think it's hit or miss with my blog writing. This post was born out of nothing interesting to say, so I said it some nice feedback through email about it, too.

5:23 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

finally read this whole post; it's awesome. I was 6 by the way when I fiigured it out--you were de-Santa'd unnaturally early probably because of wiseass older sibs.

8:08 PM  

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