Hope turns 6 on Christmas Eve but we're having her party today. Noah has already begun to cry, whine, pout and act generally jerky in protest that it is Hope's birthday, but not his. Same routine, different year. Sometime soon he should consider changing it up a bit.
Party photos will be forthcoming.
~~~~~~~~~~Someone just wrote me to tell me that I don't respect Haitians because I don't like Haitian dogs. That is quite a stretch, they were not kidding though. I loooooove people with no sense of humor. I really, really do. Apparently the post long, long ago where we called them "dingos" was highly offensive. I guess I am not allowed to dislike ugly dogs. Not here, not there, not anywhere. It's good to know, no matter what the topic ... there will be someone out there ready and willing to be put-off by what I write.
We took our kids out for a parade tonight. It is this all lights parade - a MN holiday tradition. It was challenging. Lydia slept the entire time, which helped a lot. I'm not sure what possessed us to try it. I think it is the pressure of knowing that we did none of the cheesy, canned, meaningless holiday stuff last year and we'll do none of it next year. Sooo, we should try to do all of it this year. Logical? (That is a rhetorical question by the way.)
The THIRD attempt to see Santa finally produced a Santa that would see children. I thought Troy was going to go all 'Clark Griswold' on the 2nd Santa. (Think 1983 - Vacation movie ... Clark's reaction when Wally World was closed.)
The first attempt to find Santa was an hour wait, and waiting meant missing the parade. We bailed 15 minutes into the hour wait. The parade was fun. Everyone liked it, the temps were warm for MN in December. So far, expectations of family fun were being exceeded.
After the parade we rushed to try to get to see the fat man himself before the stores closed. The second attempt was at another location entirely. Mr. Claus is kind of high on himself in the suburbs of Minneapolis. APPOINTMENTS are made to see stinking Santa Claus! When we got there he had no appointments left for the evening. I walked up to the table and said "HI - these kids are here to talk to Santa." The little helper person said, "Did your pager go off?" Then she proceeded to fill me in on standard operating procedure in 2007 and the way the things work now when it comes to the man from the North Pole. Silly me, the world has moved on without me. I considered begging, but I saw no mercy in her eyes.
Pretty soon you'll have to know someone who knows Santa in order to get to him. If your aunt did not date his brother back in High School, you can just forget about it. I suppose by next year we'll just be expected to talk to one of his helpers on-line and call it good.
By appointment only Santa.
We'd been dragging kids around creating beautiful and lasting America memories for hours at that point. The news fell on me awfully hard. Crestfallen is the word that comes to mind. I turned to share the situation-at-hand with my dear husband.
Troy took on that look he takes on occasionally. It is not often that he loses it, but when he does- he does it up big. I said, "It does no good to go ballistic." Although, in that moment after parking and dragging that many kids into the center of the second mall in one day I felt pretty violent myself. (If I feel violent towards Santa's helpers - that might offend Rudolph or even Mrs. Claus. It's expected that even ridiculous topics bring controversy. Maybe it's safe, perhaps they are too busy to be reading this. ) As a precautionary measure ...
Dear Mrs. Claus,
If you are reading this ... I don't like Haitian dogs. I thought the employees that your husband hired this year were really very below average, the new POLICY is lame too -- but I still think your husband is a good man at heart. No need to email me and tell me how terrible and ignorant I am. And also, when I write a blog, I exaggerate occasionally for the sake of humor. I enjoy sarcasm too. I would never actually become physically violent with any of your elves. Statements like that; it's what we call "creative license." When you next speak with your husband let him know I do not want a Haitian Dingo puppy for Christmas, but - if he wants to let Peanut ride back to Haiti in his sleigh, that would be quite alright. He might also consider adding to his off-season fleet by purchasing a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban.
Be well Mrs. Claus.
At that point it was a game, a competition - Santa was taunting us and we were not planning on losing. We would NOT be going home without seeing the man in red. Troy threw his head back and laughed his crazy evil laugh and told the kids, "We are GOING to Find Santa and it is GOING to be fun." ;)
The third mall had a Santa, no waiting, no appointment required. Troy was relieved from his building anger and Noah, Hope, and Isaac were pleased. They ran up and chatted with Santa a bit, gave him multiple Transformer requests, then sang him all of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." We could tell kids don't often sing to Santa, he seemed to be entertained and amused.
Unfortunately by the time we were done with Santa, Noah was very tired and could not follow the words to the song ... he both pouted and cried the entire way home.
*Those* are the kind of memories we like to drag all around town to make. Good Times.
Thank the Lord above none of this (above) is what Christmas is all about. Christ Jesus came to us as a baby, died for us as a young man, rose again and will return one day.
There is no need to chase around town to find Him. We need no appointment to speak to Him. He loves us and is merciful towards us whether we're naughty or nice.