Friday, December 17, 2010

This Elf Needs A Little Help

I grew up with a traditional Advent Calendar, and by traditional I mean a cardboard calendar with tiny chocolates behind each door. We bought this kind for Monkey Man for the first few years, and then I had a realization. While one could argue that chocolate in any form is good just for the simple fact that it’s chocolate, I have to disagree. The chocolate in cardboard Advent Calendars is gross. And this is coming from a woman who would probably eat chocolate out of a garbage can if my hormones were wired just right that day.

So last year, I decided to use our cute Christmas countdown calendar – it is made from felt, has a jolly Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty on it, and is adorned with pockets for December 1 through December 24. There is a little candy cane tied to a ribbon that we use to mark each day closer to the arrival of Santa, er, Jesus. Last year I put a treat in the pocket each night and we told Monkey Man that the Elf came each night to leave a treat. Treats included a Hershey’s Kiss, Andes Candy, or a little Christmas eraser. He loved it and looked forward to the Elf’s visit each morning.

Well, this year, the Elf sucks. Elf must be overworked by the Head Honcho or he is out partying all night. And I can tell you, since I know Elf pretty well, he is definitely not hitting the party scene. 17 days into this calendar, Elf has forgotten to put a treat in the pocket probably 8 times.

“Mommmmm! There’s nothing in the pocket!” Crap! Run to cabinet, grab Hershey’s Kiss… “Are you sure? Look around…” Mommy Elf walks over to calendar, Kiss cupped in hand, looks in pocket, slips Kiss in… “Hey, that Elf stuck it way down (the pocket is like 1 inch deep, there is no way down)” Monkey Man pulls out Kiss. Crisis averted.

“Mommmmm! There’s nothing in the pocket!” Crap! Repeat above scenario.

“Mommmmm! There’s nothing in the pocket!” Crap! Cabinet, Kiss, Tell Monkey Man to go into another room, this time Mommy Elf puts Kiss on bench. “Hey, Monkey Man! It looks like it fell! It’s right here on the bench!”

“Mommmm! There’s nothing in the pocket!” Mommy Elf almost says out loud, “Why the HELL do I give myself one more thing to stress out about?” Crap. Cabinet. Kiss. Another room. Magically appears in pocket. Big smile on Monkey Man. Yes, this is why I do it. For the simple joy of a 5 year-old at Christmastime. Even if he remembers back on this little tradition and thinks, “What the frig was that Elf ON?”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Memo From Mom

DATE: December 15, 2010

Dear Santa,
I’m just gonna jump right in and tell you how good I’ve been all year. I go to work each day, take care of Monkey Man, take care of my house, pay my bills on time, eat my fruits and vegetables, take the dog for a walk, curse at people who can’t drive. Oops. Okay, fine, Santa. I’m not perfect but I have 2 excuses. 1.) I’m a stressed out mom. 2.) Some people are just plain stupid.

I have a Christmas List this year, Santa, and I know you don’t like to disappoint. I totally deserve some attention from you and your elves. So Santa, help a mom out.

1. I would like sleep. Preferably on a deserted island. Well, maybe not deserted. Rick Springfield can join me if he'd like. And ONLY because I want to be serenaded to sleep, because I’m not that kind of girl, Santa. I’m a married woman and Rick’s a married man. And I have enough on my plate with one man, who needs 2? Really, Santa. Get your jolly head out of the gutter.

2. I NEED spoons. Yes, an unusual request, you might be thinking, but we have a serious spoon shortage in our small household of 3. I have a problem – I don’t pay attention to the garbage disposal when a utensil, usually a spoon, gets stuck in it. Then, my spoons get all cut up and get turned into lethal weapons. I don’t want the simple act of slurping soup to turn into a horror flick.

3. I would love about 6 extra hours in a day. This doesn’t need much explanation. You know how Christmas is your busy season? Well, I feel like life is my busy season.

4. A protective shield that emits 75 degree temperatures around my body in the winter. You may need to defer to a consultant on this one, maybe a Star Trek geek or some other sci-fi freak that can help you with this? But this is a real necessity. I LOATHE walking out my front door and 20 feet to my car in temperatures below 50. Nowadays, I get to spend 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week outside in the winter for recess duty. Watching children run around like it’s a balmy 80 degrees out. Praying they don’t fall off monkey bars and kick another kid down the slide. So the stress of recess duty is enough. Throw in winter and it just sucks snowballs. Please excuse my French, Santa.

5. Santa, it is perhaps my greatest wish for chocolate chip cookies to have no effect on my body. And Holiday Pop ‘Ems. It’s just not fair that the two greatest foods on the planet are so good, but so bad. But soooo good.

6. This is a big one, and probably a request you get a lot from the grown ups. I know you’ve seen the thing I drive around in. I will loosely refer to it as a car. Well, that car originally started out as hubby’s way back in 1999. It was never my intention to be my primary mode of transportation. It is 12 years old and has more miles on it than a car should have. Hubby takes the “good car” because he has a lot farther to drive and frankly, Santa, the other car might not make it. So here I am, buzzing around town in a car that only plays the radio on one volume – LOUD, only emits heat or air conditioning on one setting – HIGH, squeaks and rattles, and makes me feel like a kid who just got her driver’s license and is running around in her parents rent-a-wreck because, who cares? I just got my license and I’m so cool that it doesn’t matter! But I got my license 19 years ago, don’t really think I’m that cool, and have since worked in jobs paying more than minimum wage. Don’t get me wrong, Santa. I am grateful to have a car, to have a job in which to drive that car, and to have a warm home in which to park my car in front of. However, I am a little concerned that I might be stranded at the side of the road in the very near future. Besides, hubby gets to listen to CDs in his car. Guess what I have the luxury of listening to? A tape. Do you even remember what a cassette tape IS?

Maybe this list comes as a breath of fresh air after all those, “I want a dolly and a truck and a video game” letters. Look at this as a challenge, Santa. Rise to the occasion. And please stop thinking, “Yep, the spoons. Now THOSE are doable.”

Thank you, Santa and Merry Christmas!