the week that was 3

The big news this week was that the radio (finally) started playing Christmas music.  With the exception of the much-hated Christmas Shoes song, Kenny Rogers’ Mary Did You Know and the possibly-rapey Baby It’s Cold Outside, I love Christmas music.  It sets my feet a-tapping and my heart a-singing.  Quite simply, it is Christmas. When Josh Groban sings O Holy Night, I weep. When Gayla Peevey announces I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, I’m a six year-old girl with pigtails (again).  And when Michael Buble sings anything, I change the station.

More than frosted sugar cookies. More than a perfectly decorated tree. More than presents.  It is the music. Christmas music is a universal language we all speak.  It says, Now is the time of year when we will be good people.


This week I discovered that several people I am currently friends with (or have been friends with in the past) have multiple Facebook pages. Apparently it’s not enough to be dull in one profile, now you have to be boring in parallel timelines.

John Smith 5:57 pm I just made the best dinner! dinner1
John A. Smith 6:27 pm I just ate the best dinner! emptydinner

John Smith 7:12 pm I just had my last cigarette. Ever. #smokefree
John A. Smith 7:14 pm Buying cigarettes — at Tobacco Outlet

John Smith 8:34 pm is in a relationship.
John A. Smith 8:38 pm is single.

I will never understand some people.

Also of note this week on the ‘book was the news that Charles Manson had applied for and been granted a marriage license. This was a rally call to single people across the land to elicit sympathy from their coupled friends by posting desperate Facebook statuses that declared, “Even Charles Manson can get a date!  What’s wrong with me?” Umm, well you post Facebook statuses like that for starters.  My favorites though were from allies of the LGBTQ(XYZ) community who said they didn’t want to live in a country where that awful killer Charles Manson could get married and not their gay friends, who some people noted were neither awful nor killers.  But the best comment came from a young woman who stated that she would not get married until every gay person in the world was given marriage equality. It’s a nice sentiment but, oh honey, after visiting your Facebook page it’s very clear that if anyone were to put a ring on it you would be at the courthouse faster than I could arrange an interracial three-way (very fast).


This week also saw the Great Homework Showdown of 2014 with reigning champion Chris going up against challengers Team Dad. Chris was at his little bitch best but ultimately proved no match for Team Dad, specifically co-captain Todd who — after extra innings, overtime and an extended penalty phase — brought home a win for the visiting team.

I’m not going to lie, I need to be half in the bag before I can even consider helping Chris with his homework. It was sometime during Act II of Chris’s five act opera (titled, You’re the Worst Parents in the World Stop Being Mean to Me) that I retreated to my bedroom with the cat and promptly locked the door, cracked open a beer and turned on my Christmas music.  As Todd battled one of the less-cooperative of Chris’s many personalities, I was being carried away to a winter wonderland populated by talking snowmen, flying red-nosed reindeer and my good friend Perry Como.

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how to survive the holidays

For many Americans, myself included, the last two months of the year are a happy time of reckless drinking and excessive binge-eating.  It all begins like clockwork at approximately exactly 9:37 p.m. on October 31st when, shortly after putting your kid to bed, you begin to steal his Halloween candy.  At first you show admirable restraint taking only the loose Tootsie Rolls at the bottom of the pail, but by the end of the first week you’ve moved on to a breakfast of snack-sized Kit Kats and mini-Twizzlers. A midnight raid early in week two takes out the last of the king-sized Milky Way bars and you know you’ve hit rock bottom when your son asks what happened to the jumbo Reese’s Cups and you suggest the dog ate them.

No sooner are you beginning to show signs of early onset diabetes when you abandon the candy and move on to a gluttonous carb-filled Thanksgiving feast where you consume enough food to feed all the starving children in China dating back to the 1950’s when parents still said things like, “You eat that meatloaf.  There are starving children in China.”  Your reward for all your hard-eating is a 72-hour turkey coma…followed by four weeks of Christmas cookies for dinner.  Your shame spiral then comes full circle when, moments after receiving your yearly visit from the ghost of Dick Clark, you wake up hugging the toilet, your face plastered with bits of pork gravy and sick.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  So complain all you want about holiday store displays in October and Christmas music in November.  Not me.  Those eight weeks are magical.  Give me Perry Como and The Carpenters.  Give me Bill Murray in Scrooged and the whole of Britain in Love Actually.  Give me all the Christmas crap the Hallmark Channel can make.   Kit Kats, Reese’s Cups, Todd’s carrot souffle, row after row of brightly decorated Christmas cookies — I surrender.  I’ll buy new pants.  I’ll run tomorrow.  I’ll join a gym in January.

But for now I’m going to be a kid.  I’m going to remember when the day after Halloween meant Christmas; when Santa Claus seemed possible.  I’m going to take my kid to the Christmas tree farm, cut down the biggest tree we can find and then make Todd drag it back to the car.

How to survive the holidays?  Give in.