One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Rant

Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. At times, it seems impossible to feel the Christmas spirit. Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about the material nature of Christmas. That is always talked about. Rather, it is the traditions that have me so stressed out.

Take, for instance, the 12 Days of Christmas tradition. I have had to jump through so many hoops and drop a large wad of cash (and break a few federal laws) to get the gifts to me wife (my true love, per the song). I didn't have a problem getting 12 partridges, 30 french hens, or 36 calling birds - we have enough pet shops and farms around to provide those.

Also, the 42 geese and 42 swans weren't that tough. It just so happens that swans and Canadian geese migrate across the Sacramento flood plains and wetlands this time of year. Catching them, though, was the difficult part. That is where I broke a few laws - capturing water fowl without a permit and trespassing on protected wetlands.
The 40 golden rings I cheated on. I have been going to Sonic each day and getting her a side of onion rings. Clever, huh?
For the maids-a-milking I was able to contract with Crystal Cream and Butter Company to do a workshare program with their female employees.
The leaping lords and dancing ladies were relatively easy. The Sacramento Dance Company has been a great resource in this.
Getting enough pipers and drummers was iffy for a while. I ended up booking the marching band from UC Davis. The problem is that the band members are a bit wild, and keep demanding spiked egg nog, which I refuse to provide.
No, it has been the turtle/doves that have been so hard to find. I have to provide 22 of these. In the end I went back to UC Davis, and had their genetics department work up a cross between the red-ear slider turtle and the common dove. The resulting animal is freakish, and probably won't survive far past Christmas, but I had to do what I had to do.

I am feeling a bit nasty toward Santa right now, so here are some cartoons that express my ire.

The last part of my Christmas tradition rant has to do with the music. We have several local radio stations that are playing 24 hour Christmas music, and it is driving me nuts. Yesterday I was subjected to the Jackson Five's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." It reminded me of a conversation I had with my wife last year. We were driving in the car when the song came on. The conversation went like this:

"Change the station," I said.
"Why?" Annie asked.
"I hate this song. Please change it."
"Why do you hate it?" she asked.

I looked at her in shock. "Listen to the words! It's scandalous. The kid's mom was kissing Santa Claus!"
It was her turn to look at me in shock. "Justin, that isn't Santa Claus. The mom is kissing the daddy, dressed like Santa Claus!"
I went silent for several moments as my stupidity washed over me. The mom wasn't having extramarital relations with Santa? Santa is not some nasty, philandering home-wrecker? That made so much more sense. I still don't like the song, but now my jilted view of Santa had been redeemed.
Can you believe it? Here I was, in my 20s, and I had never picked up on that?

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