Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Traditions

So Dillon and I sat down to watch some good old fashioned Christmas entertainment... the shows I used to watch in my youth. While I never forgot that Christmas was all about the birth of my Savior... certain characters were also definately a part of Christmas. From Kris Kringle teaching Winter to walk, ("Put One Foot In Front of the Other" ) to Elf Hermey's desire to be a dentist, the bouncing bumble, and the Island of Misfit toys... Even the Heat Miser... I so looked forward to these shows every Christmas. They disappeared for a while, but they seem to be making a comeback. I was so excited that my boys would finally realize I was not crazy when I danced around the house singing "I'm Mr. Heat Miser, I'm Mr. Sun"

Unfortunately, they still think I'm crazy.

Cody doesn't watch TV.. and Dillon refused to watch these shows after the first few minutes... "Mom," he said, "I can deal with the whole Santa Claus thing, but these puppets are really freaking me out!

Funny, I feel the same way about the animation in Polar Express.

Needless to say, Dillon and I watched and enjoyed the more traditionally animated Charlie Brown Christmas... which blows all those talking puppet shows out of the melted snow! I have to admit, I even cried when Linus explained the true meaning of Christmas. I always do. Can a cartoon be annointed?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Memories

Cody and Dillon ~ 7 years ago

Cody, Jim and Dillon ~ 2 days ago

A Christmas Survey

A Couple of friends have posted this Christmas Survey on their blogs.. I thought it might be fun to play along....

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot Chocolate! Without question! It's not that I love hot chocolate so much.. it's simply that I can't stand Egg Nog. It might have something to do with that h0liday episode of Sisters where everyone got food poisoning from the egg nog... Ummmm.. No.. It's just that I've never liked egg nog!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

Oh, Santa never wraps presents! He sets them all up... all the thousands of pieces and hundreds of stickers.. he puts them all together so Mom and Dad don't have to! (wink)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

If it were just up to me... White. Simple. Elegant. BUT, I don't live with a simple, elegant men. They want color.. they want flash. Martha Stewart means nothing to them! Someday, I will decorate the house the way I want, and by then it will be in loud colorful flashing lights because of all the wonderful memories they carry!

4. Do you hang mistletoe, and where do you get it?

We usually don't hang mistletoe, but if we wanted to we wouldn't have to look very hard for it. It's our state flower and there is usually a clump of it in at least one tree in the yard. (it's actually a fungus, but that just takes all the romance away doesn't it?) I remember one year when my dear hubby risked his life on a snowy limb just to grab some mistletoe to hang for our Christmas party. I'll tell you a secret. I would have kissed him anyway!

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Well, we always plan to put them up the weekend following Thanksgiving.. but because we are a family short on organizational skills.. the only thing we know for certain is that the tree will be up by Christmas Eve. For instance, our Thanksgiving Weekend decorating was finally completed on December 10th.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Yorkshire Pudding... which is absolutely nothing like pudding... but it tastes wonderful. Of course you can't make it unless you have first made the delectable standing rib roast.. which is pretty yummy in and of itself... And doesn't it just sound like something out of Dickens. Can you eat it for Christmas without assuming a British accent? I think not!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

Wow... all of them! I couldn't pick just one. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year! I suppose if I had to pick one memory it would be the our Christmas ski trip when I was in 9th grade. After I got over the pain of cold toes and altitude sickness.. and finally learned how to ski... oh, boy, was that last day fun!

8. When did you learn the truth about Santa?

The truth? What do you mean?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

We celebrate Christmas Eve with extended family... We visit Jim's mom and open gifts there, and then we visit my parents where the kids all open gifts and the grown ups ( I use the term loosely) play a dirty Santa game. (If you are not familiar with "dirty Santa" don't worry... It's not as bad as it sounds!) Christmas Day is just the immediate family and that is where we open our presents from each other and Santa.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

OK, it's a complicated process.. but here goes. I pester Jim until he finally relents and gets the tree out of the attic. We used to buy a live tree until we finally caught on that the reason the kids were always sick on Christmas was because they were allergic to the tree. Anyway, after Jim gets the tree down, he asks for help putting it together. The boys and I hear him.. really we do.. but we are far too busy going through ornaments to help. Soon Jim is tangled in lights and once again asking for help. Dillon is happy to oblige because they are dealing with electricity at this point. Cody busies himself wrapping the dog in garland. Finally, the lights are on but they are burnt out. SO... it's off to WalMart to buy more Christmas lights.. because what's a tree without blinding lights! By the time we get back, Jim is exhausted and the boys take over putting the decorations hither and yon. Of course, we have to stop and remember the story behind each ornament.. which occasionally ends up with the same old argument.. "I picked this one out" "No I did" Ah.. Christmas Cheer! This year we are so thankful that Cody has reached that 6' mark. The top of the tree now gets some glam! I have seen beautiful trees where all the ornaments are themed and precisely spaced.. but I wouldn't trade our awkwardly decorated fake fir for anything in the world. It's simply beautiful.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Love it, love it, love it!

12. Can you ice skate?

Interestingly enough... I can ice skate.. but only backwards. That's they way I learned! It makes broom ball very interesting!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

It may not qualify as "favorite" but it was by far the most memorable. I has asked for it for many months. When I finally got it, I was sorry. It was an Epilady the Modern day torture device for women. But I actually BEGGED for it!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Slowing down and breathing and counting our blessings after a full year of running at full speed!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Hmmm.. this question actually has me stumped. Probably homemade fudge!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Lighting the Advent candles, reading scripture, and listening to Jim sing Oh, Holy Night every night for the month of December.

17. What tops your tree?

Usually an angel.. but this year, it seems we have lost a box of decorations (What? I already said the family was organizationaly challenged, didn't I?) and so the boys improvised. There is a penguin atop our tree... but not just any penguin. A festively dressed long legged penguin. These are the kinds of decorating decisions children make.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?

Giving.. without question. But I used to like the receiving pretty well too! (ahem, that is until I grew up!)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

It used to be Band Aid singing "Do they know it's Christmas".. and while that still ranks pretty high up there, nothing sounds as beautiful as my husband when he sings "Oh, Holy Night!"

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

The first lick is yum.. but soon it gets all sticky and linty and ewww... quickly turning to yuck!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It is finished...

Dillon finally had his root canals today and we finished a journey, ummm, a "trip" really, that we started three months ago.

This procedure has been a long time coming and some pretty major fears have had plenty of time to grow. By bedtime last night, Dillon was literally shaking. But he wasn't cold. My heart broke a little. When I went to wake him up this morning he was crying. My heart broke a lot! As parents, we are supposed to protect our babies.. even the 10 year old kind. I didn't want him to half to go through this.. especially since I had never gone through it before. This point was not lost on him. Everytime I told him it really wasn't going to be that bad, he would counter with an inquiry on how many root canals I had endured in the past. Ok... none. But if I could, I would have the root canals in his place.

Luckily, he has the world's best dad, who was able to cuddle with him and comfort him while at the same time filling him with courage. Soon Dillon was up and dressed and ready to go.

If you'll remember, the first time we visited the dentist, there was a bit of a "to do" about whether Jim or I could be with Dillon during the procedure. Jim realized that the doctor might just do a better job if Jim were not standing over him, dogging him. (Not that Jim would "dog" anyone... but he is a protective daddy!) So a deal was struck. Jim would stand just outside the room, just in case Dillon needed him.. but let the Doctor do his thing, without fear of Jim breaking any fingers in case Dillon winced. (once again.. not that that was any kind of possibility... ok.. maybe possible.. but certainly not probable!) And so Jim stood in the small hallway outside the room Dillon was in...

And Dillon did great! For all 3 hours! Yes, 3 hours. Dillon is not even sore this evening. Jim needs to soak his feet. Dillon's teeth are a little bit loose. Jim's calf muscles are tight. But it was an experience they shared together.

Cody and I went along for the ride, and shared some of the torment as well. No, we didn't have to endure the drill, or standing for three hours... But we did have to listen to Christmas music, which was turned up loud enough to attempt to cover the sounds of the drills in the back rooms. And as if that weren't enough sound input, there was also a TV dangling from the ceiling, where we could watch Martha Stewart instruct us on how to pull a book out of a bookshelf. Seriously... her studio audience even applauded when she did it. Of course, I still don't know the correct way because I could only hear loud drills and some novelty song about wanting a hippopatomous for Christmas. After Martha left, to practice pulling books no doubt, (soon to be an Olympic event), Family Feud came on followed by Jerry Springer. At that point, Cody and I decided we needed some fresh air and a break for our ear drums, so we left to wait in the waiting room outside the waiting room. We still had Christmas music, but thankfully Jerry Springer was corrupting young minds in a completely different room.

Soon, through the window, I saw Dillon peering out, no longer sporting that snaggle toothed look I have grown so used to. All the chips were gone, and his smile, though strained because of his ordeal, was beautiful!

He doesn't have to go back again. Well, at least for 6 years. He only has temporary caps but that is all insurance will pay for until he is 16. However, we were assured that these temporary caps are pretty tough. The only restriction is that he not bite into an apple. He can handle that. He proved today that he can handle just about anything!