Friday, December 22, 2006

Oh yeah.

That's why I had kids.

P.S. To Stitchy: You don't have kids yet, do you? Because if you have them solely in order to obtain the fruits of their labor, and you aren't, say, the Osmonds, you're in for a sad disillusionment, my friend.

Peculiar Holiday Traditions From Our Family to Yours

1. Stomach flu. Somehow, my kids always seem to contract viruses that involve doing unspeakable things in the toilet in the two weeks preceding Christmas. Somehow, they always manage to give those viruses to me. Somehow my husband always manages to remain unscathed (and not very sympathetic, I might add).

2. Two Christmas trees. I’ve probably talked about this before, but we have two full-size Christmas trees in our house. One, in the family room, is everyone’s tree. The kids help decorate and it is completely un-choreographed. Any ornament that is rated E for everyone can go on, wherever the decorator wants to put it.

(Since the twins like to put, on average, five ornaments per branch, one right on top of one another, this requires massive amounts of forbearance on Tom’s part. We sometimes rearrange ornaments that have “fallen” after the kids are out of the room.) The living room tree is Tom’s baby. He decides how it will be decorated – silver organza ribbon? blue crystal lights? jewel-toned glass beads? – and carries it through. The kids provide limited help, but are closely micromanaged supervised and only touch the unbreakable stuff.

3. Untraditional Christmas Eve “dinner.” We’ve abandoned the whole notion of having some sort of sit-down Christmas Eve dinner. One year, we had margaritas and Mexican food. This year, we’ll probably go with abundant appetizers and finger foods, although I’m lobbying hard for Chinese from my favorite local restaurant.

4. Involuntary commitment to a mental hospital. It seems that we’ve developed a new and heartwarming tradition in recent years, whereby a family member stops taking her meds and ends up in the “hospital” with schizoid psychosis with catatonic and/or paranoid tendencies. The only thing worse than having a family member committed the week before Christmas is when the crazy-ass insurance company lets 'em out a couple of days later, only marginally improved. Note to self: Next year, deck the halls with lots of lithium. And pop a little Prozac in the eggnog for the rest of us.

Liza wants me to post this

Here's one way to have a very merry holiday. I'm not entirely convinced this site is for real, but what the hey. (Besides, I saw through my stat-tracker that someone actually got to my site by searching "XXL boobs." I can't decide whether to be deeply troubled or highly flattered.)


Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better!

When I was growing up, one of my family members was always sick on Christmas. And it was always something nasty, like the stomach virus or the flu. Although, I think my flu turning into pneumonia was the most impressive. And now that I'm married, I've gotten food poisoning two Christmas' in a row from organic produce at my husband's families house. I'm very happy I can continue to keep the tradition my parents instilled in me alive.

Anonymous said...

Boy, are you having fun, or what!!?? We have the sick tradition too and have upheld it very well this year - all three of my girls have strep, I have the sinus infection/cold from hell and the husband has a run-of-the-mill cold. With any luck we won't be hacking/wheezing/blowing/coughing this weekend... feel better soon!!

Anonymous said...

I love the note, and yes that's why we have kids. I've saved up a bunch of those (like the mothers day card from string art that says, "with love from your pain in the arse son") Now that they are grown, I get all mushy looking at them.
I like the idea of 2 trees. We should do that, and then my old fart could be anal with his own tree.
Get better soon!
Barb B.

Anonymous said...

We have two trees for just about the same reason! Sorry you've been sick - my DH is just getting over what I hope was food poisoning and not stomach flu, which went through our extended family on Christmas Day 2003 (aka the Year of the Yak). Lydia

mindy said...

How in the world- y'know what- nevermind. I don't think I'd want to know how that search got them here...
I'd opt for take-out Chinese, though the margaritas are sounding very good. Since we're also a strep house, we may do hot toddies instead.
Great card from the kids!
Can we have a pic of Tom's tree?
And Liza, I suppose if anything could bring about world peace...

Dorothy Neville said...

BTDT. are we related?

a difference for me is that my husband has not been immune to those bugs brought home. maybe that was just his way of avoiding having to take charge of the laundry. good news is that now is my son is 13 and the last stomach virus he shared with us was when he was 7.

one thing worse than the commitment over the holiday(when as you say, they don't get any treatment and get released too soon) is having someone who needs commitment in late august. not only is their psych on vacation, the back-up one is too. especially if said relative has easy access to travel to multiple states, each of which have different laws about involuntary commitment.

hang in there, merry christmas.

Charity said...

Happy Christmas and Wonderful New Year to you and yours! I hope by the big day you are healthy and happy again! :0)

Carrie said...

My husband and I are rock-hard islands to the flu (please please please let this be true) but my kids always get it at Christmas. My in-laws think I make it up. As for being found by 'XXL boobs', I don't know what to say. People are odd.... Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

HA! No, we don't have kids and we haven't figured out how to get the cats to hold shovels yet, so I guess we're just being pie-eyed about the innate servitude of children. :)

It's probably a good thing because to me, that whole Osmond thing seems like a real money-maker of an idea. We're probably best suited to having animals who can't dial the phone for help when we force them to perform for us.

The Get Well card is really sweet, I imagine one of those erases the horror of weeks worth of barf. Or at least makes it worthwhile.

We're doing Chinese food with the folks for the Eve this year. Last year, we spent Christmas Day at Foxwoods Casino and it was great because we were all mesmerized by the blinking lights that occassionaly spit out quarters. Let's see a Christmas tree do THAT!

Have a Very Merry!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like Liza put a gun to your head. Heh.

We always have Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Ever since my Dad died and we no longer have to have goose. It's a German thing.

Anonymous said...

That whole margaritas & Mexican thing sounds like a tradition I could live with, but since it's just the two of us, we've done fancy dining for our now two Xmases together.

Good to see you're on the mend. I seem to have picked up a cold somewhere, without the benefit of kids, even.

Anonymous said...

Well, that does explain why you've been gone so long. I've missed your postings. Things can only be better from here, eh? Merry Christmas!

Dharma said...

I love the last family tradition. I think a lot of families participate in that one, unfortunately.

Aliceq said...

On the XXL business, surely I'm not the only one to wonder if you've blogged about Trekking XXL!

Oh, yeah...I hope y'all feel better.

Wendy said...

Both my children have been throwing up too -- one on Christmas Eve and one today (day after Christmas). Usually they're all sick on Thanksgiving, though, so I guess we're a little off schedule too.

Traditions must have been wafting in on the air this year ... I posted about them too.

I hope you feel better and that you had a nice holiday, Carol!

Anonymous said...

With traditions #1 and #4, I think you ought to go with being highly flattered.