Ghosts of Christmas Past


Curse work!!!

Ever since I exited college and entered the nine-to-five, these holiday seasons seem to whisk by without much chance to really enjoy them. Yes, the season is peppered with an assortment of holiday parties and gatherings where you get to make merry with an assortment of friends and neighbors and take stabs at who the swingers are in the group (“Ohhhh, so that’s why they wanted my keys on the way in??? I just thought they were responsible hosts.”) But, musty 70’s-themed jokes aside, it just seems that the party is over before it gets started. As I write this, we’re on the back nine of this holiday week, with New Year’s Eve and its fountains of booze waiting patiently beyond the 18th hole, and by the time I complete this, I’m bound to receive my 1099-R and get to work filing for all that cash I already spent.

Anyway – I’m not telling you anything that you don’t already know – just thought I’d vent a little as I feel this precious time of the year slips by all too swiftly. Now that I have children, it’s bound to grow more fleet of feet. Arghhhhhhh!!!!

And would it kill Mother Nature to dump a blizzard on us at some point this season? Ya’ see, I’m not one of those snow misers that don’t want a flake of white stuff to drop in front of them and impede their travels. Nope! If I’m gonna’ spend my late evenings playing with my Wii (harkening back to my childhood and if you’re gonna’ take that sentence too literally, one could argue teens through thirties as well) – anyway, if I’m gonna retain some hold on my childhood pursuits, then you can be damned sure that I’m gonna start counting sheep, hoping and praying for that blessed snow day. And believe me – I’ve got nothing but frustration ahead if a Nor’Easter does come knocking and dump a cool 20 inches upside my cabeza and around my casa. I still have to fire up the snow blower and clear my quarter mile downhill bunny slope of a driveway then navigate the Corolla through 20-foot drifts as my company doesn’t close unless the stock market closes – so neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor Elliot Spitzer is gonna’ keep me away from my day job.

Even with all that frustration, why do I yearn for a snowy winter’s morn? Because it just makes everything looks so darned purdy.

I apologize for all of the griping – it’s just I’m the greatest fan the Christmas season ever had and although we had a wonderful Christmas holiday, it just feels like this year in particular came and went way too fast. Next year I ought to save some vacation time and take the last two weeks off to slow things down a tick.

Turning this tale more towards the home front, one of the great pleasures of this Christmas season was seeing my three-year old son Colin really embrace the holiday. This was the year that the traditions really came alive for him. Andi and I spent weeks talking up the imminent arrival of Santa and his sleigh of goodies – as well as all of the other rituals that adorn the holiday. We made great progress since Halloween – where dressed as Tom Hank’s Cast Away, I descended the stairs in full rag-tag regalia. Andi alerted Colin to my masquerade with a quick question – “Colin – Who is that?” Instead of a “Daddy!!!” we got a wide-eyed “SANTAAAAAA!!!”. Yup, the impoverished Papa Noel in the flesh. Anyway, since then we worked hard to polish Santa’s image, and by early December, Colin was on the lookout for a portly gentleman with a long white beard and generous “hit list”… soooo, Mick Fleetwood???

Mick Fleetwood??? Swingers references??? When did this become That 70’s Show. I better get moving with the bedunkadunk references and restore some of that illustrious street cred.

One specter that did dog the family during the holiday season is a nasty head cold that moved from Andi to Colin to Aria and back to Andi again. Yes, someone is missing from the flow chart but I refuse to name drop that individual for fear I will jinx He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Andi dealt with the cold around mid-December and was surprised by a return haunting just two days before Christmas. As the Soprano Section Leader at St. Ignatius in Beacon Hill, she regularly attends and performs in the church’s Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. This year, cold be damned, she was determined to forge ahead and make it through her performance. Word is, Simon Cowell was among the congregation.

Unfortunately, the late night singing and nasty nasal drip conspired to rob Andi of her voice. By the priest’s homily, it was down for the count. Thankfully, Andi had managed to complete her solo before bidding adieu to her fine instrument.

I learned this upon awakening the following morning. Following a quick suit-up into my Kevlar PJ’s, I told Andi that losing her voice was the nicest thing she could have gotten me for Christmas. Of course – that’s a lie. I mean, seriously, I’ve looked high and low and still have not found the 352” Plasma TV. (Woah – where’d that vase come from?) All right – I better tone down the teasing.

In summary, all joking aside, we truly did had a nice holiday weekend, snow or no snow. We spread the family visits over the course of the weekend and capped it all off with a nice Christmas dinner at the home with Andi’s Dad and Step Mom, my Mom and Step Dad and my sister Noelle and her Step Mom and Step Dad. (Wait – that doesn’t add up!)

Colin and Aria both enjoyed tearing into their gifts – although much as my ancestors learned of the magic a plain cardboard box wields over the actual toy it contains – Colin’s eyes wandered from the giant pile of gifts to the open carton of egg nog and it’s bunk mate, the good Captain Morgan.

As a little bonus gift to cap the day, the kids slept beautifully that night. That’s what a little ‘Cap’n in ya’ will do.

(Editor’s Note:  Please note that at no time did the author or his three-year old son imbibe Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. The claims made herein are pure hyperbole intended for comic relief. How could they?  The bottle was empty!!! Apparently someone had convinced the author’s wife that the Captain made a great voice-restorative tonic and she polished it off. The author looks forward to being reacquainted with his wife 28 days later where she’ll no doubt regale him with tales of her rehab encounter with zombies… or was it Sandra Bullock? Well, same diff really!!! Again with the hyperbole. Geez… can’t we believe anything this guy writes???)


Comments now closed (3)

  • Glad Colin can “hear the sleigh bell,” so to speak (that’s a Polar Express reference).

    What was his favorite present?

  • Two faves:

    1. A Plasma Car – it’s basically a 21st century big wheel only it moves by turning the wheel (no pedaling or Flintstone running required). There’s definitely a learning curve to getting it going (similar to a skate board) but he seems to have perfected it as he shoots around the house and has only run me down once. Can’t say the same for his Mom.

    2. A Fisher Price Digital Camera – it’s a real, working digital camera that takes fairly low resolution shots but the pics can be uploaded to a PC and shared. The pic quality is about par with a camera phone. Anyway, I don’t know if it’s his height or a general interest in the subject matter featured prominently among his varied compositions… but we seem to be getting an inordinate amount of crotch shots. Guccione would be soooo proud.