How did you end up in my house? I mean, I've always prided myself on decorating the most beautiful trees. We love real trees. We've had gorgeous Fraser firs, magnificent Douglas firs, and so many beautiful trees over the last dozen years.
But this year Sam was tested for allergies and we discovered that he is very allergic to pretty much all trees. I vowed to find an artificial tree that I would love as much as any real tree we'd ever had. Pearson was delighted at the thought of a pre-lit tree and never having to put the lights on a tree ever again.
I set out on my mission as soon as the stores put out the trees (around Halloween). I quickly became skeptical about getting a fabulous tree without spending several hundred dollars. Even the skimpiest trees were close to $200. So, I decided to hold off until Black Friday and perhaps find the perfect tree on sale somewhere. There were some great Black Friday deals on trees, but still I just couldn't find that perfect tree. I was getting discouraged.
Pearson and I started discussing the possibility of getting a real tree and hoping, now that Sam has meds for his allergies, that it wouldn't be so bad. We had all but decided to get a real tree when suddenly Sam's allergies hit full force. This time of year is so bad for him. He's been taking meds every 4 hours for a week and a half now. He even wakes up in the middle of the night, shuffles into our room to wake me up and beg for more medicine. So perhaps inviting another allergen into the house would be a mistake, right?
Last night I realized that Christmas was less than a week away and still we had no tree lighting up our beautiful bay window. My grandmother had mentioned that she had a pre-lit tree in the attic that she wasn't using. So I asked my aunt and uncle to bring it over.
Aunt Sharon walked in the door, followed closely by Uncle Don carrying two huge bags, and she said, "I hate this tree." Trying to be positive, I said, "Oh I'm sure it'll be fine."
Now here we are. I guess I should have known, any fake tree my grandmother would buy would have a tragic flaw of some sort. Would it be white or some other ridiculous non-tree color? Would it play loud music every time I turned the lights on? Would it be covered with fake snow? No, none of these things. But it is full of colorful fiber optic tips. Is this tree really in my house?
It's a sad day around here. Damn those allergies! I'll do my best to make the tree work. But it really hurts my eyes just to look at it. Without further ado, I give you....The Totally Tacky Tannenbaum.....
This picture doesn't do it justice, really. The lights fade in and out while changing color and the power supply makes this wonderful droning hum. Delightful! It really embodies the peacefulness that is the holiday season quite well, I think (note the sarcasm). Merry f'ing Christmas, y'all.
We are an atheist family, but we believe in teaching our children about many religions and cultures. So Sam attends (as Alex did for 3 years) a Lutheran preschool. Pearson and I, both being raised in the Baptist church, find it difficult to give an unbiased explanation, at times, of a religion that neither of us were able to swallow when force-fed as children. So we thought it was best left to the believers. When one of the kids comes home telling us that they learned that God gives us food and water, we reply that yes, that is what some people believe (one of many examples).
Today Sam came home from preschool and we had the following conversation...
Sam: Today I learned about baby Jesus at Christmas. Do you know about baby Jesus at Christmas?
Me: Yes, I've heard that story.
Sam: Now can you tell me the story of baby Jesus at Halloween?
Me: I don't think I know a baby Jesus at Halloween story.
Sam: What about a pirate Jesus? That would be a really good story!
Me: I don't know that one either, but it does sound like it would be good.
So our 6 year old daughter has one thing she expects Santa to bring this year (in addition to the many gifts she expects from mom and dad)....a Nintendo Wii. As you may know, these are nearly impossible to come by these days without jumping onto ebay and spending at least twice what they cost in the stores. And speaking of cost, we don't usually spend that kind of money on a Christmas gift. So we were kind of lost on what the answer was.
Then you came along. Apparently Pearson had entered a raffle quite some time ago. He bought two tickets at $5 a piece. Today he found out that he won 3rd prize...a Nintendo Wii. Unbelievable.
It will be a happy holiday in the Hurst household afterall. Now, how do I keep Pearson away from it until Christmas morning?
Many congratulations on your newest addition. We're so happy for you. He is beautiful. I hope the birth experience was everything you hoped it would be. I can't wait to meet the little guy. Take care of yourselves and your wonderful little family. Much love.
Meet our newest addition. She was an early Christmas present for the whole family. Her name is Lola and she is, in fact, a show girl. :) No, not really. She is about 13 weeks old now. She's a chihuahua/pomeranian mix, less than 2 pounds currently and will probably grow to about 5 pounds. The kids adore her and she is settling right in. More pictures to come, I'm sure.
How do I know the extent of the damage? I mean, could you cause Sam more problems? I really thought when the swelling went down there'd be nothing but a bruise left behind. But there is sort of a ridge (for lack of a better word) beneath the bruise. What's that about? It's been more than a week (happened on Thanksgiving night). In hindsight, maybe we should have taken Sam to the ER, just to be checked out. When he rolled off of the office chair and his little forehead smacked the TV stand, the sound was horrifying...that thud. I couldn't believe that his head had made that sound. The blood curdling scream followed within seconds. By the time I scooped him up there was already a bump nearly as big as an egg on his head. It was all blue and purple. It was horrible. When I first saw it I thought I might throw up. Pearson and I were both freaking out a little. But thanks to a good friend who was visiting (Thanks, J) we remained fairly calm and tried to comfort Sam. We put a cold wash cloth on it and watched as the swelling started to go down. It seemed like he was fine. Eventually he calmed down enough to go to bed. It seemed all was healing well...but now this ridge. I just don't know what to think. Is it normal?
Maybe we could skip the whole Thanksgiving feast next year? We could just go to Shoney's or Nanking or Kabuto (that was a fun year). Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is not fun. Cleaning up from Thanksgiving dinner is not fun. Being too exhausted to chase after my sugar infused children is not fun. As usual though, I'm sure nothing will change. See you next time.
One of the things I love most about this area is its diversity. My daughter's kindergarten class is made up of several different ethnic groups. I love that and think it's fantastic! Now, I have no clue what religious or spiritual beliefs the families of the class (and the school's 5 kindergarten classes as a whole) hold. I can say with certainty that they are not all Christian, nor do they all celebrate Christmas. That's why I found it so odd that the first field trip of these children's educational experience is to see a play titled "Santa's Picture Perfect Christmas." Don't get me wrong, I love Santa myself. We do celebrate Christmas as a family, although we are not Christian. It just seems somewhat inappropriate to me, I suppose. But Alex seemed beyond excited about going to see the performance, so I decided not to make an issue of it.
Then a few days later another permission slip was sent home. Alex's class was going to the county's central office to present the collection for the Christmas Mother...then they were going to sing some Christmas carols for the workers. Hmmm...that seemed even more odd. Christmas carols? Really? But again, Alex seemed excited so I signed the form. I'm not happy about it though.
This seems a lot like promotion of one religion above all others to me, which is something I am firmly against in the public school system. I hear the rumblings every year at this time...all this BS about a war against Christmas, blah blah. But in reality, at least around here, it's the same old story. Christianity is pushed on our children as if it were the only answer. No regard for church/state separation at all.
I wonder if the parents of the Jewish or Muslim children signed the permission slips as well. It's funny because when I attended a room parent meeting at the beginning of the school year they were very adamant about the "Winter Party" being about winter and not about any particular religious celebration or traditions. It was to be about snowmen and penguins and such. They stressed that the party should be inclusive for all of the children. I guess the same is not true for field trips.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”