This may come as a shock to some of you, but I am sort of prone to moments of thought and occasionally ill-humor (I know, gasp!)
I will admit, even within that most jolly of seasons, to have wallowed in the mire of grinchiness.
Even those things that have, in past years, yanked me kicking and screaming from the sludge did little to lighten my load.
For instance: In past years, adopting a family in need has just turned my complaints of commercial hooha and retail insanity to santa-hat-wearing gratefulness for our own good fortune. This year, however, the mother of our "needy family" asked for a portable DVD player, a CANON camera, and a surround sound stereo system...
The thing is, I really do try to get out of this grinchy green place.
So after the adoption debacle, I decided to rope my family into greenery gathering. Now this, this, is something I look forward to every single year. It is part of what makes living here in the house of Stink so fun. The chill on my nose, my breath in the air, the smell of pine on my fingers, and throughout my house. Merriment, here I come.
The gathering part really was fun.
Soooooo, then I got ambitious. 'Cause if some decorating with pine is fun, wouldn't more decorating be more fun?!
Weeeellllllll, this next foray into nature crafts was so darn fun, I could have just peed in the Who Hash.
When you're pregnant, I think it's fairly common to spend a good portion of the day envisioning your child. I did this a lot, imagined the gifts that our little person would receive; dark hair from him, eyes from her, his height, but please God, not my ... well, you can fill in the blank.
The reality of course is that we, as parents, are not the rainbow fairies from Sleeping Beauty; we do not flutter about the heads of our infant babes sprinkling gifts on them like glitter - a little beauty here and bit of kindness there. Oh, no, the gifts we give come in all sorts of packages; and I, I have apparently given our gal Stink more than just the length of my eyelashes.
I have this thing - this lyric thing. I can hear a song once, maybe not even in its entirety, and know the lyrics as if I had written them myself. It's a sort of useless gift, harmless really, except that I also have a tendency toward twisting.
I don't mean the flexible, yoga sort of twisting. I mean the "I didn't know that "Secret Asian Man" was not the theme to James Bond until I was a long married woman" sort of twisting. The lyric bending, verse slaughtering sort of twisting that I, at least within the confines of my immediate familial circle, have become known for.
And this, it seems, is one of the gifts I sprinkled upon the head of my unsuspecting child.
I discovered this in mid December.
We were in the grocery store, the Giant near Stink's school, when I noticed her humming along to an eighties tune by, signer-turned actor-turned singer again, Jon Bon Jovi as it was piped through the aisles. As we left the store, she surprised me by singing parts of the verse (not the chorus, the VERSE).
I was sort of proud, with a vague sense of dis-ease, "Whatcha' singing babe?", I asked her casually.
"Oh," she replied, "I'm singing that Laura Ingalls Wilder song from the grocery store." (laura and mary were her imaginary friends for a year or so two years back).
"What song?" I asked.
"You know..." she replied, breaking into head banging grunting song, "Whoaaaaa, we're half way the-ere. Whoaaaaaaa - ooooooooh livin' on the Prairie."
"Perhaps," I thought, "perhaps, it is just a fluke...a one time thing" and after the appropriate correction to the lyrics, I went about life and holiday preparations as planned.
All seemed well until the weekend. She'd spent the afternoon with her dad and older siblings, out and about the town. When she returned, she was, again, headbanging. *as a side note, we are not, generally a heavy metal sort of family, I can only credit the eighties hair-band music to the complete rejection of the other "All Christmas All the Time" stations.
"IIIIIIII", she sang, "like to rock and bowl all niiii-iighhhttt and party ev-er-y day" she followed that up with a rousing "eat cheese and chowder - eat cheese and chowder" lead-in to a grand air drum solo.
It was not a fluke. Some mothers give their children a songbirds voice, some, grace or doe brown eyes. Me? I give my child the lesser known, and somewhat quirkier gift of twisted song. Great.
(For those of you that are not eighties inclined, "Living on the Prairie" by Bon Jovi is more commonly titled "Living on a Prayer", and the lyrics for Kiss's eighties youth anthem : "I like to rock and roll all night - (and party every day)" and "You keep on shoutin', You keep on shoutin'!")
Roooooaaaarrrrrr! Grooooowwwwlllll! Yes, friends and folk, these are the sounds of me, coming out of hibernation. (I would post a picture, but it's just not pretty).
In the next few posts, we will examine, at a glance, the month of December.
We begin with the "Great Cookie Bake".
Begun years ago, the "Great Bake" has taken on a life of its own. It occurs sometime in the beginning of December, and entails any number of people coming to the ol' farmhouse, arms laden with dough and sprinkles and other holiday stuffings. These same people spend the day rolling (and eating), cutting (and eating), baking (more eating), and decorating (yup, munching here too) a variety of cookies that they then set in the line of "cookies for the taking". At the end of the evening, bags are distributed, and each happy baker exits with a variety of yummishness set and ready for the season. Here is a short pictumentary on the day...