Happy Holidays and all that jazz!
I’m going to come right out with it: I think little by little, the Ebenezer in me is fading. It’s almost like I’m actually okay with the change from fall (best. season. ever.) to winter. Sure, driving in the snow is enough to make me want to eat glass and the ear-splitting Christmas music still isn’t my thing, but you know? I’m sort of digging the holidays and what-not.
(Of course, check with me in January when we head into the big white oblivion that is 3 solid months of Tundra Time)
But I’m actually okay with it for now. The following is evidence of such.
Christmas Lights – For the last few years Laura (Patient Wife) has asked me to put lights up on the house. I’ve dodged this colorful bullet for a while, but something got into me this year. Maybe it was the nice weather we had in November, maybe it was guilt, or maybe it was having a couple little dudes that REALLY like the whole idea of Christmas, gifts, and drawing the white-bearded wonder to our house. I agreed.
We had lights that I, um, never put up last year still waiting in the package. I broke out the ladder and decided to go for broke. Now, let’s be clear. I’m not scared of heights. As a firefighter/EMT, I sort of got over any sort of fear of high places that I may have had with a quickness. I’ve been WAY up in the air plenty of times. No sweat.
Got the lights over the front of the garage, along the side and all the way to where the roof is a bit higher. I thought, no problem, I’ll climb up there, lay on my stomach and sort of work my way along the highest edge.
Yeah. That didn’t work. It’s steeper there and with a nice glaze of frost on the shingles, I could feel myself slipping. With Laura and the boys watching, I decided I probably didn’t need to ruin their Christmas and my life by doing a header off the roof and breaking my neck. When I tried to slide forward on my butt, and work sideways, that didn’t work either. I was beaten.
We didn’t have a ladder tall enough, so I did what any neighbor who is deficient in tools would do. I called up fellow firefighter and neighbor GC and asked to use his ladder. He was gracious
enough to comply and I walked over to pick it up. As I left with ladder in tow, I made the joke: “Thanks for letting me use this. I’ll bring it back in a couple years.”
Hey, I thought it was funny.
Anyway, cut to the end and the place is all nice and lit up. The best part? I somehow worked it so that the cords all connected seamlessly and the extension cord just made it to the outlet in the garage. Huzz-ah.
And…of course, I’ll admit it. The house looks pretty cool. Simple and colorful. Not like some of these houses where it looks like Christmas threw up on their lawn and house.
Santa Claus – Another tradition that we sort of get into is hitting downtown Minneapolis to see the Macy’s Christmas display stuff and visit ol’ St. Nick. They’ve got a whole floor full of little animatronic people and each year they usually have a new theme. Macy’s sort of pulled
the cheap card this year and did a repeat of last year’s presentation: A Day in the Life of an Elf. We really only cared about seeing Kris Kringle, but then we figured Big Jake (now 11 months old!) would like to see it. His big thing lately is saying: “Oh, wow.”
On the way there, we ran into some friends who have two daughters, aged almost EXACTLY the same as our two boys. (Hello, arranged marriages anyone?) As a fella who geeks out on timing and odds and how crazy that we happened to run into these guys, it made the waiting and the crowds much more bearable. We made jokes, we saw the Christmas junk and Travis got a kick hanging out with G, his little girl friend.
He fretted about sitting on Santa’s lap this year. Last year he was fine, the year before not so
much. It’s strange. We told him that Santa would have no idea what he’d want for Xmas otherwise. This sort of contradicts the idea that he sees Travis when he’s sleeping (creepy!) and he knows when he’s awake (creepier!). You think ol’ beardy would be able to figure out what to bring Travis, but so it goes.
We had him sit up on Jolly(?) St. Nick’s lap and he was good. Jake was completely fine with the process, too. He’s got his usual deer in headlights look on. I think he said “Oh, wow” a couple times, but he was a real trooper. Travis was perfect. When Santa asked what he wanted, lil’ TKT didn’t hesitate. “A DS.” (that’s a Nintendo DS for the uninitiated). When asked to speak on Jake’s behalf, he said: “Bring him a book.” Hilarious. Jake can’t read!
And I don’t mean to pick on Santa. I’m sure he’s had a long day, but dude. You’re, uh…kind of scary. Also: STERN.
Sliding/Sledding – Today we decided it was time to hit the slopes. For anyone who knows me pretty well, you’ll know I’m not talking about skiing. That’s a story for another day. We wanted to take Travis sliding and…
Wait. What’s that? Sliding doesn’t sound right? Well, I’ve ALWAYS called going-down-a-hill-on-a-plastic-sled sliding. Always. When you take a car out for a drive, you’re not going “carring” are you? Didn’t think so!
Anyway, we’ll argue about this later. I know of a bunch of great hills, but sadly they’re all the way on the other side of the Twin Cities and we live closer to the Wisconsin border. So…I did what any red-blooded geek would do. I called on the interwebs. I found a list of hills in the immediate area and away we went.
We drove FOREVER and couldn’t find any of the hils. Seriously. We could’ve driven to the sweet hills in Nordeast Minneapolis three times for all the miles we drove aimlessly searching for these stinkin’ slopes. We found a little hill on near a golf course in a scary part of St. Paul and went for it. The results were comedy platinum.
Travis loved it…and this was a TINY little hill. I can’t wait to take him onto the big ‘uns I’m used to. All was well until he somehow hit a rough patch and ended up doing a face plant right into the snow. Seriously. His face was buried…a true, midwestern” whitey.” He was not pleased.
Jake loved it too. He resembled the little brother from A Christmas Story all bundled up. He was like an immovable doll that wore a huge smile. Laura set him into a sled and fired him down the hill. He was laughing and smiling like he was doing something he wasn’t supposed to. Quality.
But yeah…there’s something about having the little guys and a wife who’s REALLY into the holidays that sort of makes a scrooge like me ease up a bit. It’s fun to see all of this happen through their eyes and the excitement of crushing snow chunks of the street, climbing snowbanks, and firing snowballs at unsuspecting people (usually me).
As much as I sort of wish we lived somewhere where the weather is nicer and there isn’t as much hassle, I get it now.
And that’s saying a lot.