Sunday, November 16, 2008

God Will Give Me a Pogo Stick

It seems that Christmas is coming early this year, as it seems it arrives earlier than it did the year before. Soon enough, we’ll only have to cook one turkey on Thanksgiving and there’ll be leftovers for Christmas. We went down to Dos Lagos last night and witnessed the longest, most drawn-out tree lighting ceremony ever…and all they did was flip a switch, but we had to wait for the emcee, Santa himself, to give his approval. Apparently he was stuck on the freeway, and when they announced that, I wondered how many kids looked up at their parents, and through innocent eyes, asked, “Why doesn’t he just fly here with his reindeer?” And since it was only 80 degrees out, which puts only a few people in the mood for Christmas, I’m surprised Santa didn’t collapse from heat stroke in his giant suit… and it explains why he was walking so slowly.

But then after they flipped the switch on the giant tree and all the twinkley lights made the crowd go “ahhhh,” he was taking Christmas wishes from kids in front of Victoria’s Secret, which would be the first place I would have thought to mix Santa and children on a warm Friday night.

All of the stores are decked out with that one sections that smacks Old Saint Nick right in your face without actually saying Christmas; it’s all “Happy Holidays,” a well-dissolved blanket greeting that will certainly not upset anyone who celebrates one of the non-holidays this time of year. Do you know anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas? And if you do, are they frequently offended by seeing the word Christmas? Odds are good they aren’t. Anyways, as my frustration with PCC (Politically Correct Consumerism) rises as we get closer to Christmas, I’m sure I’ll have more to add on this topic.

A couple of years ago, Natalie’s Christmas wish list resembled a phone book, and I don’t know how many times I answered “Put it on your Christmas List” when she saw something she wanted, knowing full well that she would soon forget about it by the time the next commercial started. And that’s okay. I was good with it, because I remembered as a kid getting the Winter JCPennys catalog and pouring through the toy sections creating the perfect playroom amassed with piles of Christmas loot. Today, as it was back then, that will not happen. Natalie and Matthew know nothing of prices and economies and bills and all of the joyous taxes our new exalted leader will bring us next year…and I’m a little sad that I know all too much about those things and have to deal with them on a daily basis.

Natalie slowly slipped out of that phase, and now she just circles stuff in the myriad catalogs that flood our mailbox this time a year. Really, how many American Girl doll catalogs do we actually need? The one last week was good enough, and Natalie’s getting carpel-tunnel syndrome circling all of the dolls she wants…but I don’t see her as the greedy type. On Halloween, she had more fun giving out candy at the door than she did getting it; perhaps it is because she doesn’t much like chocolate and that’s all that is really out there (we gave out pencils one year…I’m surprised we didn’t get egged).

And just when Natalie is out of that greedy Christmas-is-for-getting stage, Matthew is easing on into it. There isn’t a commercial that goes by his view that doesn’t contain something he doesn’t want, and watch out if get between the two of them when the Mattel, Hasbro or any number of toy catalogs come into the house.

So, recently, Matthew has been saying “I want that” to everything he sees. My answer? It’s the same as it has always been: “Put it on your Christmas List,” and since his birthday is 10 days before Christmas, I get to change it up a bit by alternating to “Put it on your Birthday List.”

The other night while we were all in the car heading somewhere, Matthew, perhaps tired of hearing the same answers over and over, says to himself, “God will give me a pogo stick.”

I didn't know he knew what a pogo stick even was, much less God's ability to give him stuff. I hope he's not too disappointed when that doesn't show up.

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