The Big All-Encompassing Happy ChrismaHanuKwanzukah One.

I can’t believe the entire Christmas hullabaloo went by without a post. So let’s do this right quick.

First, we picked a tree, naturally. We went to our usual tree farm. It was a beautiful day – and early, too. Laurel had a Fiddler performance that we had to get to downtown by late morning, so we were rushing around. All was good, though, and Ethan even broke into uncontrollable giggles at the sight of the farm dog pooping alongside the tractor path.

As if he’d never seen that around the house.

On the other hand, he is a six-year-old boy, and there is nothing funnier to a six-year-old boy than poop and farts.

Christmas Tree victim

Ethan was so excited about helping Greg cut down the tree. That lasted for all of about 15 seconds before he realized (as I had told him) that cutting down Christmas trees really is harder than it looks, and that’s why we bring Dad along. No matter, though, Ethan is good at supervising and Greg is good at taking direction, so everything worked out.

cutting

Unfortunately, it’s even more difficult to haul the tree back to the pick-up spot. This is particularly true when the tree is a spiny fir tree, the pick-up spot is a quarter-mile away, and your six-year-old son is alternately laughing with glee at your plight and trying to trip you as you haul the hulking thing around.

haulingtripping

From Festus, we hauled ass to get back home and get the tree into water while Laurel changed into her Colonial Fiddlers costume so we could drive alll-alllll-alllllllllllll the way downtown to the Old Courthouse for a performance. We also cleaned blood from the spots where the tree had poked tiny holes in Greg’s ear as he was carrying it around. Oh, joyful day!

Laurel fiddling

By the way, the acoustics in the Old Courthouse are pretty awesome, largely owing to the beautiful dome:

old courthouse dome

BUT!

After the performance, out we came, hungry and eager to try a new restaurant when we came upon this:

bump

Yeah, that’s our car in the front. AWESOME, right? For a reading of my attitude about the situation, note the crossed arms and defensive posture in the corner of the photo.

Sigh.

Oh, and by the way, the broad who hit us wasn’t even in a legal parking spot.

St. Louis City being what it is, Greg and I debated back and forth about whether to even bother calling the cops about this. In the end, however, experience has taught us that while something may look minor, you can have troubles down the line, so we called. We only waited maybe 20 minutes for a response – sweet. The officer showed up, thoroughly chafed that he was being bothered about such things I’m sure, but he was fairly adept at hiding his annoyance. He took the information, mistook me as the person who had hit the car until we explained that no, I was not the resident dumbass in the situation. Just as he was wrapping up, the real driver of the car showed up. And boy, was she a character.

“Is there something wrong?” she asked.

We told her what she’d done, pointed it out to her, and she was So Exasperated that we would even dare to bother with such a non-event. And, much to my chagrin, she was wearing an Occupy t-shirt.

Ugh. That’s really frustrating to me, because I support the Occupy movement, and here’s this gal, parking in an illegal spot, bumping into us, accusing us of not having been there when she got there (we assured her we had veritable hordes of witnesses in the Old Courthouse who would happily march out and attest to the opposite), and acting all up in arms because SHE hit US.

She even told us this had happened before and she was shocked – SHOCKED! – when she got a bill a few months later from the driver she hit.

Fucking whatever. If you don’t want to be billed for damaging people’s cars, how about you, I dunno, DON’T GO AROUND HITTING THEM? Looking back, I REALLY wish I’d said something to her about straightening her act up and not representing the 99% so fucking poorly. I mean, dammit, park in legal spots at the very least, and be respectful when you damage property.

At any rate, she was in luck because the next day I had the car assessed and was told the scuffs she made probably wouldn’t lead to a pyramid of damage down the line. Just in case, though, we’ve got her name.

Moving right along.

We didn’t have time to decorate the
tree at all until two or three days later. That’s how our December has been, folks. In fact, we might as well just fast-forward past all the orchestra and Fiddler performances, all the classes and baking and buying and all of that, with the exception of one Glorious Day when we had SNOW! A whole dusting of it! And it sort of stuck to the deck! Well, at least it stuck long enough for this:

snow

I think that photo sums it up.

So now on to Christmas morning.

Oh, wait! Silly me. I would be remiss if I didn’t display the manner in which Ethan came home from his school lock-in one Friday.

Talk about a mess. And yes, in the photos below his hair is striped like a candy cane, his nails are painted black and white, his mouth is surrounded by blue food dye, and he has a three-foot-long licorice in a bag.

Ethan as a candy canelook at his face

WOW. We even paid money for that.

And yes, we put up the Christmas lights this year and had them working and the whole shebang, but then we got a bunch of moisture and the GFI kept tripping and the lights stopped working and so all was for naught. Next year, by god, we’re putting them up in October and I will be CERTAIN the damned things are working because it took hours – HOURS for me to do the programming, it was super-cute and made me giggle to see it, and for what? For nothing! Joyeux Noel, everyone! Hell!

Okay, really, Christmas morning.

Ethan bounded out of his room plenty early, and after much groaning and whining, Greg and I dragged ourselves out of bed for the annual ritual of opening the presents from Santa as we wondered why we do this every year. But look! Such joy! Such happiness! Such….

Ethan

…yeah, well.

We have some photos of Laurel, too, but she was making faces in all of them, so.

And that was Christmas.

The day after Christmas, we had the tree down, the lights down, and everything clear for the New Year. It was so exciting to put those decorations up, and so exciting to take them down.

It was all fun and games (and bickering between the kids and storming around and overeating to excess and bloating and all) but now the break is just about over. School resumes on Monday – not a moment too soon for all concerned.

Happy New Year, everyone.