Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’
You suck, Santa!! Seriously, what is wrong with you?
My wife hit me last night. Hard. Sucker punched really, for I was sound asleep. She used a book. Check that. She used a Bible. She said it was a spider and it was coming towards her. I asked her if it was coming towards her then how is was that she happened to hit me? She just smiled and rolled back over. I’ve got a bruise on my leg in the shape of a cross and I’m walking with a slight limp this morning. I suppose I should be thankful that the “spider” wasn’t crawling near my head–or worse.
That was around 2:30 am. About an hour later a seal woke me up. I curly headed seal, crying and feverish. Said she didn’t feel well. Maura took her downstairs for some medicine and returned a few minutes later to inform me that she feels better now, oh and she threw up all over the kitchen floor.
However, and any of you with children can surely attest to this, one of the sure fire kick starts to the Christmas season is your child’s school Christmas Gala. The Christmas Pageant. The Christmas Concert. The Christmas Play. Whatever label you happen to attach to the event you can rest assured you’re going to be subjected to some of the most cliché Christmas carols sung by your most precious and their classmates the majority of whom are incapable of standing still for the two minute duration of BOTH verses of We Wish You A Merry Christmas and it’s even less likely that the key they choose to belt out said carol will resemble any musical arrangement of notes or chords ever conceived. “You mean to tell me I put on a tie for THIS!?” I’ve been there. I feel your pain. I vividly recall our first parent-teacher conference with Zoë’s pre-kindergarten teacher. She mentioned that Zoë was not participating in music class and had many times asked to remain in the classroom and help out while the other kids left for their music lessons. In one of the most tactful statements I have ever heard from a teacher regarding a co-worker Zoe’s teacher said, “I suppose I can understand how Zoë feels. She (the music teacher) has a voice that is perfectly suited………….to not teaching music.”
Never the less for two years we sat through the Christmas Concerts, smiles painted on and my tie like a noose choking out what life the horrible singing might have left in me. We changed schools this year. No, not because of the singing! There were other things and stuff we considered. But, I was prepared for another less than stellar Christmas Performance. Prepared? Hell, I had been training for the past two years. I suppose one of the things I have learned as a cynic is that if you set your bar of expectation really low…..A) it’s hard to be disappointed and 2) should something great happen you have set yourself up to be totally blown away. I can honestly say that this year’s Christmas Gala a) did not disappoint and 2) totally blew me away. These kids did a fantastic job. They were well rehearsed, well behaved, they sang together and in tune. To boot, the selections were not the cliché Rudolph and Away in a Manger. OK, so they did sing Silent Night. Check that. They sang Stille Nacht. That’s right. They sang it in German. One hundred voices of first and second graders accompanied by their music teacher playing his guitar singing Silent Night in German. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. And if that won’t get you in the Christmas Spirit then….then….your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable.
Oh, and the other thing that made this Christmas Gala so fantastic, Zoë’s solo. That’s right. Her very first solo.
I’m not sure if a person can die from being proud of his daughter but, I gotta tell you. If you can….this ain’t such a bad way to go.
On a typical day I am barraged with countless questions, some pertinent others totally insignificant, statements, some declarative, some observational some hypothetical, sounds, ticks, screams, whispers and silences….and that’s just from the voices in my own head. Couple that with the voices of five children, only three of whom actually possess any understandable form of the English language. The twins, God bless them, understand language they just don’t use it. I spend quite a bit of each day engaged in a bizarre game of charades in an attempt to decipher their impassioned yet incomprehensible mutterings. “I know!! You said Llellow. But that means nothing to me and you are pointing towards an empty wall. Why are you saying Llellow and why are you so mad at that wall??!! Zoë, please help me. What is your brother trying to say?”
“Dad. He wants to change his shoes. He also said that he drew you a picture but couldn’t find the crayons so he used your purple sharpie. I took it away from him and he got upset so he sat on Zella and she kicked him. Also he wants some juice….Can I have a cookie?”
“He said all that?”
“No, Dad. I can’t tell what he’s saying. Can I have a cookie?”
It’s quite easy to see how a person might seem a bit out of sorts from time to time.
So here’s just a smattering of the things that have rattled in my head and world in the past few days. Call it a random post, if you will.
iPod and the Song List
We spend quite a bit of each day in the car. It’s 20-25 minutes to school and I make the trip at least twice a day. If you need help with the math, we’re at close to two hours. My mother-in-law works at the school and normally takes the kids in the morning. I honestly don’t know how I would do it all without her. Three hours in a van every day is just a bit much, not just for me but for the kids. Anyway, our commute provides ample opportunity for music appreciation and thanks to iPod we’ve got plenty of music. I try to rotate the requests and thought I’d share one of our most recent. Keep in mind that this was a total request hour. They got to choose.
Zoë: Popular — Wicked soundtrack
Defy Gravity — Wicked soundtrack
No Good Deed — Wicked soundtrack
(Zoë, if you couldn’t tell, loves the Wicked soundtrack. Knows almost the entire thing. There’s a performer in her just bursting to get out.)
Me: London Calling — The Clash
Live — Lenny Kravitz
19th Nervous Breakdown — The Rolling Stones
(Hey, it was total request, remember. You get your music on your turn.)
Zane: Fix You — Coldplay
All These Things That I’ve Done — The Killers
King of Pain — The Police
(That’s MY BOY!)
Zoë is a remarkable reader. She recently commented about how her class did a reading project to help give books to needy families. She’s not the best at explaining things but essentially, as a class, they had to read 100 books in two days and then the needy kids got free books. That’s all of the details I got. I’m sure there was more to it but it’s not the point here. She proudly stated that as a class they read 107 books in their two days. Remarkable, I thought. “How many did you read, Zoë?” “Eleven!” “Eleven?!” “Yep.” There are 25 kids in Zoë’s class. Zoë’s efforts represented about 10% of the class total. Now, I’m not one to call names here but…..SLACKERS!!! Someone is not pulling their weight. I’m also a proud pappa!
One Goes Out and They All Go Out!!
You’ll notice there are no ornaments on the bottom third of the tree. What are you supposed to do when you have toddlers enamored with all things sparkly?
Get Your Coats!
Winter has officially arrived. For the past week, our high temperatures have been around 35-36 degrees. Dark, gray skies are the norm and the wind is biting. I’m having to adjust our dash from the house routine by starting a few minutes earlier to allow for the requisite bundling. So now instead of “Who needs to pee? Get your shoes on? Where are your socks? No we don’t need to take your backpack. Yes, we’ll be right back. Leave that here. You don’t need that. COME ON LET’S GO!!”…..OK. I still say all of that. But now I have to add, “Let’s get your coats.” Today, Zella hopped right into hers. Left arm. Right arm. Zip. Then came Zander. He missed with his left arm. Finally found a sleeve, the right sleeve with his left arm, and had to start over. “Zander. How is it that your sister can do this so easily and you can’t find the….” I stopped myself. I just don’t think he needs to be saddled with that quandary just yet.
It’s been a truly wacky football season. I don’t know why or how nor do I really care. Just beat those buck nuts!!
OK. So it’s not the quintessential Christmas Playlist.
But unless your heart is two sizes too small…..it’s sure to brighten your Christmas spirits.
1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing — Bryan Duncan
2. Please Come Home for Christmas — B.B. King
3. Little Drummer Boy (Grinch Mix) — Jars of Clay
4. O Tannenbaum — Stanley Clark, George Duke, Everette Happ
5. O Little Town of Bethlehem — Nat King Cole
6. Winter Wonderland — Dave Koz
7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer — Fats Domino
8. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus — Dave Koz
9. White Christmas — Bing Crosby
10. Greensleeves — Vince Guaraldi
11. Grown-Up Christmas List — Bryan Duncan
(Disclaimer: This is my very first attempt at creating a podcast. It was not easy! It was not fun! It literally sucked the Holiday Spirit from my very core. So, if you happen to not like this carefully selected, thoughtfully arranged and festive selection of Christmas music…..I don’t care!! Santa knows where you live. He knows…..)