Oh, you must go see Caley's darling new Christmas Eve baby! And get this: she named him OLIVER! (If you go to the comment section of the Namer's Remorse post, you can actually SEE her choosing it.) Oliver is my favorite boy name, and it has been my goal to talk someone into using it. Hmm.....should I choose a new name now, or just a new pregnant woman?
I'm sitting here in a daze, drinking coffee in an attempt to animate my pajama'd limbs. There's a baby tiring of floor time. There are two toddlers who are going to leak through their nighttime diapers soon if I don't do something about it. There's a third-grader who will sleep late and then not be able to get to sleep tonight. There's a first-grader who wants me to tell him what he should make out of Model Magic.
But Paul is at work and it's the postpartum stage of Christmas. The "unpacking after the trip" stage of Christmas. The "morning after" of Christmas.
The presents are opened and must somehow be incorporated into the household. The glitter is back to looking tacky. The wrapping supplies must be packed up and put away. The house will look bare and plain, and the whole long winter stretches ahead.
I got a running start on this stage by feeling even as Christmas approached that the whole celebration was a little nuts. We hang little sparkly doodads on a TREE we bring into our HOUSE? We all go out and buy things for each other and hide them in decorated paper? The whole holiday is basically about swapping things? I felt like an anthropologist trying to puzzle out the strange ways of an ancient culture.
And indeed, that's what most of our Christmas traditions are: the strange ways of an ancient culture. "Christmas" is just the most recent name for a longstanding idea that winter could use a little glitter and booze to give it some life and hope. The current name was chosen by Christians who couldn't participate in the established pagan winter holiday but didn't want to give up the fun, either. Rename it! Give it religious significance! Then you can celebrate it! It was a clever workaround and the name was catchier than Pagan Winter Holiday, and it stuck.
Well, whatevs. We are not a religious history blog, nor are we truly anthropologists. Nor are we entirely sure when the word "anthropologist" can stand alone and when it needs an adjective such as "cultural" or "nutritional" in front of it. All we know (and can we drop the plural pronoun now? thanks) is that after Christmas is over, it seems like we still need glitter and booze.
The happy anticipation? Gone. The excuse to bake and eat? Gone. The pretty paper, the pretty ornaments, the pretty Christmas lights? Gone. The excuse to spend a little more? GONE GONE GONE. Now is the season for bills and for clean-up, and for commitments to diets that are going to be FOR REALS this time. It's no wonder we feel accompanying seasonal emotions.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...