just ponderin'

… on apples falling from trees

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou know the saying, ‘The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree’?

Ya?

You know the horror that courses through your veins when someone telling you that you are acting just like your mother?

I’m about to mortify my kid.

The oldest one.

I think she can take it.

Every year, about a week before Thanksgiving, I send out an e-mail (or request if you live at home with me…Gabe) requesting Christmas lists from my kids. They know (because I have told them so, and proven it beyond a shadow of a doubt over the years) that I have a very close relationship with Santa Claus.

So it’s sort of like when you are networking for a job.

Yes. I have just likened the most holy of Christian holidays to employment acquisition.

God’s lightening bolt is never far from jolting my badonkadonk into the next dimension.

Or sanity.

Because a jolt from a lightening bolt could be considered the ultimate in shock therapy, don’t you think?

Never mind. I think it was Zeus who hurled lightning bolts anyway. Which means I’ve been screwing up my Christian and Greek Mythological references for years. Which is going to result in either a lightening bolt or a chastising burning bush showing up at any moment.

Either way, it’s not good.

I’d better type fast.

So anyway, about a week before Thanksgiving, I ask my kids to hand over their Christmas lists because they know that my close relationship with Santa will ensure that their lists don’t just end up in the pile with all the other lists (see? There’s the networking for employment acquisition reference, sprung to life and applicability right before your very eyes), and will be seen and discussed directly with the big guy right away.

Yep. Even with Christmas, it all comes down to who ya know.

When the kids were little, they would write down their lists and hand them over in envelopes decorated with bribes…er, candy canes, and pictures (Gabe’s has no bribes nor pictures in the photo at the top of this post. It is because he was four and the letter itself probably wore him out). Later, the letters were more elaborate (and legible).

The rules and expectations were always the same, you could write down whatever you wanted on your list from Santa but Santa might bring you one thing on your list, a few things on your list, or he might decide that he has a better idea (after creepily knowing when you are sleeping or awake all year-long) and substitute your list with his own, based on his own wisdom and experience in gift giving. 

But have at it, my little cherubs, wish away!

So the tradition continues to this very day, with 19-year-old Sam, 22-year-old Jack (the half a kid), and 21-year-old Mac away at school and 15-year-old Gabe here at home. They all still get very excited about writing their Christmas lists.

I just received Mac’s list, all the way from Kentucky via a program called Prezi.

I should say that what my darling daughter has actually put on her list, in excruciating detail, would most likely bankrupt Santa’s workshop thus requiring the North Pole Federal Reserve to request a bailout (and, really, how fair is it to expect the Easter Bunny to bail out the entire North Pole when he has been so responsible with his own budget?).

Oh, so anyway, the apple-tree thing.

I just got Mac’s list and am including it all here, mainly because the whole thing is pretty dang funny and it includes the phrase, “It’s supes cute” which is not remotely a phrase my daughter expects to use without a massive guffaw exploding from somewhere deep inside me.

Also, I am including it because I nearly fell over when I read her first page. For you long time readers (what is what, a whole four months now?), you will recognize the first two naughty things she says she did not do this year (because I have written about her doing them in the past). The third? It happened. And I reserve the right to write about that at some point in the future.

The others?

Eh. Who knows.

But the other thing I like … no … the other thing I love?

I love that my kids all still get really excited when the time comes to create their Christmas lists. I love that they go all out and have no idea what is going to end up in their wrapped packages on Christmas morning. I love that they love the season. I love that it gets inside them. And it isn’t about what’s on the list – sure the idea of getting any sort of present is exciting – but that creating the list is about the magic of Santa and Christmastime.

I know it’s become fashionable to complain at Christmastime. I know all the arguments about not using the term, Christmas so as not to offend anyone who isn’t Christian. I get that the lines are long and sometimes people are cranky. Traffic is awful and the parking places are few.

I don’t care.

We don’t care.

I got my daughter’s Christmas list today and I laughed out loud at how she created it, what she had to say, and the fact that her sense of humor is a lot like mine. She would truly be mortified to hear it, but my apple didn’t fall far from the tree (though she is better than I am, in many, many ways).

Here is what Mac sent me. The link is right below the image.

macschristmaslist13

Click here to see the list itself, complete with her favorite Christmas song from her childhood. (You use the arrows to click through it and it is best in full screen mode).

In our house, the Christmas season officially starts as soon as Santa appears at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. All bets are off then, Miracle on 34th Street is the first movie that goes on after the parade (and, nope, it isn’t the original. The kids grew up with Richard Attenborough as Santa Claus (which meant Santa also ran Jurassic Park. I wonder if they found that strange)). Friday is Decorating Day. The official day of light hanging and Dingle home transformation. And we’ll probably get the tree over that weekend.

Christmas is coming people. Bring on the crowds and traffic and craziness, sure.

Dingles don’t care.

With a name like this, how could we?

We’re too focused on bringing on the magic.

Dingle bells, Dingle bells…. Dingle all the way!

Thanks for readin’.

As always, you can come on over to Just Ponderin’s facebook page to comment or just hang out.

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