Saturday, December 17, 2005

One for the weekend

Ho-ho-holiday thoughts for Saturday morning prior to making a trip to see family for a pre-Christmas celebration:

I can understand the allure of a prelit fake Christmas tree (so easy!), but I don't think I can give up the smell of a real one for anything. Even here in the ol' North State, where trees are apparently worth their weight in some semi-precious metal, I bit the fiscal bullet on this my first Christmas here and bought a 7-footer. As I type away here in the growing morning it sits a few feet away and smells so wonderful.

One year when I was a kid that we had 2 trees; one that took place of residence in the foyer and was the "kids' tree," and the "real" tree in the living room. That was a great year. Last year we had 2 trees in our house and it was just as great. Our house was so big we could have found room for several more with hardly any effort, and at $15-20 bucks a pop, even for the HUGE trees, it was affordable.

We usually make some kind of ornament every year as a family project (OK, me and the kids), but aren't this year. Too much Martha, not enough Tiff in that effort. This year there are multicolored lights and muticolored plastic ornaments and a big ol' gaudy wreath on the door, and it's all very very festive and just what the kids wanted and I don't care anymore about reaching for the inattainable goal of Southern Living perfection, though I do think I'm going to try to make a red velvet cake this year for dessert. I don't care if anybody likes it; it will fit into the whole "gaudy" theme so well that it's a culinary given. I may even decide to make a colorful dinner this year, with jello salad and that bright red stuff smeared all over a ham, and whatever else I can dig up. I'm thinking it would be best to locate a cookbook from the 50's or 60's, when food was dressed in little paper socks or covered in pimento strips and nestled lovingly in a bed of kale. Now THAT'S cookin'.

One nod to modern life DID creep in this year, in that I've done ALL my shopping online. To mixed effect. When I shopped, 2 WEEKS AGO, I was very very careful to only purchase those things that said they were available and would ship in 24 hours, because I didn't want to get all excited by the gift and then have to WAIT for it to arrive sometime after the BIG DAY, because really, what kid is going to understand that TARGET (ahem) couldn't find the thing that Mommy ordered in time to SEND it to them? Which, sadly, despite my so-smart ordering restrictions, happened. Which is also why, at 10 last night I was hunched in front of the computer, cancelling orders that suddenly weren't going to come in and making new orders of less-great stuff from another COMPANY because dammit not all the stuff was going to get here from the orders I placed 2 WEEKS ago and the space under the tree was going to look pretty freaking barren without "the replacements." (Hey, wouldn't it be cool to have THAT group around on Christmas? Wooo!) Oh, and for those of you who say - "just go to the store, you lazy person you, there are many toys of all kinds in those stores that you can buy and have right there in your greedy little mitts and you don't have to pay for shipping!" Yes, I know. I know of the mysterious thing called a "store," and also know that those "stores" are filled with the kind of people who sap the will to live right out of my soul, and (at least for me) my soul is worth the price of postage. Navigating around WalMart 3 weeks ago was like trying to get into a Japanese train, and I don't want to go there or anyplace like it again, especially with 2 kids in tow, because they're always around now and unless I take time off of work there's no time to shop without them around.

Which reminds me, I need to go get that bike Santa's bringing the elder. Shoot.

Wish me luck.


Erica said...

Wow - good luck! Update me on your situation cause I'm RIGHT there in the same S.O.L. boat with Amazon. I keep getting these emails that say "Oh, there's a delay with your order and now the stuff will arrive by 12/23"... and since I had it sent to the office, that means I have to actually GO to the office that day to be there for the UPS man so he won't NOT leave the stuff... and that's IF the stuff arrives on time and oh yeah - it's the ENTIRE Santa payload I'm waiting on. Like you, I was careful about when it would arrive, etc. And I can't actually cancel the order because it's already this close to shipping, apparently. (sigh)

And I went to Target yesterday. Not so bad inside. Less than 10 minutes to check out because they had every single register open. But the parking lot was a madhouse and everyone in the store and in the parking lot was a rude jerk. Aaaah, the season.

By the way, I loved your remark about that out-of-reach Southern Living perfection. I hear ya. And I esp. love the paper socks on the 50s food. Pimento strips AND olive studded goodness. MMMM.

Hey, have you ever read "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" by James Lileks? Highly recommended. Just don't order it from Amazon unless you're willing to wait till next year...

Anonymous said...

Ah, the gallery of regrettable food, and meat puppets, and 1970's Wisconsin motels! Ileks was one of the first sites I ever bookmarked; it's a darned rich vein to tap into!

It's funny - you had the WVSR and Ileks and go fug yourself or was it aunt purl?) on your favorites list before I even ever went to your website. Let's me know there's good company to be had out there on the internets.

Oh, I feel for you with the Santa-grams remaining undelivered. If it weren't for all the "pre christmas" gifts I have gotten the kids they might not have much at all on the big day. Of course I'll have to remind them about those already-gotten gifts when the time comes (inclusing the extra $100 I dropped at Barnes and Noble today), but hey, it helps to stretch out the season.!!