Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Story

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse... the children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced through their heads...

Yeah. Right.

'Twas the night before Christmas and in the Louch house, Captain Chaos was stirring and much louder than a mouse... the child was not snuggled all warm in his bed, though visions of Legos were dancing in his head...

Preparing for Santa's visit tonight took some serious effort -- the sort that only a seven-year-old can swing.

"I cleared a space on the table for milk and cookies on the round table. Do you have the cookie plate? Can I leave him a chocolate bar? I'll unwrap it for him. I'm the first kid to leave him a candy bar. Should I put his name on it so he knows it's for him? How many cookies should we leave him?

"Can I leave my ferris wheel on for him to see? I bet he'll leave a note because it's so neat. Will he step on my Legos? Should we move them? I'll pour the milk for him. Here, Mom, put the cookies here. Is two enough? Should we put some of the chocolate chip out too? And we need a carrot for each reindeer! Do we have eight carrots? Rudolph doesn't need one because everyone leaves him one. I'll move my Legos so Santa doesn't step on them. Fuzz won't eat the cookies, will she? She doesn't eat chocolate.

"Hey, mom, does Santa make all the toys?"


"Does Santa make all of the toys. You know, like Hex Bugs and electronics and stuff?"

"No. He hires out to companies in China and Japan and Taiwan. It's called division of labor. They help him out with the electronics."

"Oh. Okay."

At this point, however, my husband the chimed in to correct me. "It's outsourcing."

"What's that, dad?"

I shot the big guy an amused look. Show off! Thought you were so smart. Now you're doomed. You got yourself into this, you get yourself out of this.

For the next ten minutes, my child grilled his dad on "outsourcing" and why Santa used those companies and not his elves and how he picked those particular companies and why just electronics and if the people who made the electronics got to visit the North Pole. The husband had to do some fancy footwork to make it all make total sense in terms of Christmas magic, in terms of the North Pole, and in terms of a seven-year-old's absolute belief in jolly old St. Nick.

Finally, his interrogation wrapped up, Chaos looked at his dad and made one final announcement. "I know Santa makes the stuffed animals himself because that's just sewing."

I looked at the husband as I answered for both of us. "Absolutely."

This time, the big guy opted to leave it at that.

Merry Chrismas Eve

For the first time since, my focus has been more on the holiday itself than on losing Dad five years ago. Perhaps this blog negates that statement, though. As I have for the previous four years, I tracked the day's events against those in 2005. Bring woken by my mom, getting ready, waiting for the hospice nurses to come, waiting for the funeral home to pick up the body... but for the first time, I'm not avoiding acknowledgement or feeling my usual Scrooge-like sentiment about "stupid holidays."

Instead, the iPod is playing a very wide variety of Christmas tunes, I made a few cookie trays, and I am even getting antsy about tomorrow morning. Sometimes I even sing along with the music.

I downloaded some new Christmas songs onto the iPod. Saucy, satiric ones that tickle my fancy. Osama got run over by a reindeer, for one. The Twelve Days of Christmas, as sung by Doug and Bob McKenzie. And then there is the less-than-conventional. I could have bought little Jackie Evancho's rendition of O Holy Night. But I opted for Weezer's version.

My guys are in the family room building a K'nex ferris wheel that my mom just gave Gav this afternoon. Well, the big guy is building. Gav is just watching and announcing that he's the supervisor.

I'm blogging while boiling the cavatelli. It's a peaceful holiday so far, which bodes well. So far the only "disaster" was the garbage disposal dying this morning. Not a big deal in the least.

A few times today I did think about that day. But five years gives one time to heal and, finally, I guess, things are a little less raw. And, you know what, though I often say it sarcastically, I do believe it -- Christmas comes regardless of us. Prepared or not, interested or not, fully decorated or not, it comes. The calender doesn't really care how you feel or what you think. So, honestly, may as well enjoy it.

I plan to. :)