War on Thanksgiving?

November 24, 2015

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We have RULES in this family, dammit. There are certain expectations for all of us. We must uphold our values, no matter how societal pressures influence us. These restrictions are hard and fast and non-negotiable.

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I am exaggerating. A little. But a certain sisterly person of mine…she better watch.

You can do whatever you like in your own house, of course. And if I don’t like a store’s policy of putting out Christmas decor or playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, I don’t need to shop there. Oh wait, it’s Target and Walmart mostly, so yes, I do. But anyway. If it makes people happy, who am I to want them to delay their happiness?

However, I want to get up on my non-tinseled soapbox and explain why there is no Christmas music or decorations in my house before the turkey has had his due.

  • Because I love Christmas. I love it so very much, and I don’t want it to lose its meaning or specialness by stretching it out earlier and thinner.
  • I have an almost spiritual relationship with Christmas music (said the corniest dork in the world) and I don’t want to hate it because I hear it too much. Please. Occupational hazard: We music teachers start our Christmas concert rehearsals in September. Ugh.
  • It’s not “the most wonderful time of the year” if it’s like 1/4 of the calendar.
  • The pushing-it-earlier thing really seems to be mostly about consumerism. You can see this in the big controversy of whether stores should be open for Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving. I vote “no”, but with gratitude for anyone who is there for me to buy Tums or cooking supplies I forgot to get the day before. Love you. Hope you get off early. 
  • The giving part of Christmas isn’t emphasized in the earliness much, it seems. I’ve seen lots of ads for flat screens and toys, but not one Salvation Army bell ringer person yet. We have taken gift suggestions off the giving tree at work, though.
  • Remember the “War on Christmas”? I also embrace it as a cultural holiday that doesn’t need to have anything to do with religion, if you want to tar and feather me for that while we’re here. Shouldn’t we be outraged about a lack of (Christian, or whatever) gratitude?

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  • My BIG (hippie, buzz-kill, left-wing, Scrooge) reason: This is very “Ugly American” to me. We are sweeping under the rug the holiday in which we celebrate the cooperation with and gratitude towards the native people who made it possible for European settlers to, oh, I don’t know, not DIE, and the only holiday for pausing to recognize that we are SO. DAMN. LUCKY to be alive and well. We should push for more GIVING in the “Thanksgiving”, too. I’m working on that in my own home this year, slowly but surely, I swear.

All of that is some important S#*T!  That is not Christmas Part 1!! I go on little rants about this to my own children and they stare blankly and think I’m weird. 

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In your own home, you should do what you want. I will roll my eyes when I drive by your tree-filled window, and you can roll your eyes at this post. Whatevs. Nobody is over here telling me when to do stuff. Except the smoke alarms. The fire department is pretty keen on us checking those every time we celebrate Daylight Savings. 

Christmas is awesome. There are traditions and parties and special moments that are like yearly spiritual renewing in our busy lives. It’s a connection to our childhood and a stepping stone into the future as we build traditions with our kids that they will remember just as fondly.

But we owe it to the universe to emphasize the importance of truly counting our blessings first. That’s all.

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Let them eat candy!

November 1, 2015

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Halloween is over!

Before we settle into the debate about when it’s acceptable to listen to Christmas music (Thanksgiving evening. Period.), we should discuss what to do with all that candy. Is this even a question? Eat it. Oh, you mean for the KIDS? Some parents allow their kids only “a couple” of pieces Halloween night and then ration 1-or-2-a-day for a month or two afterward. And snack on it themselves. Yes, we’re on to you. Some parents figure it’s a holiday, and let the kids have the bucket for the night or day afterwards, and most of the sugar-laden junk is gone in a day or so. After Mommy and Daddy have dipped in to take their “parent tax”. Yes, we’re on to you, too. 

Hubby and I are in the latter camp. Actually we’re in BOTH camps, as far as eating their candy goes. When we get home from Trick-or-Treating, everybody’s usually tired and just about ready to crash into bed. We let the girls have freedom with the pumpkin bucket for 24 hours or so, then it goes “away” and the remaining candy is seldom asked for anyway. We feel like it’s a special day and the rules should be stretched on such occasions. So yes, we let them eat like 50 pieces of candy over the course of a day. We eat an undisclosed amount ourselves in that time. Then it’s out of our lives, except for the random pieces nobody wants. They get thrown out when I clean out the pantry over Christmas break.

It turns out, we’re RIGHT! Ha! I love being right! I also love this article, and its mention that 10 beers will wash away stubborn gummy candy lodged in adult teeth, too.  Let Kids Gorge On Halloween Candy, Dentists Say

My other justification for letting them rot their insides one day a year is that, if we ration it, it’s just going to be around longer to tempt them and me. And it’s just one more thing I would have to monitor.

Obviously, you do what works in your house. All I know is Halloween is one fun, long day – and usually involves me plodding down the street, hypocritically telling them “No, I will not carry your heavy bucket, that is YOUR candy, you can carry it.” I need no more to do than I already have.

I am too busy carrying my own sustenance.

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#parentinghacks  #notwater

How about you? “Eat ALL the candy!!” or save it to be savored later?

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