Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How To Work the Word "Dementor" Into Your Christmas Blog Post

Photo credit: 4rank via photopin cc
In my Ideal Reality, I love the Christmas season and all its trappings: the lights, familiar carols on the radio stations, chilly air, the excitement of the first snow. Fa la la la la.

But in Real Reality, the Christmas holidays make me a total Scrooge. There are days when I am filled to the brim with mean Christmas spirit. I bristle in crowds of shufflers, zombie gawkers, and photo-taking filibusterers who hold up foot traffic for as long as it takes to get a snapshot in which all 7 billion family members are smiling with their eyes open. The holiday season puts a spotlight on my misanthropic tendencies.

But I don't want to be a Scrooge, and over the years my family has developed  few traditions that fill our hearts and home with Christmas cheer.

Salt-dough ornaments. My twin daughters and I have been making salt-dough ornaments since 2008, when the girls were almost two years old. The tradition started from my selfish desire to stave off the boredom that often clouded our winter days. Our family Christmas tree is adorned with these creations. It's been fun to watch the girls' artistic skills grow. Here's a sample from this year:

Harry Potter and a reindeer (clicking the link will take you to my other blog, Mind Full of Literacy, which explains the HP ornament!)
Visit With Santa. I just can't stand in a line that stretches from KC to Canada to spend 30 seconds with the fat man. Sorry, dude. Put coal in my stocking. Put me on the "Worst Mother Of All Time" list. Do whatever you have to do, but I refuse to stand in line. For the past two years, we've addressed this quirk by visiting Santa at The Kansas City Zoo. He's usually there on a weekend in December. Admission is discounted, crowds are low, temps are bearable, animals are out. And it's a good Santa, too. We can take our own pictures, or order one from the official photograph for $5. We go early, pop in to see Santa, zombie gawk at a few animals, and then eat lunch out. Love this new family tradition!

Eat Early/Drive Far. I also can't stand to wait more than 30 minutes for a seat at a restaurant. No restaurant food is that good that I should have to wait that long. So, we do what the old folks do and eat dinner early. Like at 3 or 4. Restaurants are deserted and quiet, and the service is typically spot on. As for driving far, this refers to a new tradition I hope to start this year. There are so many great drive-through Christmas light displays in my area. But again, the line thing. (An aside: I can only hope we will never see a bread line/gas line situation while I'm alive. I won't make it). When you decide to invest time in a drive-through display, you are stuck. In your car. With kids. No way out. No way to turn around. I've read about a display that's about 30 minutes north of us. Smaller town. I want to try my luck. Maybe between Christmas and New Year's.

Truthfully, I do enjoy the holidays. I just enjoy them more when I can celebrate without a slow-moving mass of people sucking at my Christmas spirit like Dementors.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.

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