Oh, December!

12 12 2010

I’ve missed my blog.

I keep writing posts in my head, but can’t seem to sit down and focus long enough for them to be regurgitated. (Isn’t that one of the best words ever? So descriptive.) I’m working on family food culture and capitalism, but they are on the cusp of brilliance. I can’t let them just be regular, so they need more work.

In lieu of brilliance, then, I just thought I’d share a couple of unrelated things that happened last week.


The Christmas Store

At the elementary school, during every holiday they open a store during lunchtime. I was disgruntled originally (how much ‘stuff’ does one need from Oriental Trading, anyway?), but my friend pointed out how it gives the kids a safe place to shop to learn the ropes independent of a parent. (She’s a smart one.) I have since tried to acquiesce more graciously, especially since the reason I started paying the kids allowance was so they would have their own money to spend when it came to book orders and the ice cream truck . . . and the school store. (Unfortunately for all involved, I sometimes forget to pay them or don’t have cash, so I still have to endure the whining and begging . . . but in theory it’s sound.)

Zack, since he’s ten, gets paid $10 every month. I handed him his money one morning, and thought no more about it. He came home, having bought zero Christmas presents, but sporting a slap bracelet (they’re still around!) and a red top that lights up and plays bad electronic Christmas music when it spins.

It wasn’t until several days later that I was talking with a friend whose daughter is in Zack’s class that I heard what had happened prior to his shopping spree.

Zack has a hard time focusing on his class work. Because of this, he spends a lot of time inside at his desk instead of at recess. Apparently, on the day he took his allowance to school, he tried to grease his teacher’s palm, as the saying goes, in order to go out to recess.



(The teacher refused payment, naturally.  He’s in it for the ability to shape young minds, not the money.)


The Used Bookstore

Friday morning, after paying the girls’ their allowances and getting everyone off to school, I ran some errands and ended up in a used bookstore. (Crazy how that happens, isn’t it?)

After an hour or so (was it two?), my cell phone rang. It scared me. I don’t get a lot of calls on it. I answered, and it was my mom.

We chatted for a minute, and then she said, “Dad and I have been looking into flights, and we’d really like to fly you and the kids up on the 26th.”


Don’t get me wrong, there’s no place like home for the holidays, but it was so unexpected I couldn’t think for a minute.


“Yes, really.”

“I . . . can I think about it and call you back?”

I know that seems strange. It seemed strange in my head as I said it. It’s not like we have anything so essential planned during the week after Christmas that can’t be moved. Idaho! At Christmas! (or practically Christmas.)

However, I am not in a place where I can just grab my kids and get on a plane anytime I want.

So as I was browsing the stacks and thinking through what I needed to do to make it work, my cell phone rang again.

“Hi, Mom.”

“Hi, Wendy. Dad was looking a little closer at the deal, and discovered the price we thought was for all of you . . . was actually just one ticket.”

I started to laugh. “Oh. So it’s going to cost four thousand dollars to get us there?” I was joking.

A pause. “Actually, five.”

Then I started to laugh really hard.

“But we can still think about it . . . ” She trailed off. As if worried I was going to yell, “I say, that’s bad form! Rescinding your invitation!”

Really. We aren’t worth $1,000 a day, even for our extremely stimulating company.

The School Store, Part II

When the girls got home that afternoon, they had actually bought presents at the school store, and only one or two things for themselves. They were so excited they told me everything they’d bought (which they knew was a safe bet, since I’ve already forgotten) and for whom.

Rainbow placed her parcels under the tree, then handed one to me. “Open it, Mom!”

I’m a stickler about waiting for Christmas.

“I can wait, sweetie. Thank you.”

“No, Mom! This isn’t your Christmas present. This is just a present.” I looked at her doubtfully. “It was only 25 cents!”

I considered telling her you generally don’t tell people how much their present cost, but changed my mind. I opened the tissue-paper wrapped rectangle, and there was a book inside.

This book:

“It can help us get all ready for Christmas! You can clean the house.”

Ahh, perfect.

I read the first ten pages or so. I stopped after reading what one of the ladies keeps in her cleaning kit: toothpicks. So she can get gunk out of screw heads.

That kind of cleaning is, unfortunately, about a continent away from where I’m at. If I could just find the screw heads underneath all this clutter . . .

But it’s true what they say: it’s the thought that counts.

Happy December, everyone!



7 responses

12 12 2010

Um, if this post isn’t brilliance, I don’t know what is. Zach’s attempted bribery? Further confirmation that he and E would be BFFs. That is SO something he would do.

13 12 2010

Loved it! All of it. You make everyday life interesting and fun. Thanks!

13 12 2010

Oh my gosh! Screw heads!!!!!! There was something screwy in the head of that author! Too funny! I’m lucky if I can find my kitchen never mind the screws in the kitchen:)

14 12 2010
Mrs. Olsen

Ha ha! Your kid bribes teachers. That is hilarious. Too bad you can’t go “home” for Christmas. There’s always 24hours in a car with sugar-loaded kids though…?

14 12 2010

Loved the bribe! That’s the best. And sorry about the tickets. I know a rainy Christmas isn’t the same as a white one.

31 12 2010

Your kids are FUNNY! and smart. just like you.

2 01 2011

Love this post. Your kids are awesome.

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