St. Nicholas Eve

I got gold coins today. To put in our shoes tonight. For St. Nicholas Eve. This is a big step.

Since Wee One’s arrival, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to tell her about Santa and all the other Christmas “things.”  Do I want to do Elf on the Shelf? Do I want to go all out with Santa? Only talk about Jesus? Talk about the other holidays around the end of the year?

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Did You Know Santa Wrote Letters?

Since I had Wee One, Santa has been a problem. By which I mean, should I tell her he exists? Am I lying to her? Am I fooling her? My large concern is if I am hurting her, of course, and I’ve struggled to find a way to share this with her without hurting her.

I’ve asked folks what they have done and how they see it, and surprisingly, have gotten some ugly comments, defensive and sometimes insulting. People are really defensive about Santa.

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Christmas Songs That Suck

If you are in the United States, you have been hearing Christmas music since probably the middle of October, except for those few stalwart stations that refused to play it until after Halloween, (which is still a month too damn long in my opinion). By the time the blessed day arrives, we’re sick of most of the music.

To be fair, there is a lot of crappy christmas covers to go around. Everybody and their brother wants to get in on the holiday cash cow share their personal favorites with fans. Justin Beaver, New Kids On The Block (and I came of age with NKOTB!), Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Aqua…

Its been a long time since we’ve had a Top Ten Tuesday around here and this it a perfect opportunity to vent about the songs that suck.

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Christmas Movies That Are Not Christmas Movies

Living at Casa In-Laws means the TV is on a lot, which wouldn’t be my preference, but we go with it. They like to watch Hallmark seasonal movies and I can’t even be mad. They’re formulaic movies, but its a formula that works, and I don’t mind it playing in front if Wee One.

But they are obviously ‘Christmas Movies,’ and today I want to talk about Christmas movies that aren’t really Christmas movies. They are the ones I (and others) associate with Christmas.

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Weekend Coffee Share #9


If we were having coffee, you would be late and practically pushed in the door from the strength of the wind behind you. Is the wind always this strong in the winter? I ask you, and you shake your head and keep walking to the counter.  You return with a croissant and coffee, and talk a bit about Christmas shopping. I’m preparing to travel, I tell you, so I haven’t been making many purchases – I’ll have to fly with it all!

I’m going to be on the road for a couple of weeks, and I’m going to miss Washington. You aren’t planning to leave the region, maybe go to Oregon, because a lot of people who live here are from Oregon. That is only one place on my list of places to visit while I live out here, I tell you, and you invite me for a visit with your family anytime. I want to go to Montana, Northern California and retrace steps I took in high school to the northwestern point on Washington and Tatoosh island.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about being a Seattle tourist and going to Pike Place Market. It was a lot of fun and not as far or hard to get to as I thought it would be.  Perhaps I am used to Mid-Western distances, but it used to take me 30ish minutes to drive to work every morning (and then a half hour back, or, if I took the bus, a 30 minute walk to and from the bus stop, plus an hour to the city), so driving 30 minutes to the Market or 20 minutes to story time in another town is nothing. Even with the horrible traffic – and it really does suck – its not that bad.

Ooh! But I saw one of the tent cities I’d heard about! I tell you, and you make a face of confusion. It seems that the city of Seattle actually allows homeless people to build up “tent cities” to live in.  St. Louis doesn’t officially permit tent cities, though they line the river bank, particularly on the south side of the city. I remember visiting a few of them on the north side, about where they want to build the new football stadium right now. My agency had a Mobile Outreach team and I went with them to visit some of the folks living in the tents.  We brought boxes of sandwiches and bottles of water, and checked in with people. A few people asked specific questions about vet representatives or clothing giveaways. They were working on getting their lives back together, though they were living off the grid.

If we were having coffee, we would each comment on how much we’ll miss meeting over the next few weeks and wonder if we could Skype? Or just text messages. This makes me think of a conversation I had with some friends last night. Some of us were in St. Louis, I was in Seattle, another one of us was in Costa Rica, and the other was in London. It was so cool for all of us to be chatting together in real time.

We’re going to meet for Sunday brunch after Christmas. We all used to be travel buddies, traveling together or visiting people and places based on each other’s recommendation. Now two of us are married, two are living abroad, and I have the Wee One. Oh, the places we’ve gone! It’ll be fun.

We part, eager to return with stories and insights.





Wee One’s Christmas List


Inspired by a letter to Santa from a 10 month old baby, this week I am imagining what my Wee One would like for Christmas.

  1. Mirrors. She loves mirrors. She geeks out whenever she spys her reflection in something, and I hope that she always looks upon herself with such glee.
  2. A piece of yarn. She’ll hold it over her head, twist her hand around to watch it fall, put the end of it in her mouth. Its precious.
  3. An iphone. I rarely let her play with mine, which only increases the attraction, I know. Hence its place on her wish list.
  4. A go-go-gadget extendable arm. Something that will allow her to reach the little things like candles and keys and machetes that mom puts a little too far away.
  5. A disembodied head. Something with hair she can pull with impunity, a mouth she can fishhook, and eyes she can gouge.
  6. Paper. Lots of paper to crinkle and eat.
  7. A cord. Any kind will do: computer, vacuum, TV.
  8. Buttons. She just recently found them (sewn onto a shirt!) but I think she would like to see more. And maybe off a shirt, so she can just look at the whole button on its own.

Okay, only eight. But she’s only nine months, so to her, this is a lot. And In case anyone wonders, Santa will not be bringing her any of those things. Not because of any naughtiness but just because there are better things waiting. 🙂