So, I’m putting this together beginning at 10:40 Sunday night. Christmas Vacation is on TV. The tree is lit. A Bell’s Christmas Ale is at my side. Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year.
Man, the holiday weekend went by fast. It seems like minutes ago we were out to eat on Wednesday night, watching basketball on the big screens, and thinking of all that the four days ahead held. Allow me to catch you up.
As my Facebook friends know, we made some controversial decisions Wednesday night. On our way home from dinner, M. said to her sisters, “We’ll get our tree on Friday and order pizza. It’s Dad’s Christmas tradition.”
A few minutes later, she asked if we could watch a Christmas movie when we got home. I reminded her that it was also my tradition not to watch Christmas movies, or listen to Christmas music, until after Thanksgiving.
“Most of your traditions are good, but that one is dumb, Dad,” she shot back.
So we watched Elf.
When we got to the part where Buddy moves in with the Hobbs family and he decorates their entire house, C. disappeared upstairs. A few minutes later she returned with a stack of paper and scissors. Soon she had a bunch of paper snowflakes and paper rings, just like Buddy. More confirmation that Buddy the Elf is just a giant eight-year-old.
Later that evening, I threw caution to the wind and decided to watch the Thanksgiving Orphans episode of Cheers the night before Thanksgiving, rather than on Thanksgiving night itself. Which makes sense. Watch it in preparation for the big day, rather than as a wrap-up.
Although, and this is crazy, the original episode aired on Thanksgiving night, 1986. I remember ER used to have big Thanksgiving episodes. Isn’t everything either football, a holiday special, or a rerun these days?
Thanksgiving was a fine day. Excellent food. Good company. No arguments amongst the family! As always, the girls began the day watching the Macy’s parade. I was busy in the kitchen most of the time, but if I can hazard a guess, M. was explaining everything to her sisters, C. was making observations that M. immediately shot down, and L. was cheering for Spider Man.
A big Thanksgiving tradition is for Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, to show up. And he did, right on schedule, and the girls were very excited to receive him. C. wrote him a note over the weekend that said:
Dear Elfie. Do you now (sic) how to read and right (sic)? Do you want to be my pen pal?1
So, like a good dad, I wrote her a note back, left-handed of course. After she read it, C. to S., “Mom, Elfie has bad handwriting!”
Today I found a note from M. asking if he would be her pen pal too. L. needs to get on it.
Friday we went out not-so-bright and early to get our tree. Not-so-bright because it was cold with heavy, snowy clouds blocking the sun. We went to our usual spot, picked out our usual Fraser Fir, and only deviated from our routine when it came time to load the tree. For the past seven years, we’ve thrown it inside the minivan to bring it home. No van this year means it went on top of the SUV. Which really isn’t that big of a deal, but the girls thought it was pretty great.
We got the tree up and most of the decorations in place by that evening. The new outside decorations worked as planned, and made the girls happy. We still have a couple things to get set up but, for the most part, the decorating is complete.
Watched a lot of football and basketball. I watched every KU basketball game on delay, usually making generous use of the fast forward button during breaks. A solid weekend. The kids are growing up, but they still have a ways to go.
The capper to the weekend came on Sunday, when S. and I were the beneficiaries of some corporate largesse and attended the Colts game for free. In a suite!
I can’t think of a better game to go to. Some early worries, a big rebound, and tons of big plays. Much better than the last Colts game I went to, the final game of the Peyton Manning era.
One thing I thought was incredible was how loud Andrew Luck is barking out the snap count. We were about a third of the way up in the stands, straight up from the goal line. Even when the Colts were on the opposite 20, if they were facing us, we could hear Luck yelling out to his linemen. He’s pretty good throwing the ball, too. Although my step-dad told me he was overrated and terrible on Thanksgiving.
Hopefully each of you had fine weekends, too, and are now basking in the glory of the Christmas music season.
- Spelling errors left because they are still charming. ↩