I don't want to freak any of you out, but according to the calendar on my wall Christmas is in just over two weeks. This is impossible of course, because the calendar in my head says it's October. And it's not like I can get my bearings at the mall or Wal Mart, since they've had animatronic sales clerks robotting to "Grandma Got Run Over by her Oxygen Tank" since Labor Day. (Honestly, if I ever turn to a life of crime, I'm starting with knocking over a Wal Mart, on accounta I'm pretty sure I could outrun those greeters, even carrying a flat screen television and three cases of Diet Coke.)
And now that "broke" is the new black, I'm actually having to re-prioritize things this year and - brace yourselves - focus more on my family.
I know! When does the suffering end??
Ha. I kid. I love my family. A, you know, lot. Signed up for the extended warranty and everything. But I've always felt that Christmas was a time to reflect on the important things, the things that are often overlooked in the busyness of the rest of the year - namely, how many batches of fudge can I make for 'others' and then spirit them away to the tub for personal consumption before my kids start asking why we're delivering empty paper plates to the neighbors. ("They're not empty, children. They're filled with Good Will Toward Men, and that can only be seen with the eyes of the heart. Gotta scoot; bathwater's running.")
So now that I'm all family oriented and stuff, I wanted to share a couple of things with you. First, I hijacked this video from Ken Craig's blog, although I think I've got it somewhere too. The Craigs are great friends of ours, and Ken is an awesome blogger even though he never turns on his comments which I've told him means he's totally elitist and pretty darn nervy being all "I don't need that feedcrack addiction, DeNae" and stuff. The Craigs are also one of those unusual families that almost never have to fake liking each other. We're all pretty sure they smoke dope, but we're much too polite to tell them to their faces.
So, here's Ken and Katie and five of their kids (plus three rentals) at our Stake play three years ago. That's a live fetus under Katie's apron; Katie delivered that baby onstage as the encore on closing night. Really. That totally happened. Would I make something like that up?
Ha ha ho ho! Isn't that a gas? And she's telling the truth. They're expecting kid number seven in April.
Now, here's why I mention the Craigs. They are exceptions to the concern I've had for some time about the religious education of our children, particularly when it comes to Jesus and heaven and why "Groundhog Day Flip-Flops" has never been a very popular song but its Christmasy cousin is. And it all came to a head when my mom sent me this video. I haven't had a chance to talk with her since she e-mailed it, so I don't know if she was being ironic or she's mad at me or was just trying to induce vomiting before all that fudge went to my keister. But I invite you to ask yourself: How many misconceptions about baby Jesus and the mall and what passes for 'cherubic innocence' can there be in one video before someone fires all the Primary teachers in the whole wide world?
See what I mean? And isn't that kid, like, eleven? Who's been responsible for his spiritual upbringing, Lady Gaga? Paris Hilton? What exactly does he expect to do when he gets to that Manger in the Mall? Climb inside? Ask baby Jesus for a Wii? Cryin' out loud.
(And do NOT get me started on lyricists who think saying "for me" and "for me" is the same thing as rhyming. Cuz it is just not.)
Anyway, that actually brings me to random link numero tres, and the point of this entire post. I recently heard of this cool project sponsored by Liz Lemon Swindle called "A Return to the Family." There's a link to her site on my sidebar, but the idea is that we need to make our families more of a priority. And since we're no longer distracted by making house payments or going to work or buying groceries ("Thanks, Economy Claus!") we have more time to invest in things like eating dinner together and having meaningful, informationally accurate conversations about important subjects, starting with who ate all the fudge and why you have to wear shoes to get into heaven.
Anyway, pop on over there and see what else they're cooking up. And speaking of cooking, I've got to get to work on those Peace on Earth cinnamon rolls for the neighbors.
My tub is nearly full.