Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Once again we reach that dreaded time in our yearly calendar. No, I don't mean the last minute Dec. 24 11 PM WallyMart run. I am referring to the time of year that strikes fear into the hearts of every parent. The time of year you will find parents begging their boss to enforce mandatory overtime. The time of year where you will find parents in the parking lot ripping random wires out of their cars. No, I am not talking about going to work in a blizzard. I am of course referring to the time honored dreaded SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT.

When political correctness started to kill common sense, I thought perhaps it would take the concert with it. Nope. They just changed the name to 'CELEBRATION OF THE SEASON" and away we go. Don't get me wrong. Five year olds singing, crying and wetting their pants is always a joy to observe. I just find them a huge inconvenience. You know how it goes. The "school" concert cannot be held in the school because it is too small. Instead they move it across the city. You now must rush home from work, feed the children, dress them and then fight your way through RUSH HOUR traffic so you can make it in time to watch your little darling stand on stage, frozen in fear, until the teacher has finished her solo (it is a teacher solo because all the children either forgot the words or have stage fright) then you can try to find your car in the parking lot and fight 300 other parents to the exit. The preparation for this enchanting night is always fun. Personally I would rather rub my forehead on  cheese grater but to each their own. The teacher usually asks the parents to provide a costume made from virgin Alpaca fur. Preferably the albino virgin Alpaca. After all, doesn't everyone have a virgin alpaca in their back yard? Don't forget the matching shoes and hat. The costume must also be hand sewn. My version of sewing involves a stapler and duct tape.  If it can't be fixed with those supplies, it isn't getting sewn. My children were always the ones with the paper bags as a costume. The other children have beautiful hand made costumes made from the finest silk and Alpaca. Mine look adorable and orphaned in their paper bag shirt and garbage bag jacket held together by neon pink duct tape. How can you not love the concert season?
Have I mentioned that the concert is always held on the coldest night of the year. The one where the weather man is warning you that exposed skin will freeze in 5 seconds. If you stand in one spot too long, you will be frozen there until spring. This is also the night where a car will stall in the middle of the one and only exit to the parking lot.
 Two of my children are in the school band. The band concerts are a special kind of hell. Each grade plays two songs. Grade 6 -12. Wonderful. Oh I forgot the important part. Each year the grades play the same song. The song the Grade 6 class played last year is the same song the Grade 6 class will play this year. By the time you are done, you have sat through at least 6 years of the same damn songs. God help you if you have more than one child in the band. I am in year 6. I still have 4 more years to look forward to. Lucky me.
My favorite concert of all time happened when my oldest child was in grade 5. Two boys in Grade 4 got into a fist fight. ON THE STAGE DURING THE CONCERT
That was the best one. I doubt very much this week's concert will ever top that one.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Santa,

I can explain. It wasn't my fault. I swear it wasn't. I was just trying to put a little Christmas spirit into the house. All I wanted was a nice pretty Christmas tree. One with lots and lots of lights. Not as many as last year. You remember that one? The heat from all the lights overheated the tree and it burst into flames. The Fire Chief said it was the most beautiful Christmas tree fire he had ever seen. All the pretty lights set off a lovely glow as they exploded from the heat. And now we have very original ornaments. After all, how many people have melted ornaments that  Salvador Dali would be proud of?

This year I was going to test the lights BEFORE I put them on the tree. I did. I tested everyone of those damn bulbs. Do you have any idea how long it takes to test 2000 bulbs? Let me tell you it takes A LOT of time. God made the world in 6 days. It took me three weeks to test all those damn bulbs. For a while I thought the world had become polka dotted. Turns out it was just the results from staring at all those bulbs for so long.When they were finally all working, I carefully put them on the tree. Well first I had to chase the cat to get the string of lights back. He thought we were playing a game. I would start to put the string of lights on the tree and he was on the other side pulling them down. I finally put all 2000 lights on the tree. I was ready for the big lighting. I gathered the family we sang songs and I began to plug in the tree lights. Guess what. Nothing happened. NOT ONE DAMN LIGHT LIT UP! I carefully removed the lights and tested them again. Yup they all worked. I carefully strung the lights up again. Again they didn't work. By the third time I tried this I just lost it. I am so sorry Santa. I tried. I really really tried. I just lost my mind. The kids have told me I got a strange look on my face and then began to kick the tree while frantically ripping the branches off the tree while screaming something about a conspiracy by the tree light manufacturers to force me to buy all their lights and send their kids to college while they retire to South America. I can't vouch for this story as I have no recollection. The next thing I knew the tree was halfway through the window and the children and cats were cowering under the bed.

The children have now purchased me an early Christmas present. I now have a beautiful artificial pre-lit tree. It looks very pretty all lit up. I wish I could get a closer look but the children have forbidden me to get anywhere near the tree. I still think it would look better if I put a few more lights on it. Just a few. What can it hurt?

I believe that the pre lit tree was invented by some poor damaged child. I think this poor child was traumatized by memories of their parents throwing a tree through the window in some crazed frenzy of frustration. See I didn't damage my children. I created memories and perhaps sent them on the road to future entrepreneurship.

See Santa I told you it wasn't my fault. I tried. I really tried. Next year, do you think you could bring me pre wrapped and bought presents? I think it might save my sanity.