All I Want for Christmas....

What follows, in my opinion, is the plight of the majority of Americans. If you have ever known the tradition of Christmas lights, then you know this story well.

We have 9 strands of lights for our Christmas tree....that's 900 lights. Yes, you read that correctly, 900 teeny, tiny lights. They all worked last year so we took them off the tree, wound them in their light holders, put them away.....do I even need to go on?

So, let's take a little survey. How many of those darn strands do you think worked once we got them on the tree this year????

One. One. Stinkin'. Single. Strand. The very top strand......100 of 900 lights lit up..... (and yes, I know you are supposed to check these things BEFORE putting them on but seriously, who remembers to do that?)

No amount of fuse changing, finger crossing or sacrifices to the light gods worked (of course, I stopped short of the cat for the children's sake....but maybe I should rethink that one....)

So, Kurt did the only rational thing possible: he took off, braving a blizzard in which we had already gotten roughly two feet of snow, to go get LED lights for the tree so that we could decorate next to the fire, sipping hot chocolate, all blissful and merry, while singing Christmas carols...putting Norman Rockwell to shame....that is, assuming you could bleep out a few things (words) here and there, airbrush out the broom and dust pan awaiting the next ornament casualty, ignore the cat abuse as we fought him off of the tree, looked past the TWO DOZEN kid-made ornaments hanging on a SINGLE branch, you know, most of the details....

But, alas, our skinny tree, filled to the brim with decorations, is up and still standing. That says a lot for this house.

Now, the gift buying has been an entirely different story. If you ask my kids what they want for Christmas, you might think they'd say toys right?

True, if you are speaking to Aidan, who like most boys his age wants some sort of video gaming system and games to match. But ask that same question of Lily and you get her new tradition of asking for cheesy noodles ("Wasn't that funny when Santa brought me cheesy noodles last year?" she mused. "I'm gonna ask for cheesy noodles again this year!") And Liam, well, he doesn't actually talk and gets excited about everything so we figure, anything will do!

But then if you ask Madeline what she wants most of all she will tell you: a three-ringed binder.

Yeah, a three-ringed binder. More specifically, a hard-covered three-ringed binder.

"What color would you want, Madeline?" I asked.


"And that's all you want?" I asked.

"Well, maybe I could ask for two binders so that when we play school, I have one for Lily and one for Liam," she said.

Hold on kid, now you might be pushing it.....TWO binders? What do you think Santa will think when he finds out you want TWO WHOLE BINDERS?! What kind of parents do you think we are?

But as we continued the conversation, it turns out that not only does she want two binders but paper and a hole puncher to go with it. Spoiled kid.

But seriously, what kid asks for office supplies for Christmas? And, to make it even better, Kurt and I went to two different office supply stores a few weekends back and how many YELLOW hard-covered, 3-ringed binders do you think we found? NOT A ONE! Apparently you can get a three-ring binder in ANY OTHER COLOR BUT YELLOW! You want pink? No problem. Green, blue, red, purple, turquoise, chartreuse? Got it. Yellow? Nope. Nada. Nothing. Of course.

I looked online and didn't find one in the "right size" or without some other issue. So, the soft-covered, wrong size but right color binder will have to do, alongside a couple other hard-covered pink and blue binders, a hole puncher and what the heck, some post-it notes and page dividers while we're at it. She'll be living large this Christmas, that's for sure!

As for me, all I want for Christmas is a baby that stays put until at least the New Year and possibly the assurance that next year will be the year that all our decorations will light up, sing, turn, come alive or whatever it may be, without a hitch. But, don't worry, I'm not holding my breath!

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