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A Little More Christmas

Friday my Mom called up and asked did we want some company. She and Dad had mentioned driving out to Herkimer to see our decorations, but I didn’t think they’d actually make it. So the house was kind of a mess. What a surprise.

It was Steven’s day off, and he was in the midst of washing Thursday’s dishes (I usually let them sit, in case the Dish Fairies want to do them in the night. It could happen). I was comfortably lounged on the couch reading a biography by A. Scott Berg: Max Perkins, Editor of Genius. Excellent book. Highly recommend it.

I jumped up, of course, and began what a friend of mine refers to as Wonder Woman Hour. She used to have Wonder Woman Hour just before her husband came home, when she was a stay at home mom. She has full time a job now (plus a couple of part time), but I like to believe she still indulges in Wonder Woman Hour when the situation calls for it. Come to think of it, with a full time and a couple of part time jobs, Wonder Woman Hour is probably the only way to clean the house. But I digress.

We worked wonders with our house, the downstairs anyways. I am a great advocate of the stuff and cram method of cleaning. I stuffed many things in our second bedroom upstairs and closed the door. Oh, wait, I’m still digressing. Back to our post Christmas visit.

My Mom, Dad and sister Cheryl came over and admired all our decorations: our tree, the Santa Clauses on the buffet and dining room table, the tea pots and toys on the mantle, the Santas and mugs on the window sill in the kitchen. For being a Not As Decorated year, we have a lot of decorations out. Cheryl had brought us a lovely Santa that lights up and moves. We gave Mom and Dad the presents we had for the sisters, nieces and nephew we have not seen this holiday.

We had a nice visit over coffee. During the course of the visit I mentioned the Hallmark singing snowman I had seen for half price at Hummel’s. Perhaps you are familiar with the singing snowmen Hallmark has offered in the last few years. In 2010 Hallmark did a Snoopy, which we found less inspiring, but for a number of years before that, Steven and I had acquired every one. For 2011, Hallmark is back to snowmen, and I liked the one I saw.

When they got ready to go, Cheryl said, “And we’ll go by Hummel’s and buy the snowman.” I had also mentioned the Ilion Farmer’s Market, which I love sharing with others. We knew Tabby was welcome at both places, so we snapped on her leash, jumped in our cars and off we went.

The singing snowmen were on a table right next to the downstairs cash register, so we grabbed them quickly. Then Steven and I led the way to Clapsaddle Farm on Otsego Street in Ilion. It was a fun interlude. My family headed back home, and Steven and I headed back to Herkimer. I felt we had extended our Christmas just a little bit and am wondering what else I can do to continue the holiday spirit.


Snowman Philosophy

I ended yesterday’s post with a philosophical question to ponder another day. And here we are on Lame Post Friday, the day for random observations and — wait for it — half baked philosophy (I have wanted to use “wait for it” in a sentence ever since the Rob Lowe character used in on West Wing back in the early ’00s; an ambition realized).

So I’ve been wanting this plastic light up snowman for my front lawn. Judging from recent blog posts, it has become something of an obsession, although I prefer the term quest. Before anybody organizes an intervention, let me assure you: I do not spend every waking minute plotting where to look next for my plastic light up snowman. I’m having fun with it. And I am especially amused by the fact that it was Steven who originally wanted to get a plastic light up snowman and I have kind of taken it over (kind of emblematic of our marriage; I usually get the last cup of coffee, too).

A few philosophical question are raised by our search. And I do need to have a literal moment here and ask, wouldn’t even a half baked philosophy melt a snowman? I’ll just have to take that chance.

The first question is: would we have wanted it so badly if it was readily available? When Steven first brought it up and I liked the idea, we thought we could drive down to our local Wal-Mart or K-Mart and be plugging in Mr. Snowman within the hour. As we checked store after store to no avail, an obsession was born. I think this is a dumb philosophical question, because you can’t possibly arrive at an answer. Oh wait, I think that is the definition of a philosophical question. I don’t know from philosophy. That’s why mine are always half baked.

The second question, which I may find out the answer to so I guess that makes it not philosophical, is will I like my plastic light up snowman as much after I get him as I think I will. I’m inclined to say yes. After all, I still love my plastic light up Santa, and he was no trouble at all.

The third question, and this is where things get a little hairy, is do I really even want a plastic light up snowman any more, or do I want to keep searching and blogging about it? I have to admit, it’s kind of fun to have an obsession — uh, I mean a quest. And as I am ever searching for blog topics, it’s kind of a God send (I see by the dictionary the proper spelling is godsend, but my way seems more respectful). Well, I think that’s kind of selling myself short to even ask that. It’s like saying I don’t even know what I want, and sometimes I do.

I suppose I could go into a whole big thing about how the journey is the destination, or the search is more important than the object, or some such, but I’m really not very good at that sort of thing. Actually, as I write this, I’m beginning to suspect I’m not so good at the half baked philosophies, either. Oh well, next Lame Post Friday I’ll confine myself to random observations. In the meantime, I’ve got big plans for a Mohawk Valley weekend, so stay tuned (an anachronistic expression, but I like it). Happy Friday!

Snowman Rant

I suppose one could find a metaphor for life in my problem. One could say, with a philosophical shrug, you snooze, you lose. One could say sententiously that you have to take advantage of the good things in life when they are available, because you never know when they will be taken away from you.

Frankly, I think the last mentioned person is overstating the case, and is a trifle obnoxious to boot. We’re not talking about spending time with my parents or taking my dog for a walk (both of which I ought to do more often, but that’s another rant). It’s just… we want one of those plastic light up snowmen for the front of our house.

These plastic light up decorations have been around for as long as I can remember, which is pretty far back, because I have not lost my entire mind yet. My family never had one when I was growing up. For one thing, the guy that plowed our driveway used to pile all kinds of snow in our front yard. Great for minor sledding, King of the Hill and other fun in the snow. For decorating the front lawn, not so much. And we almost never used our front door, so there was no compelling reason to shovel the front porch and decorate that.

When Steven and I bought our house, we hung lights on the front porch for the holidays almost as a matter of course. I’m pretty sure we didn’t discuss “should we?” Actually, when it comes to Christmas the word “should” rarely arises, unless it’s a the sentence such as, “Of course we should; it’s Christmas!”

We got a plastic lighted Santa when I saw some that looked old fashioned. The one I picked looks similar to a Santa candle my Mom has had as long as I can remember (as I said: a long time). I surprised Steven with it one day when he was at work and I was off. I walked to the store and walked home with Santa under my arm and felt pretty cool doing it. We were content with our Santa for a number of years (probably five; who counts these things?), but this year, Steven suddenly conceived the desire for a snowman to keep Santa company. I liked the idea.

Do you think we can find a plastic light up snowman anywhere? Nobody has them! We’ve checked department stores, hardware stores, consignment stores, thrift stores, every place I could think of. It’s all huge blow up things or wire with little bulbs. Both very nice in their own way, I suppose, but Not What I Want. One place had two plastic light up decorations: Snoopy and a penguin. Neither is right as a companion for our Santa.

As to why we did not buy a snowman when they were readily available, I have no reason. It never occurred to me to want one till Steven suggested it this year. And now I WANT one!!! And it’s not like I want one only because we can’t find one: we got the idea before we started looking.

A voice in my head says, “It’s no fair!” A singularly useless observation. We all know that Christmas is not fair. Look at all the rotten brats that get lots of great presents. And some well behaved angels get crap. OK, I don’t personally know any well behaved angels (I’m certainly not one), but I’ve heard.

I can’t even make a real snowman, because there isn’t any snow. I’ve only made about three snowmen in my life. The most memorable was when I was a little girl. I needed my Mom’s help, because I rolled the snowballs too big. I named him, with no sense of irony, Mr. Snowman. He lasted a long time, especially since my little brother (no angel himself) did not knock him down.

We will not have a completely snowman-less Christmas. We have, in fact, a rather extensive collection of indoor snowmen. And it may snow so I can try my hand again. But for the rest of my life, I’m afraid I will recall 2011 as The Year We Couldn’t Find a Plastic Light Up Snowman.