Monday, November 28, 2011

SUPERXmas! Day One

You may recall a while back that I was engaging in some Christmas-related SCIENCE!

Note the was.

SCIENCE, 2! has died, killed off by Mr F's irrational hatred of tiny cans of dirt hidden in my desk; the last time we came down to my office on a Sunday, a little over a week ago, Mr F found the Poinsettia In A Can Of SCIENCE!!!?!! and dumped it out, a development that left me with mixed emotions because while I felt bad that Mr F had destroyed SCIENCE! and that I would not be growing any flowers in my desk, I felt pretty good about realizing that Mr F had superpowers and could, at any time, locate even a well-hidden tiny can of dirt, which you may say is a superpower of dubious utility, but who are you to judge? Do you have any superpowers?

I didn't think so. "Let he who has heat vision cast the first stone," as Jesus would have said if He read comic books.

The Death of SCIENCE! left me drifting aimlessly for a bit, until Sunday morning when I hit on a NEW thing that I could do instead of, you know, actually working, and that thing that I'm going to do is:


That took me thirteen hours. You can't tell from the screen capture, but I actually knitted that. (Is the past tense of knit "knitted?" It seems like it should just be knit, but I feel stupid saying "I knit that." English is dumb.)

(On another note, recently I confessed to Sweetie that I might like to learn to knit. Not because I want to actually knit something, but for the same reason I have, in the past, learned (or tried to learn) card tricks, juggling, ventriloquism, and the harmonica: To be able to say I can.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah:

Here's the idea behind SUPERXmas! Last year, I pointed out that Christmas didn't feel very Christmas-y, and that both Sweetie and I felt like something wasn't quite right about the holiday season. Eventually, I decided that I've Christmas-ified my life by doing holiday-ish things year round. Which is great, except that when the holiday season rolls around, it's hard to feel very Christmas-y without going that extra mile to up my game, play at the next level.

So what I decided yesterday was that this year, I'm going to have SUPERXmas! in that every day for the 28 days before Christmas, starting with yesterday, I'm going to do something Christmas-y just to make sure that I'm getting into the spirit of things.

So the first Christmas-y thing I did this year is Put Up The Yard Decorations Earlier Than Usual.

Well, actually, the first Christmas-y thing I did was eat some peanut butter cups:

Sweetie, getting into the spirit of things, bought some Christmas-themed peanut butter cups yesterday, and because they were Christmas-themed, I had to eat several of them before lunch because I was heading outside for the arduous, Christmas-y task of putting up our yard decorations.

Our yard decorations consist of four inflatable decorations and a light-up snowman. So on the surface, that doesn't sound difficult.

But then you see the yard decorations and how they were stored last year:

I'm not the most organized of people, and I had to take those down last December when it was freezing rain. That bundle is what resulted -- a mishmash of tangled snowman cords and reindeer and, as we'll see, a tropical bird.

Luckily, I had some help, in the form of Mr Bunches and Mr F. Here is Mr Bunches, who made a special trip to get the screwdriver he assumed we would be needing:

Mr F was not pictured there because for most of the beginning of this chore, Mr F was wandering around the yard trying to sneak off to play on the neighbor's deck, a place he loves to play on mostly because he's not allowed to play on the neighbor's deck at all. I have some rules, after all, and one of them is that you don't play on the neighbor's deck, mostly because while the neighbors probably wouldn't mind, it could conceivably cause me to have to talk to the neighbors and I don't want to do that.

With Mr Bunches' help -- he kept a good hold of the screwdriver -- we got the inflatables untangled and set out in what ultimately was hoped to be a decorative and festive arrangement, but which at first looked like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade had been shot down in my yard:

Having accomplished the hardest part of the task, we would have been done by lunch, but our productivity took a hit when it was decided, by a 2/3 vote, that we would play "Chase" around the house 10 times or so, with Mr F and Mr Bunches running around the path that circumnavigates our yard and climbing through the bushes, and me following them not out of any love of "Chase" but because if I don't supervise them they'll go off to the neighbor's deck and/or Sweetie will accuse me of not supervising them.

I finally ended the "Chase" game by telling them we had to finish decorating the yard for Christmas, at which point they pulled out the only Christmas decoration they love, the Singing Cookie Monster:

Singing Cookie Monster sings "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" but he substitutes "Me" for "We," and he sings "Blue Christmas," but in his version, he has a blue Christmas "without me cookie." Singing Cookie Monster is awesome, and he's also one of our few remaining Christmas decorations. The boys broke our Nativity scene, so we don't have that. But we do have a secular blue singing monster, which, if not exactly the Reason For The Season, is still pretty great.

Singing Cookie Monster sings loudly, so those songs were echoing around the street while I worked on staking the inflatables to the ground, something I usually do not do because ordinarily I am putting these things up about December 20 and it's snowy and cold and my main goal is to get them out there and say "There, I did it," but this year, I'm doing things right, so these things are staked and tied and ... well, there's no third thing. They're staked and tied up.

As I did that, Mr Bunches got bored with Singing Cookie Monster, and tried to get the sled out:

But he gave up when I pointed out that we'd need a little more snow than we had so far. He then went inside, leaving me and Mr F to finish up.

This is Mr F, finishing up:

He was making a break for the backyard and its path to the neighbors' deck.

But, after placing him under "Dad Arrest," in which he must remain within arm's reach of me, we managed to get our oldest and most-beloved (?) holiday decoration inflated:

That's "Pete, The Patriotic and Now Christmas-Y Parrot," and Pete is why you either really do or really don't want to be my neighbor: Way back when, Sweetie and I started trying to get holiday decorations, but we made it fun by getting ugly ones -- and Pete was originally my entry in the Fourth of July decorations; back then, Pete would get inflated for the Fourth of July and we'd put an American flag by him.

Pete now serves only at Christmas, joining the other three decorations as the Senior Inflatable in the yard. It wouldn't be Christmas without Pete The Patriotic and Now Christmas-Y Parrot. People actually slow down and stare at him as they go by, and most of those people are probably not circulating a petition to get me to move. Well, at least some of them probably are not.

Then Mr F and I managed to string together an unlikely collection of electric cords and power strips to get the rest of the inflatables going, including Giant Rudolph:

Mr Bunches, who doesn't know much about Rudolph yet, looked out the window and said "Giraffe," which, while technically incorrect, is a great idea, and I am going to be looking for a Christmas Giraffe inflatable to join Pete and the gang.

Here is the gang:

From left to right, that's: Pete, Tigger Who Never Quite Works, Mr F, Giant Rudolph, and the Three Drunken Reindeer -- the latter being three reindeer on a sleigh who appear, honestly, to be drunk. That is what you get when you pick up your holiday decorations in the discount aisle at Party City.

But look at the glee, and wonder, and holiday cheer, and mud, on Mr F's face! That's what it's all about.

Tomorrow: I reveal my and Sweetie's Christmas lists!


Dr. Grumpy Bulldog, PhD of Awesomeness said...

Even if I had a yard I wouldn't want all those inflatable things. They'd probably get a hole in like five minutes and then I'd be out $50 or however much they cost. But I did my decorating the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which consisted of putting the creepy homemade Santa my Mom gave me years ago on the door and finding my Chia tree, though I don't feel like trying the SCIENCE of growing the seeds on it again because finding a place with sun and all that is such a pain where I live, so at some point I need to find some garlands or something to put around the Chia tree to make it look more tree-y. And I put the Santa hat on my barking Welcome St. Bernard, though I turned off the barking because it's kind of annoying.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

I think a good game to play with your kids that might get you in the Christmas mood is "Clay'o rama". You an google the rules online. It's really a lot of fun and involves lots of Playdough.

I read Clarissa's review of Eclipse! You are reaching internet saturation! You are everywhere!

Yes...I just now used three exclamation points in a row. Try not to give yourself diabetes eating all that Christmas candy.


Middle said...

Briane...You broke his innocent little heart!