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The Low-Down On Being Down Low


After approximately eleventy-hundred months of prep-work, Christmas is finally over.


I woke up on Christmas morning predictably feeling as though I’d been run down by a large truck driven by Santa himself, and I told myself that it would get better. No, no it didn’t.

Ben was thrilled by his stocking, stuffed to the gills and overflowing onto the mantle but had a meltdown when I re-informed him that although he had gotten the holy grail (Mousetrap), we couldn’t play it right then, as we had to trek across the river to my parents house. For about half an hour he whined, pissed, and moaned over the unfairness of it all, until I threatened to send him to his room to cool down.

Thankfully, he pulled himself together and we had an excellent Christmas together. Alex held HIS cool despite the inherant loudness that comes along with having a family gathering at my parents home (apparently, when they ripped out the electric blue carpeting that bespeckled their home about 15 years ago, they weren’t taking into consideration their future grandchildren’s hearing. If they had known, and I kid you not, they’d have recarpeted their home, in spite of their hatred of carpeting. Such is their adoration of my children) surrounded by virtual strangers who wanted nothing more than to hold him and get up in his grill. My Alex, he has his people, and when they are not around he (since he has no long-term memory) assumes that he has been left with a cadre of loud-mouthed strangers who may very well sell him to the gypsies AND WHAT’S WORSE IS THAT THEY DON’T HAVE FUNCTIONING MILK-BAGS! OH, THE HUMANITY!

I couldn’t leave Alex for more than a quick pee-break without a meltdown of spectacular preportions, which was actually what I’m used to around here, Christmas and strangers or not. His favorite toy was this, and Ben’s favorites, predictably, were all of Alex’s toys, too (at Alex’s age, Ben couldn’t have been forced to play with a toy, despite all of the one’s I bought for him. His favorite toys included the knobs on our antique vanity and watching the pendulum on the grandfather clock.). I assume that Ben is merely making up for lost time in the toddler toy department.

However, Ben is most excited about our big present to the children: a wooden swingset, which has yet to be purchased. The ground here is frozen and will be until the spring, so rather than have it sit unused in our garage, we’re waiting (Ben’s response when I told him about it: “Wow! Now I don’t have to go up to my room and look around saying ‘I’m bored’ when I don’t have anything to do.”). I’ve started my research on these swingsets (not for nothing I am my father’s child) and have reached only one conclusion: if you buy these from a place THAT ONLY SELLS THESE, and not Target or ToysrUs, HOLY BABY JESUS, THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. I saw one that was over $12 grand. 12 GRAND. 12,000 SMACKEROOS. That’s a Geo Metro!

(anyone have any experience whatsoever with these? I am but a novice in the wide world of wooden swing sets)

My own Christmas schwag was also formitable, if not predictable. I am (according to sources close to me, up to and including my husband, my mother, my father and my large son (a.k.a. Thing One) “Impossible to buy for”), so I get very few suprises under the Christmas tree. Apparently, after years of seaching in vain for a perfect gift for me only to be met by “Um…did you get a gift reciept?” I have been tasked with picking out my own gifts. Selecting them, purchasing them and bringing them home to be hidden in my closet is not objectionable, but I admit to hating to have to WRAP them. If it were up to me, I’d just start using them at the moment of purchase, but I have a feeling my family would think otherwise.

This year was my Year Of Plaid. Burberry Plaid. I myself had selected (back in oh, I don’t know, July?) for Christmas this year, and I would’ve purchased it myself to ensure it was under the tree for me this year, but I thought it a bit rude. After gleefully purchasing in the store, my husband and Thing One decided that more plaid = better.

So they added a Burberry wrap (sorry, no linkage) and umbrella to the mix.

I am pretty sure that they selected so much pink Burberry so that they will never lose me in a crowd. You know those people who go to Great America and County Fairs dressed in one really loud color (I mean purposefully, not just because this is their wardrobe)? It’s so gonna be me but sans loud color (it’s all a muted pink). I guess if you see someone wandering about in your town, bags under her eyes that go down to her chin and in dire need of a haircut, but bedecked in Burberry’s finery, you’ll know that Aunt Becky’s in town.

Dave got a similar haul, well, without the pink plaid. He’s pretty open-minded, but I can be pretty sure he wouldn’t want to wear pink plaid earmuffs (whyever not I can’t be sure) any more than he’d wear a dress. He bought himself a laptop on Black Friday, which had been stashed in my closet, taunting him with it’s nearness yet inability to tinker with it. To be able to open it and do whatever it is that smart people do with computers (i.e. not turn it on and shake it and demand that it “do something” like I do) was like heaven. I took it to 11 and got him a watch he had been oogling for (no joke) the 4 years we’ve been together.

But for all of the fancy stuff I lovingly selected, his absolute favorite gift was the giant stuffed microbes I stuffed into everyone’s stocking. Ben got E. coli, I got S. dysentary, Alex got HIV, and Dave got, well, Y. pestis (commonly known as the Black Death or Bubonic Plague). I’m going to pretend that he liked them best because when I go back to school, my advanced degrees will be in Microbiology/Virology but somehow, I don’t think this is a loving tribute to his wife.

Somehow, in the midst of our most exhausting Christmas to date, we made a grave tactical error: we forgot to take out the garbage last night.

Should be an overflowing kind of week.


So tell me about YOUR Christmas! What did you like best or what did you loathe? Aunt Becky desperately missed The Internet last night, but was too tired to check in and see how everyone was doing.

posted under Cheaper Than Rehab
6 Comments to

“The Low-Down On Being Down Low”

  1. On December 26th, 2007 at 12:49 pm Kim Says:

    Here I am. Back at work and not that thrilled about it.

    Christmas was smashing. Child #1 got an iPod, life is grand for her, child #2, the coveted XBOX 360….he is on cloud nine, but also for the cowboy boots….has not taken them off the feet since opening…honest, was running around with long johns, a jammie shirt, and black cowboy boots on all day yesterday! It was a sight to behold, believe you me.

    EYE was blessed with a Garmin Nuvi, for the directionally challenged, which I most certainly AM. and a beautiful pair of Australian UGGS. the most amazingly comfortable things I have ever put on my feet, even more comfie than the prada’s.

    Mr. Man got a shot gun with a very fancy name, the new Eric Clapton auto-bio and a very cool Scottish Driving Hat…life is good

    I am a tired soul and most happy to hear that your clan had a good Christmas. Be well into the New Year and I’ll check back for more news as the days go by.

    Caio for now, Aunt Becky…..

  2. On December 26th, 2007 at 1:01 pm Tony Says:

    My X-Mas was saved by Knob Creek. Angela’s entire family came over to see the new place. I didnt get much in terms of stuff, but I wasnt realy thinking I would anyway. we got the house this year, and thats more than enough.

    Speaking of garbage, we didnt forget..but garbage day is friday and we were full by sunday (moving generates a landfill worth of trash) and now we are positively overflowing. Its going to take a good two or three weeks to get back into EPA compliance.

  3. On December 26th, 2007 at 1:57 pm Cricket Says:

    I have swingis envy.

    Those microbes are a hoot. I bought J a microscope instead.

    I think this year that I got a fairly traditional haul – slippers, (men’s) cologne, holiday mug, fancy tea bags, gift cards. I do wish ex would shop for me the way I shop for him, i.e. buy gifts that are thoughtful and desired. (Okay, at least he buys them.) Oh, I did request the fuzzy slippers, but, as I will bitch here only, I specified boots or at least shoes for my frigid hypothyroid extremities. I got scuffs, so my heels and ankles are cold. And I’m stuck acting all happy about them. Rant over. Sorry.

    Overall, it was a very pleasing Xmas.

  4. On December 26th, 2007 at 4:17 pm baseballmom Says:

    There’s a special place in hell for whoever invented Mouse Trap. I think we played it once before the pieces got lost. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s such a pain in the butt to assemble! Those microbes are SO CUTE! I kinda like the common cold.

  5. On December 27th, 2007 at 10:29 am Gail Says:

    Christmas was good this year. Dean got a toy from my Mom that he is FASCINATED with. It kind of creeps me out – I set his age and now it will change over time to match up his with his developmental stages over the next 2.5 years. Sorta creepy and big brothery. Here’s a link

    Gabriel had to be bribed to open all his presents from my Mom. He still hasn’t opened all the ones from us, because I’m not pushing him. My mother had to leave yesterday, though, and wanted to see his reaction to everything. Quite frankly, after opening the gift he requested from Santa (a Henry engine) he didn’t care much about anything else. He did dig the set of construction trucks I bought him at the grocery store for $3, though.

    Dinner was good, but I made a disaster of a dessert. Kept me from overeating, though. I don’t think I have ever voluntarily thrown a cake in the garbage before. I love sugar way too much for that. But it was BAD. 🙁

    Overall, a supremely nice holiday.

  6. On December 27th, 2007 at 1:05 pm Calliope Says:

    I wanna come swing!!
    Our Christmas was so quiet. We opened our cards and had leftover birthday cake. We had no gifts to unwrap, no tree, nothing. It was nice and also really sad.
    but it’s done.

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