I don’t care how curmudgeony you might be about Christmas. If you have kids or are best friends with kids or have kids in your life, you can’t help but absolutely fall in love with Christmas all over again. Lucy, the nine-year-old, has had this house primed for Christmas since before America’s Thanksgiving. Which is right on schedule with local Costco and FredMeyer-like establishments. France doesn’t do America’s Thanksgiving so they hop right in to Christmas a.s.a.p. We had our advent calendars WAY ahead of time. So much so, I toyed with the idea of buying a pre-advent calendar to count down to the actual, real advent calendar that counts down to Christmas. The kids have their countdown chocolate each morning. Otto wants very much to eat the whole calendar (who can blame him!) each day. I told him he can do that, but he’ll have to watch his sisters eat their little chocolate yummy each day without eating a little chocolate yummy for himself. He hesitates and then hands me back the calendar where I put it in the “hands off” area, which is on or around the top of the fridge (don’t tell Brent cuz that’s where I hide the Nutella).
We’ve been struggling with our Christmas tree installation. Last year, we found a great evergreen in an awkward place just waiting to be brought inside and decorated. This year, we’ve come up short. Instead of cutting a tree down, we’ve decided to buy a live tree and plant it when the holiday season is over. Our first live tree is GORGEOUS. I can’t wait to get it in the ground. Zélie, Minty, Lucy and I went to the shop to pick out a tree and to my peasant farmer surprise, the live tree was eleven dollars cheaper than the dead/cut one. I almost bought three, but I couldn’t fit them and the kids into my Skoda. I could barely fit the one. Back in the day, they say, this farm was full of trees. Many were cut to make way for the Armagnac vineyard. It’s my goal to plant a tree every week. So far, I’ve planted zero. I say this out loud so I might shame myself and get on with it already. We now have one beautiful evergreen ready to go when we’re done recycling all the wrapping paper.
I’ve located the “holiday” music from around the world on Brent’s Roberts Internet Radio. I can now sing Santa songs while making cookies or dinner or feeding Zélie. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is deliriously satisfying. Christmas tunes are in my vocal sweet spot.
I’m shocked that I bought stockings so big … so much to fill. Thankfully I’ve found a peluche (peh-loosh, that’s a stuffed animal cuddle toy) connection to fill in the gaps. My mom used to stick a large navel orange in the toe. Knowing what I know now, I suspect she would find the biggest navel orange she could find. France doesn’t do large navel oranges, they’re more of a mandarin orange type of country. With the large chocolate Santa and the little peluche toys, I think I’m covered. These things are important as these are the memories you talk about with friends over beers when you’re older. We’re getting our groove and laying down our Christmas traditions. I’m really feeling it this year.
Two other things,
One, Lucy is extremely angry at people who title their music with words that are never used in said song. If you do that, please note, you are upsetting my nine-year-old.
Two, every time I see Santa I can’t help but get angry with Coca-Cola for making him red and white to promote their brand, but at the same time remember how a small sip of ice cold Coke on a hot day after a long walk that is made with real sugar and not corn syrup is devine.