Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Can't We Be More Like...

I wanted to blog about a cute picture I took of Eric using John's cell phone with a book in the foreground on writing Java. I thought I'd entitle it "We Train Them Young" for all our fellow geeks out there. But for some reason known only to my demon-possessed imac, iphoto is claiming that the photo isn't there when I can SEE the stupid thing. Grrr... (And WHY the heck does mac insist on putting an "i" in front of everything. It's not quaint, people. It's annoying. And redundant).

So for this brief yet bitchy post, I thought I would take a minute to justify (to myself) why I haven't done the whole family Christmas rituals that everyone else seems to do once they spawn. Now, this is not a criticism of people who do this. Frankly, I envy you because there's a part of me that really wants to, but a greater part of me that is, well, lazy.

I'm talking about the annual jaunt to JCPenney or Sears for the family Christmas photo, usually made into a lovely Christmas card that can then to sent to family and friends with the extras stored for scrapbooks (which I probably won't have time to start making until the kids are both in school; I find this profoundly depressing). The feminine part of me loves the thought of getting this photo for our family. I really wanted to do this when I was pregnant with Eric. I envisioned John and I taking an excited little Eric into the mall, waiting for only about five minutes, and sitting prettily with a warm, Christmas scene in the background as a professional photographer is able to cox us all to smile happily. We would collect our photo (which was instantly made into a gorgeous Christmas card) and go home to send them to everyone on our list.

The dominant masculine part of me knows how unrealistic that is. First of all, I used to work in the children's section of Sears. I used to watch the poor saps dragging their kids to the photo section kicking and screaming (you would think that might have been enough birth control for me- like going to Disneyworld during Christmas, but oh no). This is why I don't do the whole family Christmas photo thing. For one thing, just getting Eric dressed in something that looks nice is a hassle. Packing up the diaper bag complete with a bottle and now finger foods is a time-consuming task. Then there's John. God bless him, but I think he would hate this more than Eric. Put everything together and I think to myself 'Those Christmas cards from last year will go to waste if I don't use them.' So for those of you who got the same card last year and wonder why... now you know. And, no, I don't feel at all bad about it.

Then there's the whole Santa thing. I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I've taken Eric to see Santa. I nicely tell them 'no' but here's what I'm thinking: 'wtf?' First of all, Eric has trouble recognizing his own grandfather. "Santa" is something so foreign to my 12 month old that I don't think he'll have any later childhood trauma from missing the adventure of sitting on the mall drunk's lap while I pay at least $20 for the priviledge of watching him look bewildered. Yes, it's a nice photo, but seriously... I read post after post from my mom's group about how they can't get their kids to go happily (or barring that, quietly) to see Santa and sit still for a photo. What a hassle. I figure that if Eric and "Erin" want to go see Santa in the future while we're out and about around Christmas, I'll be more than happy to get the photo. Until then, why put them (and more importantly, myself) through that kind of grief? The holidays are stressful enough.

I say this now, of course. But one year when I have some free time [hysterical laughter inserted here] I may have a change of heart and drag the little rug rats to the mall, bribing them with McDonald's to sit on Santa's lap. Then again... ;-)


John said...


Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at the idea of a picture with the mall drunk...hehehehehehehe! In my defense (although you clearly stated you aren't criticizing people like me) 1. the pictures of Evie in our card are from when she was 2 weeks old and the photographer CAME TO OUR HOUSE FOR FREE. 2. The only reason you got a card at all is because Linda came to visit and sat watching TV and holding Evie for 5 hours straight while I printed, stuffed, addressed, stamped, etc. and 3. The only reason we got a pic with Santa is because we were at the mall anyhow and it was free and there was no line. So you see, there are dark forces at work in my life that enable me to do spectacular things with very little effort. Now you can hate me for that, instead of hating me for being "perfect" :) kidding, of course. Love you!

Jen said...

If Eric and I were ever in a mall and there was Santa with no line, and the pic was free, heck yeah I would do it! Don't worry Karen. I'll envy you more NEXT year when I have 2 to wrangle!