December 22, 2009

Orange crocs and an I-pod touch

I hereby declare Christmas in Colorado to be December 22nd. I do not usually take such drastic measures in the holiday calendar, but this year I have. We are heading to NJ on Christmas Eve to visit my mother, her husband, two of my sisters and six nieces/nephews for the December 25th Christmas. So today has to be Christmas.

I love spending the holidays with my family. This will be the first year since 2006 that we are able to do this. John does not like to leave the mountains during the ski season, and added to the hassles of holiday travel we have respected this. John is in the real estate business in Aspen, and business has been very slow. We figure being here over the holidays is the responsible thing to do – the visitors are here and he can make lots of contacts. Thus, the last couple of holidays have been here is beautiful Colorado.

This year my Mother insisted we come, and who am I to say no to my mother (my kids could learn from this). I made the executive decision to take my kids to NJ for the holidays without John. I asked (maybe told?) John if we could visit my family for Christmas. He was okay with this and I felt I respected his desire to stay in the valley.

I think I inadvertently called John’s bluff – I swear this was not my intention at all. Two weeks after I purchased the tickets, John had a change of heart. He did not want to miss Christmas with his family. Christmas was not part of his upbringing – being Jewish - but I guess 22 years of Christmases have made an impression on him. I am very happy to say - John has decided to join us.

This brings me back to my declaration - we will celebrate Christmas on the 22nd in Colorado. Selfishly, this means I will not be sending and carrying present to put under my Mother’s Christmas tree for my family. Our gifts will be exchanged at our home with the five of us. If I do this right, we get two Christmases, one here and one in NJ. Sometimes I surprise even myself.

For Christmas this year Alex will get her I-pod touch. She will also be getting fake orange crocs to replace the fake blue crocs I threw away. These blue crocs were so gross I could not stand to look at them anymore. They now living very happily in a land fill somewhere. I like to think I am a bit of an environmentalist, but I am sure those disgusting fake blue crocs will be here for thousands of years.

Tonight is Christmas. I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see Alex’s reaction to her new I-pod touch. She has wanted this for at least nine months. I had tried to deal with her – “lose weight and you can have” – but this was tough for her. She is now playing basketball every day and she has lost a couple of pounds. So I can legitimately feel like the deal worked.

Alex has been saving money for the I-pod for a long time. Little does she know I used her money to purchase it. I-pod touches used to cost over $200 they now cost $185. Waiting was good - and I think I made $15 on the deal. Okay - I got her a gift card too. I have already warned Tommy he will be setting this up for Alex tomorrow.

I am not sure how the orange crocs will go over; I fear she may remember that she has not seen those blue crocs for a while. I will remind her, orange used to be her favorite color, it is always in the delivery of the gift that opinion is formed. We will see.

As we prepare for our two Christmases, I reminisce about all the Christmases past. For years there was always a new baby at our family Christmas, and next year this will be the case again; one of my sisters is pregnant! I miss my Father at Christmas, this will be the ninth he has missed. We will toast him, as well as my Mother's husband's deceased wife and joke they are celebrating together in heaven. As usual, Alex will smile and charm the crowd. She loves the magic of Christmas more than anyone else I know.

I am very lucky to have such a great family, and we are very lucky to have Alex in our lives. Merry Christmas to all!

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