Yes, it’s been a while since I have posted to my Hot Flash blog. Not to say that I haven’t had many profound thoughts and opinions, but life got in the way. But as the holiday season winds down, I become reflective, and think warmly of the various customs that the Hot Flash family celebrates from year to year.
Number 1: Lighting the tree
Every Christmas season, I harangue Mr. Hot Flash to bring the pre-lit, artificial tree up from the basement. As he sets it up, we wait breathlessly for the Christmas lights to spring to life, to twinkle, and to reflect the new hope we have for the season. A hope that the freakin’ lights will actually work for a change. This year, about 10% of the lights came to life, while the rest remained dark and annoying. However, Mr. Hot Flash, ignoring helpful suggestions from Ms. Hotflash that we just buy some damn lights at Walgreen’s, embarked on his journey toward Total Domination of the Christmas tree. Armed with numerous extra bulbs, a volt meter, and many bad words, he toiled and sweated for many hours while the rest of the family took cover. However, I heard the Good News when the shout, “Who’s your daddy! WHO’S your daddy??!” rang out from the living room, as Mr. Hotflash shouted at the tree in triumph, and the tree came to life, every bulb twinkling away.
Number 2: Making fun of other people’s customs
I find “Elf on the Shelf” disturbing. Yes, I said it. For those of you manning a scientific station in Antarctica, Elf on the Shelf is a scam perpetrated by a toy company to force parents into buying a scary looking elf doll (think spawn of Chucky), complete with instructions to pose the elf in various places around the house every night after the child goes to bed. Apparently Elf is just a stool pigeon who flies back to the North Pole to squeal on various family members regarding their naughty or niceness. But it requires Mom or Dad, who may be in various stages of holiday fatigue or hung-overness, to actually remember to move Elfie around every damn night. Seriously? Yes, you over-achieving mothers are into it, but what about the more casual mother?
Okay, I will admit, I was a more casual mother. I am truly thankful this Christmas season that Elf on the Shelf did not exist back when my kids were youngun’s. I don’t think of myself as lazy as much as just “preoccupied”. My (now adult) children remind me of my rather laissez faire approach to St. Nicholas day. Year one: “Hey! Put your shoes out! St Nick comes tonight!” Year two: “Mom, the other kids at school said St. Nick came LAST NIGHT”! “Oh, um, he’s coming tonight for sure. It sometimes takes him two nights!” (children roll eyes in disgust).
Number 3: Making fun of other people’s lawn displays
In our neighborhood, there are several post-modern Nativity lawn displays. Who knew that both Rudolph and Santa visited the Baby Jesus on Christmas night? People, at least separate your secular blow-up dolls from your inflatable Nativity scenes. And please take them down by Valentine’s Day.
But in all seriousness, I wish you best Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, and whatever Holiday Season I missed. Peace on earth and may all your pre-lit trees light the first time.