With the holiday festivities finally over, it's nice to take some time to sit back and reflect on the whole experience: the joy of Christmas morning; the foreboding of next month's Mastercard bill; the visiting relatives who quickly realized that a real-life 3-year-old isn't always as sweet as the one they've seen in e-mailed photos...
Here's another fun fact about the holidays: The $1.29 spinning Christmas-tree light toy that I picked up from the bulk discount store on a whim a week ago was the hands-down, no-question-about-it hit of Christmas morning. So much so, in fact, that it needed replacement batteries by December 28th. Two of those spinners plus a sack of AAA's would have saved me a nice chunk of change had I known ahead of time, kids. So thanks for the head's up.
I've also come to realize that lying to the kids can be SO much fun. While we were at the library a few weeks ago, we got some "magic reindeer food," which was basically oatmeal + glitter. On Christmas Eve I took the kids outside to sprinkle the food around. Grace gazed intently at the sky, the roof line and the yard, determined to identify the prime location for the food. She wanted a spot that would be easily recognized and accessed by the hungry animals. After all, the deer needed to maintain their energy all night long. It was so cute I nearly expired right there in the yard.
While preparing dinner on Monday, I had to pause a moment and look around: French meat pie, stuffed squid, pierogies and eel all sat side-by-side on our holiday table. "Look at this patchwork-quilt of a meal we have going on here," I said to my wife. "What," she said. "It's family tradition." My father's Italian heritage was responsible for the seafood, and my wife's history brought the Polish and French Canadian dishes into the mix. I've got to admit, I'm not real fond of the meat pie. "May I put Tabasco on your family tradition?" I asked. She stared at me for a moment, and then said, "As long as you eat it and smile." With that, we had a deal.
Now it's all but over. I go back to work on Wednesday, where my to-do lists have been patiently waiting for me. Grace returns to school and William...well, William's life actually doesn't change that much. The reindeer food was something I'd never done before, and the kids liked it so much that I'll definitely add it to the annual repertoire. I like to imagine what other traditions will evolve for us here at Chez Daddy Daze, and which (if any) the kids will carry over to their own families. On top of that, who knows what they'll inherit.
I better buy some more Tabasco.