I like to think I will earn a special crown in heaven (which I envision something like this) since I manage a family of 4 plus 2 hounds in a home that is relatively the same size as the animal birthing cave Jesus was born in. I like to think I will be rewarded because I keep it marginally better smelling here, too (well, most days). These truths, however, are divine mysteries and cannot be proven. We'll just have to wait and see. Maybe holy mother Mary (who's sort of been there, done that) will put in a good word for me.
This is the first year both Toe and Roo have been old enough to become really engaged and annoying in the Christmas season. I think Toe's letters to Santa started somewhere back in June, and I didn't interfere with this since 1. we were practicing our writing skills for kindergarten and 2. on rainy days of summer vacation it gave him someone else around the house to pester besides me. They both also started asking to call Santa back then, on a special red plastic phone that's actually a therapy tool to help kids imporve their diction. Again, we've have Santa on the horn quite a bit, and apparently in the off-season he lives in San Diego near the bay with Uncle Jimbo, surfs, and owns a rocket ship. I am not sure how he feels about Governor Schwarzenegger--Toe took the Santa phone away from me before I could ask.
Besides prank calling Santa, here are some of our favorite BCD family advent traditions:
1. Reading Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory, allowing ourselves to become emotionally drained by the power of the story, then making really delicious alcoholic fruitcake which we eat when the children go to bed.
2. The advent calendar. This is a little Swiss alpine wooden house whose wee doors reveal a dainty daily treat/bribe left by Santa's elves who know that we need all the help we can get.
3. Hanging the "ormaments." Stealing the "ormamaments." Using the "ormaments" as props in elaborate creative play. "Breaking the "ormaments" and blaming it on Birdie.
4. The Holidazzle Parade. Freezing our breeches off in the crowded dark wind tunnel of downtown Mpls. to watch crazies dressed in elaborate lightbulbs waddle by and promote our nemesis, Xcel energy. It's not very green, but it's free and the boys love the sparkle.