Tag Archives: Holiday

Saint Bah Humbug

It's Valentine's Day! Again? Bah Humbug. Love, Clutch Cargo LipsI didn’t always dislike Valentine’s Day. In elementary school, when we used to exchange Valentine’s Day cards, I remember being excited to chose particular cards for whatever boy I happened to like that year and to read more into the messages of the cards I received from those same boys than was actually there. The mere act of inserting the small white envelopes into the handmade “mail boxes” of each student was exciting as was opening each card and reading the name on the back, then taking them home and sharing my excitement with my mom after school.

When I was a teacher, Valentine’s Day was one of those days that we often turned over to “room mothers” for planning, at least in public school. It was always a party day and the kids got high on too much sugar and anticipation. It was nowhere near as bad as Halloween (or the day after Halloween).

When I was a mother of young children, the days preceding Valentine’s Day created an anxiety in me second only to Halloween. At least I didn’t need to create two costumes. I did, however, have to make sure my kids got exactly the Valentine’s Day card packs to send their friends then get after them to write their names on the cards and address them to the children in their classes. I also often needed to send in a baked product for the Valentine’s Day party.

My husband and I usually exchange cards and small gifts on Valentine’s Day and I sometimes make a special meal for him. His cards are usually silly ones and mine used to be romantic. Last year his was romantic and mine was silly. We never go out for Valentine’s Day but we did once and it was a disaster.

It was when we were first dating and I assumed that all couples went out for Valentine’s Day — like it was an unwritten law. He, however, didn’t think this way and felt pushed into a situation in which he was uncomfortable. The evening was memorable in that my date was obviously angry for being there. After that I never pressured him into celebrating Valentine’s Day and this year I said we should do nothing. No cards. No flowers. No chocolates. No special meal either — he has Tae Kwon Do tonight.

Bah humbug.

The Story of the Kissing Clauses

One Christmastime, long, long ago there lived a schoolteacher. The schoolteacher had many students and these students came from many backgrounds. Many of the students gave small gifts to the schoolteacher as tokens of the holiday season. Some of the gifts the students gave the schoolteacher were handmade by parents. Some were bought at the dollar store. Some were purchased at department stores. Sometimes the parents spent too much on the gift for the schoolteacher. Sometimes they regifted something they’d been given. If the schoolteacher thought about the gifts years later, she would probably remember most of them and who she got them from. The school teacher may even keep some of the gifts she received from her students for many, many years.  Some because they are genuinely useful. Others because she has fond memories of the student who gave them to her. And then there are the gifts from students whose parents were sort of celebrities at one time.

The Kissing Clauses was such a gift. It was a set of salt and pepper shakers shaped like Mr and Mrs Claus. They were both slightly bent at the waist, lips all a-pucker, ready to kiss each other. Not really exceptional — the family most certainly did not spend too much on the schoolteacher, but it probably was not bought at the dollar store and probably was not regifted. It was an average teacher gift from a sweet 6th grade girl. A sweet 6th grade girl whose father was an attorney in one of the most public court cases of the year — Bill Clinton vs Paula Jones. He was on Paula Jones’ side.

One recent night when the [former] schoolteacher put up her Christmas decorations she could not find the Kissing Clauses. The schoolteacher could not imagine a Christmas with out the Kissing Clauses so she looked one last time and found, behind the doll house in the knee-wall of the attic, a box of more decorations. Breath held, fingers crossed, she opened the box and there, wrapped in tissue so they would not break, were the Kissing Clauses. Once again, all was right in the world.

Merry Christmas to my blogging friends. Kiss someone you love this season.

The Kissing Clauses
The Kissing Clauses

Oh yeah, Easter

We did celebrate Easter this year, unlike last year when I sort of forgot about it (except for the obligatory going to church thing and taking photos afterward). I remembered to decorate the house.

Oh look! there's a naked bunny in the yard.
Oh look! There's a naked bunny in the yard.
Help us! We're being held prisoner!
Help us! We're being held prisoner!

We also colored Easter Eggs:

Easter Egg Dye
Easter Egg Dye
Experimenting
Experimenting with vinegar (cider works as well as white -- shirt optional)

Had an Easter Egg hunt:

Who forgot to dust up here?
Who forgot to dust up here?
Dean really hid the eggs well
Dean really hid the eggs, oh well here's a gallon of Jelly Bellies(TM)

And finally, took the traditional after church photograph with lots of practice shots while we tried to remember how to use the self-timer:

No, I'm not taking a photo dear, says Dean.
"No, I'm not taking a photo yet," assured Dean.
"Ok, I think I've got it. Smile," called Dean.
"Ok, I think I've got it. Smile," called Dean. Andrew and Dona pose.
And again
And again
"Hmm," thinks Dona, "where's Clare for these photographs?"
"Hmm," thinks Dona, "where's Clare for these photographs?"

Finally! The three of us:

Happy Easter
Happy Easter