Monday, December 06, 2010

Send Me Your Pictures Of A Sane, Warm Hanukkah

Welcome to the Dept., where The Holidays are in full swing. How will you know this? The recycle bin is full of empty wine bottles, I am suffering from alternating bouts of Intense Malaise and Ninjalike Snarkiness, Rick is stopping at Home Depot today to get me a space heater, and I have to keep reminding myself that ringing sound is just Salvation Army volunteers.


After a mild and sinisterly pleasant November, we turned the page to December and Winter immediately slammed into NEO. I'm constantly freezing, it's snowing, I hate it, and naturally, my freshman homeroom has never seen snow before and oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god! "It's only X-number days until Christmas, Mrs. D!" a couple of students chirp out to me daily. Hey, you students. I don't take kindly to threats, and I don't appreciate your tone. Shut up.

How many Loyal Readers remember this post just last year in which I swore, yet again, to downsize Christmas, starting with the tree? So, this year Rick and I go to the tree place and again, I charge him with the responsibility of helping me to choose a smaller tree, since I have no perception of size. He is on board with this. Soon, he is standing trees up and steering me around the tree farm (in, yet again, temperatures of, oh, about eleventy below zero--every year!), and we find a nice tree. We take it home, he puts it in the stand, is another bigass tree! I ask him, "How on earth did you let this happen? AGAIN?" He says, "But it was so light! I could carry it with one arm! I carried it on my shoulder!" WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! Then he tries to blame me! I can sum this whole argument up by listing jobs we have had: Me, bank teller and teacher; Rick, carpenter and estimator. Case closed.

(actual tree, with Kittens!)

Jared and Sam came over to help decorate the tree. Also under their purview is the nativity scene. As with many family nativity scenes, it has grown over the years to include several, er, characters that were likely not present at the Original Event but have now taken their Places Of Distinction, for one reason or another, in its re-creation at the Dept.

Sigh. I know. I can't even begin to tell you the Origins or the Symbolism behind each and every Individual In Attendance here. All I can tell you is: Baby Jesus is being held by Larry Hughes (left), Zydrunas Ilgauskas is riding the camel, LeBron James is face down in shame under the camel's derriere, yes, that is Pluto (front left), and Satchmo Armstrong is playing the part of the angel Gabriel (right). Oh, and there are, indeed, two Zydrunases (Zydruni?). Think of it as a sort of Cirque du Soleil nativity scene...thingy.

Or maybe it's best not to Think Too Much Of It At All. Any of it.


  1. Being An Atheist, I've never had a nativity scene before. Yours makes me want to reconsider.

  2. At least YOUR nativity is up. Mine's still in the box.

  3. The most interesting--and dare I use the ubiquitous (and much hated by you) adjective, amazing--thing about this post, Nance, is that you put icicles on your Christmas tree!! Never in a million years would I have guessed that from the woman who gave up earrings and usually just doesn't seem to be in the bling. What a surprise. Really.

    The Nativity Set makes perfect sense to me though. All those characters have meaning and I rather like the idea of a more diverse, "some you love, some you hate" gathering in the manger. Makes it more like family, you know? ;-) Oh, dear, your Ninjalike snarkiness is rubbing off on me ...


  4. You continue to blow my mind Nance! The nativity scene says it all! ; )

  5. Lisa--Even after all these years? It's probably a good thing for your Emotional And Mental Wellbeing that we live far away from each other and will probably never meet In Person, then! ;-)

    Shirley--Around these here parts, we call it "tinsel." ;-) I find it really "finishes" the tree. I use more than my husband prefers; his artsy mother used to hang single strands on the end of each branch. I like quite a bit more than that. What I detest on a tree--really--is the huge pythonesque garland. I think it looks like the tree is being strangled. And we lost the hallowed sacredness of the nativity long ago. I like your analogy much, much better. Even Jesus had a few family members he had a low tolerance for.

    aplo--Hey, I was all for leaving a few of the characters who made it out, IN THE BOX. Like why is the goose involved? I'm not even sure where it came from. Count your blessings down there in TX.

    J.@jj.--Well, I've got a couple of avowed atheists in the mix, so that explains the Cavalier--pun intended--attitude that prevails when it comes to the nativity scene. The original set is carved from olivewood harvested in the Holy Land, but no one around here is awed by that anymore. Not in the least.

  6. b.dalt.11:30 AM

    I can only help but to laugh at your comment about your freshman homeroom and snow. There seems to be a correlation with age and amazement with winter that drops off somewhere around 16 for most people. I certainly cannot wait until the month of May rolls in. Until then, I will resume indoors-hibernation.

    -- b.dalton. ;-)

  7. b.dalt.--I'm glad you qualified and said "most people." The snow continued to dazzle many of my sophomores, juniors and a few of my seniors throughout the week, whereas it simply pains me. And if one more staffer wishes for a Snow Day--when we only get THREE this year--I'll scream bloody murder. It's only DECEMBER, Everyone. In NEO, we are likely to use at least one Snow Day in March or April. And I don't fancy making up any days in June, when our lousy calendar has us in session until the 16th. Urk.

  8. b.dalt.1:02 PM

    Don't forget the 2 "built-in" calamity days! Nothing like Spring Break being cut short. I definitely agree. It seems that whenever more than 2 snowflakes fall, everyone goes into an "Oh my God, let's hope for a snow day" mode. Then when we don't get one the next day, their heads come very close to popping off from getting their hopes up. It's quite annoying. Sure, a day off would be nice but it is definitely not worth going over the ridiculously frugal limit.

  9. b.dalt.1:24 PM

    Correction: I was misinformed. Scratch the part about Spring Break.


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