Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Gifting Calendar for 2012

Unbelievably I only received books from Jenn, Stephany Simmons and Natasha Larry (and possibly my Secret Santa) this year. I did hear from a few  of you who complained that I was hard to get for because you didn't know what would make me happy.....BOOKS might have been the answer. Just saying because there are still some book giving occasions coming up and I don't want you to blow up your brains thinking about it, (the part about the brains is to children). You still have time.

Oh the book giving occasions? Here is a list:

January

January is National Hobby Month and reading is my hobby so actually any day in January to help me celebrate my hobby will do. But in case you want an actual date:

New Years coming up this weekend
  Dia de los Mago Reyes on the 6th
Male Watcher's Day on the 8th (good for sizzling hot books - see February for sites)
Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day on the 12th (those hot books again - February hints)
Friday the 13th  
Martin Luther King Birthday on the 16th 

February

February is Creative Romance Month. It is an excellent time to check out these links for  sizzling books to give any day this monthCarina PressDecadent Publishing, Entangled Publishing, Harlequin to name a few

Imbolc and Candlemas on the 2nd
Abraham Lincoln Birthday on the 12th
Valentine's Day on the 14th 
Do A Grouch A Favor Day on the 16th, (I'm not a grouch but you may know one)
Random Act of Kindness Day on the 17th
Love Your Pet Day on the 20th, (awesome for animal book giving)
International World Thinking Day on the 22nd
Tell A Fairy Tale Day on the 26th, (great for giving adult fairy tales)
Leap Day on the 29th, (4 books this day - just an idea)

March

March brings us National Craft Month, (for crafting books), and Poetry Month, (poetry books)

Employee Appreciation Day and National Salesperson Day on the 2nd
I Want You To Be Happy Day on the 3rd, (I love this one)
Hug A GI Day on the 4th, (an excellent way to say thank you to a soldier or vet)
Multiple Personality Day on the 5th (I think each of my personalities deserves a book)
Incredible Kid Day on the 15th, (show a kid how incredible they are with an incredible book)
Freedom of Information Day on the 16th, ( let's exercise our freedom to give information by giving a book)
St. Patrick's Day on the 17th
Extraterrestrial Abductions Day  and Ostara on the 20th
Make Up your Own Holiday on the 26th 

April

National Humor Month, Lawn and Garden Month and Stress Awareness Month any day works for gardening books and humorous books. Bonus - both types also relieve stress!

April Fool's Day on the 1st 
Children's Book Day on the 2nd, (don't forget classroom libraries on this day - teacher's often have to buy their own class books)
School Librarian Day, (how about gifting a book), on the 4th
No Housework Day on the 7th, (wait...what? ..there is an actual day for this? Help me celebrate. That's a bald face lie - I do not celebrate it everyday!)
Easter on the 8th
International Moment of Laughter Day on the 14th, (share some funny books)
National Librarian and Stress Awareness Day on the 16th, (is there a connection?)
Volunteer Recognition Day on the 20th
Girl Scout Leader Day on the 22nd (I think it should go with stress awareness - I was a leader)
Lover's Day, Take A Chance Day and MY BIRTHDAY on the 23rd (is that a coincidence?)
Administrative Professional's Day on the 25th (also World Penguin Day and I DO celebrate Penguin Day)
Take Your Child To Work Day on the 26th, (how about a book connected to what you do?)
Tell A Story Day on the 27th (NO it is not the day to tell me a lie - read me a story)
Great Poetry Reading Day and Kiss Your Mate Day on the 28th (what an awesome combo)

May

Foster Care Month, (show some love to the folks who are choosing to do this)

May Day, Beltane, Loyalty Day and Mother Goose Day are all on the 1st
World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd
Cinco de Mayo, ( I will not be to drunk to read), on the 5th
National Nurse's Day on the 6th, (which is also No Diet Day..just letting you know)
National Teacher's Day on the 8th, (which is also No Sock Day hmmm)
Eat What You Want and Twilight Zone Day (funny how they go together maybe because if you think you can eat what you want and not gain weight today you are in the twilight zone?  I hear that weird music), on the 11th
Limerick Day on the 12th (find a fun limerick book for me)
Mother's Day on the 13th, (in USA) and the 10th, (Mexico), (children you know we celebrate both dates)
Dance Like A Chicken Day on the 14th ( I just want to see you chicken dancing in public - a book is a bonus)
Police Officer Memorial Day on the 15th, (donate children books in their memory)
No Dirty Dishes Day on the 18th, (means either we eat out or not at all since dishes includes pots in my book)
Armed Forces Day on the 19th, (send books to the troops)
National Waiters and Waitresses Day on the 21st, (leave a book WITH your tip)
Memorial Day and  Amnesty International Day on the 28th

June 

Gay Pride Month,(show some acceptance to the community), Candy Month and Turkey Lover's Month

National Doughnut Day on the 1st (a doughnut and a book are great - don't forget my coffee) 
Best Friends Day on the 8th, (celebrate by reading a book together)
Hug Holiday on the 11th (I just love this one - books are a bonus)
Father's Day on the 17th
International Splurge Day and International Panic Day are both on the 18th ( splurge on some zombie books for me as they always create a panic )
Summer Solstice on the 20th
Take Your Dog To Work Day on the 23rd, (I just want to see this)
Forgiveness Day on the 26th, (nothing says forgive me like a book and an apology)


July


National Anti Boredom Month What better month to give book gifts in?

Canada Day on the 1st (gift books by Canadian authors)
World UFO Day on the 2nd (gift UFO books)
Independence Day on the 4th (celebrate by gifting history books)
National Fried Chicken Day on the 5th (did Colonel Sanders come up with this? I don't care just send me some KFC with a book)
Chocolate Day on the 6th (books & chocolate - the perfect gift)
Cheer Up The Lonely Day on the 11th (read to them from a book you gift them)
Different Colored Eyes Day on the 12th, (I had to put this one  - my daughter Aimee has one eye that is half green and half brown and the other eye is 3/4 brown 1/4 green. Who knew they made a holiday for that? Guess I'll have to gift her a book)
Ramadan begins on July 20th, (this makes July a perfect month to gift books by Muslim authors or ones to learn about the religion)
Hammock Day on the 22nd, (perfect for reading a new book in! It's also Ratcatcher Day but I don't really want to know about that)
Cousins Day on the 24th 
Aunt and Uncle Day on the 26th, (also All or Nothing Day)
National Lasagna Day on the 29th 
National Cheesecake Day on the 30th


August


Family Fun Month and National Picnic Month Books would be great with both of these!


Lammas on the 1st 
US Coast Guard Day on the 4th, (gift your favorite Coastie a book)
Friendship Day and Sister Day are on the 5th 
BOOK LOVER'S DAY on the 9th, (now that is a holiday!)
Lazy Day on the 10th, (so you can read the books you got on the 9th)
Relaxation Day on the 15th 
Bad Poetry Day on the 18th 
Senior Citizen Day on the 21st, ( show some love by reading a book you gift to someone in a nursing home)
Be An Angel Day on the 22nd, (leave a book somewhere for a book lover to find)
Kiss and Make Up Day on the 25th (romance books work well with this)
Just Because Day on the 27th
Race Your Mouse Day on the 28th, (who doesn't want to celebrate this one? I'll read while my cat does this)


September


National Courtesy Month, Self Improvement Month and Baby Safety Month
Gift new and expectant parents with parenting books you found helpful or make them one with advice and memories of your parenting years


National Beheading Day on the 2nd, (what? we celebrate this? oookkkaaayyy now. Gift me a horror book and leave my head alone. Check out Dopamalovi Books for some good ones)
Labor Day on the 3rd
READ A BOOK DAY on the 6th, (gift me one to read)
INTERNATIONAL LITERACY  DAY on the 8th, (Gift books to needy schools internationally)
Grandparent's Day on the 9th, (read with a grandparent, even by phone, if you are lucky to have them with you)
International Talk Like  A Pirate Day on the 19th 
Mabon on the 22nd 
Oktoberfest begins and it's Elephant Recognition Day on the 22nd (if you gift me a book I can read to the pink elephant)
Ask A Stupid Question Day on the 28th, (I know people who celebrate this everyday)

October


Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, (adopting or fostering a dog, or volunteer to play with and walk the dogs in a shelter), Breast Cancer Awareness Month, (donate books to a chemotherapy lab in your area), Domestic Violence Awareness Month, (donate books to a local shelter), and one I celebrate as often as I can, (even in other months), Sarcastic Month


Virus Appreciation Day on the 3rd, ( who knew? I'm not certain which kind of virus we are appreciating but you can help me celebrate with zombie books)
World Teacher Day on the 5th (donate classroom books around the world)
Oktoberfest ends with World Smile Day and Bald & Free Day on the 7th, (Bald & Free Day?)
Curious Events Day on the 9th 
Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day on the 11th ( I so want to see guys doing this one)
COOKBOOK LAUNCH DAY on the 12th (what an awesome day! I will appreciate any and all  cookbooks - even if you launch them at me)
Bosses Day on the 16th is shared with Dictionary Day, (I'm just letting you know - might be a good way to gift them a dictionary though. Just sayin'.)
Wear Something Gaudy Day on the 17th (so save up for this one okay. Warning: if I see anyone in gaudy wear I may post pictures)
Sweetest Day on the 20th ( Sizzling romances make a great gift  - see February for links)
Frankenstein Friday on the 26th, (gift a Frankenstein book)
National Make A Difference Day and Navy Day are on the 27th, (make a difference by fostering a love of reading in someone - gift a book )
Hermit Day on the 29th, (stay in and read)
National Candy Corn Day and Mischief Night on the 30th (Just for fun. Sing "I Don't Like Candy Corn" at your neighbors door just like you were caroling.)
Halloween on the 31st, (gift a horror book from Samhain Publishing)


November


National Adoption Awareness Month, (gift parenting books to new adoptive parents)
NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH, (gift a book you have written. My favorite gift is a book written by Leo Lopez, when he was in grade school, (homework assignment). I helped him with it. His teacher had them bound. He gave it to me and I was surprised to see he had dedicated it to me. It is one of my prized possessions.)  


All Saint's Day on the 1st
All Soul's Day and Deviled Egg Day on the 2nd
BOOK LOVER'S DAY and Sandwich Day  on the 3rd, (this should be everyday)
USMC Day on the 10th (gift a Marine with a book)
Veteran's Day on the 11th - (gift a book to a Veteran's hospital)
Young Reader's Day on the 13th, (why not leave a children's book or YA somewhere for a young person to find and delight in?)
National Philanthropy Day on the 15th
National Adoption Day and Homemade Bread Day on the 17th 
Occult Day on the 18th , (gift a witchy book)
World Hello Day on the 21st, (say hello with a book)
Make Your Own Head Day on the 28th, (I can't help but wonder about this one)
Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day on the 30th, (stay home and read all day)
* For those wondering why I skipped Thanksgiving Day - I am part Native American. I have many loved ones who are Native American. Thanksgiving in the traditional sense is not a holiday for me. Look it up. I'm not trying to be political but it is what it is. I am thankful for what I have everyday. I sing the Cherokee Morning Song every morning to give my thanks. For those interested here is a you tube video of it. It is sung by Walela and is on their album by the same name.




December


 Write  A Friend Month
I hope everyone celebrates by writing a friend a letter and sharing a book. 


Bath Tub Party Day on the 5th, (I need a bigger tub)
St Nicholas Day on the 6th, (put your shoes out) 
Letter Writing Day on the 7th
Hanukkah begins on the 8th 
National Ding-A-Ling Day on the 12th, (who doesn't know a ding-a-ling?)
National Chocolate Covered Anything Day on the 16th, (Oh Yes! Happy Dance!)
Bake Cookies Day on the 18th, (gift a cookie recipe book)
Go Caroling Day on the 20th, (does anyone do this anymore? I use to love it)
Yule on the 21st
Festivus Day on the 23rd
National Egg Nog Day on the 24th
Christmas on the 25th
Kwanzaa begins on the 26th and it is Boxing Day   
Card Playing Day on the 28th, (I thought this was every Friday night)
New Year's Eve on the 31st


With the different holidays throughout the year there is always a wonderful time to gift books by Christian, Jewish and Wiccan authors as well as those by authors of Native American and African origin and authors from the GLBT community. Books on culture and traditions of the above are also make wonderful gifts. 


Mixed in with the fun stuff are some regular holidays of different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles. I hope through out the year that you read and gift books from every culture, belief and lifestyle. The more we know of each other, the more understanding there is. Understanding leads to acceptance.  Everyone deserves to be accepted as they are. You don't need to believe any different than what your heart tells you but you do need to be aware that neither does anyone else. There are misconceptions on all sides. There are people who do bad things in the name of all listed above. What we need to remember is that also in all of the above there are good people doing good things. I don't care what you are, what you believe, what you live. I care about who you are. 

I hope you have fun with the dates above. I hope you celebrate many of them, especially the more odd, fun ones. 

Happy reading in 2012!

Comments Always Welcome!



Waiting on Wednesday - Paola Calvetti & Jeni Decker


 'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I am starting to get excited now. A book I have been dying for is almost out!

P.O. Box Love

PO Box Love by Paola Calvetti

It is expected to be released January 31, 2012 by St Martin's Press. The wait is killing me. 
Good Reads Synopsis:
A charming epistolary novel that chronicles the love story between Emma and Frederico, former high school sweethearts who meet again thirty years later.
At Dreams&Desires, 50-year-old Emma’s quaint bookshop in Milan dedicated to romantic fiction, the passionate bookseller serves coffee and tea to her customers and completes order slips in pen rather than using a computer. One day, she finds a mysterious handwritten note stuck between the pages of a novel. The message is from her high school sweetheart Frederico, who is now a successful architect in New York and whom she hasn’t seen in thirty years. When she finally meets Frederico again, Emma is convinced that her life is about to turn into a romance novel – an intercontinental fairy tale between Milan and New York, between two post office boxes and two lovers that are separated by the Atlantic Ocean and half a life. But Frederico is married, and their epistolary romance, punctuated by once-a-year sojourns on the island of Belle Ile, seems to have no future. PO Box Love is an ode to old-fashioned relationships (the ones that last a lifetime), old-fashioned habits (such as writing letters by hand in fountain pen) and old-fashioned notions (such as politeness, and the great lost art of conversation), and will enchant readers of such perennial favorites as 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and Same Time Next Year by Bernard Slade.

Here is another book I was waiting on 

I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames: My Insane Life Raising Two Sons with Autism

I Wish I Were Engulfed In Flames: My Insane Life Raising Two Sons With Autism By Jeni Decker

This book is currently available through Amazon but will not be in stores until January 17, 2012. I have read it and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in knowing what it is like to raise a child with autism. I will be reviewing this soon.

Good Reads Synopsis:
Jeni Decker is five-foot nothing and one hundred and [redacted] pounds—a self described roly-poly, forty-something, Reubenesque bon-bon of a gal, often called cute but never sexy. She has two sons with autism on opposite ends of the spectrum (Jake and Jaxson), a husband who prefers hunting to household chores, an Australian Shepherd named Sugar, and an albino frog named Humbert Humbert. This is her story—a brash, personal, and some-times shocking memoir of one woman’s determination to raise two healthy kids with autism and keep her sanity in the process. It’s not always easy. Between “poop” incidents, temper tantrums, and the “helpful” advice about parenting from her fellow citizens in the grocery store, Jeni often finds herself wanting to throw something. With chapters like: “Tickling the Weiner,” “Why I Hate Pokemon,” “Santa: Give it a Friggin’ Rest, Already,” and “Oprah’s the Reason My Kid Thinks I Want to Drown Him in the Tub,” I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames also includes mini-chapters written by her eldest son, Jake.
Readers looking for laughter and inspiration will find it here aplenty, along with tons of surreal anecdotes that will have you either shaking your head in disbelief (for those unacquainted with the world of autism) or nodding with recognition (for those who are). As Jeni says, “I developed a new ‘normal.’

What are you waiting on? 

Comments Always Welcome!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Bookworm Santa - Secret Santa Reveal

The Magic Attic


First Merry Christmas All and Happy New Year!
May all your book desires come true in the new year!

My BookWorm Santa Secret Santa was an event hosted by Michelle at Book Briefs and Bree at the Magic Attic. I had a lot of fun choosing which books to send to LINDSEY at Babies Books and Signs.

I sent her 
Beauty Queens

The False Princess

Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel

In the mail with the help of Jennifer at Books and Barks, who agreed to re mail it from Georgia. I thought coming from Alaska would give it away too easy. And then for the final unveiling I sent her an E Copy of 

A Tale Dark and Grimm

I hope she enjoys the books very much! Merry Christmas Lindsey


I have not yet received my package from my Secret Santa. I have seen  a few people are still waiting. Here in Alaska mails can move slowly. 

I have received a few books though.


First from my best blogging girlfriend, Jennifer at Books and Barks, ( who sent more than books - I have an awesome Penguin blanket that is one of my favorite gifts this year and many other items including some for Junior - I had pictures but something happened and I lost all of my pictures from the past month. *tears*). Anyway here are the books she sent:

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)


I have already devoured this. Review coming.

Chloe Neill


Can we say next. haha. Thank you so much Jenn. Not just for the surprise gift but most important for being such an awesome friend! You are pure gold. I hope you have had an awesome Christmas and that 2012 is your best year yet!


I also received UNNATURAL LAW from Natasha Larry. I have been eagerly waiting for Book 2 of Darwin's Children. Here is the cover:
Unnatural Law (Darwin's Children #2)

Unnatural Law is part of a GoodReads Giveaway that you can enter here:
http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/17437-unnatural-law


and I received from Stephany Simmons the long awaited VAMPIRE BLUES! Here is the cover of the sequel to VOODOO DUES:


Vampire Blues (Lian and Figg)


Thanks Jenn, Natasha and Stephany! I loved my books! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and 2012 is everything you dream of!




Due to some interruptions I am adding time for the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways so please check the 12 days of Christmas for all the giveaways on my blog and enter by commenting with your email address! 


Merry Christmas Everyone!


Comments Always Welcome

Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Days of Christmas With Jonathan Gould


12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza is being brought to you by Peggy at Pawing Through Books, Jennifer at Books and Barks, and myself. 

Each day for the next 12 days each of our blogs will feature a different author. There will be guest posts, interviews and giveaways! So be sure to stop at each blog to join in the fun!


A special thank you to all the authors who are participating and those who have donated prizes!

MerrChristmas!

Today's guest is:
Jonathan Gould



A Very Neville Christmas


I can’t believe it.

Is it that time already? Is the year almost done? Can it possibly be Christmas coming around again?

At this moment, I’m feeling an awful lot like my good friend, Neville Lansdowne.

You probably don’t know who Neville is so I better explain. Neville was finding that the world was moving fast. Really fast. In fact, so fast that he was finding it impossible to keep up with things. And you know what happened to him? He fell off the world completely.

There he was, left on his own in the middle of outer space, watching as the world spun away into the inky blackness.

Ok, you may have already realised that this Neville character is actually nothing more than that – a character. He’s the hero in my novella, Doodling, which is all about what happens to him after he falls off the world.

But that’s enough of a plug, at least for now. Seeing Christmas rolling up again makes me feel a lot like Neville. How did this happen so fast? Where did all the time go? It seemed like only yesterday when a new year was just beginning, with so much excitement and promise. How could it possibly be coming to a close already?

It’s funny, thinking about Christmas from Neville’s point of view, because in the story, he travels to a strange asteroid where he meets a couple who can never stop celebrating. One moment it’s Christmas, the next it’s New Years, then Easter and then Christmas again (with a couple of birthdays to throw in for good order), all in a matter of minutes.

That feels exactly like my year. Where did it go? I had so many plans for the year. I was going to publish a book. Oh yeah, I did that. Then I was going to go out on social networks to see if I could get people to buy it, even though I’d never been near Twitter or Facebook and was terrified at the prospect. Hang on, I did that too. Even had a couple of people buy it. And I also planned to release another book. Wait a second, I think I did that too.

It’s kind of incredible when you think about it. Even though the year has raced by, I’ve still managed to achieve an awful lot.  At least I think I have.

So given that, what better way to end the year than with a massive celebration. So whether you’re a Christmas person or a Hanukah person, (or a Chrismukah person), or a Chinese New Year person or a Festivus person, or even a Venezuelan Alpaca Milking Festival person (don’t ask), make sure to get together with the people you care the most about and have one big, rip-roaring party.

All the best to you all, from me and Neville.


About Jonathan Gould
Jonathan Gould is a Melbourne-based writer and doodler.
He calls his stories "dag-lit" because they're the sort of stories that don't easily fit into the standard genres. Some might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.
Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).

You can find him, still a little bit nervous but no longer shaking in fear, at:
-          His blog: http://daglit.blogspot.com
-          Twitter: @jonno_go
-          Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonathangouldwriter

Flidderbugs available from:


GIVEAWAY
To be entered for a chance to win a ECopy version of Doodling or Flidderbugs please leave a comment with your favorite holiday celebration. Please be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win!





When you finished here please stop by and see Jenn at http://www.booksandbarks.com/and Peggy at http://www.pawingthroughbooks.com


And be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Form to be in the big Giveaway!  ENTER HERE

Comments Always Welcome!

12 Days of Christmas with Terrence Scott


12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza is being brought to you by Peggy at Pawing Through Books, Jennifer at Books and Barks, and myself. 
Each day for the next 12 days each of our blogs will feature a different author. There will be guest posts, interviews and giveaways! So be sure to stop at each blog to join in the fun!

A special thank you to all the authors who are participating and those who have donated prizes!

MerrChristmas!
Today's guest is:
Terrence Scott





What Christmas Means To Me
By Terrence Scott

You know, Scrooge didn’t have it completely wrong. Neither did Cratchit have it completely right. They were just opposite ends of the same spectrum. From the crotchety old miser who avoids emotional entanglements and uncomfortable social gatherings, to the heart-of-gold, see the best-in-all-of-us through rose-colored glasses, uber-happy family man, these extremes have always bothered me. Especially in the sense that the basic premise of the Chuck Dickens’ story (I call him Chuck) was having to choose which you are, or want to be, with most (if not all—including Scrooge himself) choosing jovial, uplifting Team Cratchit as the clear winner. I don’t subscribe to that, of giving me only two options to choose from, neither of which particularly fit a profile I care for. I’m going to invoke my ‘Oppositional Defiance Disorder’ condition right here and take a stand.
This is what makes the Christmas holiday so confusing for me on an emotional level. See, I’m in my apathetic, don’t-really-care-that-much-for-humanity, just-stay-out-of-my-way-and-don’t-drink-the-last-of-my-Diet-Dr.-Pepperlifestyle. It’s comfortable, it’s quiet, and mostly it’s not a club many want to join. And that would be just great—except I have a daughter...a six-year-old daughter. One who is simply enraptured with the entire holiday experience.I’m talking from the wonder of Santa Claus to the magic of The Nutcracker. To baking cookies and breads, to decorating the tree till there’s nary a pine needle still visible. This conflicts greatly with my cynical, sarcastic let’s-make-fun-of-everything-sacred nature. Oh, does it conflict.
Since that is a foreign concept to me, and I am unsure how to deal with the flood of such emotion, this leaves me little choice but attempt to bring her down to my level. However, despite my best attempts to break her spirit, to crush her belief regarding a gravity-defying old fart in a red suit, she remains ever positive and on that constant edge of total euphoric freak-out over the prospect of an endless supply of presents and candy come the day after December 24th.
            Leading up to the fateful day, we engage in the requisite plethora of holiday-themed movie fare. We’ve watched the Rankin-Bass, stop-motion; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, television specialad nauseam, punctuated by my witty observations about how Santa is just a total butt (he really is, just watch), how all the females in the movie were meant to stay at home (Rudolph’s mother and Clarice), and how Hermey is the only elf that uses styling product in his hair. And aside from my eerily accurate impression of Rudolph, as played by Hannibal Lector, saying, “Well, hello Clarice.”she nevertheless remains undeterred in her goodcheer and enthusiasm for the holiday.
I’m baffled by this. After all my musings and observations on why one should take a shoulder-roll into the holiday season with a grimace, she refuses to agree. She has that 6-year-old vision of the future, that perspective yet to be tainted by reality.
And I’m jealous of that.
Yes, I know, I have a few years on her. A few years of disappointment and understanding of how jarringly harsh the real world can be and how fictional characters, though fun to fantasize about (yes, 1977, Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman, I’m talking about you) are not the basis for how you structure your life. It does not strike her odd in the least that a good portion of her calendar year revolves around some fat-man breaking and entering.
She currently makes the leap from one fictional-based character holiday to the next without hesitation. From the Thanksgiving turkey to Santa and Rudolph, to the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns—pretty much anything she can get her head around and can figure a way to make a craft out of, she will. Her unwavering enthusiasm is impressive, and I’ve come to believe she is adopted as I don’t think I had that as a kid, which means she more than likely doesn’t come from my bloodline.
It’s been so long since I’ve been able to view things through those narrow, though enviable, lenses, that I must admit I’m envious. Long gone is that sense of wonder, of constant excitement, of overwhelming anticipation for a single day of the year. It’s been replaced with stress over required social gatherings, faux declarations of good tidings, and unexpectedly high expenditures in the realm of gift-giving. None of which are hideous endeavors, they’re just simply outside my circle of comfort.
            My daughter has an amazing ability to combine the fantastic with the practical. The idea she can randomly send a letter to Santa, simply by shoving it in an envelope (which she made herself), labeling it “Santa – North Pole”, and having no doubt it will reach him without getting lost (not to mention have him know who it’s from and where that child is located in the world without a return address) is quite phenomenal. That somehow the messages she’s been attempting to contact Santa with via snail mail, texting, smoke signals, and mental telepathy have managed to get through and have been translated into the wondrous bounty found under our treeonChristmas morning. A bounty she’s been dreaming about and drooling over from the 12-months of television commercials and Happy Meals that were beyond her financial reach. And that’s where I think the catch comes in, where my difficulty in whether I’m Team Ebenezer or Team Bob.
I make a decent enough living that if I want to get something during the year, say an XBOX, pornography, or a jumbo size 55-gallon barrel of Absolut Vodka, I can. I’m not hindered by the prospect of waiting for and hoping that on Christmas I get any number of these things. So, that has changed the excitement in opening gifts. I get what I want, when I want. I’m lucky, and not beholden to Christmas or my birthday, and so do not experience the same thrill my children enjoy. But that’s okay—they do. And I get to see it.
While that is an exceptional thing to experience, it nonetheless conflicts with my core being. I’m like Rain Man: I’m not good at processing emotion, no matter if it’s good or bad. So I have to compensate in other ways, by down-playing the more wrenching aspects or pretending outright that they don’t exist. Not all of my techniques are productive.
            My daughter and I have a constant test of wills. One that’s been growing more intense every year, and we’re getting to the point of it being a nuclear holocaustshy of Thunderdome every time we have a conflict, because to say we have differences in opinion is putting it lightly. These ‘differences’ usually lead to heated and monosyllabic ‘debates’ on who is the parent and who is the child. Unsurprisingly, often there is no clear-cut winner in the matter. This also occurs on an almost daily basis, and usually over the most insignificant of events. But come the holiday season, with the lights and music and the food and anticipation, everything gets ramped up, heightened to a Spinal Tap11. Which means she has less tolerance for anything deviating from the norm, less tolerance to humor that may conflict with her prime objective. Making jokes like we’re having reindeer for dinner (hamburgers) or we’re going to wait until the day after Christmas to get the Christmas tree because we’ll get a really good deal, tend to elicit less raucous laughter and more angry facial expressions riddled with the occasional obscene gesture. I’m usually scolded by my wife for such witticisms, which makes it difficult for me because that’s how I keep my emotions under wraps: through inappropriate and ill-timed humor.
And so the conflict, the confusing emotional tug-of-war between the extremes of Scrooge and Cratchit pull at me during the holiday season. I am incapable of displaying the goodwill Bob Cratchit imbues, that my daughter so fully embraces. And yet, cannot completely embrace Scrooge as that approach gets far fewer women into bed (my wife hates this joke.)
I think I probably relate more to Bobby C’s wife, Mrs. Cratchit. Dickens didn’t even give her a first name he thought so little of her more realistic, middle-of-the-road perspective.Subscribing to neither a Scrooge nor a Bob point of view.
I get that. I can identify with that.
Now if I can just get the rest of my family to feel the same, maybe we could contain Christmas and all Christmas related cheer to a single day of the year so I won’t feel so uncomfortable.



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