all I want for Christmas (nice)

Christmas TreeWhile none of the below would fit neatly under my Christmas tree, here’s what’s on my list this year:

1. More hours in the day (for relaxing not working).

2. Teachers to get paid more.

3. A Super Bowl re-do. (Not a re-match.)

4. Snow on Christmas.

5. A reasonable solution to climate change.

6. A deck off my kitchen.

7. George Clooney to read my story.

Hoping all your dreams and wish lists are fulfilled tomorrow!

Happy Holidays!

the truth about Santa

Last year, I had a very serious conversation with Jack about Santa. If you go back and reread it, you will see what I said versus what I wish I had said.

Let’s just say, the other night I got my wish.

Once again, it didn’t happen as expected. In fact, I precipitated the conversation in a very unfortunate way. After a frustrating moment with a naughty kitty, I muttered something under my breath about her needing to stop her bad behavior or I was going to find her a new home, Jack started crying. (For the record, he was not supposed to hear such crazed mommy mutterings.) I tried to calm him down and explain that I didn’t mean it, I was just frustrated. Out of nowhere he proclaimed, “I know exactly what I’m going to ask Santa for this Christmas. I’m going to ask him to bring back all the pets I know who have died in the last year. Jack Dog, Roxy, Squee. I want them all back.”

Oh shit.

Me: “Baby, you know Santa can’t do that, right?” I whispered softly into the top of his head.

Jack: “But Santa is magic, and he can do anything!” Jack practically wailed.

Me: “Kids, we need to have a talk about Santa.”

I told them about Saint Nicholas. I talked about the spirit of giving. I assured them that believing in the magic of the season keeps the holiday vibrant. I don’t want them to lose that magical feeling just because there isn’t a white-haired man in a flying sleigh who distributes presents to each kid around the world. I used reason. I used passion. Jack initially bawled, but then seemed soothed by the idea that he can personally have a role in perpetuating the spirit of the holidays.

Me: “Do you guys understand?”

Jack: “Yes. It’s better to give than receive. And I can make the holidays bright by giving to those I love.”

Me: “That’s right! Colin?”

Colin: “Yeah, just one question, mom. What about the reindeer? Are they real?”

At least there weren’t any questions about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. One burst bubble at a time.

all I want for Christmas (naughty version)

christmas naughtyLast year, I caused quite a stir with my all I want for Christmas (naughty version) list. While I only ended up acquiring one item from 2011’s holiday covetables (don’t you wish you knew which one?) this year I have a brand new list. So let me continue to entertain (female) and tantalize (male) readers with this year’s semi-steamy desires.

The Chantelle Paris-Paris collection has had me salivating all fall. It isn’t my normal style of underpinning, but something really attracts me to it. I even like the (not pictured) corset. Gasp worthy, right? I doubt Santa is going to make way to Coup de Foudre this year, but should he, my size is on file.

I don’t have a problem with real fur except that no pelts in nature come in this color, which the interwebs affectionately (and rather grotesquely) call oxblood. This luxurious looking (but not costing) wrap would be so pretty contrasted against my winter white coat. It would equally serve me well lounging around my very drafty house. Clad in my Paris-Paris ensemble, of course.

Not naughty in style (slutty shoes at my age would vault me into cougar territory) but definitely sinful in price, these Prada pumps would leave me praising Santa all the next year and beyond. True to form when it comes to shoes, I can’t pick between the two. I don’t have a pair of gray pumps in my wardrobe, and these would be a nice (I mean, naughty) alternative to nude for winter. And the bordeaux suede? I’d wear these all.the.time. Just because they don’t scream bad girl doesn’t mean I can’t let my wild side loose when wearing them.

Santa, I promise, I’ve ¬†been very good (and just a little bad) this year.

blue christmas

this year's Christmas photo (my cards will be late)

I love Christmas. I love decorating the tree, wrapping presents, seeing the surprise on my kids’ faces when they open their gifts. I bake a gazillion different types of cookies. I don’t always get presents out the door on time, or cards out at all some years, but that’s more a product of a busy life than any lack of spirit.

One of the aspects of the season I love most is Christmas music. I don’t let myself turn it on until December 1st, then I pretty much play it all the time until December 26th. Christmas music generally puts me in an upbeat mood. Who doesn’t love a good rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside?¬† I like the classics sung by the likes of Dean Martin just as much as so-called “alternative Christmas rock.” Jack Johnson’s surfer version of Rudolph is super clever. Who can feel Grinchy when listening to Carol of the Bells?

But this year’s Christmas spirit feels a little forced. While I outwardly cloak myself in proclamations that I’m loving the quiet stress-free-ness of this year’s holiday, it’s clearer and clearer to me that this year I’ll have a blue blue Christmas.

This year, the boys are with their father.

It doesn’t mean I won’t see my little bundles of joy, but they won’t sleep at my house on Christmas Eve. My tree won’t be the one they rush to first upon waking up at an hour that will undoubtedly be unreasonable. The stockings I hung by the chimney with care won’t be the first they pillage.

We have this little Christmas pajamas ritual where everyone gets new pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear to sleep that night. I bought theirs not really thinking that they won’t get worn until December 26th. As a single mom, I buy myself a pair too. Similarly, to maintain the illusion of Santa, I fill my own stocking, usually with beauty products that I am running low on and would have had to replace anyway. But do I bother this year with my pajamas? Do I fill the stockings the night before or wake up Christmas morning and do it. Do I set out cookies and milk and a note? “Dear Santa, the boys aren’t here tonight but take my word for it, they were mostly good this year. Love, Jack and Colin’s Mommy.”

In 2009, the first year I had a Christmas without the boys, my sister Meghann came to DC. Maybe it’s the 15-year age gulf (she’s young enough to be my daughter) or her own overflowing sense of Christmas exuberance, but having her here gave me reason to be full of Christmas cheer. This year, despite the joy I try to project in civilized company, internally I’m a little Ebeneezer Scrooge, a little George Bailey and a lot dreading Saturday night.

I try to tell myself it won’t always be this way. I have confidence that at some point I will have a significant other who will be here to keep my spirits in check (or at least wipe away my tears) even when the boys are not. Or maybe in 2013 – my next Christmas without the boys – I will travel to an exotic destination. But these thoughts of Christmases future won’t soothe as I get through the next 36 hours.

It’ll be me, a log in the fireplace, a bottle of champagne and as many sappy Christmas movies as I can line up. No church, no gourmet dinner, no caroling.

If I am going to lay around all night, I might want those new pajamas after all.