Tuning Up for the Holidays

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Each holiday season I always envision creating a sort of winter wonderland for my family. A perfectly decorated house where the hot chocolate flows and the scent of pine and sugar cookies permeate the air. A crackling fire glowing as we happily string popcorn on the couch. All the while chestnuts roasting and sleigh bells ringing and figgie pudding baking.

There is only one hurdle to living in a tinselly satellite of the North Pole, where each day is wrapped up in a big red bow.  It’s a little thing called life.  Responsibilities do not end when the holidays come, quite the opposite.  Our to-do lists grow exponentially.

Truth is, the only figgie I know of during the holidays is the figgiements of our imaginations. The picture in our mind’s eye of how it’s all supposed to look, sound and taste in the month of December.  But moms know better. We know how much work it takes, on top of our already heavy load, to bring cheer and fun to our already busy month.

Christmas carols have played a huge role in my expectations of how the holidays should be.  I am hopelessly in love with the imagery that the lyrics of Christmas carols bring us.  Everything is merry and bright, even decorating the house. Who wouldn’t want to “Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly” rather than “Lug the Containers of Decorations Down From the Attic.”

I love the parts of songs about snow glistening, and snow falling.  Being a Southern California native, I have never had a White Christmas, but I have dreamed of one.

One of my favorite songs, “Sleigh Ride,” makes it all sound so carefree.

Giddyap, giddyap, giddyap, let’s go, 
Let's look at the show,

We’re riding in a wonderland of snow.

Giddyap, giddyap, giddyap, it’s grand,

Just holding your hand,

We’re gliding along with a song

Of a wintry fairy land”


As much as I love the romantic fantasy, I am a realist. If I were to find myself as a passenger in horse-drawn sleigh, before any dashing began, the kids would fight over who would sit next to me.  During the ride, the sound of jingling bells would be drowned out by people telling me they are thirsty or hungry, or someone hit them.  Then we would have to pull over because one of the kids would have to pee.

And at the end of the ride, someone would try to sell me a $35 5X7 photograph of us in the sleigh.  I would hate the photo because I look haggard and someone’s face was blocked by another’s hand.

It’s a good thing I am not the one writing the Christmas carols.

Actually I’ve got a few. Maybe I should contemplate sharing them with the world.  I would call it “Christmas Carols: Real Songs for Real Moms.”

It doesn’t mean we would have to give up the classics. It doesn’t mean we have to give up the dream of creating festive memories with our family and friends each December.  I would still wear my Jingle Bell necklace and bake cookies with the kids.

These songs would be in addition to all the merry making – and they would speak to those holiday moments that moms have yet to sing about.

Here’s a sneak peak of my song titles:

  • “Where the #$%* is the Scotch Tape I Bought; This Roll Just Ran Out and I’m Only Halfway Done Wrapping the Easy Bake Oven”
  • “I’m Over-Budget, Over-Committed, Overwhelmed, Over-Indulged, and Over the Holidays”
  • “Icky the Moldman (What’s That Growing on the Leftovers?)”
  • “It’s Not a Pillow Pet; It’s a Cheaply Made Stuffed Animal With a Strip of Velcro That Is not Worth $20”
  • “If I Step on A Dreidle in Bare Feet One More Time…”
  • “’Assembly Required’ Is the Devil’s Favorite Christmas Joke”
  • “Oy, the Oil Had to Burn Eight Nights? Not That I’m Complaining, but After Five Isn’t It Enough Already?”
  • “If I Have to Tell You One More Time to Clean All This Up, Rudolph’s Nose Isn’t the Only Thing That’s Going to Be Red”







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