Sean: "Look...I bought eggnog." (both salivate incessantly)
Jessie: "I punctured our wall 7 different times trying to hang the stockings evenly." (both snicker brainlessly)
Sean: "I brought you a Gingerbread Latte-scented candle from Rite-Aid." (prepubescent squeals of glee)
Jessie: "Can't we just buy one of those extravagant 12 foot trees just once and ignore the price tag and our 8 foot ceiling like in Christmas Vacation?"
(Sean makes this face)
Sean: "I downloaded Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby." (both pairs of eyes aglow)
Jessie: "I found a Swarovski crystal Christmas tree topper on eBay." (voice laden with hope that Christmas spirit has hijacked husband's fiscal sensibility)
Sean: "Check what I found for you at the grocery store..."
(one of Jessie's heartstrings twangs)
Jessie: "Well Jordan would love playing with that styrofoam peppermint thingy."
(hopes glitter is easily digestible in the aftermath of that decision)
Right now, Jordan is the only logical being in this apartment - and she hits herself in the face repeatedly that she might demonstrate one of the six words in her current artillery ("owwwww"). Sean's iPod is churning out Mannheim Steamroller and Nat King Cole; I'm purchasing festive vests for Jordan; we're trolling Netflix for free Christmas classics, or non-classics (Noel with Paul Walker?? he makes movies that aren't fast and aren't furious?); we've been indulging in hot chocolate with a candy cane stirrer all too frequently. We're goin off the rail on a Crazy Polar Express. It happens every year.
I try not to play into the consumerised Christmas, really I do. I'm genuinely annoyed that Starbucks pulls out their red cups the day after Halloween. And that their "seasonal" Caramel Brulee lattes are like $4 for a tall. It irks me that Christmas tree lots charge a ridiculous $30 for barely-over-bush-status-sized trees. That Peter Jackson is splitting The Hobbit into three unnecessary parts that he might procure every penny from the prelude that was shorter than any of the books in the trilogy. (Unrelated? Yes. But consumerism-driven marketing at it's most disgusting? But yes.)
Anyway, I hate that everyone is trying to sell me something in the spirit of Christmas. Here are a couple things we've enacted this year to avoid the brink of bankruptcy:
- Grocery store Christmas tree. We love the "cut your own" experience but it's literally double the price and it comes with manual labor. We got a grocery store tree for $15. Practical and unromantical.
but not half bad - just half-priced.
- eBay Christmas shopping. (If you are one of my siblings reading this, rest assured I got your present from J. Crew. or Anthro. or Ferragamo. Certainly not in the Bay of e's.)
- Traditions that are heavy on fun and heavy on cheap. Christmas cookie baking; enjoying hot chocolate while watching a Christmas fave (Christmas Vacation for Sean, Christmas Story for me - the clear win); hosting a dance party of one, in which Sean busts out the Christmas music on his speakers while Jordan provides entertainment for the night (girl's got moves).
- Sean pleaded with Jordan and I for a slumber party under the lit Christmas tree, but I spoke politely - sans sarcasm or incredulity - for both of us and enumerated the tactical flaws in that idea, including Jordan's inability to lie still in the presence of company and my inability to go to bed anywhere but bed. I have every faith this slumber party will take place next year...I'll be snuggled in my flannel sheets on my pillow-top mattress, and my husband and baby will be in sleeping bags under the twinkle lights.
- We're taking Jordan to see Santa tonight with my family, followed by a Christmas movie and hot chocolate drinking night in which we will try to fit all nine of my family members in our apartment. What's a Christmas without close encounters and tight fits on the sofa anyway?
- Remembering the true reason for the season.