Friday, November 21, 2008

Counting Down

Thanksgiving Countdown & MySpace Layouts

Mulling It Over...

When I was in college I remember my friends and I discussing what our favorite childhood Christmas record was. Yes, I am old enough to have used records as a small child. It was that one album that meant Christmas was here the moment you heard it. For one friend it was Barbara Streisand, for another Jim get the picture. We had a bunch that we played at our house, but my favorite by far was the Carpenters Christmas Portrait. A friend of ours was techno savvy enough in the early 80's to finally record it onto a cassette tape for us and that's what we played for years and years and years until the CD revolution, at which point (after receiving my very own CD player for Christmas), I went right out and bought my own Carpenters CD, along with one for my mom.

I was thinking about this the other day. For years now we've had Christmas radio stations at our exposure. I remember as a kid the oldies station would play Christmas music all day only on Christmas and we were so excited about it every year. Something different, something fun. But now, we have stations playing Christmas music starting as soon as Halloween is over and straight through New Year's (and online all year long if you want it). Now for me, this is great because my minivan is on the old side and only has a radio and a broken casette player. So the radio being my only option, I thrive on those Christmas stations as I drive around town. Another thing those of us blessed with DirecTV have is XM radio stations through our TV. I never listen to these stations, except when Christmas comes around. It's so convenient to flip on the TV and turn it right to the Holly station for some old and new Christmas classics.

But the other day as I was driving around singing Christmas songs with Rory at the top of our lungs, I realized that so far, my kids don't have that one special album that will always mean the magic of Christmas. Part of this is because of the two things I just mentioned, but another reason is because I have been a Christmas CD freak since college and at this point probably have over 40 different CD's. So if I do take the time to pop in a CD (or bring up iTunes on my laptop) instead of the radio, I'm playing a variety of music all season long, rather than just those few special albums over and over.

Is there a solution? I'm determined to make December as magical for my kids as I remember it being for me. But I like ALL my music and I don't want to leave any out. Maybe I can play the same CD every year as we decorate the tree, or maybe I can play the Disney one during breakfast every morning as a happy Christmas start to the kids' day...I don't know...I'm still mulling. Suggestions are welcome. Just once again thinking out loud to anyone who wants to listen!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite things about Halloween is that I get to eat candy that I would normally not spend money on when I'm at a store. Take Milk Duds, for instance. I LOVE Milk Duds, but I don't think I've ever actually bought them. I mean, do they even have Milk Duds in the check out line? I don't think I've ever seen them in a store at all, come to think of it. So as I sit and make the effort to chew my milk duds (not an easy task), I see disapproving looks coming from Mark. He thinks it's mean to dip into the kids candy buckets. I have many points to dispute this thought:

1) Mark doesn't like our kids to have much candy in the first place.
2) I am a self-proclaimed candy addict and it's impossible to see massive amounts of chocolate without indulging.
3) Our kids are getting old--we did 2 neighborhoods instead of just our development and both kids have a rediculous amount of candy.
4) If we don't help the kids eat it, it will last until January, and I personally don't even like the candy to infringe on our Christmas cookie season because there's already so much food to enjoy during December.
5) Isn't it the God-given right of every parent to dip into their kids Halloween buckets? I mean come on--my mom did it. It's the circle of life!

Anyway, we had a GREAT Halloween this year. Mark got to go trick-or-treating with us for the first time in years. Jake had a fun class party and school parade that Rory and I got to help with. And we had a blast running into so many neighbors and kids from school that we're getting to know. Sometimes suburban America is nothing short of wonderful. =)