Sunday, July 5, 2009

Holiday Hangovers

by Caren Crane

So, yesterday was a major holiday in the USA, Independence Day. Like most families, we've developed a rather sloppy set of "traditions" surrounding this holiday. My husband and I often didn't realize we had a "tradition" until we were in danger of not fulfilling our childrens' expectations and got an earful about it. Who knew? Most of these evolved from desperation and convenience.

Desperation: finding something to do with the bored children. Now, my youngest is pushing 15, so I have no "young children" anymore. However, teenagers get as bored (or moreso) than kids of other ages, so we still find ourselves looking for things to entertain them. Fortunately, we've most past getting up at the crack of dawn to get in the face painting line at the "old-fashioned" Fourth of July celebration down the road, followed by standing in the blazing hot sun to watch the kids ride their decorated bikes in the "parade". Those were tough years, because somehow my husband managed to weasle out of it and I was left to have all the "fun". Sometimes it was fun, but usually it was hot and there was no bathroom in sight and I ended up sunburned despite my best efforts. That "tradition" was one to which I happily waved goodbye when the desperation levels subsided.

Convenience: fireworks that can be seen from a vantage point at the grocery store parking lot just down the road. The suburban town where we live has a huge symphony concert and fireworks display in an outdoor amphitheater that is about two miles from our house as the crow flies. Because of the proximity, we and many other families skip all the brouhaha surrounding the amphitheater and simply camp out in one of a number of parking lots for the fireworks display. That's all fine and well, as long as you park in the right place and don't get caught in the traffic exiting the amphitheater afterward. Convenient, yes, and also fun.

These days, however, my husband and I are more inclined to hang out and talk with friends than pack the kids up in the van and hustle off to see fireworks at 9 pm. As a result, last night we had friends over and were busy watching the end of one of our favorite movies (Moonstruck) when we heard the fireworks start. The youngest (who is, as mentioned, almost 15), was in a panic. I tried to do my motherly duty and a few minutes later we were packed in the car and heading up to the display. This year, however, our state is experiencing huge budget deficits, so all the towns apparently shortened their displays. We did see quite a few lovely displays (as well as some neighbors were launching, despite the laws against it) and we saw the "finale"...through the trees.

I have, dear friends, endured the tears and silent treatment from the youngest ever since. *sigh* Thus my holiday hangover. Sadly, there was no alcohol involved.

So what about you? Have you ever brought on your own holiday hangover? Not bought the "must have" gift? Forgotten the kids' favorite "tradition"? Neglected to bake someone's favorite pie? Please, tell me I'm not alone!

81 comments:

Joan said...

Come on chook...we've got conference shopping to do...

Joan said...

Can't say I've had any Holiday Hangovers.

I passed my 4th in usual fashion....doing chores, a little shopping and then a movie with a friend.

Came home in the midst of the "Oh, no officer, we have no illegal fireworks" display in my neighborhood. Impressive in the sky...not so much when you're manuevering a CAR through it.

Now, my one tradition...to go search MY yard for left over bottle rocket sticks :0

Caren Crane said...

Joanie, congrats on nabbing the chook. Apparently, it took him a while to wing it back from Australia today. He probably had to avoid lots of fireworks displays.

I think you have managed to avoid most of your holiday hangovers, JT, because you are fortunate enough not to have people who have built unrealistic expectations around them. Therein lies the rub.

I didn't realize, when I stupidly started a family, that they would embroider so much meaning into any incidental thing we did. I felt completely snookered!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, and good luck with the conference shopping. I'm happy to say I think I have everything togehter. Now I just have to write out my list of everything I'm wearing for each event, get through work this week (grr), the Girl Scout party on Saturday (at my house, natch), get the sulky one off to camp, pack and I'll be all set!

Joan said...

Now I just have to write out my list of everything I'm wearing for each event,


Don't forget to pack "the jacket"....

I've lost weight.... :D

Claudia Dain said...

Oh, Caren, it's so true! The thing we stupidly, innocently do once, oh, and then twice, somehow becomes TRADITION.

The whole Easter egg hunt in our family went on far longer than I had expected. I finally put my foot down and told them that since they were all old enough to vote, I was finished with hiding Easter eggs in the woods and writing up a series of clues to direct them to the eggs. I think they're still PTSD about it.

jo robertson said...

Cute post, Caren!

Glad the chook's back in the U.S. for the finish of the holiday celebration, Joanie, thanks to you! Congrats!

I like to watch the fireworks from a distance, too, Caren. All that potential danger. Of course, I remember the time when firecrackers were legal and the danger greater.

One Fourth our church had a barbecue in a school parking lot near our house. Halfway through the activities, a fire broke out in the surrounding shrubbery. Since 7 of the kids attending were mine, I was pretty sure who the culprits were!

I wonder why we were never invited again?

jo robertson said...

Claudia, that's hilarious. I think the so-called "grown-up" children like the traditions more than the little ones -- it brings them back to sweet childhood memories. My grown kids are the same way, but I say -- give me a break!

Joanie, yay on the weight loss. You go, girl.

And DEFINITELY pack "the jacket," Caren!

Joan said...

I think the so-called "grown-up" children like the traditions more than the little ones --

This is SO true...

My Mom made me an Easter basket up until the last two years before she passed...

I STILL miss it...

Louisa Cornell said...

Are you SURE you want to take the GR shopping. The GR and plastic and a car? You're asking for trouble!

We had a similar incident with my Dad's train that goes around the Christmas Tree every year. One year Mom couldn't find it when my niece and nephews went to set up her Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving dinner. My Mom told her three grown children, their spouses and the three teenaged and pre-teen grandchildren "We don't really need it. There's already so much stuff in the livingroom as it is."

I really wish I'd had a camera to capture the look on our faces. SACRILEGE!! Needless to say, we turned her house upside down until we found it.

And the grandchildren are now 18, 15, and 13 and the mere idea of no Easter egg hunt or Easter baskets at Nana's is met with tears, pouts and much recrimination.

We adults are no better. We still hang our stockings up at Mom's and they still get filled. We still get presents marked From Santa as well as presents marked From Mom. Hey, as long as I keep getting presents I DO believe in Santa!

Caren Crane said...

Joanie, the jacket will be heavily guarded at all times. I'm rooming with Deb and Claudia and you know they will defend the jacket with their lives! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, LOL on the Easter egg hunt. When we hid the eggs at my mother's this year, it was ostensibly for the 6, (barely) 9, and 11 year old nephew and nieces. Who insisted on being included? My 14 year-old, of course! No one who knows her is surprised in the least. *g*

I realized this year that not only was my son (23) not going to be with us at Easter, but he would probably be a little insulted at getting an Easter basket. Maybe. He still seems to like having his stocking stuffed!

Caren Crane said...

Jo, that is hilarious. I'm sure with your posse of kids, many incidents were pinned on them (rightly or wrongly). When he was little, my brother was a bit of a pyromaniac. His favorite thing was to get rolls of caps for cap guns and light them. They made a lot of noise, but were no real fire hazard.

Come Independence Day, though, he was hoarding firecrackers for the coming year. I think when he joined the Navy, my mom and I found some stray firecrackers in the childhood detritus left behind. *g*

Do your kids still like to set things ablaze?

Caren Crane said...

Jo, please resist Joan's attempts to lure you to the Dark Side. They may have cookies, but my jacket is nothing they need to be studying. Really!

Caren Crane said...

Joan, I sort of hated becoming a mom because I knew Mama would never make me another Easter basket. Man, was I right!

She does, however, every once in a while sneak something into my stocking at Christmas. I love that! *g*

I'm sorry your mom left you too soon.

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, I think you've hit on something. We don't EVER want our "traditions" to be messed with. I've had a number of conversations about "traditions" we had in our family. Turns out, my mother felt snookered by the things we thought were sacred and holy holiday traditions as well.

One year, she said she thought some Christmas decoration or other was getting ratty-looking and she didn't think she'd put it up. As you said, SACRILEGE! We insisted she put up both that AND the new thing she had gotten to replace it.

And so, the traditions pile up like the elaborate routines autistic kids end up with.

Caren Crane said...

Joan, I find it hard to believe you haven't inadvertently created any "traditions" with your beloved goddaughter or those adorable little girls of your BFF. No expectation that, say, holiday cookie decorating will happen? That Auntie Joan will take them to some special something or other?

I inadvertently bought tickets to Nutcracker two years in a row. Yep, it's now a tradition. An expensive one!

Caren Crane said...

Another inadvertent "tradition": ham at Easter. I don't know why, but there is an expectation not only in my family but in my family of origin that ham will be served at Easter.

This year, my mother made pork roast instead.

WHAT?! My children were taken aback. I was, too. I had to go home, buy a ham and cook it. I mean, has Easter happened if no ham was eaten?!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Caren -

It was the Christmas stocking thing at our house. About two years ago I said - no more stockings - and I'm still getting grief about it. My "kids" are 28 and 24. The fancy stockings that we hang are huge. Stuffing those babies for adults was just too expensive - on top of all the gifts. If they were little, it would be different, but there comes a time when Santa has to draw a line.

Joan - I'm jealous. I had intended to celebrate by doing some shopping today, but due to those stitches I received yesterday, that's out of the picture. (I injured my foot so walking is problematic at the moment)

Caren - that's a good way to describe it - a holiday hangover.

Louisa Cornell said...

My Mom always makes Japanese Fruit Cake and Lane Cake for Christmas EVERY year! One year she said she was just going to make one and we had to choose. We were HORRIFIED! We figured out a way to snooker her. We FOUGHT about it. Loudly in her presence - the three of us very angrily touting our choice. She made both cakes. Which was what we wanted in the first place!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Caren,

I KNOW that my "grown-up kids" get
more excited about their Christmas
stockings than the grandkids do!
At their ages (47, 46, 43, 38)you
would think not, but it is so!!
The unmarried eldest comes over to
spend Christmas Eve with us and do
the stockings each year. He enjoys
knowing just what will be in the
stockings before his sibs do! We
won't even discuss Easter!!!

Pat Cochran

Nancy said...

Joan, you're taking home the bird! Congrats. Make him carry your packages.

Caren, our main July 4 tradition is doing nothing. We used to walk up the hill, where a clear patch of high ground (tennis courts and playing fields) gave us a view of the city fireworks. Alas, but the fireworks launching site moved, so we can no longer see from there. Plus they built a school on top of part of the athletic facility.

So we watched fireworks on TV while the dog barked vigorously at the illegal ones banging and whistling in our neighborhood. (Evening or late evening, we don't mind, but we really don't appreciate the rude dimwad who set them off around 3 a.m. this morning. Maybe the same dimwad doing it yesterday morning.)

We eat watermelon--if we think about it. And the dh and I went to Borders, which is massively stripping down its stock and, possibly in the futile hope customers won't notice the resulting empty spaces, rearranging. Got Madame's book, at last, and was pleased to see they had 5 on the shelf.

Nancy said...

Louisa, one of the first disputes the dh and I had was over Christmas tree lights. His family drapes them top-down (of course, they lived in the mtns., had a cathedral ceiling, and hauled in a 15-ft. tree, so that made sense) while my family wrapped the lights around the tree.

Ah, the clash of traditions.

My mom used to make good, thick vegetable beef soup, which she froze in plastic ice cream containers. The dh warmed up a container one night and added a package of frozen veggies. Which made it no longer the soup I'd eaten since childhood. There was nothing wrong with what he did--except it made Mom's soup into a different one. I don't make soup because, despite the recipe, I can't duplicate the taste, and only the original will do.

Also, as we all know, my kitchen skills are limited.

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, Caren--you know your youngest and my youngest are SOOO much the same.

We always say about him: Do it once, it's etched in stone.

Of course, these only include the activities and traditions that HE enjoys! But name a tradition or a traditional meal that he doesn't like and he's more than happy to change it up. :-)

Cassondra said...

I think it's an unconscious desire to keep things the same--to hold onto stability and the belief that you'll always have the security of mom and dad there backing you. I've felt that, certainly, and it's bad when they give you no warning and just switch it up at the last minute.

I don't have kids, but I know most kids are like this. Now that I'm pretty much the oldest generation in my family, I can do what I want. (grin)

And most of the time I do NOTHING, baby! Relax. Kick back. Glass of wine. Nothing. (grin)

Joan said...

I'm rooming with Deb and Claudia and you know they will defend the jacket with their lives!

Perhaps, they can be bribed with....


CHOCOLATE????

How about it TICD??? Godiva?? Lindt??

I have a source for CADBURY

Bwahahahahaha

Joan said...

Whew, just got back from two malls.

The chook is pooped!

Of course, I could not GET him out of the jewelry department...too many "sparkly" things and I became a bit worried when he kept eyeing a very expensive "gladiator" sandal. Claimed he was early Christmas shopping for Demetrius.

I don't know.....

Caren Crane said...

Donna, speaking of the self-perpetuating ritual, one of my sisters gave my oldest a HUGE stocking when he was little - like two or three. He has insisted ever since that it is his stocking, the counterpart of the regular size stockings the rest of us has. *sigh*

Many a year, Santa has crammed most of his presents in this stocking just to fill it up! He still drags that thing out at Christmas. It takes a lot of gas cards and DVDs to fill it up, so I don't try. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Donna, so sorry to hear about your foot! Stitches are always a problem, especially on feet. And the conference is next week. Horrors!

PJ said...

Judging from the number of posts today I'd say that a lot of people out there have holiday hangovers. I saw my weekend guests off at around 9:30 this morning then went back to bed for three hours. Feeling much more human now. Of course, I've also been in the kitchen making chocolates for the past two hours and that always perks me up. (grin)

Caren, I know exactly what you mean about unintentional traditions. I find it happening to me all the time with the dear children of my heart. Good thing I'm just as big on upholding traditions as they are!

PJ said...

So, Joanie, after dragging the chook through two malls did you at least buy something pretty and sparkly?

I need to do final conference inventory tonight to make sure I have everything. I'm being entirely too laid-back about this and it's beginning to scare me. lol!

PJ said...

Donna, stitches? That doesn't sound good. Do we need Joanie to recruit her gladiators and a sedan chair to transport you around conference?

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, that is a hoot! Sometimes my mother makes pronouncements like that. "This year, I'm not going to make that freakin' fruit cake." AAAAH! We always have to find just the right angle to get her to make it.

My younger sister tends to whine. My oldest sister acts appalled. My brother (the youngest) usually just tells her we might as well call off Christmas. I usually keep my mouth shut, unless it's to commiserate. *g*

My next older sister usually says SHE will make it and Mama should just send her the recipe. That usually spurs her to action, because she knows my sister WOULD make it and then she would feel bad. *eg* Any port in a storm.

Caren Crane said...

Pat, you're a great mom. Your kids are the same ages as me and my sibs and I know for a fact that we have all kinds of trouble letting go our of "traditions".

You may get Best Mom Ever soon! I, on the other hand, am in heated competition with Beth for Worst Mom in the Universe. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, it's hard when externals force you to change your "traditions", isn't it? I had to laugh about the watermelon. We bought one yesterday morning, fully intending to eat it in the afternoon.

Well, our friends were delayed coming over, so by the time they arrived we had to start our shrimp boil. After the massive meal AND blueberry and apple pie with ice cream, no one could look at a watermelon!

Today, the girls and I have done our duty and each eaten 1/4 of a watermelon (at least it's the round, seedless kind, but still big). The DH will have to polish it off when he gets home, because there is no room for it in the fridge!

Glad you scored Madame's book. I need to get to Borders and use some of my coupons!

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, compromise is key, isn't it? I've learned to make things I don't particularly care for, because they are my husband's all-time favorites. For instance, I don't really care for banana pudding, but he adores it. I make it only because I am a devoted wife. I never use instant pudding, either. It's a lengthy, painstaking process, but I do it. *sigh* Maybe he'll forget he likes it one day. Don't even get me started on "sweet tea". *shudder*

Caren Crane said...

Deb, my soul sister! I hope you read that Joan is eyeballing that blue and green jacket of mine from Chico's. Be on guard!

Yes, your youngest and mine are much alike. She even whined about missing the fireworks on her Facebook page. *head smack* If we ever do ANYTHING that sticks in her steel trap of a brain, she fully expects us to do it again.

She's the kind of kid who enjoys taking the same vacation every year and doing exactly the same things over and over. Oy. She also CAN enjoy new things and certainly isn't afraid, as you noted, to mix it up. But if she doesn't like something, it's forever banned from the agenda. The Tower Of Terror at Disney's MGM was off-limits for years. We couldn't even say the name!

PJ said...

Deb, my soul sister! I hope you read that Joan is eyeballing that blue and green jacket of mine from Chico's. Be on guard!


Uh oh. I'm packing several Chico's items. Do I need to be on guard? Bring combo locks and booby traps? Or do you think I can just bribe her with turtles? (grin)

Caren Crane said...

Cassondra, I dream of holidays with no expectations. I'm pretty sure I would be twitchy after an hour and want things back the way they were, but it's a nice dream. *g*

We spent ONE Thanksgiving at our house. One. That's because everyone in my family had flu except me. I called my mother and got all her recipes and then tried my best to duplicate it. It was pretty good, but the stress of having to do EVERYTHING (rather than spreading the load among my mom and the five sibs) was almost too much. But I couldn't be without all the traditional foods and I didn't want to be. So I did it.

I think I grew, somehow, but I have been happy every year since to share Thanksgiving with my family of origin (even without my mother once!).

Caren Crane said...

Joan, they will not be swayed with chocolate. TICD has no use for sweets! She also has an overdeveloped protective streak where clothes are concerned. Both those ladies are small, but mighty. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Joanie, maybe the GR bought you something pretty and is keeping it until Christmas. Then again, it may be for some "chick" he's stringing along. You can't tell with that one!

Caren Crane said...

PJ, I'm sure you and your chocolates have created many expectations among your friends and relatives! I'll admit, my mouth watered a little when you said you were making chocolates. Having tasted them, my imagination ran wild!

The children of your heart are lucky ones, indeed! I'm fairly certain you have probably spoiled them rotten. You and Joanie! *g*

Caren Crane said...

PJ, guard your Chico's stuff when you're around Joanie. She gets this look in her eye, sidles up to you, then begins stroking the material. If this happens to you, RUN, RUN LIKE THE WIND! She's fast and she'll be on you like white on rice! *g*

Caren Crane said...

PJ, I meant to say that Joan CAN be bribed with turtles. She is rather shameless that way. I am, too, as a matter of fact. Hm.

Oh, and don't be casual about your conference clothes! It helps so much to write everything down. That way, when Conference Head sets in and you can't form coherent thoughts, you won't have to think about what you wear. You just consult the list and put on whatever it tells you. Voila!

Joan said...

"This year, I'm not going to make that freakin' fruit cake." ...

I'm like this with the fresh fruit salad my Mom always made for Thanksgiving. My brother LOVES that salad...

I HATE making it.

I mean apples, bananas, oranges, grapes (cut in half), marachino cherries, also cut in half (he demands red AND green) and raisins....

Gahhh

Joan said...

PJ, your Chico's jacket will be safe...probably....

The one I covet of Caren's has a Celtic design on it. It CALLS TO ME....

I did buy a black weaved one...think she'll notice if I switch them out???

Hmmmm...so chocolate will not work on TICD??? How about....ALCOHOL??????

GR! Pack your drink recipe book...

Caren Crane said...

See there, Joan? Try to get away with not making the fruit salad one Thanksgiving and I bet you'll have a holiday hangover for sure! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Okay, the design isn't really Celtic, JT, it just puts one in mind of Eire. Really! Nothing to covet over here...

Caren Crane said...

JT, TICD has few vices. She doesn't eat sweets and she almost never drinks. She might be bribed with shoes that are both cute and comfortable or with exceptionally cute purses, though. I'm just saying...

Deb Marlowe said...

Yes, accessories are the way to go when bribing TICD! I, on the other hand, might just be distracted by a hunky gladiator...

Whoops! No! I would never drop my guard when guarding Caren's wardrobe! We've worked too hard over the years, finding each other all the right pieces!

Nancy said...

Caren, if I could have apple and blueberry pie, I wouldn't even THINK about watermelon!

Oh, and just FYI . . . I love banana pudding too. You know, if you feel inclined to make it anytime when you're down here.*g*

Today we're having company for dinner. In about half an hour. I plan to turn out the light, pull the door shut on the train wreck that is my study, and hope no one needs to go in there. This also is a tradition, just not holiday-related.

Nancy said...

Joanie, I think you may have to reconcile yourself to never having that jacket. TICD and Deb seem pretty incorruptible.

I, however, am extremely malleable. I'm even rooming with Caren at M&M, but I'm afraid that the discovery of her banana pudding skills works in her favor. I will never, ever risk losing even a remote shot at such a treat.

Ya might have to just deal, amiga. I feel your pain. I covet a jacket I see on a certain GRW member from time to time.

Maybe Chico's has something new and Celtic?

Nancy said...

Joan, I love fruit salad, but it's 19 and a half pains to make. You don't happen to have a good ambrosia recipe, do you? My aunt used to make that, and of course I never thought to ask her what she put in it. I know oranges, purple grapes, and coconut, but there's something else. Just doesn't taste right when I try it.

Like the soup.

Maybe it's not the recipes. Maybe it's me and my questionable kitchen talents. *sigh*

Nancy said...

PJ, anyone who can't be bribed with your turtles has no taste buds!

But, as Caren said, watch JT if she starts fingering your garments.

Caren Crane said...

Deb, I am most disappointed to hear you admit a weakness in the wardrobe defense! Deb may have a thing for gladiators, JT, and may also be swayed by all things Guns 'n Roses. I'm just saying...

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, if banana pudding will secure your loyalty, I will happily make it for you. *g* See there, JT? I can bribe people too!

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, traditionally, it's mandarin oranges, pineapple, coconut, miniature marshmallows and sour cream. You need some of the syrup from the pineapple to goop it up.

Some people make a sweeter version with Cool Whip. Others use regular oranges instead of mandarin. *shrug* I think there are as many way to make it as there are cooks.

Nancy said...

Caren, I think you're right about the variations. One thing I remember for sure is that there was no cream, sour, whipped, or otherwise.

I suspect the missing ingredient may have been sugar. Lots of sugar.

Have wondered what orange liqueur would do to it, but I know my tee-totalling relations wouldn't have used that!

Just save some for me next time you make BP, and we'll call it a deal.

Sorry, JT.

Joan said...

Yes, Caren. It IS Celtic.....

I'm Celt....I know.

Hmmmmm...shoes huh? I know somebody with Diors.....

And Deb my friend...a hunky gladiator? Just so happens I know one...or three.....

Just sayin...

Beth said...

Great post, Caren! We have many traditions, especially around the holidays. My MIL started one about five years back called 'Christmas Pie'. Now, this isn't food but a large, metal tub filled with toys/prizes/candy/food and then covered in sawdust! The kids take turns reaching in and pulling something out - depending on how many items are in there, it can take awhile *g*

When the kids were younger, it was easy for her to find enough stuff at the dollar store to fill it but now that they're 17, 14 and 12 it's not as easy (this past year she put in quite a few tubes of toothpaste). But the youngest would be crushed if we didn't do it every year.

Oh, and after cleaning up sawdust two years in a row, my husband now fills the tub with packing peanuts :-)

PJ said...

I have a tradition like that, Beth. I made two huge Xmas stockings that hang on my double front doors and a red fabric boot (Santa's) that graces one of my tables. All three are filled with handmade ornaments and various inexpensive goodies and from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's every person who visits my home gets to choose an item from one of them. (one stocking for women, one for men and the boot for kids) I shudder to think of the uproar that would ensue should I try to end that particular tradition.

Caren Crane said...

Beth, I now feel better about every crazy thing we do at holidays. At least none involve sawdust...yet.

Aren't you afraid they'll want to continue this until they're in their 40s and the prized will need to be, like weeks of vacation and a year's supply of Omaha steaks? *g*

Caren Crane said...

See there, PJ? I had you pegged for a spoiler! You apparently spoil everyone who knows you. Of course, no one is asking you to stop or complaining or anything! *g*

Claudia Dain said...

Oh, we still do Christmas stockings. There is no way I'd live through trying to get rid of *that*! My adult daughter fills mine since she knows her dad and the boys would put dumb stuff in there, like a traveling socket wrench kit or something. *g*

Claudia Dain said...

Joan, LOL. How little you know the true me. I don't like chocolate! Bribery? With chocolate? Not happening. Now, diamonds? Give it a shot. *G*

Beth said...

PJ, what a wonderful tradition!

Can I come to your house this holiday season? :-)

Beth said...

Aren't you afraid they'll want to continue this until they're in their 40s and the prized will need to be, like weeks of vacation and a year's supply of Omaha steaks? *g*

ROFL! Caren, that is a real fear I have! It's already difficult to find items to put in the tub, especially when the kids are varying ages. Although beef jerky seems to be a hit no matter who gets it :-)

Claudia Dain said...

Caren, I have a plan.

Joan bribes me with a four carat pink diamond ring or its equivalent. Once the ring is on my finger, we grab the Celtic jacket and run like blazes to the fire stairs and leave Joan in the dust, empty-handed.

Make sure Joan doesn't hear about our plan, 'k?

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, I'm so relieved the dd has taken over your Christmas stocking (which, btw, I don't think we'll ever get away from either). Sadly, my girls have been, until now, too young to exert their will on their (very hard-headed) father and get the things I would actually want for Christmas. He doesn't get them, either. I buy my own. It's nice to get what you want, but I do enjoy the occasional surprise.

I have hope, though. The older daughter is getting her license in the next week or so. Hopefully, by Christmas she'll be able to harass her daddy for money and drive herself to the stores to shop for me. I can hardly wait! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, I am devastated to hear that you would be tempted to sell me out for mere diamonds. I think I need to lie down...

Caren Crane said...

Beth, PJ didn't even mention that she doubtless stuffs all those visitors full of homemade chocolates! And cookies! *sigh* We need to find out where she lives and make a surprise visit around the holidays. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Beth, I hear you on the beef jerky. Somehow, that is a hit with all the kids. I have no idea WHY my daughters who have sworn off beef and pork are enamored of beef jerky, but they are. I blame their brother, who always packed beef jerky for Boy Scout camping trips. If he proclaimed it the best thing ever, it clearly is and always will be. *g*

Joan said...

we grab the Celtic jacket and run like blazes to the fire stairs



Funny thing about gladiators....they LOVE hanging around fire stairs....

:D

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, mum's the word. Hopefully, Joanie will never catch on. This could totally work. Just remember, Joan's a nurse so she may know all sorts of wily nurse tricks. I think we may have to involve Ms. Marlowe, who has a few tricks of her own!

Caren Crane said...

Ack! She's onto us! Plus, I would suspect a wily one like JT to try and lure you with cubic zirconia or some such. She's tricksy, she is!

PJ said...

Beth, PJ didn't even mention that she doubtless stuffs all those visitors full of homemade chocolates! And cookies! *sigh* We need to find out where she lives and make a surprise visit around the holidays. *g*


Whispers to Caren...

Don't tell anybody but all you really have to do is find me in DC. :)

Caren Crane said...

I'll never tell, PJ!! It will just be our little secret. I won't even tell the Banditas! *snicker*

Anna Campbell said...

Happy 4th July, everyone! Hope you had a great day.

Caren, what a great post. And I did laugh at the ad hoc stuff becoming 'tradition'. You wonder whether that happened with a lot of other stuff that's now official behaviour. Oh, you want your dad to walk down the aisle with you? I can't see a problem. Suddenly, that's de rigeur, as they say in the best Regencies.

Freezing cold in Oz today. I'm rugged up to my nostrils and still shivering!

Hey, JT, way to go on the chook! Don't put him in charge of the shopping. It will be nothing but liquor and chocolate. Hmm, maybe you SHOULD put him in charge!

Caren Crane said...

Anna, that's so true! I'm sure at some point, some girl made the unconventional choice to be married in white and then...

Or some grieving widow decided to wear nothing but black to show the depth of her loss and then...

No wonder we fall into these things in our families. It's probably programmed in our DNA to latch onto odd behaviors. *g*

Oh, and I agree about the liquor and chocolate. Let the chook shop, JT!

Caren Crane said...

I'm sorry, y'all. I know I posted late and it's still early, but this bird is beat! I need sleep tonight. Trying to ward off a sinus infection, so I need my rest!

Joan said...

I would suspect a wily one like JT to try and lure you with cubic zirconia or some such.

{amused chuckle} Not at all my minion...I mean Caren. Merely the CELTIC MIND MELD!!!!

Bwahahahahaha