Coming to you from 7000 feet above sea level at the in-laws, it's the post-Christmas review....
So yeah, we did the Christmas thing at Amy's brother's. He's a decent fella; hard-working, roll-up-your-sleeves, shut-the-hell-up-and-get-it-done kind of guy, much like his father. He's got a kiddo, neat lil' dude about two years old. Most anyone who reads this probably already knows him. His mom and pop are very devoted to him, and it shows. (The in-law tradition of uberparenting continues; I refer to them as in-laws for some small degree of internet anonymity.)
Came to realize one of the impending signs of my parenthood - I found myself not enjoying Christmas for my own sake, but looking forward to The Ornery One's arrival - and doing silly stuff for that one's Christmas enjoyment. (Sidebar thought: Is this the sign of one's adulthood - when one becomes more interested in - or looks forward to - the enjoyment of one's children above the enjoyment of one's self? If so, some parents are not adults - and some non-parents are still adults. End of sidebar.)
Let's face it - for adults, like it or not, Christmas is STRESSFUL. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) Even when we tell each other we have no expectations, the self-respect and personal desire to impress one's peers still push us. Kids, on the other hand, absolutely rejoice for the holiday. They get free stuff that they really want, and that's it. Now we could go on about how Christmas is intended as a religious holiday, but let's face it - the vast emphasis of the holiday is commercial and "gifty." I'm not condemning that - I'm simply pointing it out.
Christmas is basically a kid's holiday. What's the most favorite Christmas tale? Sorry, but it's not "The Greatest Story Ever Told" - it's "A Christmas Story," Red Rider BB Gun and all. Yeah, sure, it's a time for families to get together, but there's a reason kids get all the presents - we're trying to instill in them the magic of the holiday that we ourselves have let go of to some degree. Adults love Christmas because of the kids; our vicarious enjoyment of their rapture. Me, there's a second motivation - my own Christmas history involved going to a large, drunken gathering of skydivers and packing parachutes in the afternoon while getting presents in the morning. Great way to wrap up the day, fa la la. I want my own kid to love the day and not have any reservations on it.
Easter's the same way, if you think about it. Valentine's, not so much - kids love their candy, but Victoria's Secret is the big retailer on that day. (Rawr.) Halloween is kind of split down the middle; kids love it, but lemme tell ya, the guys don't mind seeing the ladies in the getups most choose to wear on that day. (By which of course I only mean my dear and darling wife.)
I'm not sure I have much of a point, here. More of a rumination on holidays in general. Christmas is need. It's a lot more neat with kids. I think I must be - on some level - mentally preparing to become a dad, because I start thinking in terms of what this holiday means to kiddos.
On another note, it's just started snowing here in Ruidoso. It's a day late, but it's a sort-of-white-Christmas. Heh. Hopefully there'll be enough and it'll stick so that we can see how ol' dogface Lily reacts to it tomorrow. Maybe I'll post two blogs in two days. Oooh. Exciting.