Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the tag “Reindeer”

It’s A Wonderful Life

Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, like a huge, gigantic Turkey serving yet another meal. Like the waft that hangs around you after a McDonalds meal, like the things that you will find in the windmills of your mind (with thanks to Noel Harrison). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEhS9Y9HYjU

There is an episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets hallucinatory food poisoning from the world record beating hoagie he has brought home from the company picnic. As he lies in bed in agony he holds the mouldy and festering sandwich close to his face and whispers lovingly, ” but how can I be angry with you?” I feel the same about our new pet this year. It gave us so much joy on Christmas Day and now, on the third day of Christmas its asymmetrical remnants taunt me to crank up the Delia one more time for a fricassee, omelette or some other spurious Turkey-based fiasco. How can I refuse? Jerk Turkey or bust.

This year’s Christmas Day was an unqualified success. Most of the visits had been done and our only visitors were welcome and unphased by the sheer exuberance and detritus that twin boddlers, a teenager and a bottle of Lanson can leave. This is the last year we can get away with doing what we want until the twins are into double figures. The family side is easy. My lot are Jewish, popped in to try the turkey and sloped off quickly back to the warmth of not being bothered. Most other relatives, already child-rich and time-poor got it out of the way early and Didsbury Son, flicking an imaginary Perry as though he is Phil Oakey 1983 is happy to feign disinterest and lie-in.

There had been a little negotiation. The Mighty-Headed boy is nothing if not cautious. His sister embraced the season and expected FC to bring her a reindeer. For the slightly worried 2 year old, the idea of a stranger coming down the chimney is scary, verging on the too scary. Luckily Didsbury Wife knows Father Christmas and he agreed to drop the presents a few doors down so we could pick them up from there. With the deal struck we moved on.

I must admit to being a bit wary at Christmas. I never understood all the stress and expectation – especially from the faithless. My lot seemed easy. No personal relationship with anyone to be Jewish. Just be part of the tribe and remember the tenets of all our festivals lie in… They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

I like the idea of goodwill to all regardless of who they support. The celebration of birth, re-birth, the seasons, the sun – all good. There is something for everyone. I’m not sure Turkey still qualifies as a low-fat super food once it’s had a pound of butter and a pound of streaky slathered over it, but I like Christmas Day. This year I loved it.

Thanks to Peppa, Frozen and the inventor of jigsaws there were only winners. The sheer joy and unrestrained whooping that was the soundtrack to our morning rubbed off on Didsbury Son. He emerged from his hood and joined the party.

We played games, ate and drank, went to the park and counted our blessings at the jackpots we had won to be this lucky. The miracle of Christmas, not one crossed word, not one inappropriate present – It may never happen again. When it does it is wonderful in the fullest sense.

The Santa Claus Conundrum

The weather’s nice, very mild for this time of year. Whilst we hurtle as a nation past 500% of our income in debt the Christmas lights are on. The tills are open, the false bonhomie of Christmas parties is in the air and Didsbury Son is weighing up whether or not Santa will come if he confesses that  he no longer believes that a man and reindeer will deliver his presents on 24 December.

This is not the tooth fairy

It’s our fault. When the tooth fairy failed to deliver after an incisor he soon recanted his disbelief.

When, as a small boy he declared support for the wrong coloured football shirt it was easy. I panicked and flapped at this squeaking vision; imagining a lifetime of trips to the wrong place and shirts with the wrong sponsor. Didsbury Wife remained calm. Beaming with love she appeared with his bag packed. With light in her eyes and love in heart she told him it was okay. Okay, but he would have to go and live with Nana and the cat would probably never again talk to him. It worked. It worked so well that Didsbury Son has no interest in football. He is neither red nor blue and it’s probably a good thing. As I spend my weekends gurning and grimacing at 5Live, planting my potential joy on the slender shoulders of skilled mercenaries who have no concept of the Bovril : Pie necessity I feel a little envious of his indifference.

I digress as usual. Being Jewish makes it easier. Santa never brought us presents: but he did occasionally pop around to try Grandma’s soup. This year Didsbury Son, now in High School, is faced with a huge ethical dilemma; logic versus faith.

Faith could, should and will win. However, he is now (almost) sure that Santa doesn’t actually unhitch the reindeer on the roof, pop down the chimney with Prancer, eat a pie, sniff the wine and give the reindeer a carrot.

Ewan The Sheep’s soporific tuning poses a genuine threat to Father Christmas and reindeer as they come through Britain having done Australasia and filled up on Koala Bear pies. Parents have been asked to ensure they are off on Christmas Eve

It is nothing to do with the logistics, the fact we don’t have a chimney or that his present has tags in Didsbury Wife’s handwriting.

This important vestige of Christian childhood is potentially going to be scuppered as Didsbury Son cannot see how St. Nick and his pet could find space between the bouncers, baby gyms, changing mats and feeding cushions that now fill our living room

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