Post-Christmas Confusion…What should I do?

Boxing Day at Eaton Center

Well, Santa came and left a mess.  Oh wait, he came and left gifts…the kids made the mess.  And just to give you a follow-up to the last post, there was not filet mignon left out for the fat guy.  Santa didn’t get any either.  Regardless, Christmas was great today.

The kids woke us up promptly at 6:00 am.  From that point until 9:00 am we enjoyed presents.  Then it was time to get ready and go to church.  Lucky for me, I got to give one of the sermons in the meeting.  I would rather have just listened to the choir.  But I was told I did a good job.  As long as I could help people feel the Christmas spirit, that is all I care about.  After all, that is what this day is for.  And having the spirit of Christ for a day is much needed because tomorrow will just be confusion.

First of all, there won’t be any postal or banking services because it will be the day those people get to take their holiday.  Glad I don’t need to go to the bank or post office.  That would be the least confusing part of the day though.

How about all the day-after-Christmas sales?  Pretty much “Black Friday” part two.  If not for all the sales that are taking place for the people that got gift cards and cash for presents, there is the confusion from all the gift returns/exchanges.  Any if you want to stock up on new Christmas decorations for next year, this is the time to do it.  Just no fighting in the isles over that last lighted lamp post for the Christmas village.

If all of that isn’t enough to bring added confusion to your life, there are still three more holidays over the next week with two of them tomorrow.

If you’re Canadian, or have a Canadian friend, or just want to celebrate another holiday, December 26 is Boxing Day.  Americans spend the day boxing up all the presents they didn’t like, I mean didn’t fit into or didn’t work, and take them back to the store for credit or an exchange.  (Maybe we can blame that extra confusion on the neighbors up north.)  Of course the Canadians have Boxing Day for a completely different reason.

I celebrate Boxing Day too.  It is the day I try to box up the decorations.  If my wife and kids let me.  If they don’t, I don’t get to celebrate.  Unless you call watching “Strange Brew” celebrating.  And ending all sentences with “eh”.  (Maybe I should write a blog post tomorrow in Canadian, eh.)

If you are of African-American you get to start celebrating Kwanzaa tomorrow.  I am not, but anytime there is a holiday that lasts seven days and ends with me receiving gifts can’t all be bad.  How do I become an African-American?    Something about my white skin and my English and Swedish heritage is standing in the way.  I am open to temporary adoption however.  Is Michael Jordan looking to adopt?

At the end of the week we get to celebrate the ending of this year and start of another.  And what are we celebrating with that?  That we survived another round of December holiday’s?  And should we really want to celebrate the arrival of 2012 when the Mayan’s say that the world will end before the next Christmas?  What a roller coaster of emotions that will be if it comes to pass.

For me, I think I want to celebrate all three.  I am going to do some family history work and see if I have Canadians and Africans in my heritage (besides, what fun are the English and Swedes?).  I will box up all the Christmas decorations and pull out the Kwanzaa decorations, including the lighting of the first candle.  I’m going to brave the pandemonium at the shopping mall and use my cash and gift cards to buy gifts to give at the end of Kwanzaa.  And since that holiday ends on New Years, I basically will be moving from one holiday (Christmas) to the next (Boxing Day), then to the next (Kwanzaa…which I get to enjoy for a week), and end it all next year (on New Year’s Day).

If I don’t get too confused, and if I have more fun than I anticipate, I may look for some Jewish heritage over the course of the next few months so that I can celebrate Hannakuh next December prior Christmas.  My goal is to have almost a whole month straight of holiday time to celebrate.  I will go from a white, American Mormon, to something so different I don’t know that a name exists for what I could be called.  Written  out it is “white, Swedish-English-African-American, Mormon Jew”.  It can be shortened to one word: whishenglafrimerimorjew.

I think I will just call it confusing.  Because quite frankly, that is what so many holidays in a row really are.

Just another view from a Palmtree.

Hey Santa, no sugar for you!

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Image via Wikipedia

What if Santa was diabetic?  What would you leave for him on Christmas Eve?  This is a suggested topic that I saw in an article a couple of weeks ago that talked about blogging during the Christmas season.  I found the topic to be potentially whimsical.  But, I also realize that diabetes is a serious situation that is affecting more and more Americans each year because of unhealthy lifestyles.

Diabetes has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  I don’t have it but it has been prevalent in my family history.  It was one of the contributing factors that lead to my dad dying almost four years ago.  Now it is moving down the generational line.  Each of my siblings and I are genetically predisposed, and unfortunately, so are our children.  Some days I think about it and promise myself that I will take care of my body so that I don’t get it, and in the end, hope that I just don’t get it.

So at this time of year when so many treats are shared between friends, neighbors, and co-workers; when holiday parties bring out the tastiest – and least healthy – dishes, what are we to do?  Enjoy it all and hope we don’t end up with a belly to rival the jolly head elf?  Here is a question for you to ponder: As you partake in the holiday festivities that lead up to Christmas, and when I say partake I mean eat plenty of unhealthy food that tastes so good you don’t care about the calorie count or sugar content, what will you end up leaving for old Saint Nick to eat when he comes delivering to your house?

There have been times at my house that the treat plate left on the coffee table consisted of the left-over treats received from neighbors that my kids didn’t like.  I knew that they would get eaten, so we made sure to set them out.  There have even been times that my kids wanted to leave out carrots, apples and oranges.  They were mostly for the reindeer, but Santa was welcome to help himself too.  Especially since the sweet treats were usually stale or overcooked cookies.

What about some sort of drink?  Would you leave milk out where it could go sour?  Anytime I think about that, I am reminded of two scenes in the movie “The Santa Clause” with Tim Allen.  The first night he goes around delivering presents he is seen by a little girl while at her house.  She asks why he didn’t drink the milk she left with the cookie.  Since he didn’t want to be there in the first place, he quickly responded that he was lactose intolerant.

The second scene takes place one year later at the same house with the same girl.  By this time Tim Allen’s character has embraced the whole Santa thing and gladly goes to drink the milk.  He almost gags because he thought the milk had gone sour.  He says as much to the girl and she responds that it is soy milk because of his intolerance to lactose.  I don’t recommend that.  Maybe a nice juice, or even just plain water.

I would hate to think what the blood sugar levels would really be if the scenario were true.  Can you imagine the number of cookies, pieces of fudge, and other treats that Santa would be eating if he ate at every house he stopped at?  I don’t know how he would get out of my neighborhood without vomiting from excessive sweetness.  But maybe that is the trick.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to even think about it and the visual images it creates.  Oops, too late.

I think that this year I might have to convince the kids that leaving treats for Santa isn’t a very healthy thing to do.  Maybe we will leave a taco left over from dinner.  Maybe we will make him a ham sandwich.  If I were Santa, I would want a nice filet mignon, cooked medium-rare, with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and candied yams.  (Hint, hint.)  Really, isn’t that what he should be eating?  It provides some carbs and protein that will give him energy to go from house to house delivering presents.  And he won’t have an energy crash like he will after eating so many sugary treats.

I think I am on to something here.  If healthier eating makes Santa lose weight, he can stuff his clothes with pillows like all of the other “Santas” you see at the shopping mall.  And if he doesn’t lose the weight, well, at least we can sleep soundly knowing that he is getting a good meal to help him along.  ‘Cause after all, we don’t want to lose Santa to diabetes, and I am sure he doesn’t want to hassle with taking insulin.  Why complicate things?

Just another view from a Palmtree.