December 18, 2006

Well, let's see.

As for the head cold, it's breaking up sorta, although now all of my bodily fluids smell like Mucinex.

Friday night, got out and went to the super-convenient new shopping center over on the other hill. I really like having a JC Penney that close. Aside from the fact that it causes us to spend money.

Saturday morning we got up and after a while, I figured out that it was going to be just Catherine and I going to the Christmas party for the kids from church. Reba couldn't get going, none of the other kids could get going, and there was a giant mound of laundry to do, so it was decided that since it had gotten so late, they'd stay behind, and maybe eventually get out and go do some family Christmas shopping while we were gone.

SOooo, loaded up the Volvo with foodstuffs for the party (roll-up ham sandwiches, brownies, chips, soft drinks) and a gift for Catherine for Santa to give her, and my alter-ego superhero costume.

This is getting a bit depressing.

Just like Halloween, when Jonathan and Rebecca were too old to want to go trickertreating, they were too old for this party, too, since it was just for kids up through the fifth grade. So it was just Cat and me again, and she was awfully quiet on the drive. Maybe she was preoccupied by the scenery, because it was truly a gorgeous day--bright blue skies, temperatures a Spring-like 70 degrees. But I think she was just being quiet for some other reason.

Got to the appointed home and found ourselves as the first arrival. After a brief bit of horror that maybe I had either gotten the date or time or place wrong, I figured we were okay when I saw the host waving out the window at me. Got out, Catherine played with the frightening-looking brindled pit bull mix that was lounging on the driveway and we trundled our stuff inside. And thankfully, more people began showing up just then, so she would have some hyperactive company to interact with.

Stowed my costume in a back bedroom, we ate lunch, the kids (who by now numbered five in all) had a few games of an aggressive competitive nature and then retired to the living room to sing Christmas carols, which was my cue to make my exuent and change.

Off with my civvies, then on with the pants, boots, smock--begin sweating profusely--belt, beard, wig, hat. HO!

I clomped back through the house and made my grand entrance as Kris Kringle with all the loud-mouthed abandon I could muster. It's probably wrong of me, but whenever I dress up as Santa, something comes over me and I act a bit too jolly and wry and slightly crazed. Santa always blames this on having to ride in a sleigh behind eight tiny reindeer. Santa has a line of patter that is half Groucho, half Jonathan Winters, and half Uncle Bubba who no one likes to invite over for the holidays because he invariably does something that makes someone uncomfortable.

The kids seem to like it, though, and the adults do, too. I had told Catherine beforehand that I was going to dress up, and for her not to tell any of the little kids so it wouldn't spoil the surprise, and she was a perfect helper. I jabbered like an insane man, asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas, distributed the gifts, made a grand and dramatic exit, went and changed back into my regular clothes, and expressed deep remorse that I had somehow managed to miss Santa Claus.

They kids played a while longer and then I gathered Cat up and we headed back home. She was in a bit more talkative mood on the way home, but I have a feeling that this might be her last little kid Christmas party, and no matter how pretty the day was, it still wasn't bright and sunny enough to make up for that twinge of remorse.

On to home, and found that everyone was in the same clothes as when we'd left, but they all eventually got ready and off we went to Target to shop for each other.

Such confusion. We had to have the parents to buy stuff, but the question was how to divide up the four kids so that each could get the others' stuff without them knowing it. What we finally settled on was for Reba and I to take two kids, who would each buy for the other two, then we'd check out separately, put the stuff in the car, then come back and swap one kid, and then we'd go and pick out the gift for the one each had been partnered with previously, then check out again.

Sound confusing?

You just don't know. But somehow it all worked out.

Home, unload, got everyone clean, and then into bed.

That was a long day.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at December 18, 2006 09:35 AM

I don't suppose some kind soul took a PICTURE of you posing as St. Nick, and made it available to be posted on the 'Net?

Sorry you have been feeling poorly--you have had your share of colds lately!

Posted by: Stan at December 18, 2006 10:48 AM

Yes, everyone got a photo, but I haven't seen any of them yet. If it turns out okay, I'll post the one with Catherine.

As for colds, I think it just seems that way--I complain so much about such inconsequential things that it appears I am always feeling clogged up.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at December 18, 2006 11:26 AM