Monday, December 20, 2010

Pre Christmas Randomness

Lately things have been quiet all over blog land, which completely suits my mood. I'm totally cool with retreating inward for a while. Frankly, there hasn't been that much to talk about, just the usual family stuff, books, mega cups of hot cocoa, and hugging my Christmas Tree, which by the way still looks amazing despite the fact that it's been in my house for over a month now.

*As earlier mentioned, last week Jay and I went and saw The Santaland Diaries, a one man show based on the David Sedaris book. (By the way, if you haven't read that book, it's a must, especially this time of year.) The show was funny, the theatre was intimate, and we had great (second row!) seats. Plus, I just have to say that having a date night on a Wednesday just may be my new favorite thing. It really broke up the week nicely. I highly suggest it. Why save all the fun for the weekend?

*Last Friday night I sat for close to an hour and a half researching books and then requesting them through my library. I would love to be a cool person that goes out and actually does stuff on a Friday night, but the fact that I enjoyed my evening speaks volumes about my level of dorkitude.

*About a month ago, in an effort to save money, we cancelled our HBO, but Comcast counter offered with a free three month subscription, which we agreed to take and I'm so glad we did because there has been some excellent programming lately. One being the new Ricky Gervais stand up special. ( You all know how much I love him.) The other was a documentary called Outrage, a film about closeted homosexual politicians. It was both fascinating and sad. Have any of you seen it?

*The girl's birthday is coming up on January second. A few small gifts have been purchased as well as the ingredients to make a super epic rainbow cake. The pompom garlands will probably remain up as well.But other than all that, the affair will be small-just family. This is the second year that my family has officially celebrated birthdays and as hard as I try I just can't shake the idea that children's birthdays have gotten a bit too extravagant for my liking. I've been to quite a few lately, some were crazier than others, but one that stands out had the birthday kid sitting on a throne. Admittedly, it was an inflatable throne, but it still just kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I just being Miss Poopy No Fun?


Daphne said...

Oh god no -- kids birthday parties are insane. I say, have a great cake, maybe a fun activity with a friend or two and your family, and a few presents and call it a happy day. Total brain-melt otherwise.

Your tree looks fantastic, by the way!!

Dysfunctional Mom said...

The pom pom garland is so cute!
I agree with you about kids' parties. I've never done the elaborate affairs that so many people do. Ours are usually at home. We do a few games, gifts, cake, that's it. If I do treat bags at all, they just contain a few pieces of candy and some trinkets. I've seen some ridiculous stuff. The throne is just....weird.

Dani said...

I'm glad you're enjoying your tree. Ours still looks OK, but don't dare bump it. It instantly turns into the Charlie Brown version.

I'm a total weekend date girl unless neither one of us has work the next day. Which never happens. But your Friday night sounds rad. I love quiet Fridays on the computer, researching music or cookbooks.

The birthday parties nowadays are in-sane! Lia teaches at a school with some serious money, and the stories she tells about parents giving out Target gift cards for favors and renting out a whole skating rink make my head spin. My poor kid...he's been brainwashed into thinking a party sucks unless it's at one of those bounce places. The Girl doesn't know better...yet.

We do simple. You were born. If anyone deserves a party it's me; I'm the one that pushed children out of my vagina without meds.

The WoodLand School said...

The kid party scene can get completely out of control! I knew someone who rented a box at the Baltimore Orioles game when his son turned 9. Sheesh -- what happened when the kids was 10???

I think David Sedaris is the funniest person alive. I have seen him twice and nearly made myself sick with all the laughing.

Happy cozy holidays!

Veronica said...

We haven't had a party for any of our children. If anything, we just do a nice dinner and a cake or special dessert.

I would say it's to keep our children humble, but honestly, i don't want to deal with lots of parents and kids. Does that make me a bad person? One or two sets of parents and kids simultaneously i can deal with, but a classroom full of both? forget it about it!

Besides, birthday parties can get expensive. It seems like people have to GO somewhere to have a birthday party instead of having a nice lo-key shindig at home with pin the tail on the donkey.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Green with envy about your Friday night at the library as well as Santaland Diaries. Literally green with envy. An hour and a half at the library sounds divine!!!

I agree with the children party topic as well. In my family when growing up our birthday was all about us but not on a throne kind of way. Mom made our favorite meal for dinner. We had cake and ice cream. Some family members like Grandma etc came by either on the day or the weekend. No elaborate parties. My parents would have died at that "showing"
But they made it special within the family and we all loved it. Now my sisters kids get the same thing - they do whine about no parties like their friends but they have survived.

Sarah12730 said...

First, I'm with everyone else, kid birthday parties are out of hand lately. Of course, we've retreated to the backwoods, so birthday parties here normally consist of either a trip to the park with a cake, or a bonfire. And a cake. I'm so glad we don't live in the big city anymore, being forced to attend parties that involve gymnastics or bouncing. It's quite a relief for me.
Second, The Girl's birthday is January 2nd? So is my hubby's! Neat!

Tammie said...

sarah: does your husband feel like right after christmas is an unfortunate time to have a birthday as well? :)

im so glad you all agree with me about the birthday thing. i was thinking it was a me thing since i myself had never had a birthday party.

and dani, i completely agree. being born is really not that special.

D'Arcy said...

Where we are, kids' birthdays are still pretty low-key. It usually involves the birthday child inviting some friends to her/his house, where they play with whatever toys or games are already in the house, then eat hot dogs or chicken nuggets or pizza and have cake, which might be homemade or might be storebought but in either case is not likely to be too elaborate or fancy.

My daughter's birthday is Jan 9, and so far she doesn't seem to mind it being close to Christmas. We'll see how she feels when she's a little older, though (she'll be 7 in January)

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Hey Miss Poppy -- I often wonder how parents keep topping birthday extravaganzas. Same thing with school trips....Here in our town, it starts with a huge road trip to Niagara Falls or Boston for the sixth graders. Then it's a trip to Hawaii in 10th grade and finally, Europe senior year. have to be crazy if you think I'm sending my kid to Hawaii before I get to go. (ok -- so I'm ranting a bit, but whatever happened to simple? It starts with a birthday blow-out, I tell you).

And, I can't even remember the last time I went out on a Friday. Oftentimes it's just me and my library books -- because my husband works 'til midnight most Fridays and my kids actually have social lives, leaving me home alone. But, seriously, I'm not complaining.

Jess said...

I just love the poms!

Kids parties are bonkers. I invite only immediate family that consists of parents and eight children ages 3-16. That alone makes for a full house, compounded with a family that is loud...craziness! There is no room or frankly, FUNDS to have a party that big.

Children's birthdays these days can easily become extravagant soirees. I feel the purpose of the celebration can become lost in the coordinating napkins, catering and designer cupcakes.

Also, since when do parents stick around for birthday parties? When I was a kid, I was dropped off at parties and promptly picked up at the time designated by the host. What the hell happened to that custom??? This jacks the bill up tremendously for the host! I end up feeding 30 people at every birthday celebration.

I could go into the whole "If you invite her then you have to invite her and her brother and her cousin....

There is much politics in the planning and executing of children's parties. My most sincere suggestion would be if celebrations are new to your family, keep them small. I think there is something so incredible about spending that day with the family in the home. Small, simple and meaningful.

Bridge said...

I adore your pom pom garden and will be copying it next year!

Lia said...

The thought of anyone sitting on an inflatable throne, kid or adult, is sick.

My kids have each had a few birthday parties and have each had a few simple get-togethers with their very best friends for their birthdays.

Max's party this year was eight boys at the playground at our school. They all brought their bikes and rode around, played a game of ultimate frisbee, explored a mini-forest (which they loved because they aren't allowed to do that during recess), had some snacks and some cupcakes. I spent all of $35 on the whole party, including frisbees and ring-pops from the dollar store for party favors. And the best part was that we only came home with eight gifts, which is more than enough. It was perfect.

We did have a fairly big party for Ben's last birthday (the dance party/ running-around-like-maniacs-zipline party at our house), but it was the first party he's had with more than 2 guests since he turned five. So I don't feel like it was over the top. Ridiculous and hilarious? Definitely.

I really love to utilize our school playground for parties. I've done it twice, now, and it's so freaking easy and, therefore, awesome. It's also a neighborhood park, though, so it never feels like we're there when we shouldn't be or something. Being a teacher and having a key to the building also solves the bathroom predicament.

And that party Dani mentioned with the family who rented out the whole skating rink? True, but it's only one family and they've only done it once. While it most certainly was over-the-top, it was really nice that they included the entire grade level and asked that gifts be toys for the local orphanage, which they drove there themselves. Most of the families at my school are just normal upper-middle class people, but upper enough that the mamas don't have to work.

Damn, this was a long-ass comment. Sorry.

Maria Rose said...

Eww, a b-day throne!?! Yikes. Totally creepy.I think a few thoughtful gifts and a day to make the birthday person feel loved and special are plenty.