Sunday, December 23, 2018

Carrots. For the...Reindeer

2nd time around from 23. December 2013

Christmas Eve 1988. The Eldest's first Christmas at six months old. We had spent a long day with my family and the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes typical in Italian households.

I had decided when I had children, I didn't want them to have the kind of Christmas I had. Christmas Eve with my grandmother and aunt and her family (Ma's side). Christmas morning was hectic with opening of gifts, a rush to Mass and then back again to Grandma's and Auntie's for Christmas Day with side trips to visit Dad's two brothers  and two sisters because they lived in the same area. Inevitably, there were tears among the cousins as tensions were high, toys got broken, and the crushing noise of screaming kids and adults.

I wanted a day where Himself and I could enjoy our home and children in peace and quiet. No running all over creation seeing relatives we saw once a week or more. Our home would be open to anyone who wanted to visit, but we were not budging out of the dollhouse.

I'm getting ready to put The Eldest down for the night. I'm also looking forward to my own long, Winter's nap. Himself has the video camera and wants to film the Christmas Eve tradition of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa. This was also not a tradition I grew up with.

I'm not sure if we didn't bother with milk and cookies because it wasn't part of our Italian heritage or because The Brother was six years my senior, the tradition was old hat. By the time I was seven years old, I had a healthy dose of a Christmas reality check so maybe we just didn't bother.

So pajamaed baby in my arms and a camera rolling in my face. Himself announces we have to put out milk and cookies for Santa. Ok. I'll be a good sport. I get a dish and put a couple of cookies on it. Go to the fridge, grab the gallon of milk, and pour a glass of milk. I'm looking forward to night, night Santa.

"Mama, you forgot something."

"What? There's milk and cookies." I couldn't quite keep the irritation out of my voice.

"You forgot the carrots."

"The carrots?"

"For the reindeer." Came the cheerful reply.

I'm tired. It's been a long day. I want to go to bed. Nevermind putting the baby to bed. I'm also not good at masking my feelings. Because I'm thinking carrots for the %#@$^&$* reindeer? You have got to be kidding. You got your milk, you got your damn cookies and, now, I have to prepare carrots for the &%%^$ reindeer?

Himself is really good at reading me.

"You don't have to cook the carrots."

With baby on hip I go to the fridge, take the bag of carrots, and plunk the bag next to the milk and cookies.

"Carrots. For the...[a pause] reindeer."

And I remembered another Christmas movie and can't believe I forgot to add it to the list

17 comments:

  1. I love this story - forget the magic of Christmas, it's the reality of Christmas :)

    It is hard to merge traditions... for instance, I hate having the tree up before December 1st, but lost that, let's call it 'negotiation', some time ago.

    Hope you have a peaceful Christmas this year!

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    1. Christmas negotiations. šŸ˜ƒ Love it. Christmas will be a little hectic this year

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  2. Well, it's right - the reindeer needs food probably more than Santa! Valerie

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    1. Yes, I’m sure. I just wish someone had explained the tradtion well before I was ready to end the day šŸ˜ƒ

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  3. Funny story, but more now than then I imagine ;)

    A Christmas Story gets mixed reviews here. My husband and I like it, but none of our kids do. That may be because we didn't discover it 'til they were grown. We watch it every year, the two of us :)

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    1. Yeah, back then I failed to see the humor. Now, it's quite funny.

      We enjoy A Christmas Story. Will be looking for it to watch this weekend.

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  4. I guess I'm lucky, dear CJ. I can create my own traditions and I've found both Bleubeard and Squiggles go along with them (except Bleubeard hates his stocking, of course). Sometimes, merging traditions can be tricky and compromise is the reality, especially at this "festive" season. Of course, I had to laugh and laugh at this conversation you had with your husband over the carrots for the reindeer.

    Do baby carrots work for baby reindeer?

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    1. I have no clue. And now some conflicting information on what reindeer eat. According to the Christmas Chronicles, they enjoy candy canes.

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  5. We made that same decision right after my daughter's second birthday. Made my mother mad for years about it. I get it but after the first year of this it was so exhausting and what kind of holiday was that for my daughter? Or us. And what my mother forgot was wee were 2 hours away and also had another side of family. But that side was much more understanding. Well today I am baking cookies, for all the Santas out there. And thanks for making me feel a little guilty for making that decision back in 1992. Merry Christmas CJ if I'm not online before Tuesday. Hugs-Erika

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    1. No guilt. You made the best decision for you and your family. Have a Merry Christmas. Enjoy those cookies

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  6. I enjoyed reading your story.
    Our granddaughter came round today, so excited - she had been helping her Mum get the mince pies ready for Father Christmas and sort out the carrots for the reindeer!
    Just so sweet.

    Merry Christmas Wishes.

    All the best Jan

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  7. I never liked being torn away from my new toys to go visiting either.....most of the time we lived too far away, thank goodness. (Yes, reindeer like candy canes! That's what we always left for them!)

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    1. Wish I had known reindeer like candy canes. We usually had lots around and peppermint is not my favorite flavor

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  8. I love this story CJ!! LOL!
    Our family Christmas's have changed so much!

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