As you have no doubt gathered, I am easily excited about the newness brought on by the change of seasons. Right now Christmas is in full swing and it is a great time to be a dad. Everything is kid friendly, and no matter where you go, people seem friendly, outgoing and willing to set aside differences in respect to the holidays.
There’s a laundry list of essential activities for this time of year - I’m taking the kids out to the annual Victorian Streetwalk, we’ll try ice skating if it gets cold enough, a hot chocolate here and there and even some light-duty Christmas shopping.
One thing not on the list though is going to the mall to see Santa. I can’t think of anything less fun than that, and every year I wonder why people bother. Do the kids even like it? I have no idea but I am not eager to find out. I can’t remember it being very magical when I was a kid, and the overpowering memory I have is not even my own experience. It’s the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie gets shoved down the slide and ever since Santa has been a bit of a villain.
Long story short, I am just not doing it. Kudos to you if you can stomach that level of masochism, but here are my top reasons for avoiding this misadventure:
- I’m getting too old "to wait in line" for this shit – I'm with Sgt. Murtaugh, life is too damn short. Think of all the Facebooking you could do with an extra 90 minutes in your day.
- Don’t want to pay for a pic – No need to deal with those elves whose sole purpose is to upsell you on a $30 pic of your kid crying on Santa’s lap.
- Santa is scary to a 3 year old – Must be. It’s too weird. I know beards are back in vogue, but the whole thing must seem so bizarre. After the age of 1.5, having a kid in my lap was pretty annoying, so lap-sitting has been discouraged in our house for quite some time. It would be counterproductive to re-introduce this activity with a red-suited stranger no matter how jolly.
- Santa’s grandkid goes to B’s school – The local Santa picks his kid up at the same time I collect B from preschool, and that’s just a little too close to home.
- Parents always lose with Santa – At best, your kid gets out of there without crying or wetting himself, but only because Santa promised to bring him everything on the list. So you’re pretty much screwed, good luck finding the Star Wars unicorn that he always wanted.
- I am not the world’s best dad – Despite what the mug says.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Merry Christmas!
Oh, I meant to throw up #8 of the 12 Days of Cocktails, here you go:
The Dominic Petrovich
1 ½ oz vodka
½ oz strega
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz ginger syrup (see recipe below)
4 oz club soda
Shake all ingredients except club soda in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a copper mug filled with ice. Top with club soda, garnish with a sprig of mint.
Ginger Syrup: Juice about a pound of ginger to yield 8 oz of juice. Mix that juice with 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Enjoy in cocktail recipes aplenty, mix with lime juice and club soda for a homemade ginger beer that is better than Reed's.