Wednesday, December 9, 2009
From Hallowmas to a Magical Metal X-mas.
"I want to put more and more and MORE decorations up all over the house, Mommy," he said. And so we continued to hang angels and Santas and shiny red balls in the hall, 'round the lamps, and on the stone gargoyle's foot.
At a certain point, however, the sheer scale of Christmas upset the delicate balance of Hallowmas. The paper spiders and tissue ghosts couldn't compete with the two-foot nutcracker or the glass cowboy Santa holding a cactus. The webs sagged, then fell with a crash from the weight of the decorations.
I decided it was time to make the transition from Hallowmas to a more traditional setting for the coming holiday.
Late one night, I took down all but one small web and a few scary paper cats still on the refrigerator. I plugged in the Christmas lights in the window, still up from the previous year, and even draped some new lights on our big jade plant.
The next day, however, Xander's best friend and neighbor showed us his Christmas tree. A colorful star-shaped bulb suddenly went off in my son's head. Without any prompting, in fact just the opposite, Xander "got" Christmas. And when I say he "got" Christmas, I mean he grasped on to the crass part of the season that includes a never-ending supply of tinsel, presents and candy. He began asking how long until Christmas and whether he could open a present NOW.
I played along with it, thinking it was funny because we'd tried to downplay the holiday with our aversion to the commercialism, the forced pageantry, and the once-a-year zealots that find Jesus just in time to get something other than coal in their stocking. Also funny, I giggled, because while my husband is a not-so-secret athiest, I secretly love Christmas. Xander and I baked cookies, made a gingerbread house, wrote Santa a letter, bought a gorgeous tree, and decked the halls, the walls, and the gargoyle's other foot.
It is now December 9th.
Today when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, my 4-yr old son immediately piped in,
"A drippy monster puppet."
"OK," I said, unfazed by this request. I could bang out a drippy monster sock puppet in no time. In fact, I could used a part of my somewhat failed drippy monster Halloween costume. Maybe Hallowmas still had a fighting chance as a holiday.
"Hmm." Xander stopped doing flips on the couch to really ponder this serious question. He tapped his finger to his mouth, having learned from a book that that was a way to show a person was really thinking hard.
"For my special present, I would like a metal X."
"A metal X?"
"Yes, a super strong metal X that nothing can break but that can stick anywhere."
"Wow," I said (scratching my head, thereby showing I was really stumped by this request), "So would it be made of steel, like Superman?" You see, I thought we were just playing.
"No, not like Superman," he rolled his eyes.
"Well steel is a really strong metal," I quipped. That cheered him out of his sulk.
"Knives are made of steel and we have knives, so you could make my special X out of those."
At this point I realized he was serious and that he thought I could weld. As if I had any chance of actually making this item, I asked him "And when you say it sticks to everything, what do you mean, like Velcro?" In my head I was already googling "metal paper weight" or "metal letter key chain", thinking I could slap on some velcro or double stick tape and call it a Merry Christmas.
"No. Not velcro or tape or anything sticky. But it can stick to the couch or the wall or anyplace."
"How?" I ask.
I don't know what your Christmas shopping list looks like, but I've got "magical metal X" on mine and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to find it at Macy's.
I miss Hallowmas already.