Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas

This is a re-post of something I put up over at our new online store's blog:

THURSDAY, DEC. 17, 2009
Twelve Days of Christmas

Someone has chosen our family for a modern "Twelve Days of Christmas" this year. We're not sure who it is, but every night for the last four nights someone has left something on our doorstep, along with a little poem.

Day One: "On the first day of Christmas we're dropping Christmas hints - And a candy cane treat bag full of chocolate mints! The 12 days of Christmas is a tradition we adore - So sit back and enjoy the gift, there'll be a eleven more!" This came with a bag of chocolate-covered mints.

Day Two: "On the second day of Christmas on your doorstep we did drop - two liters of our favorite soda pop." This was attached to a bottle of 7-Up Pomegranate.

Day Three: "On the third day of Christmas on your doorstep we did drop - three packages of popcorn to be popped." This came with three packs of microwave popcorn.

Day Four: "On the fourth day of Christmas to your doorstep we did lug - four quarts of apple cider in a great big jug." A gallon jug of real apple cider (not concentrate).

This is quite a lot of fun for us, as you can imagine. The kids are all excited to see what we get each night. We're also pretty impressed by how well they are able to get to our doorstep undetected every night. Granted, we're not actively trying to catch them (why ruin a good thing), but the way our house is laid out doesn't make it easy. All it would take is for one of us to be sitting on our couch looking out the window and they would have no way to get unseen to our door.

I certainly hope this is as fun for them to give as it is for us to receive. Probably more, as they get the thrill of the Mission: Impossible-style deliveries. The gifts are not extravagent--and don't need to be. Normal food, when given with love, become special--so special, in fact that we haven't been able to bring outselves to eat any of it yet! And family expriences around that food builds lasting memories. I know we'll never forget this. I should hope they--whoever they are--don't either.

Merry Christmas, and thank you...whoever you are!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Hey, Mutant!

Posting has been pretty light lately, for which I apologize. Trying to get something going that will someday put food on the table has been pretty demanding lately. Which brings me to the not-unrelated topic of "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium", a movie we watched last night.

I've had my eye on it at the video store for awhile, wondering if it was any good. It was (perhaps mis-)placed in the comedy section, so I figured it had to be pretty light stuff. And there is some, to be sure. But the movie is really a very compact, heavy little light drama.

It speaks volumes about the value of wonder and fun. But it also speaks volumes about believing in yourself. The main character, Mahoney, is the assistant manager of a magic toy shop run by the slightly-less-magical Mr. Magorium. Mahoney has spent so long as part of the shop that she has gotten used to the magic--and gotten used to the notion that Mr. Magorium provides all of it. She never stops to think that perhaps she contributes in her own way.

Mr. Magorium knows this, and that is why he leaves the shop to her when he dies. But her own lack of faith her herself sends the shop into hibernation until, of all people, the stuffy, real-world-ly accountant manages to show her that that magic is in her, too.

I found myself getting choked up at the ending, though it took me awhile to realize why. I think over the last few weeks--perhaps the last several months--I've become Mahoney, thinking there's nothing magical about me. I've lost my belief in myself somewhere along the way, and it's been making me miserable. I'm not entirely sure how to find it again, but I suppose knowing it's missing is half the battle.

I know one thing that would help. I need to try on one of Eric's hats. Mr. Magorium was quite right about that. Eric has fabulous hats.