Monday, December 24, 2007

Sarah the Scrooge

Never one for holidays (I believe every day can be special in its own way), I have become even more of a Grinch this season. I bought only a few presents for the kids, figuring they’re getting plenty of gifties from relatives. Jack and Phoebe decorated the tree without me, and when I noticed that they had only put on half our ornaments, I decided that was fine by me. I just tried to talk Jack into doing all the gift-wrapping. No wreath, no votive candles, no homemade gingerbread men—all Christmas touches I’ve done in years past.

But yesterday took the [fruit]cake: Jack and the kids went to see Santa while I did a 16-mile run. I had resisted Jack’s earlier attempts to get us all to visit Santa, shuddering at the thought of the crowds and trying to keep our 2-year-old twins content while waiting in the long line. Plus, family finances are so tight, I reasoned it would save us $25 on the requisite kids-on-Santa’s-lap photo. Almost-six-year-old Phoebe, shy like I was as a child, has never been a fan of the Santa visit, and I reasoned John and Daphne wouldn’t know what they were missing.

Jack sprung the idea on me at the last minute—he was headed off to Mass, and I was hanging out with the kids. Afterward, the family was going to drop me at the far end of 11-mile Leif Erikson Drive, and I would run home from there (the dirt fireroad comes out about 5 miles across the river from our house). Jack only asked me to get the kids dressed nicely and charge the camera battery. He didn’t suggest I scrap my run to join them—and neither did I. So we carried out our plan. As I ran through the rain and fog, dodging muddy puddles (little John’s parting words to me had been, “Don’t step in puddles, Momma!”), I debated where I’d rather be: Out in the only-for-the-hardy (or insane!) elements, pounding out 16 miles, or in a crowded, hot department store, waiting to see Santa. Maybe I’ll regret my decision when my kids are obsessed with The Hills instead of Happy Feet, or they want navel rings instead of belly kisses, but yesterday I chose my path and I was glad I was on it. (And as you can see from photo: It looks like kiddies didn't miss me too much!)

Now here’s to healthy and happy miles to all in 2008!



Ruth said...

I totally agree and you are probably a better mum for getting out there and going for that run. I know that I am after a run. It always helps put things in perspective. Thanks for this blog and have a great new year!

PDXJulieBryan said...

Hey before everyone thinks Sarah is a big meanie (she just talks that way) - I saw her after her run with her daughter and she decorated a bunch of really awesome sugar cookies!! Girlfriend, there is NO WAY you're a scrooge - you're just keeping sane (and perspective, perhaps?!?) in this seriously overdone, uber crazy holiday. Good on you for keeping with your program. You're an inspiration for many of us.

Candice Y said...

You know, I think it would help everyone's Christmas spirit a little bit if they didn't start in with the hoop-la RIGHT after Halloween (heck, Garden Ridge had a Christmas section going before Halloween down here!)

Keep running! Hope you had a wonderful holiday in spite of it all. :-D

~Candy @ Daily Thoughts