Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

A Love Letter to Santa

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Inaugural year of East Atlanta Santa at Joe's Coffee. 2007

Inaugural year of East Atlanta Santa at Joe’s Coffee. 2007

Every year we see Santa in our old neighborhood, East Atlanta. I can’t remember how exactly it started, but a bunch of folks with little kids bemoaned the mall santa cost, lines, and hassle, and we ended up spawning this amazing fundraiser and tradition. Joe’s Coffee (shout out to Dawn!) offered up their back porch that first year. Friends and neighbors, most without kids of their own, offered to dress up as elves. Dogs and adults and all manner of kookiness were welcome. The cost was, I think, a gift donated to Toys for Tots, or maybe even that first year they donated it all to the boys and girls club?

Tiller with Sheila the Elf, at Flatiron. 2015

Tiller with Sheila the Elf, at Flatiron. 2015

This kind of DIY, easy, laid-back event is precisely what I miss most about EAV. (Okay, well, maybe I miss the people just a little too.) One of those neighbors voiced his dismay that some of us who have been every year since they started putting EAV Santa on are now the old veterans. Which just seems crazy; It seems like just yesterday that I was in Joe’s wearing Rollie in a Baby Bjorn. This friend later posted a retrospective of their photos, and I thought I’d do the same. Well, turns out my archiving skills are not up to par, so I didn’t even locate the earlier mall santa photos. I couldn’t even find the actual picture of the kids with EAV Santa that first year (2007), but I managed, with Todd’s help, to locate a photo outtake in the back at Joe’s, along with all the other 8 years with Santa.

I’m not gonna lie, there were tears shed putting this together. My babies are babies no more. But they will have to deal with our yearly tradition of seeing Santa at Joe’s for the foreseeable future. It’s probably my favorite Christmas tradition. (Since my cousins and I don’t exchange Turtle’s Gift Tokens any more.)

East Atlanta, consider this a love letter. I miss you often. Wishing the villagers and the rest of my loves a wonderful Christmas and an amazing 2016.*

Ages 2 and 4: 2007

Ages 2 and 4: 2007

Ages 5 and 3: 2008

Ages 5 and 3: 2008

Ages 6 and 4: 2009

Ages 6 and 4: 2009

Ages 5 and 7: 2010

Ages 5 and 7: 2010

Ages 8 and 6: 2011

Ages 8 and 6: 2011

Ages 9 and 7: 2012

Ages 9 and 7: 2012

Ages 8 and 10: 2013

Ages 8 and 10: 2013

Ages 11 and 9: 2014

Ages 11 and 9: 2014

Ages 12 and 10: 2015

Ages 12 and 10: 2015

* If I put it out there to the Universe like this, maybe karma will make my 2016 a little better than 2015. No, I won’t be doing a Facebook 2015 Year In Review. People would be wanting to gouge their eyes out or slit their wrists in the bathtub reading that.

A Love Letter to Santa

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

We Hope

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

We hope you’re as excited about Christmas as we are!

Tiller and Rollie, waiting to go downstairs, Christmas Morning.

Tiller and Rollie, waiting to go downstairs, Christmas Morning.

May your Christmas be Merry and Bright!

With love,
The Dogwood Girl family

Official Fudge Tester, Christmas 2010

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Official Fudge Tester of the 2010 Christmas Season

How Do You Achieve a Peaceful Holiday Season with Kids?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Am I the only one that thinks much of the Christmas season sucks ass now that I have kids? Sure, as long as I am stuffing them full of sugar and butter products, and when they are opening gifts, they are having a blast. The rest of the time? They are just whining about things they want, want, want.

Am I doing something wrong? We’ve given to multiple charities, donated toys to needy children, and our kids know about it and why we are doing it.

We don’t go crazy with gifts, and in fact, my kids get way less than most children I know.

I spend time with them, wrapping gifts, singing Christmas carols in the car (a once a year thing, really, as I force them to listen to decent music in the car all other times of the year – it is for their own good in the long run), making cookies, filling the birdfeeders together (birdies need yummy Christmas food too!), etc.

So what am I doing wrong? Is it just normal to feel like a failure as a parent this time of year? It never felt this stressful before kids. Am I asking too much of them, at 7 and 5 years of age, to understand how very and truly lucky they are to be born in this time, in this country, to well-educated and loving parents? (I know that it is not something they can really comprehend. It was, like, rhetorical and stuff.)

If you are able to have a peaceful season with your kids, please share with the class. Because i am feeling like a complete failure.

Nobody Even Knocked Over the Baby Jesus

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Tiller’s Christmas program was this morning at St. Bede’s. I, of course, ran completely late and didn’t get to drink any coffee before, during, or after the program. So, one part of me was all sad that it was Tiller’s last “little girl” Christmas program, and the other half was just holding on to a thread of sanity until I could find a coffee.

First of all, the 4s class came out and did some songs. (Jingle Bells and some other stuff.) Very cute. Unfortunately, by the time they are this age, they don’t really do anything wild, like start talking to their mom during the program, or start wailing when they see all the people stare at them, or accidentally knock the baby Jesus out of the cradle.

And let’s be honest: That is what we show up for.

Fairies in the Manger

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The other night, Todd and Rollie left for Boy Scouts and Tiller and I were still at the dinner table talking. She was telling me how she had her feelings hurt because Vivian and Anna both got to be Mary when they played manger, and she did not get a turn. I was amazed that she really knew about the manger and Mary. Upon further questioning, she also knows what a manger is, who is in the manger (Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus), and that there were animals all around, because there “was no hotel.”

Me: “Didn’t some other people come to the manger?”
Tiller: “Yes. The wise men, and the fairies.”
Me: “The fairies?”
Tiller: “Yes, the fairies come to see the Baby Jesus.”
Me: “Honey, I think you mean the Angels.”
Tiller: “Oh, yes! They have wings like fairies!”

Merry Christmas. Hope You Don’t Die.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

This is so sweet and earnest and honest, in a heartbreaking way, that I wanted to document it here in on Dogwood Girl, even though Todd already posted it on Facebook.

Todd:

At Cub Scouts last night, the boys made Xmas cards to send to troops overseas…I look away for a couple minutes, and R has written “Merry Christmas, I hope you don’t die”….took some gentle coaxing to get him to change it….

Of course, it is also very funny, too. The story is slightly funnier when Todd tells it in person: Evidently, some of the other kids were struggling with the concept of war, and saying things like, “They use guns. I can draw a gun on my card!” and one kid, who has been watching WWII documentaries (?), wanted to draw a Japanese Rising Sun flag on one of his cards.

We were trying to decide if a soldier would bust out laughing upon reading Rollie’s, or burst into tears. I am guessing there is a fine line between laughter and fear and sadness over there, and it might elicit a little of both.

But, really, isn’t Rollie right, if not exactly tactful? (Not sure where he gets that from.) Don’t we want them to have a Merry Christmas, and not die? I guess I’d probably add that I want them to come home safe to their families. I can’t help but think that their own fathers might have been helping them write cards to soldiers just ten years ago, too. And I can’t help but think of the constant fear their mothers must be in every moment of the day.

Merry Christmas to all those serving our country this year. And to their mamas and daddies.

Getting in the Spirit

Friday, December 10th, 2010

My best buddy, the Q Man, getting in the Christmas spirit. . .

My Elf

Also featured: City Sidewalks singing dog, and Willy the Elf.

What It’s All About

Friday, December 25th, 2009

This is what it’s all about for me.

Dash and I Playing Around

For more love, check out the gallery of photos below . . .