December 07, 2009

The Chanukah Father

I am....The Chanukah Father. If life worked the way I want it to you would have read that and heard my themesong in the background. Of course if you know me you know that my theme song changes from day to day, moment to moment- so who knows what would have played.

The children are starting to get a little crazy with anticipation. Chanukah starts this coming Friday night. For weeks now they have taken advantage of every opportunity to let us know what gifts they want. We don't have anything resembling Santa Claus so there is no talk about a naughty and nice list.

No threat that misbehavior leads to being left off of Rudolph's route, but that is ok with me. There are lots of other ways to help the kids maintain their path on the good old straight and narrow. Although I should point out that when your kids know that Santa isn't real you have to work hard on making sure that they don't run around telling the other kids.

A while back some kid tried to tell my son about what Santa was going to bring him. And with his infinite wisdom he replied by telling him that Santa was a fictional character made up by his parents. The blog rules dictate that I admit to smiling when I heard him say fictional character. The kid is in third grade, that sounded so damn grown up to me.

I did my best to intervene and we had a discussion about why it is not appropriate to tell the other kids that Santa is fake. It was a repeat of a conversation that we have had in the past. It is a hard discussion. He has been taught that lying is wrong and wants to know why it is ok to lie about this.

There aren't any good answers to that question. This year he spent relatively little time talking about that and more asking if it is ok to burn christmas trees. Initially I was confused by where this question was coming from, but relaxed as he explained himself.

He told me that he knew that some people would go into the woods to get their own tree and that they also used the woods to get firewood for their fireplace. So he wanted to know if you could save time by burning your tree after the holiday. I gave him the honest answer and said that there is a huge bonfire in the woods and that there is much dancing and drinking around the fire.

Relax, I didn't really say that. I told him that I didn't know if people did that, but agreed that they might. I almost used it as a segue into a discussion about whether he has trained for the feats of strength for Festivus but I did not.

I don't know about you, but I have a problem with Black Friday. It sounds like it should be the name of a punk rock band or a pirate ship. I'd love to say that I sailed upon the Black Friday and that the crew and I engaged in some pillaging.

It would be cool to say that I saw Black Friday play at the Greek or at the Hollywood Bowl. That would be fun, although come to think of it Black Friday would have to play one of the smaller clubs off of the strip.

But the idea of hitting stores on Black Friday is repugnant to me. Too many people, too much chaos and confusion. So I stayed away.

The Chanukah Father doesn't deign to walk with the mortals, not in that fashion. No sir, the Chanukah Father goes to places like Target to grab a few items and pick up Lego sets on sale for $19.99. And let me tell you, that Lego is expensive. Those little bricks aren't cheap, and they hurt when you step on them.

The Chanukah Father picked up a cool pink camera for the dark haired beauty so that she will not steal his anymore. At least that is the plan. Something tells me that the girl will use her own camera and still try to appropriate mine. Five-years-old and she is already going through my drawer to find a shirt.

What is up with that. The girl walks out of my room with an old t-shirt, smiles at me and tells me that she needs it to sleep in. Why do I get the feeling that this scene is going to repeat itself in ten thousand ways. Later on that day she talked to me about school and told me all about the boys..and the girls.

That little dame knows me too well. I try to keep a poker face, but she must see through it. So I told her again that when she is old enough to date the boys will have a special name for me. She asked me what it was and I told her, "Death."

Sigh, the Chanukah Father sometimes has to put up with a little nonsense in his life. I wanted to tell her to tell the boys I carry anthrax and Ebola in my pocket, but her mother stopped me. Damn women getting in the way, grumble.

But I have an ace, her big brother. I can see that he will follow in my footsteps. Just as I stood guard over my sisters so shall he. The things we do.

It is hard to believe that Chanukah is almost upon us. It is one of my favorite holidays. So many good memories are tied up in it. Can't wait to walk into a house that smells like Latkes. Can't wait to eat a few. The fried food doesn't like me much, but it does taste good.

The kids have a few more days to identify old toys that they don't play with anymore. Got to get rid of some stuff so the new things have room. More importantly I like the lessons that lay in this. Good opportunity to teach the kids about being happy with what they have, thankful for it and to give a reminder about giving back.

And now your Chanukah Father is heading off to bed. Night.