Do Only Weenies Wear Turtlenecks?

“You have no style Mom,” my youngest remarked teasing as we stepped out of  an elevator in the mall, “only weenies wear turtlenecks.” christmas-234105_640-3 I stopped and stared into the nearest mirror.  I was wearing an oversized gray sweater, bland, white cotton turtleneck, stretchy pants, and sneakers.   My hair was pulled back in a ponytail. No makeup.  As I studied myself in the mirror I said, “I’ve become a frumpy housewife.”

shopping-mall-1316787__340My attire was in stark contrast to the trim mannequins in the store windows.  They were decked out in skimpy dresses and pants that I probably only would have fit into in second grade.

My problem isn’t that I don’t know what to wear.  It’s that nothing fits.  I discussed this distressing situation with my son who is about to fly home for the holidays.  “Mom you started wearing stretchy pants in your 30s,” he told me.  “Whatever happened to jeans?” Jeans just don’t seem to fit me well with my middle-age belly bulge. “You gave up too early,” my son said, suggesting a vegetarian diet.

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An older woman who overheard my daughter sassing me in the elevator tried to console me.  “It’s a phase she’ll outgrow,” the woman said thinking she was talking to a novice. People always assume that my youngest is my first and only child because I had her in my forties.   I actually don’t mind when my daughter pokes fun.  christmas-cookies-1042541_640Children are innocent and tell us the truth that no one else will except maybe our mothers.

I hate having to watch my weight. I’ve had to do it my entire adult life.   I find that I gain the most at the holidays.  I’m cold, cooped up, and temptation is everywhere.  Every Christmas cookie, piece of cake, or glass of wine has my name on it.  My husband certainly doesn’t help matters.  He has his own small business and clients always bring him sweets that he takes home. “Oh go ahead,” he says encouraging me to eat, “it’s the holidays.” Just for the record, he considers National Potato Chip Day, National Elephant Appreciation Day, and Festivus holidays.

I also get very anxious at the Christmas holidays and I overeat.  biscuit-83807__340The stress comes from all of the errands and worry.  I fret over whether I’ve  sent enough cards, bought enough gifts, prepared enough meals.   I worry that even though my reverend tells us to pray for peace, parishioners are praying for presents. I worry that the Elf on the Shelf told Santa that I regifted the waffle iron my mother-in-law gave me. broken-216728_640I’m worried that when my mother-in-law visits she’ll ask for a waffle.

Mother Who Can Name All Nine Reindeer Prefers Sugar Plums Over Shopping

In a few short weeks Christmas 2016 will pass into holiday history leaving you with more bills to pay than there are days in December.  You might as well be a contestant on the old Shop ’til You Drop show.  The Christmas countdown is here.  Millions of  bargain-hungry shoppers jumped up from the Thanksgiving table to tackle each other in the stores rather than watch football players do it on the field.  The shoppers racking up more yards and touchdowns than the Steelers on fire in

I look forward to shopping as much as I do bagging dog poop, having a drunk teenager barf in my car, or getting a Tetanus shot. I’ve decided that I won’t take the clickbait this year or wait in long lines at stores searching for gifts when I have no clue what anyone wants.  At least Santa has a list.  This whole holiday shopping is crazy. Who can deny that the frenzy was concocted by Madison Avenue. It’s all so a hard-drinking, chain-smoking ad man like Don Draper from the Mad Men show can afford a hotel room to cheat on his wife.

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christmas-314377_640We are spoiling an entire generation of kids who think life is over if they don’t find a Nerf N-Strike  Remote Control Drone Blaster under the tree.

We need to focus on family and holiday traditions.  Why doesn’t everyone carol in the neighborhood and sing  Fa-La-La-La,  or how about reading books to the kids?  My mom read me so many holiday stories that I can name all nine reindeer.  I have fond memories listening to my mom read  The Night Before Christmas.  It speaks to the wonder of childhood with children “nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.”  In this magical story Santa’s strange fleet of reindeer are called:Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.

christmas-eve-1846481_640 “I thought there were nine reindeer?” I asked my mom when she first read me the story.

“You mean poor Rudolph?” she said, “he came later.”

It was a copywriter named Robert May who worked for the Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago who came up with the idea of  Rudolph in 1939 for a Christmas book the store gave out. Leave it to an ad man to come up with a reindeer with a glowing nose so Santa can deliver toys even when it’s foggy.  Maybe May should have had Santa wear a London Fog trench coat.  I think it’s time I wrote a story about Santa growing weary of packing his sleigh.  He sets his reindeer free and hobbles along with a little knapsack filled with nothing but a few stocking stuffers.

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So next time Don Draper saunters over to his bar and pours a Rye Whiskey as he works on his next holiday pitch, you can tell him to put a stock in it.