Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Big Hallmark Book of Christmas Ornaments Has Arrived!

Since hers is "Limited Edition" I hope my daughter picked out an ornament slightly more original than this.
Of course it has. Because Independence Day is practically over, and now that 2013 is officially half over, it's time to start ordering limited edition Christmas stuff in case it goes out of stock so you can hide it somewhere that you'll never look when you actually need it, which is to say the season when the jolly, fat elf gets all the credit for your foresight and preparation and awesome parenting.

Considering all the junk mail that falls harmlessly into our recycling bin daily, I was suspicious how this piece caught my daughter's eye and not the repeated attempts to get me to slash my mortgage payments in half. Wait a minute, this wasn't junk mail! My wife actually picked it up at the mall yesterday and has already pre-ordered my daughter's ornament for Xmas 2013. That blows my mind. Look, I know dads like me tend to think we can do most things just as well as moms, but this is something I am wholly not wired for, planning for Christmas while I sweat profusely and beg for my third shower of the day after cutting the grass. Something seems inherently wrong about the whole concept.

My daughter, then, has her ornament already lined up for Xmas 2013, a full 174 days before Christmas but only around 56 before the tree goes up. (Another good reason we pre-pre-pre-ordered.) It's a Wizard of Oz-themed number large enough to eat off of.  Actually, I have no idea what she's getting, but anything Wizard of Oz themed is always a good guess, whether it's Christmas ornaments, clothing, DVDs co-starring Tom and Jerry (?? We own it and I still don't get it) or the style of rain gutters to put on the house.

The amazing part is, if we hadn't ordered it by July 13 or some such meaningless date in the middle of baseball-only season, the entire line would have been sold out and Christmas ruined. Ruined, I tell you, 160 days before it even happens. Not cool. This never happens on the other holidays. Unless you tell me you've seen roadside stands just across state borders open on Christmas Eve selling bottle rockets and Roman candles? Is that not just as important?

Tonight, my daughter opened the (90-page!) catalog to the sports section and plopped it down in front of me and flatly asked, "Need anything?" I didn't know what she was showing me and what she had just said, so when I asked her to repeat, the response was an even flatter "Need anything," as if she's on her way to WalMart. But now that she has ordered her ornament, everyone else in the family has to get theirs. Wait, can't I just live through July first?

I'm sorry, but when presented with choices of who will represent my distinguished tastes on our family Christmas tree this year, I'm going to need more time. Unfortunately, the 2013 class of ornamental athletes is limited, ranging from Hall of Famers to the merely above average. We have:

Drew Brees - future Hall of Famer, holds record for most consecutive games with a TD pass. Most girls think he's cute.

Marcus Allen - Hall of Fame running back who somehow managed to lose a fumble in almost every playoff game he played in. Both the Kansas City Chief and LA Raider versions available. Most non-football fans have no idea who he is.

Shannon Sharpe - Hall of Fame tight end. Both the Bronco and Raven versions available. Has a very loud mouth.

James Harrison - Not going to the Hall of Fame. After the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl and were invited to the White House, he accused the Prez of front-running: "He never would have invited us if we had lost." Well, DUH. Despite being a linebacker, he is shown carrying the football, which can mean only one thing.

Joe Theismann - Of course this happened.

Nolan Ryan - Hall of Fame pitcher. Struck out more hitters in baseball than anyone ever.

Bobby Orr - Hall of fame defenseman and only 3rd or 4th best hockey player ever.

How those last two got in there with a wider array of football players is a question best left for the suits at Hallmark. I'm leaning toward bagging all the athletes and just going with the standard "Second Christmas with Three Kids" ornament, perhaps made by the same people who make the people who have no faces.

One person unaffected and undistracted by all this Christmas talk is the soon-to-be four-year-old, who has a birthday 15 excruciatingly long days away. He's been looking forward to his birthday since his sister dominated the month of March with hers, so he's keeping his eyes on the July prize, which includes his request (demand) of a cake featuring Caillou dressed as a hockey player. We'll see what we can do, kid, but in the meantime don't start worrying about Christmas ornaments, there's still a little 2013 left, right?

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