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Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Christmas


Sweet Sam marks out his year from one special occasion to the next.

Weeks (often months) before any event, he's up and running in a state of full anticipatory excitement. Easter, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night, Remembrance Day, two weeks over the T.T Races, another two weeks over the Grand Prix Races, every family birthday (including pets), Mother's Day, Father's Day, Red-Nose Day, our wedding anniversary - you name it, each and every one of these gets the humongous count down.

Exuberantly compulsive, it's what Sam does best.

Our happiest teenager, he never mopes, rarely throws a tantrum, and is completely unmaterialistic. The only complaint I have is that he talks. Talks and talks and talks. Non-stop. Always on topic. The same one. Over and over again.

Weeks before our bikers arrive for the T.T., he is clutching his calendar to mark down the days. He follows me from room to room, repeating the same conversation, which I then must echo back to him. Not that he can help it, it's who he is, his entire life is a countdown to the next party.

He is totally and utterly fixated.

With it comes the rituals. He has a mug for each occasion, and Lord help me if I get the wrong one (not a hard thing to do, since he has over a dozen) not only will he not drink out of it, he'll throw the entire untouched cuppa' down the sink, he HAS to have a fresh one in his right mug. Same with his clothing, for example, he must wear a commemorative t-shirt with the correct year on it for the T.T. I am talking about him wearing this self same shirt over the entire two week period, up to and even including him sleeping in it. Yup, it gets pretty ripe a few days in, and that's when he throws his annual melt-down, when I virtually have to sit on him to pry it off for the wash.

He has boxes and boxes of decorations for every occasion. Not that we encourage this, but earning pocket money from his various chores, I guess it's his call as to what he opts to spend his hard-earned cash on. Despite energetically encouraging him to limit most of these to his room, they almost always spill over and multiply to take over our living quarters.

For Sam, unquestionably the biggest party of all, and the complete and utter highlight of his year by far, has just got to be Christmas.

Which begins in October.

(Inject deep heart-felt sigh.)

His room is transformed into a Santa's grotto. He has his own (gold) tinsel tree up there, laden down with the gaudiest baubles ever known to man (his motto is, "the louder and glitzier, the better"). He has yards and yards of fairy lights strung up to cover virtually every square inch of window and wall. I tell you, it's brighter than walking into Blackpool's illuminations stepping in there. But hey, if it keeps him happy, eh?

It's the Christmas CD that drives us bonkers. He's been playing it for weeks. See, Sam doesn't watch telly, well, not unless it's the football, and even then, he'll lose all interest if a goal is scored against his side. (Naturally, he has to wear the full kit and to have all his mascots out around him before any game starts.) In fairness, Sam does mainly listen to his Christmas Carols up in his room. The trouble is, another of Sam's rituals is to constantly come down to check we are where he last left us. Every ten minutes or so he slams the door open to yell, "Alright?", before almost knocking it off it's hinges, as he slams out again.

This can be slightly distracting when you are settling into a good drama, but it is even more so when it's accompanied by a full-volume rendition of "Jingle-Bell's" from his portable ghetto-blaster.

Drive's you bloomin' demented.

Still, I love his logic. At sixteen, he's heard the rumours Santa isn't the guy who actually brings his presents, but he is very philosophical about it. He's worked it out that Santa needs our help, "'Cos it's a very busy time of year for him, that's all." It still doesn't stop him leaving a carrot and a glass of milk out for him on Christmas Eve. And every year he is always just as awe-struck as the last, to discover nothing but a few crumbs and an almost drained glass left there, come the morn. (Grin.)

Forget the fancy lap-top's, i-pods or designer clothes: all Sam ever wants for Christmas is chocolate - lot's and lot's and lot's of it, please!

The trouble is, this year Sam has spied and fallen in love with a new tree for his room, a full bells and whistles flashing lights number, and it's plain knocked his poor golden, once loved old tinsel tree way out of favour. He has nagged, begged and pleaded for this must-have bit of bling, and since he's even been good enough to stamp up his own good money for the purchase, it seemed nothing short of churlish to deny him.

What's the problem?

Hmn.

He only wants to "gift" his old one to us, doesn't he?

It's a complete monstrosity.

He's even selected the perfect place for it. Slap-bang in the conservatory window, so it can be the first thing every visitor to our door will see. Knowing we always erect a real pine tree in our living room, he was sage enough to seek a place where he felt we could use it. (No flies on him, eh?)

It wouldn't be quite so bad if our drive wasn't already littered with countless illuminated Santa's, reindeer and Frosty-The-Snowman's. This is in November for Christ's sake's, we are clearly the laughing stock of the neighbourhood as it is.. there HAS to be a limit, right?

Even our regular tree is the subject of huge mirth. Forget those colour coordinated, tastefully decorated centre-pieces that grace most people's homes. We have the usual home-made offerings our once young children brought home from school, and I am still proud to hang them out for all to see.. but, erm.. well, Sam still makes them, big, bold, bright and numerous, more and more, each and every year. Seriously, people laugh (and yes Chewy, I am looking at you, too, Ms. Tasteful Artiste, and don't you give me that innocent stare, as I recall you almost wet yourself laughing at my tree last year, so you did. Aw, don't worry hon, you were far from alone, everyone does, it's par for the course)!!

Ah, what the hell, so what if Christmas is forced early upon us? I sure have the happiest boy in town right here with me just now, so why should I care about what the neighbours might think? (wink).

19 comments:

Akelamalu said...

I love Christmas and would keep my decorations up all year round if MWM would let me. :)

If Sam's happy who cares what the neighbours think? :)

Fletch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fletch said...

(Sorry about that previous comment ... sort of missed out something!)

You know I've always enjoyed reading about Sam's exploits.

So, in response to your final sentence, all I have to say is,

"Exactly! Why should you give a fig ...?"

TechnoBabe said...

You should be grateful you have a house full of happy children, that's for sure!! A new Christmas tree sounds wonderful, the glitzier the better.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh I love this post...you had me chuckling aloud all the way through...and you leave me with a big cheshire grin...and shouting, "You bet!!! Who gives a rip!?!?" You are an absolutely amazing mum...a veritable saint...and I think that Sam is truly a treasure...He's got a darn good mum...and so how could he miss? Love you!! Janine XO

Deirdre said...

This rings so many bells.
Not only Christmas, but our special son shares his birthday with Baby Jesus, so feels entitled to play carols at full tilt, all year. He carries round a Christmas stocking for most of the year (we have managed to avoid him taking it to his new college, so far). He is obsessed by Pantomime, and achieved 6 different ones last year.
Forget chocolate - he is not satisfied until he finds a DVD of The Wiggles.

On top of this, each day we have a catalogue of exactly where he is going and what he is doing for the next few weeks - followed by a triumphant " ..and at Christmas I'm going to a pantomime".

SJ said...

"life is a countdown to the next party"

You know I think the rest of us should learn a thing or two from Sam.

smiles4u said...

I love your Sam! I am sure it drives you crazy at times just as I go crazy with certain things with my kids.

"life is a countdown to the next party" I love it! I agree with SJ, we could all learn some things from Sam.

I think it is super awesome that you allow your Sam to be Sam. Too often that is not the case.

Great post!

Leslie: said...

Your house must be full of such excitement! So opposite to mine...last year I put a few trinkets around but didn't put up a tree because I was going in for surgery on Jan. 6. Maybe this year it'll be better with Lorne here, but my two daughters are still not too thrilled about him being in my life, so....don't know if we'll be eating alone or what. *sigh*

Scott from Oregon said...

Well I suppose you'll know all the words to all the Christmas songs if tested come carol time...

Carol said...

The world needs more 'Sams'! Pray he never ever stops talking....or celebrating! What a joyous child you've created~

Shrinky said...

Akelamalu, I am with you, besides, Sam has long sice cured me from feeling any sense of embarrassment!

Hi Fletch, I have three other teenagers living here who tend to squirm when their frieds come over, but yeah, what the hell? (Giggle)

Hi TechnoBabe, yeah, I guess I would miss them if they ran away.. maybe (wink).

Haha, I'm tempted to print this out, Janine, and tape it to the fridge! I can promise you, my kids would argue I am far from any saint. You always paste a beaming smile on my face, you're kinda' special, yourself, y'know..(x)

Hello Deirdre, how lovely for you to drop by! Oh, this made me smile - seems Sam has a fellow soul mate out there! I imagine all those Panto's must get a wee bit wearisome down the line, we already have tickets booked for Sam and his dad (the rest of the family bowed out of the panto scene a few years back). I share the same birthday with your little lad - hope you didn't christen him Noel? My parents thought it a great idea to call me Carol..!

SJ, hand on heart, if ever there was an eternal optimist, it's Sam - the glass is always half full with him, very few things ever seem to get him down. Smile.

Smiles4U, he can drive me demented at times, but surprisingly, it's far less than my other teenagers do - oh boy, now that's a whole 'nother post unto itself, believe me!

Oh Leslie, why do so many adult children resent it if their parent finds some happiness with another partner? Goodness, you have waited over twenty years to fall in love, this should be YOUR time now. I sure hope they will come round in time, it's awful to be stuck in the middle like that. (Hugs)

Scott, there can't be a nursey rhyme, Christmas Carol, or Fireman Sam episode left in the land that I am not word perfect on by now, trust me!

Oh Carol, yes, Sam is a little ray of sunshine (mostly), and we certainly wouldn't swap him, not for all the tea in China.

chewy said...

Hey Shrink-a-dink-a-doo,
I'm laughing with you, not at you. (giggle) Sam's a happy kid. There are far worse things in life. Now... um... when he races his cars across the walls and knocks down my painting... that's when I wince. (wink)

Jay said...

"(Inject deep heart-felt sigh.)"

LOL! Oh, that would be me, too! I get irritated if someone so much as mentions Christmas before the end of November, but I guess if I had a Sweet Sam of my own it would all be different.

Bless him, what an attitude to go through life with, huh? Joy and excitement at every corner, no moping .. wouldn't that be great?

Now, about that golden tree. How about suggesting to him that it could go outside to join Rudolph and co? Give them their own Christmas tree (or even another Christmas tree?) to make the driveway even prettier? Cunning, huh?

Shrinky said...

Oh Chewy, yeah, that gets a wee bit troublesome at times. Our wallpaper gets torn in his exuberance when he turns the walls into a race-track. I'll never have a show-piece home, that's for sure!

Hey Jay, you may have come up with something here.. cheers, it's gotta' be worth a try, eh?

Anna said...

Shrinky, and I am still in the Thanksgiving mode, lol. But you got to love your kid, he is awesome, lol - totally unmaterialistic - this is a good thing to have, and loves chocolate, wow. We need more kids like that.... Anna :) PS thanks for sharing your post, that was one good one.

mrsnesbitt said...

I am sure the room lights up when Sam enters! Forget the neighbours...the room lights up when they leave me thinks!

Shrinky said...

Hi Anna, actually, his favourite flower is a sunflower, and I can never see one without thinking of him - he really and truly is a sunny child.

Hi Denise, oh he lights up a room okay - Sam does everything with gusto, he is flat footed and thumps up and down the stairs, his voice is likewise also larger than life - he couldn't whisper if his life depeded on it (smile).

Suldog said...

Well, you know how much I hate Christmas being driven over us too early, but it's hard to argue with someone being so happy about something. God bless him!