December 19, 2005

The warmth of sunlight and fire

Spouse and I do not exchange gifts at Christmas -- I’ve never really bought into the idea of Christmas as an occasion for consumerism -- but one tradition we have kept for the 21 years we've been married. We always take one day off during the week before Christmas to spend together, a whole day away from the holiday busyness. A day to stay home in front of the fire, eat Chinese take-out, and do nothing but enjoy each other’s company.

When my kids were little, I would send them to my mother's house or my sister's house. Once the kids were in school, it became easier to plan the day. We would just make sure it fell on a day when the kids were still in school. Of course, now that our Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter is in college and has the same calendar as me, I found that I had to do some negotiating to get a peaceful, relaxed day with my husband. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Listen, Dad and I want to have a special day on Monday. Perhaps you could go visit Red-haired Cousin for the day?
Daughter: You kicking me out?
Me: Not exactly. It's just that Dad and I want some special time together.
Daughter: Special time? That what we're calling it?
Me: It's a tradition for us to take a day, and just relax in front of the fire.
Daughter: You're kicking me out so that you can have sex in front of the fire?
Me: Well, I don't think you would want to be home for that.
Daughter: (raising her voice and talking to her brothers) Can you believe that they're kicking me out so they can have sex in the living room?

Boy in Black looks up, opens his mouth, says nothing, and leaves the room. Daughter and I both laugh.

Me: Just remember, some day, you'll be asking me to babysit your kids so that you can have time with your husband.
Daughter: Just remember, some day, I'll be the one to take care of you so you don't have to go into a nursing home.
Me: So we're even.
Daughter: Can I take your car?
Me: Sure.
Daughter: And your credit card?
Me: (rolling my eyes) Whatever it takes.


Miranda said...

You have such a funny, intelligent, quick-witted family. I love that you and your sweetie get special together before the holidays start getting crazy.

Enjoy your special day together!

Sarah Sometimes said...

it's a lovely tradition... It's funny, I get a sense of continuity just reading about your life.

Rev Dr Mom said...

LOL! That was great, and I needed a laugh.

nancy said...

LMFAO I am cracking up!!! Too funny, but I admire your tradition. My hubby & I spend way too much at Christmas, so please send your daughter, in your car with credit card in hand to me. Please?

chichimama said...

What a lovely tradition. We do the same on Valentines day.

I have to say, reading your blog gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I hope my children will grow up to be half as funny and intelligent as yours.

Enjoy your day...have some extra fortune cookies for me too.

ccw said...

Between this post and the one about having sex while camping, I have completely fallen in love with your daughter and her disgust over your sex life. She is so funny!

Glad that you had your special day, even if there was extortion involved.

frog said...


Friday Mom said...

AM has been asking me what I want for Christmas. Now I know what to tell her!

Liz Miller said...

I LOVE your family. What a fantastic tradition.

Anonymous said...

Okay. First, I'm blushing. Second, your kids are well suited to a lifetime of stand up comedy.

Jules said...

We do the same thing--usually the 22nd, which is our Anniversary. (And it's 21 for us this year, too!)

This year with CTA, age 18 at home and sleeping during the day, we've had to get extra creative.

(But just how we're pulling it off is our little secret!)

halloweenlover said...

I think I love your daughter even more. You know that I have great sympathy for her on the parental sex front ; )

I love that you can talk to her about stuff like this. My mom is remarkably close-lipped, although she often asks about me.

I also remind my mother that I will be taking care of her when she ages.

delagar said...

"Well, I don't think you would want to be home for that."


RageyOne said...

Too funny! I hope you had a great day!

Running2Ks said...

I love your kids. You raised them well. I appreciate a quick wit and a bargain ;)

Seeking Solace said...

Too funny. After the day I had, I needed to laugh!

Your daughter is very smart...asking for the credit card...priceless!

Enjoy your time together!!!!

Leslee said...

I laughed out loud! Peanut asked what was so funny, I told her I'd tell her when she was in college!
I hope she doesn't go hog wild on your credit card, hope you enjoy your peace and quite!

Lisa C. said...

I love how she was joking with you and yet simultaneously torturing Boy in Black - as only a sibling can.

Sue said...

Spending the day with Spouse is such a wonderful tradition. Enjoy!

Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

That's a great tradition!

see-through faith said...


JoTigger said...

You have a lovely family!