Crowd Control
Saturday, November 28, 2009

Some people enjoy crowds. Let me rephrase. Some people don't mind crowds. Especially this time of year. Some people actually enjoy the thrill of nearly being trampled outside Best Buy at 3AM in an attempt to get a good deal on a flat screen TV. I, on the other hand, enjoy my personal space. And lots of it. I'm not a germaphobe, by any stretch of the imagination (five, ten-second, and (oh, what the heck) fifty-second rules run rampant in our house). I just don't find it particularly enjoyable to be so close to another person that I can count his nose hairs, or worse, smell on his breath the garlic and onion dish he consumed at lunch. It sounds a little pathologic, I know, but people in general (especially in large doses) really creep me out.

That being said, I do try to make a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone from time to time, so as not to feed into my impending agoraphobia, and because I want my kids to have the opportunity to experience as much in life as they possibly can. Which is why we, regretfully, decided to take the kids to the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square last night. Talk about too close for comfort.

As indicated in the advertisement, the tree-lighting would take place at 5:30PM. We planned ahead, avoiding massive crowds and traffic by arriving an hour early via streetcar. At precisely 5:30PM, I found myself pressed firmly against a cold cement wall with Eric in front of me, strangers to my side and to my back, and Wyatt on my shoulders. Oh yes, I could feel the walls slowly closing in on me.

Six o'clock. Still no lights. We were crammed like sardines into an outdoor arena with god-knows how many spectators, trying not to appear completely irritated and oxygen-deficient, when naturally, Wyatt utters the three little words that can send any unsuspecting parent into a frenzy. I gotta pee. Realizing that he had probably been holding it for an hour, and decided to tell us only when he could hold it no longer, we knew we had to move quickly. Fortunately, parting the seas didn't take nearly as long as we thought, and thanks to the Nordstrom across the street, the poor kid made it just in the nick of time.

We did finally get to see them light the tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square, and I wish I could say it was worth all of the trouble and near panic attack, but I'd be lying if I did. We had so much more fun decorating and lighting our own tree later that evening--after having cut it down earlier that morning--in the comfort of our own home, listening to Christmas music and watching Wyatt and Avery's faces as they marveled over of the bright and colorful decorations. I can't help it. I'm a simple gal. And I like it.

Our fifth and final year to cut down a tree at Parry's. After four straight years of bringing home a Noble Fir, we opted for a Fraser Fir this year. A sign, perhaps, that were ready for a little change in our lives.

She spied the perfect tree and then put Daddy to work.

Then she decided he was taking too long
and just decided to get it done herself.

Receiving hugs, kisses, and accolades for her efforts
(Meanwhile, Daddy still lay in a puddle of sweat,
trying to catch his breath. Where's the love?)

Annual family photo in front of the snowman

Here's to kicking off a crowd-free holiday season, enjoying the simple pleasures in life that often get overlooked. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous Anonymous had this to say:

Yaaay! You guys got your tree! Can't wait to see it. Post pictures of it decorated.

November 30, 2009 at 11:23 PM 

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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771