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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Christmas Update

The scene at my house last weekend:

What Kind of Finch am I, I asked myself?

"Today, we're taking down the Christmas tree," I announced to my family. It being January 6th, and all, my neighborhood hadn't even a teeniest reminder that Santa swooped through, leaving mounds of cardboard boxes in the green recycling bins, barely 12 days prior. No indicators of Christmas past, that is, except my house, where my children continued to dutifully plug in the dancing lights each evening.

A collective, "No!" erupted from my spouse and children. "Please, please, Mama, can we keep it. Just one more week," begged my 12 year-old. "Please," chimed in his siblings and father.

This is it, I told myself, we're going to be like the Finches, with a dead, brown, decorated tree in our living room well into the off-season; all of us walking past it day after day no longer even bothered by its presence, and the kids even snacking on candy canes harvested from needleless branches. I refer to the Running with Scissors Finches, of course, as opposed to the To Kill a Mockingbird Finches.

(If you have not read Running with Scissors yet, spare yourself from it, and read If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny instead. If you have, are, or plan to read it, then you must also read If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny to reassure yourself, post Scissors, that crazy isn't necessarily pathological and funny doesn't have to be shocking.)

Well, I found myself faced with a serious decision to make. Would I be an Atticus Finch, sticking to my resolve, my morals, my scruples, my sense of right and wrong, or would I be an Agnes Finch, losing complete control over my household and the people in it?

Call me Agnes, because I caved. The tree stands downstairs right now, lights flashing like a Vegas disco. Shoot, the next thing I know, the kids will pound a hole through my kitchen ceiling and I won't even glance heavenward for help. Agnes incarnate, I won't know I need it.

The scene in my house this evening, January 12:

All children, spouse included, have been assured the Grinch, the pre-roastbeast-carving Grinch, will steal Christmas and dump it off of Mt. Crumpet (or at least drag it out to the street). Because I would rather be a Grinch than a Finch any day.

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