Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Christmas Tradition Gone Awry

If you're not careful about the traditions you start (or if you're just a tad bit sociopathic) you might traumatize your kids, and scar them for life. Like Doug and I did.

Years ago,in 1988 when Scott was 5, Brian was 3, and Dianna was just a newborn, we dangerously messed with Christmas. It's just that the kids were so darn cute. . . and so darn gullible that we had no choice but to mess with their minds.

We bought some walkie-talkies for the two boys, (remember, there was a time when there were no Nintendo game systems, or game boys, or Wiis or cell phones, and walkie talkies were impressive gizmos.) But first, Doug set one up under the Christmas tree skirt, and headed down to our basement with the other one. I set off our kitchen timer bell (which Doug could hear) when Scott got near the tree, and Doug called, in a high-pitched squeaky, tree-like voice, "Oh Scotty! Have you been a good little boy?" and pretty soon, Scotty and Brian were deep in animated conversation with our talking Christmas tree. They were so smitten by the tree, that they eagerly committed to all kinds of goodness for the coming year, and promises to even eat their brocolli, not stick beans in their ears any more--it was a real bonanza for us!

Twelve months went by, and of course the walkie-talkies had long ago been trashed (the Tree-contract never extracted any promises about walkie talkies!)

Our 1989 tree went up, and, being adults, Doug and I had long forgotten the talking Christmas Tree, but not Scotty! He promptly went up to the tree and greeted it.


Brian joined him, and the two cajoled and pleaded with the tree to talk to them. Like a rat, I cowered in the kitchen, wondering what I could tell them about why the tree was giving them the silent treatment. I tried to tell them that maybe the tree was just sleeping, here, have some more gumdrops and candy canes. . . .wants some hot chocolate with marshmallows? All afternoon, they'd suddenly start crying again, asking why the Christmas tree wouldn't talk to them this year, (as if every other child on the planet of course was getting to have these sweet, intimate chats with Father Spruce.)

I might have been raised Catholic, but there are certain sins you just cannot confess. How could I ever go to Church and say, "Bless me father for I have wantonly decimated my sweet, innocent, children's Christmas tree beliefs." It just can't be done.

So let this tale of woe keep you from making the same mistakes! (Or if you're plotting to trick your children, make sure you think through all the unintended consequences so you don't get busted.)

And here is a photo of one of the perpetrators with this year's tree, and my efforts to get good Christmas light bokeh.

This was really just a test shot, but now I'm baffled. Why is there pixie dust on Doug? I can't figure out where the blue lights and specks are coming from. I couldn't see any lights on him at all, and I'm trying to figure out if the reflection from the blue LED lights on the tree are hitting the lens, and creating this effect.

I mentioned the "pixie dust" on Doug, and he tried to brush it off!

Thank you, everyone, for the clever ideas for the stockings the other day. You've inspired me to keep them around a little longer now! And Maria, I think you so deserve the official title of Mrs. Santa Claus for all your traditions!


pat said...

Frankly,I LIKE the pixie dust effect! Great tree bokeh. LOVE the talking tree story...that is priceless. I should share the story about the year Santa left a letter instead of toys... talk about scars!!

Sharon said...

Oh I think the pixie dust is just desert for such an evil plan. ;)

Maria said...

Are you kidding? If Mrs. Claus is watching me from the North Pole, she is probably shaking her head and thinking: "This is NOT what I had in mind." The truth is that I was having such a good time, that I didn't stop to think about the precedent I was setting. Of course, I never did try to get the Christmas tree to talk to the kids . . . Good one, Angela! ROTFLOL!

Cindi Koceich said...

I want to come and live in your house!!! You guys are a blast!!!! What a story!!!
I get the same thing when I try for tree light bokeh...I usually just spot remove them. :)

Photographing Mom said...

Love the pixie dust!!
Great story, too. :o)

Yolanda said...

Loved the Christmas tree story. Love the photo's.

Reds said...

Beautiful shots of the hubby and tree!! And thanks for sharing that sweet story!

Nicki, said...

My son is still a little peeved at us for the whole Santa thing and can only imagine how miffed he would be if the tree had talked and then stopped talking. We did have a small animated one - but it had heavy eye brows and scared the kids - so it lived in the closet for many years. Well done on the boken - and tell Doug there is still some dust on him (tehehe).

Jeanne said...

I think you should compile your Christmas stories into a little book for your kids and hide it somewhere, then use the stockings for hints to find it.

I loved this story, despite the "trauma" it caused the kids. I've said it before and I'm going to again, you are a gifted storyteller (and your photography ain't bad either-LOL Love your photos here, too)

Thanks for sharing. I sorta wish I had some fun stories like these to share.

Carrie said...

Great picture, pixie dust or not, lol. Aw on the little boys talking to the Tree. I feel for you the next year. lol

Krystle said...

What a funny story! I'm terrified what's going to happen when my boys learn about SC, so I'm not adding anything else for them to never forgive LOL. Great shots! And yes it is the tree lights reflecting on the lens :)

Beth said...

I love your story! Kids have looooong memories:) Doug must really be a Christmas elf since he is covered with pixie dust.

humel said...

lol at the talking tree!!

Clearly there is always pixie dust, but it's only visible through a camera lens....?!