At different points within the holiday season there is serious stress. There is the gift getting, traveling, working out where we will go and when, figuring out work vacation, traffic, transporting said gifts through the said travel to where we figure out we'll be and sitting in traffic covered in bags. Multiply that by 3 and get BACK from said visits through traffic with more stuff than we left with - it gets me quite a mood, indeed.
This year the kid really 'gets it.' What fun! It's the first year we'll be home for the holidays and Santa is coming to TOWN, our town. I've been
Dad: "L, have you been a good girl this year?"
L: "Um. YEAH. A real good girl. I'm three."
Dad: "Yup, you are. So, we are going to see Santa next weekend, what are you going ask for?"
L: "Santa coming tomorrow? After school?!"
Dad: "Nope, not yet - we have to tell Santa what you want for Christmas - what are you going to ask for?"
L: "I dunno. Barbie? Horses?"
Me: "How about Barbie ON a horse?"
L: "YEAH! BARBIE ON A HORSE! And Princesses."
Me: "Awesome, what about a princess puzzle?"
L: "Yeah! Princess puzzle!"
Me: "And maybe some games and videos?"
Me: (Insert the rest of the gifts
L: "YEAH! I wantta all of those things! Mama, can you help me?"
Me: "Sure, with what?" (we were eating dinner at the time)
L: "Mama, when I talk to Santa, will you help me tell him??"
CAN you STAND it? Things were looking up over here on Happy Holiday Lane. All this Santa talk made my heart grow three sizes that day. I had stashed away a DVD box set of Holiday Classics: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and more. I thought I would break it out, we were all in the mood. It was awesome. We snugged up on the coach and watched Rudolph together. I admit it. I nearly teared up.
Fast forward: 1 week later. Things on Happy Holiday Lane are going great. The tree is amazing (more on that later), the house smells like the spirit of Christmas, we are done with presents for the kid and thanks be to major sale sleuthing we didn't really spend that much money and a last minute MAJOR purchase is going to be tear jerking if she has the reaction I think she will. There is one small exception to this wonderful life.
Rudolph, that god dang bastard, is practically on replay. I don't know if you've re-watched it lately but it's serious. How did we not have more issues with bullying growing up? These elves are little bastards. They are so cruel to Hermie. The head Elf is a cranky little B and all he does is tear down Hermie who is the only elf that doesn't look like the rest (with the exception of one random tall elf). It's probably hard enough to not look like everyone else - what kind of world were we living in where everyone looked the same and that didn't raise any red flags? Beyond his Farrah Facet quaff in the front of his face he appears to be wearing lipstick and wants to be a dentist. I'm not sure what kind of euphemism dentistry is supposed to stand for, but the whole thing is uncomfortable to watch (on re-play, no less).
Beyond the elf leader, Santa is a real D. He puts down the elves when they try to make a new song for him, alienates Rudolph, is passive aggressive to his wife and Rudolph's dad - just a real a*hole. Why, after viewing this as a child, did I want to visit this cranky old bastard and put hope that he would make my dreams come true?
Finally, Rudolph's dad perpetuates a feeling of the opposite of unconditional love. After a quick google search, apparently this is conditional hate (duh). He hates his kid because he is different. Um, how is this a feel good holiday movie again? In addition to him being a real jackass, he is also sexist. Well, maybe Sam the Snowman is because as he narrated a pivotal scene in the movie he dropped a bomb I seriously do NOT recall ever hearing. What am I going on about? Let me lay it down for you.
As you may remember, Rudolph runs away because everyone hates him because he is different. Despite a youth of being taught to hide who he is (thanks Dad) the breaking point is when the reindeer coach specifically instructs the other kids to "not let Rudolph play in their reindeer games." The love of his life, Clarice (creepy fact all I hear is "Why, hello Clarice" when her name is mentioned in the movie) chases after him, proclaims her love for him and accepts him for all that he is. He is feeling better about life until Clarice's red-nosing hating dad come by and crash their dreams. No daughter of his will be spending time with a red-nosed freak. Crushed, Rudolph runs away.
Now this is where I freaked. As Sam tells the story and Donner (Jerk Dad) & the mom (don't speak unless spoken to woman) realize that Rudolph is gone Donner has buyers remorse and tells the little woman he's going out to find Rudolph. Of course the mom wants to come to, probably realizing if Rudolph is as smart as she thinks he is there's no way he's coming back with this idiot. The response?
"NO. This is mans work." - Donner, Rudolph's dad. Not only a hater but a sexist. Don't believe me? I'm serious. This happened.
The story continues on to say, "And no sooner did the man of the house leave..." (Seriously. Is this serious?) basically Clarice and mom decide to rebel again THE man and go find Rudolph on their own. Maybe the lesson here is "Girl Power!" as long as the man of the house is gone? Geesh.
I've heard of things looking different looking at them through a child's eyes (see magic at Disney), but being horrified after the fact looking at something with adult eyes? This is news to me. Have you ever seen something after the fact and wondered HOW you didn't notice it before? I get to relive this nightmare everyday, at approximately 6pm once the kid requests another round of Rudolph the FREAK Nosed Reindeer and the Dysfunctional Family of the North Pole.