Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas With A Monkey

I am a Jew, and I love Christmas.  I make no apologies for this.  I was not raised celebrating Chanukah, and I feel no attachment to this holiday; I never even learned the prayers you're supposed to sing when you light the menorah.  As far as I'm concerned, Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday that has been hyped up to compete with Christmas, and there is no comparison.  Christmas is pretty, with beautiful decorations and fun traditions and music that ranges from silly to sublime; Chanukah has some candles that you can't blow out and a boring gambling game involving a little top. 

As I've said before, I grew up celebrating the pagan Christmas traditions, and I love to share the joys of secular Christmas with Ryan.  I've shown him my favorite Christmas movie - Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - but it seems dated to him, because the characters have changed over the last 30 years (back then, Maria was dating David!  And Mr. Hooper was alive!).

Ryan's favorite Christmas movie is Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas.  I have to admit it's adorable, and the music is so catchy that we both walk around singing the opening number.  For the last month, one of Ryan's preferred activities is a sort of reenactment of the scene where George decorates his tree.  Ryan will instruct me to draw the outline of a Christmas tree on the largest paper we have.  Before he colors it and covers it with stickers while singing the appropriate song, he insists I make the picture look like Curious George's tree: I must top the tree with a large red ribbon and a chair.

See, in the movie, George picks out a tree at the farm stand - a tree with a red ribbon on top - but he accidentally knocks over all the pre-cut trees, and Bill's folding chair gets stuck on the top of the tree George wants.  The Man with the Yellow Hat can not get the folding chair off the tree, and George will accept no substitute trees, so they go home with the tree as-is.

When Ryan and I went tree shopping this year, it was clear that we would need to get a big red ribbon to go with it.  And as I feared, Ryan has also requested a chair.  I refuse to put a real, full-size folding chair on our tree, so I've been searching for several weeks for a doll-size wooden chair, or a chair ornament, or something small and reasonably chair-like.  I've come up with nothing so far.  I thought between toy stores and craft shops this wouldn't be much of an issue.  I might have an old toy chair floating around my parents' basement somewhere, but I haven't checked there yet.  And I could make one out of balsa wood scraps, but I have not yet hit that level of desperation.

I have to say, Ryan has been pretty relaxed about this whole no-chair-in-the-tree situation.  I expected him to be far more insistent about having a chair, but it seems to be something he'd like to have but doesn't need to have.  This seems incredibly mature of him.

1 comment:

  1. Holy CRAP. You are the ONLY OTHER PERSON I'VE MET who knows Xmas Eve on Sesame Street. MEREDITH, THAT'S MY FAVORITE xMAS MOVIE TOOOOOO!!!!! OMG, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about Burt selling his paperclip collection, and then the two of them singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Xmas...and poor Cookie Monster who eats Gordon's tree...and Big Bird...Shit man, it's the best damn xmas movie out there. Thank you for finding a picture of it. It's about to become my desktop wallpaper.


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