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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Monday
Dec172007

The Festive is upon us.

Hey, I know you've been wondering what my neighborhood looks like, all lit up and Christian in the holiday season, so here you go:

IMG_3910.JPG

There you see Crazy Joe, the guy who reads the paper all night long, no matter how cold the weather. I'm over on the right, skating my little heart out. Henry's in the newsboy cap, throwing himself at the camera lens. And in case you're wondering why that building is emanating an unearthly glow, well, we don't ask questions, round these parts. We just avert our eyes and we keep on skating.

I tricked you! What! That's not my town at all. Yuletide Fool's!

(Yes, that's right. Jesus loved a good prank.)

So among the Christmas decorations my mother foisted upon me—I mean lovingly offered—was my parents' famed Winter Village, a collection of ceramic figurines and buildings and teeny tiny lights that they hauled out at Christmastime. I balked, because after all, the Winter Village! That's a big commitment to, you know, tiny ceramics. It's a hop and a skip to Hummel figurine collecting, after this. But my parents insisted. The Winter Village is meant for the children, they shouted, to see the wonder and delight in their little angelic faces, and children don't come around their house much anymore, unless it's to ring the doorbell and run away screaming I TOUCHED OLD MAN BRADLEY'S HOUSE BLAAAAARGH.

So we put up a mini version of the Winter Village on our mantelpiece. We don't have a flat surface large enough for the entire Winter Village community, the Winter Village nursing home and Winter Village cell-phone store and Winter Village Great Wall of China. Also our cat wants nothing more than to walk across a table, chucking delicate figurines onto the floor with one swipe of her deadly paw. And she hasn't figured out how to reach the mantelpiece. Yet.

IMG_3911.JPG

Here we have Santa, sitting on his giant Ice Throne, wondering why no one is coming to greet him. "They all like that smaller Santa right in front of me. Who would put one Santa right in front of another? Probably a Jew," he's thinking, and he would be right. A Jew who cursed a lot and wondered how he got himself into this mess, marrying a Catholic, installing her Norman Rockwell diorama in order for her to better praise Jesus.

After Scott finished cursing and arranging, Henry announced that we had to "do the festive." This apparently meant turning off all the non-Winter Village lights and sitting together on the couch, while Scott sang "do the festive!" to the tune of "The Hustle" and Henry held forth about the Universe blowing up with one push of his self-destruct button. So pretty much it was a dress rehearsal for Christmas.

Do the Festive!

Reader Comments (49)

Great. Now I have The Hustle in my head. Ta-da-ta-da-ta-dadadada...
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSonja
"The Hustle" has been used for many-a-song replacement in my house to delegate chores, including "Do the Dishes", "Do the Laundry" and "Do the Drinking". Wait, all except that last one, because see, that one is just for me.JulesHouse of Jules

December 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjules
Do the Festive! Heh.

Tonight, my toddler was chatting with his grandma, my mother-in-law, on speakerphone. She asked him who was going to be coming down the chimney soon. His angelic little face lit up, and he shouted, "The Grinch!"

She missed seeing him drop to the floor and start slithering around in his best Grinch impression, but old people probably don't need to see that kind of stuff.
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
I second Sonja's comment. Now I have "The Hustle" in my head. Please make it stop!!!!
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNGS
That's a magnificent Ice Throne. I'll bet Santa's testicles are popsicles. :)
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
That's a magnificent Ice Throne. I'll bet Santa's testicles are popsicles. :)
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
Aargh! Wouldn't you know that the one time I screw up and double-post, it would be when I was poking fun at Santa's nads?

I'll just slink away now.
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
Great...now I have the Hustle in my head, AND I am picturing what Santa has in his OTHER sack.....Festive, indeed!
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKelley
Talk about product placement - is that a Winter Village White Castle behind Santa? The lettering on the sign suggests it is.
December 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTheQueen
You made me laugh out loud, alone in my kitchen before six a.m. with this post. Thanks!
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAssertagirl
SNORT!!!!

Brilliant post today!!
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Prince
Oh, your husband helped you Christmas decorate. Now that's loved. Even were my husband not Jewish, I would probably not be decorating in any way, shape or form. But it's kind of a good excuse if you don't pay any attention to the mountains of religious artifacts and Virgin Mary nightlight, etc. scattered throughout my home. But your post makes me realize my kid really WOULD find that kind of thing magical. So I am depriving her, a bit until she gets to Nana's house. She would build a little ladder to get up to your mantel to see that thing in all its glory. I hope your cat doesn't figure out how to do that.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterozma
DO THE FESTIVE!

Sonja might have the song in her head, but I also have the *dance.*

right toe forward, forward,back, back,forward, back, side, KICK!

left toe forward ...

Yeah, that's right. I hustled. I was the Hustle Champion of the the Kingwood Middle School 7th Grade dance.

Watch out, now...
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChookooloonks
DO THE FESTIVE!

Sonja might have the song in her head, but I also have the *dance.*

right toe forward, forward,back, back,forward, back, side, KICK!

left toe forward ...

Yeah, that's right. I hustled. I was the Hustle Champion of the the Kingwood Middle School 7th Grade dance.

Watch out, now...
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChookooloonks
Oh I so love to hear how the other Catholic-Jewish families do the festive! Lucky for me, I leave all the Christmas stuff to my parents and we go there. So my only challenge is remembering to buy candles for the menorah.

But my little guy would definitely love to have his own Christmas village. Hmmmm.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWaiting Amy
Wow, I can't wait until my little boy gets here. If he says half the funny things yours does, I'll die of happiness...
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTwice Five Miles
Crap...now I will be singing "Do the Hustle" all day with an occasional "Do the Festive" thrown in.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
"Do the Festive" is the best thing I have heard all season. Thanks. Maybe we will play it at our Festivus celebration.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob
My mother has a very elaborate Snow Village that lives on top of the closed grand piano lid, one that involves mirrors for ponds and encyclopedias to create hills, and I have to admit, even at 30, every year I look at it and decide which house would be my house.

However, that throned Santa is some creepy shit.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Brown
TheQueen, I'm happy to report it's not a White Castle-- if only because the TINY SQUARE BURGERS would have driven me bat-shittier insane than I was already.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPretty Rambo
I also can Hustle. They made us learn it in Junior High, along with Square Dancing and the Waltz. So as you can imagine, I'm just great at the parties.

I can not hear that song without doing the dance, even if I am in public, much to the embarrassment of my friends. But Chookooloonks, I'm confused. We didn't kick. We clapped. Is there another version of the Hustle out there?
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDM
I also can Hustle. They made us learn it in Junior High, along with Square Dancing and the Waltz. So as you can imagine, I'm just great at the parties.

I can not hear that song without doing the dance, even if I am in public, much to the embarrassment of my friends. But Chookooloonks, I'm confused. We didn't kick. We clapped. Is there another version of the Hustle out there?
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDM
And here I already sent out my Xmas cards. They should have said, "Do the Festive!"

They should have.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjaelithe
oh that my husband were jewish! between my parents and my in-laws they have the entire dickens village metropolitan area, and i dread they day they foist it upon us.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermelissa
And here I already sent out my Xmas cards. They should have said, "Do the Festive!"

They should have.
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjaelithe

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