styrofoam cups and dog biscuits

Ten things I have learned from Christmas scrapbooking:

  • My last good hair day was Christmas 1996. This is the same year my last child was born. Coincidence? I think not.
  • I must, finally, surrender the illusion that I will one day challenge Martha Stewart to the cake decorating title of America. Oh,those Happy Birthday Jesus cakes are so, so bad. But they still had the same meaning.
  • Basic character does not change. Child #2 is downing pop rocks in 1998 as ravenously as she does now. You just can’t change a child’s craving for adventure, even culinary.
  • The best gifts are not the most expensive. You can wrap up a bag full of styrofoam cups and keep your kids entertained for weeks.
  • Count the cost before beginning anything you may later hesitate to call a tradition. If I had any idea those modest gingerbread houses sixteen years ago would become the behemoth counter-hogging creations they are today . . . I still would have done it. But at least I would have known.
  • Dressing up little girls as angels for Christmas programs has got to be the world’s most ingenious subterfuge ever. The CIA could take lessons in how to make someone appear what she certainly is not. But then, real bibilcal angels were enough to bring grown men to their knees in terror, you may recall.
  • Never pass up a chance to take a photo of your child that could be outstanding blackmail material later in life. Take the edge God gives you and run with it; you’re going to need it.
  • Never put ornaments your kids make in kindergarten from dog biscuits on the bottom of the tree if you actually own a dog. Enough said.
  • It really is a major life accomplishment to have kept holiday decorations up through three preschooolers and a cat.
  • As long as there is a nice tree, everything else is negotiable.
  • Treasure your moments, because you have no idea who may not be in the picture next year.

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