Monday, December 24, 2001

Merry, merry

I'm reading and hearing a lot about the Lord of The Rings, installment one -- The Fellowship of the Ring. I am a huge Tolkien fan, just re-read the entire trilogy for the umpteenth time this fall. So I have been looking forward to it for some time now.

My friend Jon, a very learned, intellectual person who is versed deeply in the Scholarship of the Ring, went to see the movie and expressed his issues with the film, he being of mind that the story should have been told correctly instead of skipping over stuff for the sake of time. But, he added, it was an amazing film... one of the best movies he's ever seen. So that kind of endorsement excites me, as I am just a simple Tolkien fan, not someone who holds a degree in his work.

I recognize that Peter Jackson had to cut stuff out, gloss over things, to get the film made for the time period he needed it to cover. But I think expanding roles to make it something for everyone (ie Arwen's love for Aragorn etc...) just wasn't necessary. Why "Titanic" a film that is a story of such epic proportions that it doesn't NEED any additional story lines expounded upon.

It is a tale of Good Vs. Evil. Darkness defeated by Light. Why does there need to be romance. Isn't the defeat of evil enough?

In the books the concept of this love isn't introduced strongly until the third book. It is hinted upon in the first. So why it has to be thrown into this first film out of order of the tale pisses me off. Ah well.

I do think that it is important to note that the love between Arwen and Aragorn is a great story... but should never overshadow or take attention away from Frodo's Quest (sniff. sniff. is it smelling nerdy in here?? YES! IT IS!!!). Arwen knows that upon the destruction of the One Ring, the age of magic in middle earth will come to an end, and so will the age of her people. The age of man will begin... and her world, Rivendell, Lothlorien, the elven ways, will be destroyed. The wonderful cities, the magic, the ways of life.

She chooses to become Aragorn's queen -- knowing that trading her elven immortality for human love is her only option for staying alive in middle earth. It is the stuff of Greek mythology-a love so great, so powerful, that a sacrifice is made that many people could never even fathom. So it is a great story, but a substory in the third book.

Frodo's mission is scarier by far. And what he goes through up to that point and faces after that point... well. See the movies. I wish to hell they weren't being released so far apart. A year is a long time to wait for a movie that is already in the can. It should have been 6 months apart. This first one now, the next in June, the culmination in December 2002.


Anyway. Christmas shopping is done except for the stocking stuffers which I will pick up today. We got great Santa gifts for the kids. Geoff is SO into Santa right now. We have a nativity scene on the porch of our church and he was playing with the animals before service yesterday. After church he came out onto the porch and said "Here's the baby Jesus... where's Santa?" So Jessica chastised him and told him Santa didn't come to the manger. Geoff is confused. Rightly so. It is hard to blend the concepts and think they can keep the two separate. Jessica gets it, but then again I don't know if she believes in Santa really. She plays along well. If she doesn't believe, you wouldn't know it.

Her 11 year old best friend talks about Santa still. I think between the two of them they are keeping up a united front for Geoff. But I am not sure. Something in their voices tells me they still think it is true.

I'm not sure when or if I will bring the subject up with Jessica. I don't want her finding out the way I found out -- on the playground at school. I was heartbroken when I found out Santa didn't exist... but I didn't see the good side of it, that my parents were Santa, and Santa is in all our hearts... the spirit of giving. The spirit of love. So I'm torn.

And with Geoff, he's a firm believer. All you have to do is tell him the elves are watching and he snaps into shape.

We got our tree yesterday after church and put it up. In order to put the tree up though, we had to do a lot of work.

So we procrastinated quite a bit. Not wanting to work and being sick for weeks, it took us quite a while to get to this weekend where if we were going to do it we HAD to do it.

Normally we would have had it a whole week ago. Or more. Here's what we had to do:

  • We had to rearrange the living room. Yup. In May we had our living room expanded by knocking a wall out from between the living room and a small room that we weren't really using. So now we have a huge room.
  • We also got a sectional sofa in June, so part of it was in Jessica's room. So when we moved the couch down to the far end of the room we brought in that extra piece so it could be in the right place
  • We have a sliding doored closet that I want to turn into a built-in entertainment center either by buying a piece of furniture or building in the shelves, so a hole had to be drilled for the cable line to come up through the floor to the right spot.
  • Jessica has a huge walk in closet that used to be a beer cooler when our house was a liquor store (yup, it was!) and it was a DISASTER!!!! So to get the Christmas decorations out from the back of the closet, the closet had to be cleaned. All year long Jessica has thrown stuff in there.
  • Our air conditioner was sitting in the middle of the living room and had to be put away so the room could be rearranged for the sofa, and that couldn't be put away until the closet was cleaned and the ornaments removed... so you see how it all fits together.

In the end, it all got done on Saturday. And we were exhausted by Saturday evening. So we went and got the tree yesterday. See how it all works?

We are exhausted now... I'm glad all that work was done, now all I have to do is wrap a couple presents tonight after the kids go to bed. Huzzah!

We got the tree at this place called Pearsons in Byfield, right on I-95 there. They charge 14 bucks a tree, no matter what the size.

Sometimes you go there and the place is mobbed beyond belief... like the last two years. This year we went and there was one other car there and us. The woman had a Mercedes, and her daughter and her pit bull with her. The pit bull was brindle in color and had a full long tail and a great disposition. When we saw her running around, we asked if she was friendly. The woman told us that she was indeed and loved kids so we called her over instead of us approaching her. Having been the owner of a dog most people would run away from, we were sure to do things the right way.

She came right over, tail wagging and eyes bright. The kids loved her and patted her and ran all over the place with her while Doug picked out a tree. Geoff kept calling the dog over to him, "Hey come get this tree dog!" It was a riot. We picked a 6 foot tree and got it home, set it up, let it open, strung the lights and put the ornaments on. Geoff dropped an ornament that Megan had made for Jessica last year. It was ceramic and broke clean in half. I may be able to salvage it. We ran out of bulb hooks, but the tree is quite well decorated and it is slender... not a big full tree like we've had in years past, so I'm happy with the way it looks.

I spent a lot of time and effort this year on the kids and on Doug, not to mention friends and cards and pictures. I'm worn out from it. And I have a horrible feeling I'm getting little in return from my family. Doug likes to pick out some jewelry for me, which is always pretty, but I don't wear a lot of jewelry, so it kind of seems... like a lazy way of shopping for me. I bought him stuff I know he would like and want... I got him a great set of cutlery for the kitchen so he can play Chef Douglas. Our knives suck, old knives that we got as a wedding gift back in the day. They don't cut for shit and they have wood handles, and the little pegs are falling out so the blades don't hold tightly in the handles... so I invested for him. I also got him a nice fleece vest and two really nice longsleeved henley shirts.

I'll get something he picked out online.

He asked me what I wanted. I told him a bathrobe, a digital camera, and a bottle of Crabtree & Evelyn "Sonoma Valley" perfume.

I'll get none of that because they require effort. The nearest Crabtree & Evelyn is in Burlington, although it is something you can order online at their site... but he won't do that I am sure. Bathrobe -- forget about it. And he told me I could go pick out a digital camera because I know more about that stuff than he does.

Merry Christmas to me.

Anyway. I'm feeling kind of worn out and tired. I can't wait for this all to be over with so I can get my complete disappointment out of the way. I'm looking forward to tonight's pageant because Geoff is going to be so cute and Jessica knows all her lines by heart and acts them out. She doesn't just recite the part, she and the girl she is with -- Ashley -- both have the shepherdess roles down pat. They huddle together with their staffs, rub their arms, point to the sky, herd the four little sheep kids they have around. They are the best part.

Geoff has the last line in the play... "I become light in the world so whoever believes in me will not be in darkness." He messes it up everytime, but in the cutest ways. As long as he doesn't say anything about burping or butts (his new thing is "wanna see my butt?") I'll be a happy mom.

Well, I'm going to do the last of my shopping for lunch time here. Merry Christmas to all. I'm sure I'll have pictures of Geoff and Jess from their pageant, and Christmas morning for you.

May God bless each of you with one very special memory this Christmas. Talk to you Thursday.

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