Friday, December 30, 2005

Once again, the ghost of Christmas present. Posted by Picasa

Is that you Santa Claus? Posted by Picasa

Happy Boonis scouting out the Christmas loot. Posted by Picasa

Jeff sporting the X-mas affro. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Merry X-mas everybody! I was at a mass a long time ago and the priest had a sermon on how we as a nation have taken the meaning out of Christmas. He pointed out how we abbreviate Christmas to X-mas-- that we even took the Christ out of X-mas. He made me feel terribly guilty as a child because I had started to write X-mas, not as a personal affront to Jesus, but just because I thought it looked cool. Last year my roommate Lucas remarked, "Look, they crossed out the Christ on Christmas." Clint followed this up by saying, "Let us give thanks to our lord and savior Santa Claus." I was afraid to laugh lest I be stuck by lightning. This year I've overcome my guilt and will use X-mas and Christmas interchangeably, so there.

Usually the debate about the commercialism and demeaning of Christmas doesn't get to me. Oh, sometimes I'll yell at the TV when a diamond commercial comes on that equates undying love with jewelry, but this is no different than at any other time of the year. I always yell at the TV. I've always felt that the people who complained vehemently about the commercialisation of Christmas were pissed because they had to buy gifts. I mean come on, what's more exciting than giving gifts. Then again I don't have kids or work in mall. I'm sure I'd change my tune real quick were either of those circumstances to come about.

So it surprised me this year when roommate Jeff wanted to get a tree. I mean, he works in a mall. It surprised me even more when I decided I really didn't want one, a tree that is. I've always said that Christmas was my favorite holiday. I've stuck up for Christmas in a room full of Grinches before, however, I became the Grinch this time. I begrudgingly went along as Jeff and Clint dragged me in tow to the local tree mortuary to buy a freshly deceased shrub. I bitched the whole way. Sometimes, when I get in a mood it's like I can see myself from outside myself. There's this disconnected part of me that sees how childish I'm acting and how complaining is a terribly weak form of communication, but when I open my mouth it's like a different person takes control and all I can do is bitch. Not fun.

Jeff and Clint saved me though. They made me participate in all their damn festive cheer and I actually had fun as the pictures attest . Right now I have X-mas music on and am writing by the lit up tree.

I actually went Christmas shopping today with the crowds of people. I could have gone any day next week, but it is kind of fun on a snowy day to stroll from shop to shop and see what you can find for people. Only problem is I found a ton of stuff I want and very little gift ideas for friends and family. My sister has taken the pressure off of getting the perfect gift for her after the gift she gave me last year: a cooking pot with packages of beef jerky and sunflower seeds inside. I mean come on. Where does that idea come from? Here's the deal though, I ate the jerky and seeds with relish (joy not the condiment) and I use that damn pot all the time. My family has the oddly practical ability to give me no thrill gifts that I actually use. One year I got jumper cables from my dad. I can't say I opened the package and screamed in delight, "Oh father, I'm going to use these right away." But, those jumper cables came in handy. I'd probably still be stuck at Snowbowl ski resort trying to get my car started if it weren't for those. I can only wait to see what practical and non-extravagant gifts I'll receive this year: a pair of garden shears, a new set of windshield wiper blades, only God knows.

A few years ago I wrote a Christmas letter to a dear friend, and in it I questioned the meaning of Christmas. I mentioned that at age fifteen I stopped getting up early for Christmas. I remember that Christmas morning my sister came running into my room and for the first time I told her to go away and let me sleep. At least that was the first time that happened on X-mas. I remember drifting off into slumber, yet being slightly appalled at what I had done. I had given up the excitement of opening presents for a few more moments of sleep. I realized that the old meaning of Christmas had slipped away, and in the letter I questioned what the new meaning of Christmas was. I tried a few ideas and everything seemed trivial, but then I told this friend that on X-mas we celebrate a day that a child was born thousand of years ago, and somehow that event translates into me writing a letter that told this person how much they meant to me. In ways that's absurd, but in other ways that's a miracle; that we should buy gifts for each other and spend time with each other, and for god sakes get a day off because of this one person born long ago. Christmas is an excuse for those of us who aren't so good with giving, to give and for those of us who have a hard time saying I love you, to say I love you. Enough of the sappy stuff. Enjoy winter time pics and Happy X, Christ, Holidays, Mass to everyone! (Dickens doesn't have a thing on me.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas at the Wilhelm. Posted by Picasa

When we decorate a tree we do it fast. Posted by Picasa

The official picture for the Wilhelm Christmas Card. Posted by Picasa

"Rejected Photo for the Wilhelm Christmas Card" or "Jeff Conjures the Ghost of Christmas Present". Posted by Picasa

The great snow catapillar of the Wasatch.  Posted by Picasa

Swimming? Posted by Picasa

Snowy, sunny goodness.  Posted by Picasa

Snowy Goodness. Posted by Picasa

The boys. Posted by Picasa

The resembelence between the cat and Clint is amazing! (see below) Posted by Picasa

? Posted by Picasa