There are two reasons that I would like to be Canadian.
The first reason is easy access to poutine, which is french fries covered with cheese curds and gravy _ and is the best thing you can eat when the temperature is below freezing and you've lost all feeling below your knees.
The second reason is Thanksgiving in October.
It makes more sense to celebrate this holiday earlier in the year, especially when you live in northern climes. Thanksgiving is about harvests, both spiritual and actual.
By late October, the bulk of our crops are in. Heck, it's usually snowed at least once by then.
But that is merely an intellectual justification for why I truly, deeply in my heart of hearts really want; I deeply desire a few more weeks between the turkey and the Christmas tree.
Rest assured that this column isn't yet another rant about all of the green and red merchandise that hits the shelves just after the black and orange merch is shoved into the clearance bins. Yes, it ticks me off, too, to hear "Jingle Bells" the day after "Monster Mash."
That fight has already been lost. You may as well fight the tide with a teacup.
No, I want to move Thanksgiving so that I have more time to really think about what I should get my kids for Christmas.
If it were up to them, they'd get every single piece of plastic junk that shows up in the commercials wedged between shows on Nick, the Discovery Channel and the Cartoon Network.
While I have no qualms about letting the Diva and the Boy watch television, I have buckets of qualm about them watching the endless ads, if only because they then ask for the latest iteration of Mario or Polly.
In the long run, I know that the commercials are good for them because they will learn that nothing is ever as wonderful as it is made to seem by those who are selling it.
Capitalism requires educated (and jaded) consumers.
In the short run, the kids are driving me crazy pointing out all of the gifts that they'd like.
When the Diva was younger, we made a deal.
Rather than tell me whenever she saw something she wanted Santa to bring her, she only tell me when she saw something that she most definitely did not want. I'd simply take it as a given that she wanted everything her eyes fell on unless informed otherwise.
This worked until her brother was old enough to want things, too.
She realized that there was no way I could keep both sets of demands straight unless I was reminded who wanted what every 10 minutes.
The Diva is nothing if not persistent.
My kids don't actually need more stuff.
They have plenty to play with, most of which winds up on their respective bedroom floors because neither can be bothered to put anything away, which is another column for another day.
And also is about as effective as the aforementioned battle with the tide.
They have so much stuff that I frequently have to cull the toys that are outgrown or unloved to find a home for the new toys, which is a truly First World problem and one that we are blessed to have.
In a perfect world, I'd only give my kids new experiences for Christmas. We'd spend a full year on mini-trips to wherever the urge takes us.
Which is not a practical plan, nor can it be wrapped.
Still, given a choice, I would only buy the gifts that they really want, rather than the ones that they ask for out of habit because they've just seen a flashy commercial.
The only way to figure out which gifts those are is to listen to them for more than a few weeks to see what keeps coming up.
Listening is hard, however, in the short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we all try to bake the cookies/do the shopping/deck the halls/grade the finals.
There's not a whole lot of time leftover to sit and talk to each other, which is a crying shame.
Right now the kids are simply primed to respond to every last toy targeted at them because the holiday is breathing hotly down their necks, too. They are just as wound up as the grown-ups are.
While this level of excitement can be sustained for three weeks, I don't think it could be sustained for six, which would mean the two weeks before Christmas would be relaxed and quiet.
The easiest answer would be to simply start my holiday prep earlier, no matter what the calendar might say.
But it's hard to think about Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed, just like it's hard to eat a dish of poutine in July.
Or so I believe.
Adrienne Martini is a freelance writer, instructor at the State University College at Oneonta, mom to Maddy and Cory, wife to Scott, and author of "Sweater Quest." Her columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/parentingimperfect.
There are two reasons that I would like to be Canadian.
Back to nature
"The peace of the hills is about me and upon me; the leisure of the summer clouds, whose shadows I see slowly drifting across the face of the landscape, is mine. The dissonance and the turbulence and the stench of cities -- how far off they seem! The noise and dust, and the acrimony of politics -- how completely the hum of the honey-bee, and the twitter of the swallows blot them out!"Continued ...
- If you go
Raise a glass
The popularity of small-batch adult beverages is intensifying in upstate New York.Continued ...
Thick hot air and clammy clothes entice brisk visions of jumping into a pool of refreshing water. Plunging into the soft cool environment of good old-fashioned H2O can rejuvenate the soggy mind.Continued ...
Racing Under Saddle
Those looking for the thrill of watching live horse racing will not have to travel outside the region this summer.Continued ...
- Back to nature
- Around The Arts
Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
So, in a few short weeks you're graduating with an arts degree. Now what?! In the safety of college, one can ignore the realities of the outside world, where housing and meal allowances aren't rolled into a tuition payment and jobs aren't available simply because you're a student.Continued ...
Volunteers are the SWAT of the arts world
When you work at an arts organization, particularly a nonprofit, employees often wear many hats -- accomplishing the duties that appear in the traditional job description, and then some. It happens everywhere. It's a running joke among people who work at nonprofits. There is too much to do, and not enough people to do it. That's when you call in the back up -- SWAT if you will.Continued ...
Let creativity flow with unstructured art projects
As I sit here writing this, the holiday glow is still going strong (my column deadline is two weeks before the publication date), and I've been spending a great deal of time not only with my daughter, but her stuff. We're incredibly lucky to have a loving network of family and friends that spoil her, so I've been merging her new goodies with her old.Continued ...
Opportunities abound for career in the arts
I was recently asked to speak at a local high school about my career path and how I came to work in the arts. It was interesting speaking with these seniors, and discussing their hopes for life after high school.Continued ...
The art of the appraisal explained by one who knows
So often in this column my co-writer, Brittany, and I talk about how art is everywhere and can be appreciated by all. Perhaps because of my passion for everyday art, there is one part of the art world I just cannot grasp -- art appraisal. How can you put a value on something so seemingly subjective? So, I set out to learn more about this industry.Continued ...
- Glimmerglass director offers employment tips for arts grads
- Music Beat
Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
At a recent concert reception in New York City, I was surprised to meet people who had imminent plans to move to the Otsego-Delaware county area. They explained that our area is so rich in musical and graphic arts that they knew they would enjoy living here.Continued ...
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Complete education involves classroom, real-world learning
There is new, long overdue attention being paid in our institutions of higher education to the use of directed practical experience as an essential partner to the classroom lecture.Continued ...
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Copyright royalties can make you smile
A few years ago, I wrote an article on the skill and dedication necessary to become a songwriter.Continued ...
- Oneonta student looks to take music industry training in different direction
- Parenting Imperfect
Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
All I wanted to do was eat my English muffin. The family had other plans.Continued ...
A reminder of the small-child years
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Well, at least she's listening to what I say
The older the kids get, the happier I am that we have a dog. She, at least, seems to be excited to see me when I get home.Continued ...
I want to visit the world of 'The Pioneer Woman'
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It is in February when the breaking point is reached
If I could edit the calendar, the two months I'd do away with are August and February.Continued ...
- Oh, just to be able to savor an English muffin
- Senior scene
As Time Goes By: I'm trying to be the rockin' up-to-date 'cool dude' grandpa
Time flies at my house. If I sit down to write an article, I can't help but see that I have an inbox of unread letters in my email. My brain records this as saying in block letters "YOU GOT MAIL."Continued ...
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As we age, both our bodies and our brains face changes. How these changes affect us are determined by genes, environment and lifestyle.Continued ...
Looking Back: We should all cherish our time with our families
Time marches on, and it seems like a different lifetime since we brought up our own children.Continued ...
As Time Goes By: I'm hearing voices -- and not only mine own
There are two problems that seem to be inherit to growing older, which when viewed in the context of a sentence appear to be opposites but are in truth part of the same problem â€"you either are getting deaf or you start talking to things that surround you.Continued ...
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- Tech, GP
Thankful hard-disk shortage is about over, and counting my blessings
Well, I'm almost ready to let out a cheer.Continued ...
Businesses need backups for their computer people, systems
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you know that I have taken a new position, professionally. I recently joined Eastman Associates, a local general contractor, to do its IT work, as well as taking care of some other functions of the business.Continued ...
Windows 8 seems to be made for the good of Microsoft, not the user
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The Granite State got it right on software purchases
Believe it or not, I have found a bright spot in the political landscape, amid all the vitriolic partisan fighting.Continued ...
Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
It was just about two years ago now, that the iPad came out, and I wrote a column about it. At that time, I went out on a limb and said that thought it was a product which would fill certain niches very well, but that it wasn't very likely to fill in for what is normally considered a computer.Continued ...
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- Teen Talk
Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice
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A Word of Advice: What's new isn't always what's better
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On the Go: Mile markers of life can be painful, but enjoy them
Our insignificance is crippling.Continued ...
Weekend Reviews: 'Cherry' perfectly captures my feelings
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In case some of you haven't noticed, I'm not a huge animal person. Sorry to all of you animal-lovers, but you most likely won't ever see me at any secret meetings you may hold.Continued ...
- Teenhood Today: I long for furniture, hills, rice