Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa? Or Satan.

I won't comment about my childhood, except to say I've noticed many in my generation get along with their parents much better now than they did, say, 15 years ago.

And whether that's because our parents were all "mean" or "lame" (we no doubt offered these adjectives — along with countless others — to our friends), the fact remains that — with time — both sets mellow down just enough to make congenial conversation possible.

I've noticed this effect quadruples with the addition of the first grandchild, when parents become a few degrees "grander" in nearly all respects: a tad more patient, and giving, we see them treating their grandchild in a way that almost infuriates us.

You never let me do that when I was a kid...
You never bought me so much stuff...
You never let me jump on the bed...

But I digress. The fact remains that the more time passes, the kinder many folks seem to become.

In which case: my mother is a very nice person. She'll talk your ear off and — if you visit her at home — there's a good chance she'll try to give you something before you leave.

She does this to me all of the time. Now, maybe when I first left home and needed coffee tables and a television and all that, I was more than happy to take their hand-me-downs. But now I'm a bit older and still living in apartments, in which case my possessions have far outgrown my living space.

Not to mention that — though in some cases I like my mother's tastes — for the most part we're very different when it comes to decor.

She likes pink. I like burnt orange. She likes Victorian. I appreciate some Victorian, but prefer modern and/or retro. She collects Christmas stuff. I abhor clutter. She has a HUGE collection of Santas and Snowmen. They terrify me.

But one thing we do have in common is the tendency to move around. A LOT. And my parents have significantly downsized their living space in the past four years, though their quantity of household decorations has more likely increased.

This reality has hit my mother like a mean, angry stick lately and for a year or so every time I visit my folks, my mom tries to send me home with more... stuff.

I tell her I don't have the room (it's true). Tell her I appreciate the offer but, no, that angel "Gather Ye Friends" wall plaque just doesn't mesh with my Salvador Dali.

But, sometimes, I do like what she offers. And sometimes I will go home with another hand-me-down. But these times are few and far between, though I'm sorry to say this Thanksgiving was an exception.

My mother is trying to trim down her collection of Santas, and she offered 3 or 4 to my sister and I. There was a "larger" Santa that was fairly tasteful, and my sister quickly expressed interest (which is fine by me: she has a large house and still has room to grow). Two of the remaining Santas, for lack of a better description, actually caused us utter "Wow." in unison.

I mean.


They were possibly the creepiest Santas I've ever seen. So creepy, in fact, that I felt I had no choice but to take them.

Because sometimes kitsch comes around full circle and becomes "interesting" again.



Stacy said...

They look like mentally handicapped Santa, just looking at them makes me feel cursed. Could be worse, if she was like my mom, she would keep trying to give you blouses with giant red bows on them or sailor suits, ad-nauseum!

XOXO said...

My sisters not only taught me that the boogie man lived in our walk-through closet, but that the dolls in our toy room came to life at midnight. Therefore, I'm not sure if I could ever actually sleep at your parents' house. The santa's look like they're about to talk to you. Creepy.

Jamie Willow said...

um...the one on the right is sort of fabulous. but I like tacky things. I can't help myself...I also blame my mother.

Pamela said...

Oh Dear. I like them!

But, I don't want them. There is a difference.

XOXO said...

maybe you could ebay your mom's treasures. She'd never know.

Anonymous said...

All I can think of is The Santaland Diaries: "Father Christmas or Prince of Darkness? You decide."

Winter said...

I love the tacky too... it's like a sickness...