Advent Day Six and Seven, Otherwise Known As How Mr. E Tried to Ruin Christmas

Advent Day Six was “Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  The deal was that the three of us would watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas after dinner was over and Katie was in bed.  I made a delicious dinner of chili and cornbread and salad (that I grew myself!).  I semi successfully tried not to lose my mind as my kids threw cornbread all over the floor, and even though I was really not in the mood I dealt with a flurry of emails and did bathtime and Mr. E got everyone into their Christmas pajamas that St. Nicholas brought and he made some very delicious hot chocolate without even being asked! (Although as god is my witness next year we will be having that hot chocolate in some vintage Santa Claus mugs, oh yes we will.)

Then, we had a little…let’s say…incident.

I finally closed the computer just in time to hear Erik say that he had told Eli that he could play car racing on his Ipod instead of watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and I’m sorry, but what? WHAT? Have you…MET ME? In THIS lifetime? Did you actually just tell our child that he could play video games instead of spending time doing an advent activity with his parents? HA HA HA NO.

I mean, seriously? I love all these people with my whole heart but sometimes it just gets tiring being me.

Anyway, after I reminded everyone of the MOTHER GRABBING WONDER OF CHRISTMAS, we sat down to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas and I GASPED OUT LOUD IN HORROR as soon as it was revealed that Erik had not in fact recorded the beloved animated classic version of the Grinch but rather the wretched pile of dreck known as the live action version of the Grinch starring JIM CARREY, one of my least favorite people ON EARTH.


Luckily we also had a copy of Charlie Brown’s Christmas in the can, and although that is a strange and unusual little piece of animation, I do enjoy it, and we all had fun watching it, and it was short, and it does not contain any appearances by one Mr. Jim Carrey, although I am sure sometime in the future he will find some way to ruin that too, because that’s just what he does.


Advent Day Seven was “Make A Gingerbread House.”

Yesterday I walked in the kitchen, and Katie was sitting on the kitchen counter with a bag of noodles in her lap.  Penne pasta, I think, to be specific, and as Eli ran streaking back and forth in front of her, she reached into the bag over and over and whipped noodles at him as fast as she could. Girlfriend has quite an arm on her.

It will most likely come as no surprise when I tell you that we waited until naptime to build our gingerbread house.

I used a kit I bought at Target for $8 dollars, and I would like to take this moment to tell you that while I am fan of a great many modern inventions, things like washing machines and moving pictures and frozen meatballs, I am absolutely positive that nothing holds a candle to the invention of the Gingerbread House Kit.  As someone who once attempted to follow the directions in the Joy of Cooking to make my own from scratch and still shudders at the memory of cracking gingerbread and failing icing, I urge you – do not under any circumstances attempt this project without a kit.

Our deal is that I build the house, squirt as much frosting on the thing as one small cookie house can hold, and Eli sticks on the candy, eating approximately half of it in the process.  (FYI, the candy is disgusting and old tasting but the frosting is DELICIOUS).  And honestly, so far this year, I think this is my favorite advent activity.  It always work and it turns out beautifully and it’s a great team effort.  And if I were doing this by myself I would be over in a corner for hours petting the thing and trying to make it look EXACTLY as it does on the box and stressing over every tiny squidge of icing slightly out of place and wondering if you can buy gingerbread furniture on Ebay.  Instead the four year old is gluing four doorbells to the front of it and so I can let that all go.  It’s so far from perfect and yet so perfectly perfect that I just don’t care that it looks nothing like the picture on the box, and the fact that at least this particular activity is BETTER because I am doing with WITH Eli – well, I just love that. I really do.



14 Responses

  1. The gingerbread house kits do rock. (I am a stickler that it is houses only, though, no trains or any of that crap.)

    We have Grinch on DVD for year-round viewing. We’re watching it right this minute, actually.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more about the gingerbread house kit. I made it from scratch one year and I wish I could erase that from my memory. (Also, stealing the phrase “mother grabbing.” IS GENIUS.)

  3. Advent would have been put on hold for a Big Wicked Fight had my husband recorded the Jim Carey version instead of the animated classic. You’re a patient woman.

  4. Tried to ruin Christmas indeed! Yikes. I’m glad that Charlie Brown saved the day.

    And I LOVE that you ate salad that you GREW! How cool is that?!?

  5. I also hate Jim Carrey with a rather large part of my soul.

    And the gingerbread house was probably my very favorite one last year. We haven’t done it this year yet, but I LOVED it last year. I bought the kit already this year, except that I let Elizabeth pick it out and she chose the miniature village kit instead of the big version, so we have something like five tiny houses to decorate. I hope it goes as well this year as it did with the big house last year.

  6. Jim Carrey is also one of my least favorite people on earth.

    I also like “sometimes it just gets tiring being me.”

  7. This whole post made me grin. Especially how Mr. E tried to ruin everything.

  8. When I was a kid, we made “gingerbread houses” by gluing graham crackers to cardboard boxes with royal icing. We used ones glued at an angle for the roof. Then we’d cover the crackers in icing and candy. It was awesome because my sister and I could make the house ourselves (and gingerbread isn’t very good anyway).

    I tried making a gingerbread house as an adult and it sucked bigtime (cracking, shrinkage of pieces once cooked, icing fail). Graham crackers for me!

  9. Ahem. This is Mr. E. I just want it to be clear that I would never, EVER tape anything associated with Jim Carey on purpose, and that the whole recording thing was one big terrible mix up.

    Well… maybe I’d record Dumb and Dumber if I was drunk. REAL drunk.

  10. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading about your Advent activities…very entertaining!

  11. You cannot talk about making a gingerbread house without including a picture of said house!

    Also: admit it, Endless Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was pretty good for a Jim Carrey film.

  12. I have a really hard time with Charlie Brown. I am not patient enough for his incessant mopey-ness.

  13. Yes. Thank you for giving me the phrase, “I’m sorry, but have you MET ME?” to explain my desires (quirks) to my loved ones.

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