Giving thanks for dinosaurs and babies

I’m late to the Thanksgiving party. I was really tired when I got home last night and dozed off around 9 p.m.

But I am thankful.

We had a small crowd at our gathering — at least, according to Parlin numbers. We had between 30 and 40 people. But the great thing is that many of those people were toddlers or younger. And if there’s one thing Parlins love, it’s babies and little kids.

And this year’s crop of babies — two fresh ones showed up this year — were mellow and cooperative. That meant their parents could hand their darlings off to cousins, aunts and uncles and even great-aunts and great-uncles and actually eat a meal without an armful of squirm. And there were many of us eager to cuddle a cutie for 10 or 20 minutes before the next welcoming adult held out his or her arms.

The toddlers are great, too. How many 2-year-olds do you know who can not only identify a stegosaurus and a pterodactyl but also pronounce them correctly? Well, we’ve got one in the family who happened to have dinosaurs romping across his winter jacket. And he was more than happy to educate his dinosaur-illiterate great aunt.

And when not talking dinosaurs, there were lots of other topics of conversation. We talked books, British baking shows, technology, vintage Christmas and card games. And Therese put together a vacuum cleaner I had taken apart to clean and couldn’t get back together. Hey, don’t all of you bring along disassembled machines to your holiday gatherings?

That accomplished, Kathy fired up her computer and did a little online shopping for me. My new motto is, why do it myself when a willing sibling will do it for me.

This was a warm up for Christmas where we get a more complete family representation that edges toward 60 people. I don’t know if dinosaur boy will show up for that gathering, but if he does, I’m going to search for T-Rex on his dinosaur jacket.




Oh, Christmas tree

I know some of you decry the too-early celebration of all things Yuletide.

Too bad. Here’s another celebration.

Amidst all the political angst, the too-soon cold weather and the problems of the world, I rejoice in all things glittery, merry and bright.

Tonight, after finally clearing up most of the debris of my holiday sale, I started putting up my own holiday decorations, including my vintage aluminum tree. I like to do this in stages so tonight I assembled the tree and festooned it with glass bead garland. The ornaments can wait. For now, I enjoy the tree with garlands, knowing much holiday sparkle is yet to come.

So turn off the radio when you hear “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” It’s obnoxious and I won’t listen to it, either. But do listen to anything Amy Grant sings. She has a heavenly voice and even Yuletide complainers might enjoy her.

Go ahead and avoid all the Black Friday sales. I don’t go to them and neither should you if you hate all that commercialism. Instead, make yourself a hot chocolate and stir it with a peppermint candy cane — delicious.

And if you’re still grumpy about it, go ahead and be grumpy. But please don’t begrudge the rest of us the joy this season brings. In the dark and the cold, I’m going to enjoy my holiday decorations.

Merry Christmas and all the other holiday greetings that are appropriate for you.