Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Sure Isn’t What It Used To Be...AND a Giveaway!

Things began in good spirits when the wife and I eagerly attended our daughter’s 1st ever kindergarten school play a few days ago. We’ve been hearing about the event for weeks in bits and pieces but never in its entirety.
The theme was supposed to be all around Thanksgiving, at least that's what I thought…

It was a very artsy new-age performance of “autumn” and my daughter played a brown leaf; and for about 15-minutes she did a whole lot of interruptive dance with her class while they all recited strange lines such as "are you ready?", “flow with me”, “let’s fly birds, FLY”, and “hear the leaves crunch.” The finale couldn’t have come soon enough when all of the kids began moving in slow motion, in unison, while a woman played an Enya-eque inspired tune on a mini Casio keyboard just off stage. The kids then burst loudly into song of “Shoo Fly, Don’t bother me” and then fell on the floor just before the lights went out.

I started having flashbacks of my Art School college years.

Suddenly all of the parents stood up and applauded, some in tears. Some women in the front began hugging each other. I got up slowly clapping looking at the wife wondering if she saw the same performance as me.

What a far cry from my own elementary school days where all we did was dress up as pilgrims and indians for the day, made turkey hand’s, and maybe created some candles from egg cartons… just like the real pilgrims did.

I started wondering if this private school she’s going to was a bit too crazy. Does this school purposely shy away from anything remotely traditional? What do they have against Turkeys and Pilgrims? What if they’re trying to make her a vegetarian?
No kid of mine will ever be a vegetarian!!!

But then she came home with this today:
A sweet Thankful Turkey craft with feathers of all of the things she’s thankful for. It says things like “Family”, “Brother”, “Mommy Daddy”, and there’s a green one at the back of the post-it speech bubble that says:

A Season of Giveaways!!
For some time now I’ve been getting a whole lot of requests to do giveaways. Usually I shy away from them but thought why not try it out, introduce some interesting things, and give some ideas for Christmas gifts. Be on the look out for these the next few weeks...

This week’s giveaway is THE ROBOT BOOK from Accord Publishing. A cute and clever board book that actually has moving gears, cogs, nuts, and bolts and is appropriate for maybe ages 2 and up. Comment below with your email address or directly to me at the address above (U.S. residents only for this one) before 6PM Pacific November 26th – I’ll randomly choose 2 winners. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Houses With “Out of Control” Halloween Decorations

There was a time not long ago when all you really needed to celebrate a traditional centuries-old Halloween, like the way many past European Kings and Asian Emperors did, was to simply leave a decent pumpkin on the porch while playing classic holiday music like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or Lionel Richie’s “Penny Lover.”

Those were the days when Halloween meant something. Things like “Peace on Earth” and “Girl, a love like yours is hard to resist.”

Not anymore.

Our neighborhood went downhill this year. The neighbor to the right of me spent 3 weeks building a graveyard and volcano in his yard and used his kids as non-union talent to scream at passing ‘trick or treaters.’ The poor kids didn’t even get to spend much time begging for candy themselves.
Not to be outdone, the other neighbor made a graveyard too but his with a whole series of pullies and levers, operated by his kids, moving all sort of things around with a theater grade smoke machine nearby and all sorts of theatrical lighting. Those kids didn’t get to go begging either.
The block down from us hung a large glowing spider web over their cul-de-sac and used several garage door openers, operated by their kids, as a motor system to make 3, 5-foot spiders (with glowing eyes) move up and down. Word around the neighborhood was that those kids didn’t go begging either.

The sad reality is, it’s the kids that suffer with this kind of nonsense.

I for one am not going to be partaking in any of it. My kids will be doing what kids have been doing for thousands of years since the inception of Halloween by the Great Pumpkin long ago: begging for candy so their parents can eat it. Period.