in which I consider cancelling Christmas

If we’re friends on facebook, you know that Jesus of the Nativity and his two Ceramic Parents met an untimely and Earthly end earlier this fall when Gideon James freed them from their basement storage manger. This left me with a strong desire to start some Mulder traditions but with nothing to anchor the effort.  When this advent calendar went on sale, I pounced. It would be the perfect backdrop for a lifetime of December memories. Yes.  When it arrived in Thursday’s mail, Gus Man helped me carefully unwrap the ark (Boat! Mom! Boat!), all 24 little animals, and sweet Noah.

I was feeling good.


The children were in love.  After a brief course in the Ethics of an Advent Calendar (which basically boils down to one rule: No Peeking), the boat was placed on the hutch and Noah was set out in anticipation of his flock joining him throughout the month.  There was much ooohing and ahhing and touching.  I have no delusions of this sitting high on shelf and never being maimed by my children. The Good News is a hands-on story here, Folks. But, MY LANTA, if I didn’t expect for Noah to go missing after 30 minutes.



By the time Curt got home from work, Noah was no where to be found. I had rescued him myself twice… once from driving a (toy) bulldozer, and once from shepherding in the confines of (toy) barn with a monkey, a giraffe, and a moose.  Gideon James.  Clearly, we had a good idea of who was responsible for Noah’s disappearance, but repeated questioning only resulted in a (very cute but maddening) shrug.

So, Mamma took a walk.  Mamma needed to breathe some fresh air. MAMMA JUST WANTED IT TO BE SPECIAL, PEOPLE. We didn’t even make it to DAY ONE.  I walked out to the garden where the children had been playing tackle. No Noah. I walked to the pole barn, where the shorter child had unrolled the air compressor hose to fix his wagon. No Noah. I looked under the van, on the porch swing, in the dog’s water bowl.

No Noah.

I briefly considered cancelling Christmas. Obviously, my family cannot handle the pressure. But, I rallied.

I gathered the troops… the 2 troops… and squished them together on the leather wing-back chair  next to the boat.

I closed my eyes and put a gentle, non-scary smile on my face.

“Children, whom I love and adore,” I started, “Where is Noah? Think. Think hard. He is here somewhere. I’m not mad. I’m not even surprised. I just want Noah back. WHERE IS NOAH TELLMENOW.”

And, without pause or rehearsal,

Rylie pointed up and said, “Heaven.

while Gus pointed at me and said, “No peeking.


Noah was found

later that evening

 deep under the hutch

with chocolate chip remnants on him


Noah is now permanently attached to his craft

with gorilla glue.

Christmas is still on.

I am in it to win it,

come hell or 40 days of high water.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

9 responses to “in which I consider cancelling Christmas

  • Kaylee Page

    I remember the untimely death. It broke all our hearts but cracked us all up too! Loving your new traditions, friend. Loving ’em.

  • Colene

    Oh friend, I am so with you on nearly canceling Christmas! Yesterday’s tree decorating project was a disaster. Yesterday’s attempt to photograph said tree with angelic children in silhouette was even worse (they just had to stand there and look at the tree. No smiles were required. Why is that so difficult?!?) Yesterday, I prayed for some Christmas spirit, but it has not yet arrived.I will try again today.

  • Heather P

    I totally understand the frustration! My almost 13 year old pulled a stunt just this weekend. Saturday was grocery shopping where invitations were bought for her birthday party. Saturday night I heard her “shopping” in the kitchen. Sunday night I asked her to bring me the invitations that I knew to be where I left the. “Not here, mom” “Look again.” Needless to say I grew impatient and even after Daddy said they weren’t there, went looking. Went looking in the kitchen and looking for the invitations. (They have to go to school in the morning.) Find a WalMart bag with stuff in it. She gets to put away what she shopped for. Lo and behold if the invitations were not at the bottom of the bag. 😦

  • Kim Aguilar

    Hi-larious. Belly laughs for me. Gorilla glue got me good.

  • susannah

    oh, the best laid plans. we stuck with the paper advent calendar this year, and it has started it’s journey to places that cannot be reached by little curious hands. by the time christmas eve arrives, if any doors remain unopened, it will be living in such a hard-to-reach-place that we will wonder why we bothered. hooray for gorilla glue!

  • Olivia Fulmer

    I’ve considered cancelling Christmas as well! I lost my Nativity sometime during the last house fire. It may not have escaped the fall from the attic when the attic exploded. So, November 30, I set out to find a new Nativity. I came home with the following: the Baby Jesus in a manger, three Kings, and an angel. I have no Mary, no Joseph, no shepherds, no sheep, no cows, no donkey. Now, how can I tell the Christmas story? I suppose that means another excursion into the wilds of the the stores to find them. (And I don’t have small children any more: mine are 19 and 23!) Yep, I may have to cancel Christmas.

  • Missindeedy

    That’s the spirit – in it to win it! All’s well that ends well, especially if it’s covered in chocolate chips, I say. Praise the Good Lord for Gorilla Glue and for the fact that you really only have to make it through 22 days, and not 40!

  • Amy

    Yes. I made a cute felt board with manger, star, animals, shepherds, etc. I am telling the story and we are taking turns putting the pieces on the board. And of course a screaming pushing SCREAMING insane fight ensues over who gets to put baby Jesus on the felt board. Lovely.

  • lynnehartke

    Baby Jesus disappeared from our manger scene one year. He appeared in the Fisher Price barn days later.

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