Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Maxmas

They said that the snow would be really bad today and that people should refrain from going outside, but when you have brand new snow tires and 300 lbs of kitty litter in your trunk driving in the snow isn't all that bad. The only thing you have to do is keep a healthy distance from all the people on the road who are driving in all season radials or engaging in other stupidity.

At a gas station I watched a guy back into a curb before he got out to clean off a small patch of the rear window, which until that point had been completely covered in snow. Once he had cleared off the minimum amount to be able to back in beside the pump, about a tenth of the total area of the window, he stopped and got back in the car. Who knows how long he drove before and after that without the use of his rear view mirror.

As luck would have it, my cousins were just in front of us in a very short line to see Santa at the mall. Garrett wanted to know why Mary and Joseph named their baby a swear word. Her mom tried to explain that it's only swearing in certain contexts and that it didn't have that meaning back then but she would have none of it. "They should have named him Max," she said.

Maxmas has a special ring to it, doesn't it? Henceforth Christmas will be called Maxmas in our house. It's a better name for what we celebrate anyways, because there's no Christ in Maxmas.

The Santa at Coquitlam Centre is a real beard Santa and he's been there for several years now. I see him every year. I don't care how old I am, sitting on Santa's lap makes me beam from ear to ear. He recognizes us so he was pretty chatty today.

Other than Santa, malls are not my favourite place to be, especially around this time of year. It's not just the artificial lighting, crowds, noise and recycled air. They're full of unhappy people burdened with a sense of obligation to spend and I hate counting myself among them. I don't think malls are really particularly good places to shop for gifts either. They're filled with a lot of bland, uninspiring choices, and the majority of the stores are for things I don't like buying for people, like clothes and glasses. In my experience, when you buy these things, whether or not people will actually like your choices is a complete crapshoot.

I had a bit of last minute shopping to do, but afterward I was glad to be home. This hasn't been the best holiday so far, but it certainly hasn't been the worst either. Sometimes it's tough to cling to the middle ground.