Monday, December 27, 2010

New Grandparent's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

    First of all, if you're old enough to have grandkids, you're also old enough to remember back to when Saturday morning cartoons didn't suck.  Remember the one where the main character was facing a moral dilemma, and was receiving contradictory advice from a little angel and a little devil?  When the little devil on your shoulder says "Make a point of staying off the internet.  Don't post anything to your blog.  Don't comment on your friends' blogs.  Stay off the computer and spend time with friends and family" keep in mind that he is a lying little punk bent on ruining your holidays.  Heed none of his words.  Instead, grab a quart of 'nog and a box of twinkies and hole up in the closet with your computer until after the first of the year.

     When it comes to gift selection, keep things age-appropriate.  No matter how much you spend on the coolest and neatest toys, a small toddler will find the box much more entertaining than the actual toy.  So, have Christmas on the 26th.  Remember, the kid can look right at the blinking 12:00 on the microwave and still not know what time it is, so how is she going to know that Christmas is a day late?  So go over to your neighbor's house in the middle of the night and steal the brightly colored box from their kid's Tickle Me Elmo Flying Trapeze with Extra Sharp Edges out of the recycle bin and let your grandbaby play with that.  The kid will appreciate it more than the toy, and the hippies will thank you for re-purposing the box.

    Once a kid grows up enough to walk and know a few words, he becomes a real hazard.  Especially if Santa gives him a toy guitar which can be used to whack his younger cousin.  So ask him what Santa gives to bad kids.  If he replies "coal" it is time to go off.  It works best if you can get a good rant voice going, like Mel Gibson after a fifth of Southern Comfort.  "NO!  Coal emits CO2 which melts the ice at the North Pole where Santa lives.  Do you think he wants his house melted!? When Santa's heartburn is acting up in the middle of the night and he goes to the bathroom for some Tums, do you think he wants to paddle there in a canoe?  He does NOT GIVE OUT COAL.  He comes down the chimney and stabs bad kids in the eye with his Magic Icicle!  So quit hitting your cousin!!"

    If you're lucky like me, there's a 6 year old boy who isn't really your grandkid, but still refers to you as grandpa.  When that boy comes over and opens his present and gets all indignant to his mom like "Is that all?  I told you we should have gone to the other grandpa's house first!" then I don't have any good advice for you.  In Islamic countries where a strict form of Sharia Law is observed, the child would be beaten with an ax handle.  But that is illegal here.  This is the only example of Sharia being superior to our Constitutional system.  Of course, only use the handle, not the ax head.  Because that would be haraam.  Or maybe it would be cause for celebration.  I can't remember.  The angry moon god is kinda fickle that way.

    When one of the grandkids comes running up with that cutesy-putesy "Grandpa! Grandpa! It's Jeebus' Birfday!"  do not allow this heresy to stand.  Grab the kid by the scruff of the neck and haul him out to the cheesy plastic nativity scene erected in the front yard.  Again, get your rant voice going, like Alec Baldwin leaving his daughter a voicemail: "Listen!  See the little lambs?  They're born in the springtime.  By December they'd be all grown up."  When he gives you that confused head tilt look, plunk him down in front of this (highly recommended, seriously) video.  Unless he is a child science prodigy with understanding of retrograde motion and refraction of light, most of it will go over his head.  But that's not the point.  The point is that you'll have 63 minutes of him quietly watching a video instead of 63 minutes of him trying to mummify the cat in giftwrap paper.

As a gift to grandpa, this is inappropriate on many levels.

    Fartless Chili?  If your new daughter-in-law gives you this, expect a bumpy ride for the rest of the holidays.  For one, it kind of implies some things about the recipient.  It wasn't me.  It was the dog.  Really.  Chance the 110lb canine poot machine makes the vinyl floor in the kitchen curl with some of the ones he rips.  He lets one go and the kitchen floor suddenly looks like a giant faux-ceramic fruit roll-up.  But then again, is fartless chili even chili?  It's like cookies without milk.  Sonny without Cher.  Democrats without budget deficits.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Do not accept such ill-mannered gifts from anyone. 

Just follow these easy steps, and enjoy a much more rewarding holiday season!!


  1. Beating said ungrateful did with an ax handle. I like it. I guess we shouldn't be too quick to judge sharia law.

  2. Hey INNO!..happiest holidays my friend..we are snowed in big time.ha!

  3. Grandchildren are wonderful beings. I taught my granddaughters to fetch me beer from the fridge around the time they could walk and grasp things firmly with no fear of spillage/breakage, i.e., shortly after age two. The lesson stuck, and on my most recent foray out to Son Number Two's house in the wilds of Pittsburgh my adult granddaughters (who have graced me with great-grandchildren, but leave us not digress) hovered at my elbow whispering sweet nothings in my ear: "Ready for another beer, Grandpapa?" "Why yes, My Dear... If you're offering!"

    Those kids were raised correctly.

  4. Hi Inno! It sounds like you had a Fun Christmas!
    I hope you got other cool presents besides the Chili!
    Have a great New Year too!

  5. Nyuk! Inno, I read this in my Reader, but just now getting around to commenting.

    Dude, I'm putting this up there as one of your best. I'm giggling, and I can't quit. Seriously.

    Dunno if I'll ever have grandchilluns, even though most my age already do. We'll see. Actually, having little ones around might kinda' renew the fun of it all for me. Since the boys grew up, Christmas is sort of a "take it or leave it, have to do it" deal with me.

    We'll see. Maybe.

    Okay, did you make that 12:00 blink? Give!

    Please. Pretty please with sugar on top...

  6. I heard the same little devil telling me not to blog

  7. Infidel - Now I need Santa to bring me an ax handle and I'll be all set for next year.

    WHT - Thanks. Send some of that snow our way. We only have rain so far.

    Buck - Hopefully mine will respond as well when I try to train them

    Amusing Bunni - Yeah, got some cool stuff too. Steelers jacket. Woo!

    Andy - Thanks. There is an undocumented [blink] [/blink] tag. Not all browsers support it, though.

    Trestin - We need to shut that little devil up.

  8. Dude yah gotta publish that egg nog recipe, it leads to sum good shhhh Mahn.

  9. Too funny, hope you're enjoying the holidays Inno

  10. That was hilarious Inno!

    Chili just isn't chili if it doesn't produce gas.

    Happy New Year!

  11. Dude! That's some awesome funny right there.


Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.

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