December 20, 2004
I looked at this picture of the baby on the changing table and realized, "We've become what we hate." We're dressing up the kid in bizarre outfits, just like our parents did to us. Hard to believe the little guy has been on this side of the womb for less than 2 weeks.
Jenn's family is set to descend on our house Christmas day. They will be horrified by our Christmas tree. The older Korean family members are strict artificial tree kind of people. A live tree is considered extravagant, wasteful, perhaps even foolish. Last year I told Jenn's mom I was going to buy a live tree for her house like it or not. The modest tree eventually ended up in grandfather's house. All the aunts came around, took a good look, and concluded that plastic trees were more practical and less messy. This tree was huge they said (it was about 5 feet). They tend to prefer tabletop models. At least their plastic trees are green. My grandparents in Mexico always had a silver tree made of hammered tin. It was lit by a little light in the shape of a fan with a rotating red, green, blue and yellow filter...
It was always hot down in Mexico and we would have to pretend it was cold, wearing sweaters until the sweat made the charade unbearable. My brothers favored Christmas music which they played in agonizing loops not seeming to recognize the dissonance of Johnny Mathis singing about Frosty the Snowman when everyone was in shorts barbecuing carne asada out back. Christmases in Texas were not much better, although at least it was often overcast and rainy (we would turn up the air conditioning and light the fireplace). I always dreamed of Christmases... well, like this. Bracingly cold weather. A nice Vermont pine inside. Warm fire. Perhaps as a consequence of all those Christmases, you will rarely hear me complain about cold weather, and I don't think I've ever said a bad word about snow. I wonder if the boy, who will have "real" winters weaved into his life, will get that small rush when looking out into the night to the sight of snowflakes falling through the pool of a street lamp or if he will grumble about the cold and pass the window without notice.