Category Archives: Christmas

The Christmas Wars

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Aunt Tracy w/her nieces, Ava (11), Gia (10), Kaya (7)

Aunt Tracy w/her nieces, Ava (11), Gia (10), Kaya (7)

Christmas Skepticism:  On Christmas morning Ava asked:

“How come Santa uses the same wrapping paper as Mom and Dad?”

Mom and Dad looked at one another. Gia, still a believer, said:

“Sometimes he needs to borrow wrapping paper after he comes down the chimney.”

Christmas Controversy:  I don’t know if the so-called “War on Christmas” is a thing, it seems hyperbole, but evidently there are people offended by “Merry Christmas.” Don’t believe me? Check out the headlines:

Is Saying Merry Christmas Politically Correct?Forbes
Don’t Say Merry Christmas, It Might Offend SomeoneTelegraph
Merry Christmas vs. Happy HolidaysChicago Tribune

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Kaya

War?  The iconoclast in me used to say “Merry Stressmas” or “Happy Holidays,” and write “Xmas,” but no more. PC on steroids has gotten out of control, and thus, to be subversive, we must start saying “Merry Christmas” again.

Respect:  Even religious holidays can be celebrated as secular. Or not, but that’s an individual choice. When I lived in the Middle East I respected Ramadan though I did not fast. This meant I would not chomp on a falafel in front of the other Middle Eastern teachers at our high school, and partaking an Eid feast with them. Holidays should bring people together, right?

Offense Culture:  It’s time to reserve the right to offended…on things that are truly offensive.

These Muslim Americans Celebrating Christmas Remind Us That We’re Not All That Different

Thus I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas this year, and best wishes for a Happy 2017!

Joke of the Day:  Did you hear about the metal/grunge band that went vegan? They’re called Rage Against the Cuisine.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

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Funny Flora’s First Christmas

Christmas Morn at Grandy's House

Christmas at Grandy’s House

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! 圣诞快乐! 恭喜发财! 新年快乐!

Christmas Morn

Christmas Morn

Our exchange student, Flora, “walks for fitness.” She is quite the comedienne. She’s enjoying America, along with the challenge of our schools, a definite contrast with China’s. At Meadowdale High Flora is taking two Math classes, History, English, Photography, and P.E. – “Walking for Fitness.” Really. In “Walking for Fitness” Flora and classmates do just that, walk around the neighborhood; on rainy days they walk around the gym. One time I asked her what she did in the class, and she said, “Today we walked to McDonald’s.” Funniest thing she’s said all year, and she wasn’t joking.

Gia's Supersonic Present

Dad Wearing Daughter Gia’s Present

Flora Learns U.S. History:  Flora finds History difficult, as studying law and wars and politics in a second language would be for any foreigner. Her teacher was talking about Jim Crow, Civil War, segregation, and equal rights. Someone said, “Hey, if we’re equal, why do girls and boys have different bathrooms?”

Flora blurted, “It’s science!”

Ava's Noodles

Ava’s Noodles

Math Good!  Flora switched an Art class for a second Math class. Why? She said, “The math is so easy, we did this in 8th Grade!” However, upon arrival she couldn’t ride a bike or swim, and has little art training. True conversation, paraphrased:

Us:  “Flora, don’t you have Art in China?”

Flora: “Yes, we call it Math.”

Us: “What about P.E.?”

Flora: “We have that, too, we call it Math.”

More

More presents

Food break – Cooking with Ava:  Ava’s got noodles. And she’s starting a cookbook. Check out her recipe and follow step #6. Enjoy!

You say potato, Kaya says tomato!  Whether I bake ’em, mash ’em, fry ’em, do au gratin, or roast ’em, Kaya gets all excited and says, “MMM, I love tomatoes.” We correct her, she seems to get it, and next time we bring out the spuds, she’s, “Can I have some tomatoes?”

Here’s to a great 2015!

Preparing for Santa

Preparing for Santa pictures

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2010: Year of the Sexist Stay-at-home Father!

Welcome, and thanks to everyone who encouraged me after reading the essay Notes of a Sexist Stay-at-home Father, without you I wouldn’t be blogging. Of course, I must thank my wife and daughters (and sisters and sisters-in-law…), as the primary source of my inspiration. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Caleb Powell, I’m sexist, and I’m a stay-at-home parent. I will post weekly (hopefully) on all sorts of topics. Let’s get this blog started: 

THE SEVENTY SONGS OF CHRISTMAS: How many Christmas songs are there? Fifty? Seventy? Let’s say seventy. Sound like a lot? It’s not. Especially when you hear them nonstop during December. My wife is addicted, and she listens to Xmas songs 24/7, in the car, at night, in her study, and our daughters are addicted, grrrrrr!

Ava sleeping with 10 day-old Kaya

Celebrations in 2009:  My wife Terry and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. We saw the birth of our third daughter, Kaya, she is now nine months, and though they say they grow fast, it seems like she’s been a baby forever (savor the baby times!). Our other daughters Ava and Gia turned four and three. They have their own blog: Ava, Gia, & Kaya’s Page. My youngest sister Min (lives in Hawaii) also had a daughter, Satori (older brothers Orion and Damien, five and three), at the end of 2008, and Satori just celebrated her first birthday. Younger sister Sarah’s son Nikolai (they live in Saudi Arabia) turned nine.

Gia posing with 10 day-old Kaya

IS IT OKAY TO PEE IN THE POOL? We enjoyed Mexico, (for pictures click) San Miguel de Allende and Nuevo Vallarta. In Nuevo we met a lady who told her kid it’s okay to pee in the pool. I figured she was Canadian, and I was not far off, as she turned out to be from Minnesota.

Kaya our little pumpkin!

MY WACKY PARENTS: This Halloween my parents gave our daughters a book and signed it “Love from Uncle Dave and Aunt Trice” (They crossed this out, though, and wrote Grandpa & Grandma…the thing is, Sarah had sent the book from Saudi Arabia, but had forgot to sign. Anyway, you just got to know our parents). This is not unusual, as earlier in the year they gave my wife Terry a birthday card, and wrote inside: Our Dearest Tracy (Terry’s younger sister)…

FACEBOOK POSTERS: I finally set up a Facebook account. It has uses, and sucks time only if you let it. It’s a curious look at human nature, there’s Guy-who-photos-everything-he-cooks: “Caramelized Beets…yum yum!”, Party Girl: “Peace Muthaf**kaz! I chooze da bottle of Bacardi at the White Elephant!”, and so forth, I guess it’s fun…but I will not use Twitter. I swear.

CELEBRITY WIFE BEATERS: Not that this is good news: Charlie Sheen spends Christmas in jail, but hopefully my wife will stop watching Two and a Half Men. She Tivos and watches at four in the morning, meaning that the laugh track also wakes me. Laugh tracks are vile and despicable even when the jokes are funny, but when they are programmed to hoot and snort at egregious inanity they become evil. Turns out Sheen attacked a girlfriend in 1996 and went on probation. Go figure. My wife, who’s against all forms of domestic violence (although she would consider hitting me), wants to wait before we judge. Whatever. They found OJ innocent too.

NUTS: Nuts, anyone? Someone gave us a basket of nuts for Christmas. I realize I’m not being the most gracious here, but damn, that’s like giving us hard-shelled crab: lots of work, but without the exquisite seafood taste. In defense of nuts, though, the girls love ’em.

CHRISTMAS ETIQUETTE: According to my wife, as soon as Christmas ends, it is time to start taking down the trees and lights. Every year she reminds me how my parents once kept the tree up until February. Our block is not the most festive, and we have one particular neighbor who grates on my wife because they keep their Christmas lights dangling from their eaves year-round. And, extraordinarily, they did not turn them on this year, even though they had a window light display.

Xmas morn!

Xmas day

CHARITIES: Looking to give after the Christmas holiday? Go to Kiva. But what about the likes of corporate charities like Children’s International, where executives make over $300,000 a year? These charities are run like a business, with mass advertising campaigns, and college students getting paid minimum wage all over the U.S. to sell ‘feel-good’ on the streets. I was in the U. District a while ago and signed up for Children’s, then I did some digging and found out the egregiously high salaries beginning with the CEO James Cook (for a balanced discussion, the ‘James Cook’ link shows there are defenders of this practice, and they have valid points, but non-profit charities hire for-profit companies to canvas and promote, and these staffers may appear on chat boards anonymously), yet I wondered how much of the dollar went to help. I cancelled the donation and my wife and I gave to A Common Bond (helps families at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital whose infants have critical needs). Records are public, and so we can take a look at the legal business of charity where money trickles to the children. Am I cynical, you bet! Research your charity, advertisement is expensive, thus dig and find the ones with low budgets using word of mouth and Internet. Here are some leads: Camino Seguro/Safe Passage, Volunteer Vacations, and Legitimate Charities.

Anyway, Happy New Year and peace and joy for 2010!

新年快乐!

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