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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Hallmark mommy

Way back when--before I was a mom--I remember visiting my sister and wondering why in the heck she needed humongous storage containers for holiday paraphernalia. Sure, I could understand Christmas and maybe Halloween, but Easter? Thanksgiving? Valentine's Day? Why did my sister have so much holiday stuff?

At the time I thought she was a little cuckoo, but now I realize that a supreme understanding of all things holiday--whatever the holiday--is merely one small part of being a mom. As a mom, you must always be on alert for holiday items; just because it's February doesn't mean you can hold off until March to buy that green St. Patrick's day T-shirt! By that time, the shelves at Target will be devoid of green things and filled with pastel Easter things. No, it's a mom's job to know far in advance about any and all upcoming holidays and to make sure her kid is prepared for them. My own growing stash of plastic bins labelled Christmas, Halloween, and Miscellaneous reveals that I, too, am learning the ways of living by a calendar developed by Hallmark.

It's not my fault; I put the blame on the school system. From what I can tell, teachers use various monthly holidays to break up the monotony of the school year. It starts in the fall, with lesson plans, decorating, and parties commemorating Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes the Hindu festival Diwali is celebrated and the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

In the spring, we break cupcakes for Martin Luther King Day, Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, and President's Day. At this point we're only a third of the way through February.

March brings us St. Patrick's Day. March also is Women's History Month. March 2 is Dr. Seuss's birthday, and March 3 is Alexander Graham Bell's Birthday.

April is host to any number of secular festivities commonly referred to as spring flings or eggstravaganzas and usually involving bunny rabbits and egg hunts. April also is the month we learn about Earth Day and Arbor Day.

In May we celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day, and if they know what's good for them, many teachers will make sure a Mother's Day craft project makes its way home by the appropriate day (this year it's Sunday, May 13.)

Except for Father's Day, June is a month not surprisingly short on holidays as most kids in the U.S. are out of school on summer break. July 4th is the only holiday in July worth getting excited about, and unless you want to celebrate the day we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, August is a holiday-free month. Of course, that's because in August you're supposed to be on holiday, rather than celebrating one.

And all of this brings me to the point of this post, which is to say that I am slowly but surely mastering Holidays 101. I know this because when Emily's teacher today put a flyer in her cubby announcing the fact that next week each child must bring to school 20 unmarked valentines--additional treats optional--along with a decorated box appropriate for storing received ones, I did not blink an eye. Oh, no. You see, I bought Emily's valentines in December when I saw them on sale at the Sanrio store while Christmas shopping. And two weeks ago I bought goody bags, candy, and ribbon ties. Yesterday Emily got new shoes and--you guessed it--they came in a box appropriate for holding valentines. It's like I was pyschic and knew we would have a need for a shoe box. I have been both consciously and subconsciously preparing for this holiday for weeks, months even!

So I will not be one of those moms you see at the grocery store frantically pawing over the last five remaining boxes of Valentine's Day cards at 7 PM on February 13.

At least, not this year.