Last weekend, we made our traditional trip south to Ida, MI & the Matthes Evergreen Farm to get a tree & have some good old-timey cheer. We've been going there since 2002, & the kids love it. Aside from the "Cut Your Own" trees, they also feature a little craft area where Ida locals sell their fancy X-Mas stuff... Candles & Santas & Wreaths, oh my. In the main part of the barn, they have inexpensive snacks (including free hot chocolate, coffee & popcorn) & live X-Mas music. Of course, there's also the animals in the smaller barn... pigs, rabbits, goats, cows, horses, & (every ones favorite) some nervous looking sheep. Sheep always seem to have that "uh oh, here come some people" look associated w/ thousands of years of domestication that in turn led to thousands of years of anal rape. In class the other night, we were talking about "inner species erotica" & its relation to Paul Beatty's Slumberland, when someone asked why sheep are always the butt of those jokes. I had to explain the rather inconvenient positioning of their said butts, well, inconvenient for them but convenient as hell for those thousands of years of lonely shepherds who tended their flocks in pent-up frustration. While the account in Luke is a bit vague, I imagine the scene w/ the shepherds went something like this:
Shepherd: "oh yeah, baby... "
Angel: "Hey, what are you doing?"
Shepherd: "Um, ahh, nothing. It's not what you think."
Angel: "Put that away, there's a baby in that barn over there. What's wrong w/ you?"
Shepherd: "Baby? Really? I'm gonna go check that out... are there any, you know, animals over there too?"
Anyway, back to the tree place. In their "Wreath Shop," they have Santa. Not any old Santa. Not some 2nd rate "impostor, mall Santa" as Aiden put it, but a guy the kids swear is the 1 & only. Solstice, clearly, doesn't buy it any more, but Aiden is whole-heartily into it. Being that it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, & therefore, the 1st Santa Saturday of the year @ Matthes, he landed in a helicopter across the street while a crowd of people stood & stared like gawkers @ a British car accident. solstice was too embarrassed to to get up close, & it was clear that Aiden wanted to. She refused to go up closer w/ him to which he responded by pretending he didn't want to either. I think that was the closest I've ever been to an in-flight helicopter. They circled the field a couple times while Santa waved to the crowd before landing about 40 yards way from us. I have to add "go in a helicopter" to my list of things I want to do in the air which also includes bungee jumping, sky diving, & pilot's lessons.Over all, we had a great afternoon. I found & fell the tree I record time... it was getting shaken & baled w/in 20 minutes of me parking the car. We got home, put up the tree, & then went to Red Robin & used the kids' coupons they got from the library last summer. I've spent the last 4 months stalling, because I'm not really a fan of that place, but it meant free food & after an afternoon of Santas & tree cutting, neither of us really felt like cooking. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the Red Robin Red Robin like last time though. Be sure to tune in again for the story of our Tofurkey slaughter!