How to Traumatize Your Kid

Lovely thoughts of Christmases long gone fill my mind. Pierogi and fried lake perch. Snowballs and kolachy.  Midnight Mass.  Big family dinners at grandma’s house.


We’d walk across the alley back to our house, all excited for Santa to come. Dad would get his gun out and start teasing that he was going to shoot Rudolph. He was a deer hunter and he needed more freezer meat.  “I’m gonna have my gun ready for the first click, click, click up on the housetop. St. Nick better not land here!”

And we thought he was joking. Teasing. He wouldn’t really shoot Rudolph.

Bullets in. Coat on. Boots on. Door open. Door slam.

“Mommy is he really going to shoot Rudolph?”


Faces pressed to the picture window. His body just out of site. Gun barrel raised.



Ears covered. Tears streaming down hopeful little cheeks. A mama’s heart broken. Kid’s hearts torn to bits. Blown up.

Every Christmas Eve, falling asleep crying.

One Christmas, though, I woke to go to the bathroom and saw mom putting the Atari under the tree.  My heart raced, ran to my brother, woke him, brought him in the hallway.

Dad saw us. Mad. Yelled, “Get back to bed!!”


No more killing Rudolph.


Update September 6, 2008:
Thank you Maddy for the award!

Snowballs are a Slovak tradition in our family. (So are kolachy but I didn’t make those for Christmas this year. I’ll get in trouble for not making them and end up doing them for our New Year’s Day dinner.)

As a kid (about Zane’s age) I used to help my Baba (grandma) roll these out for hours on end. You shouldn’t really make this unless you double or triple the recipe. I triple it.

1 cup margarine (real butter makes them go flat)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla (I always pour extra in)
1 cup of fine chopped walnuts, packed tight (you can’t do it with pieces, stick them in the food processor–they need to be like a thick powder)

Cream butter and sugar together.

Baba’s recipe says to sift the flour–I’m sure this makes a great difference but I’ve lost my sifter and haven’t replaced it so I’ve been skipping that step for years now.

Add salt to creamed mixture, work in vanilla and nuts–I use a spatula for this part.

Add sugar and butter stuff to the flour. Don’t bother trying to use a spoon, get both hands in the bowl and mix it up until it looks good and mixed.

Chill about an hour. (Ok, I usually skip this step, too.)

Roll into little balls.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. The tops won’t look much different, you’ll have to pick up the cookie and peek at the bottom, they’ll be done when the bottom is a nice golden brown. Don’t under cook them, they’ll be doughy. Trust me.

While they’re still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. Then a little bit later, roll them again. Don’t skip this step.
If you’re making a triple batch, buy a pound of shelled walnuts and put them through your little chopper or food processor. It’ll come out to exactly 3 packed cups and that’s what you want!

Then let me know how much you love these things! They’re so addicting!

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‘Tis the Season **coughcoughscroogecoughcough**

Let’s set the record straight. I love the season for what it is, a time to celebrate Jesus. The spirit of giving. If it was really that simple…

But it’s not. I try to make it be, but inevitably, there is more. So I’m a scrooge. I fully admit it. I love putting up my tree, I love listening to my Bing Crosby Christmas CD, and I love being with my family.

I hate going to any store. I hate that I get stressed.

This week:

  • I overdrew my bank account
  • On the way to put cash in for my stupid mistake, I got pulled over for expired plates. They expired in August. I got a citation and a business card. When I get the plates, I call the officer and he won’t turn in the citation. Thank God for nice cops.
  • One of Zane’s Christmas present came in the mail–a guitar. He saw it on the porch and I had to give it to him early.
  • I paid Phil’s speeding ticket.
  • I yelled at Phil for hanging up on me because he was pissed off about something that happened at work.
  • I prayed for and called my friend who had another mastectomy.
  • I prayed for my friend’s husband who has been sick for three years with no answers, he’s going in for more tests this month.
  • I prayed for my sister’s niece who was in an accident during the ice storm that has left her little face destroyed.
  • I watched my friend’s kids, her mother has breast cancer and isn’t expected to make it more than another couple of weeks.
  • And then there’s the private stuff that I can’t put on a public blog.

I wonder if I just have a bad attitude or if more bad stuff seems to come around this time of year?

On the other hand:

  • I finished my Christmas shopping–ONLINE. Oh how I’m thankful for online shopping.
  • We’re healthy except for the common cold and flu nonsense.
  • We have what we need. Food, clothes, a home, extras, Phil has a job, I’m still writing and will hopefully get paid sometime soon, we’re doing well with homeschool and all the stuff Mike mentions on his Master’s Artist post today. I really needed that. I don’t want to ever take things for granted, though I know I do on a daily basis. I know I’m sounding particularly whiny today and I don’t mean it. I’m down about some things and I don’t understand a lot of things. I have faith and I know God’s choices are the best, but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. y’know?
  • Zane wrote 5 songs so far. The kid is precious to the point of tears. I have to share, he sang while I transcribed the lyrics. Maybe they’re only beautiful to a mother. He just strummed the severely out of tune guitar and sang his little heart out. I understand as completely as I can “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” because of my living room serenade by my son.

My Family and Me

My family and me
My family and me
They’re the best
They help me when I’m stuck
They love me too
I love them

Whatever I Do

Whatever I do my parents still love me
Even when they’re mad at me they still love me
Whenever I don’t listen they still love me
Whatever I do
They still love me

About Mom

About mom
About mom
I can’t replace her
She’s the best
About mom

His other two are About Dad and My Friends, which are both very similar to About Mom.


If I can just keep listening to those songs.

If I can just keep remembering the innocence of the motive in creating.

If I can just keep remembering that I am God’s precious daughter.

If I can just keep remembering that He has given me a gift, whether it was wrapped pretty and tied with a bow or whether I found it out on the porch, it is still His gift to me.

If I can just keep remembering that my heartfelt attempts to please Him will be accepted with sheer joy and love…

then maybe I can get through this holiday.

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