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Friday, January 02, 2004

Holiday Parties!

Spaulding: Now that we've met all our Bear friends from Joy of Teddy Bears message board, we really understand what people do at Christmas better! Teddy: Before Daddy got sick, Mommy and Daddy would leave a few times during the Christmas season to go visiting their families and friends! Spaulding: First they would spend months buying stuff for beary buddies... Teddy: Welllll, we're "Beary Buddies," but they would also go buy stuff for "everybody" too! Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: And then they would wrap them all up in beary pretty paper... Teddy: ...until Mommy couldn't anymore and they put everything in beary pretty bags... Both: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Some of this happened JUST before we were born... Teddy: ...AND, when they went out they would take many trips to the car to put the presents in it! Spaulding: And then they would be gone for the longest time! Teddy: We could watch two whole football games while they were gone! :::::::::::::::::Both nod their heads remembering::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: ...and then they would come back with lots and lots of unwrapped presents! Teddy: We particularly liked it when they got cookies and candy!!!! Spaulding: So, now that this was our first Christmas knowing all of our Beary Buddies, we decided not to watch football when Mommy and Daddy went out! Teddy: This year they went out differently! They let Daddy skip his medication once, so he might go. Spaulding: And it worked because they did go! Teddy: ...and they didn't take any presents! Spaulding: All of Daddy's family knew why and they were just so happy to see him, no one noticed! Teddy: And they came home with just one present! Spaulding: ...which really surprised them since they didn't tell anyone that they were going until an hour before they left! Teddy: They didn't stay long, but they were so happy to see Daddy's family again! Spaulding: Daddy said that you can't appreciate family quite as much as when you are beary sick and they still love and want you! We're so beary happy they could go! Teddy: BUT... Spaulding: We weren't invited to go! Teddy: Welllllllll, maybe we might have been, if we didn't announce the party at our house to our beary buddies when Mommy and Daddy left! ::::::::::::::::::::::Both look up at Mommy to see if she would have let them go, but she quietly reminds them of the problem of people, even Daddy's family, finding out how real they are. She doesn't think they would be mean to them, but it would be hard to keep the secret that they met two live Teddy Bears and then there could be problems. They nod their heads in quiet, acceptingly understanding, and then, the mischievous twinkle returns to their eyes::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: BUT, what a party we had! Ding: I'll say! Little Amy came in her chair! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho (Side note from Mommy: Since Christmas Eve, when the Christmas tree was lit, all the Teddy Bears/Stuffed Doggies/Bunny Rabbit family has been out here, enjoying the decorations and the company of family, so they would miss nothing of the Christmas season. We've watched two versions of A Christmas Carol, the entire Nutcracker (first time Mommy's seen it all the way through), and several other minor Christmas specials, as well as enjoying Smackdown! going to Iraq on Christmas Day and all the other Rasslin' shows, since most regular TV was in rerun mode. It's just not Christmas without kids around, and since we have none in the traditional way, we've been enjoying it with our stuffed kids. Ho Ho Ho! ;) ) Dee: We've been quiet until now, waiting for Daddy and Uncle Teddy to get to the part about our parties this season! Lady: Quite frankly, I'm surprised the kids could stay quiet so long! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: It was a great party though! Axlerod: And, we met some new additions to our group--Rocky, a beary tough acting, but sweet rhinosaurus. He fit in well with Sigmund and myself! Teddy: Who'd ever think of a deep thinking rhino?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ding: And Amy introduced me to her new family members, Kris and Nicholas! Spaulding: Radar's family also grew. Lady: It was hard to keep up with all the stuffies in the house, including our beary own Need-to-Be-Adopted Teddies! Dee: I hadn't realized how active those angelic angels on our bookcases could get too! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Yeah, let's keep the one on the corner away from the NiHi from now on! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: We got to get to know our beary own stuffed Christmas decorations during the party... Lady: ...but we lost track of what became of the corner angel, until Mommy and Daddy discovered her sleeping on the fan when they got home!!! Valentine: ...she drank waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much orange and cream NiHi!!!! Spaulding: I didn't even know there was such a thing as "too much NiHi." All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod: It was beary hard to keep up with all the activity at our party! Dee: Some of our beary buddies were having a reenactment of our flying race from Mawson's house! Ding: Some of us were just talking in the corner! Teddy: Yeah, but every single corner in the house was taken! Spaulding (with a "That's my boy!" smile only a father can get): Gee, I wonder who Ding was talking to in his corner! :::::::::::::::::::::Ding blushes, and then beams::::::::::::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: We got a quilting bee going with some of the ladies! Valentine: Do you think Ceite liked his new quilt?! Teddy (with a twinkle in his eye): Do you think he might think it was a bribe to get better grades in our class?! Valentine (very seriously): Do you?! Teddy (sweetly smiling back at his wife): Nooooooooooo! I'm just kidding! It's just a Teddy Bear World quilt anyway, so only we can see it! Axlerod: Krismis had an accident in the kitchen with some chocolate! Dee: Was that an accident? I thought we were supposed to slide through it and then have all the stuffed doggies lick it up?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: I didn't even know about it until Babybear told me on the message board! That happened at the end, when I was busy sneaking stuffed animals out the back window with their chairs, cushions and blankets to fly home, while Mommy and Daddy came in the front door! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod (speaking to Spaulding): I noticed you didn't miss the game of Marco Polo that Snoopy started! Spaulding (looking up at Mommy with a sheepish grin): That was Mommy's fault. Before they left, she told me to watch out for anyone wearing a lampshade at our party. When I told Snoopy what she said, he put the lampshade on his head. We couldn't figure out what to do next, so someone suggested playing Marco Polo. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::Ding and Dee jump off the sofa. Dee closes her eyes and starts feeling her way around as she stumbles around the floor. Ding quickly runs away from her.:::::::::::::::: Dee: Marco! Ding: Polo! ::::::::::::::::::::::Dee adjust her direction to Ding's voice as she continues to keep her eyes close and searches for him:::::::::::::: Dee: Marco! Ding: Polo! Axlerod: I hate to break up your game, but aren't we telling what happened instead of reenacting it?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho ::::::::::::::Dee and Ding stop their game and climb back onto the sofa::::::::::::::::::::: Ding (smiling knowingly at his Dad): It's more fun with a lampshade on your head anyway! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: That party was so beary great, but it wasn't our only party for the holidays! Spaulding: Early on New Year's Eve, we found out that Sydney, Australia was celebrating the new year already and it was only 8 a.m.!!! Teddy: We knew that Mawson's family lived in Perth, which is the other side of Australia, so we asked Axlerod when they would celebrate the new year! Spaulding (opening his paw to Axlerod): And Axlerod told us... Axlerod: Welllll, the new year starts at midnight for everybody in the world, but midnight is determined by the juxtaposition of the sun and how it aligns with the earth at any given season, but that since the season is different compared to where you are on the earth -- summer in Australia is winter in The United States.... Teddy: Yeah, we didn't get it either, so we asked Mawson, and it ended up that we were all invited to his place to celebrate New Years with him and then we would all travel, time zone by time zone to keep celebrating throughout the whole world! Spaulding: Brilliant idea! Axlerod: Actually, it was Sigmund's idea, and he suggested that because the sun lights up each part of the earth at different times but uniformly within any given 24 hour period, that we should, instead, keep track of the New Year celebration, not by the traditional waiting of the clock striking 12, but by traveling, through the use of our magical time thingy--and Rumples is now beginning to be able to relax his ears occasionally while using it--... Teddy: Yeah, he talks like that most of the time! Spaulding: No, we usually don't understand either, but that's why it's soooo great that he has met Sigmund and Radar, so he can talk with others who, not only understand him, but can add to what he says! Axlerod: And now, Rocky, the rhino, has joined us. Such a wise old soul for such a young fellow! Teddy: So, off we went, after gathering all we needed in our helioplaneship boxcar! Lady: I got to wear my faux fur coat that Santa gave me last Christmas, but had to take it off before we got near Australia! Valentine: It's so weird how cold it is here at home and how hot in Perth! Spaulding: I think we went through every type of weather... Teddy: hurricanes...ho ho ho! Spaulding: ...EXCEPT for hurricanes that the world has to offer on our Around the World in 22 hours trip! Dee: All of our Beary Buddies, new and old, met us at Mawson's house! Ding: Amy and Jingles were there! Spaulding: Jingles is a new member of BabyBear's house that has all the guys going gahgah! Lady (raising one eyebrow): All? Spaulding (blushing): Wellll, she is a looker and jingles so beary well, but of course, not as perfect as you, my dear! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: We didn't stay too long at Mawson's, just enough time to watch the sun come up on the first day in his new year, even though it was still our last day! However tha works out?! Axlerod: Well, once again.... Everyone else: NO! It was a rhetorical comment! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Mawson wanted us to end our trek at his Daddy's birthplace, New Zealand, which we found out was on the other side, and below Australia! Spaulding: You would think the souther you go the hotter it gets, but Mawson said that New Zealand could get much colder then Perth! Axlerod: That's because..... Everyone else: NO! You've tried s'plaining all this to us and we just don't understand! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Since we were already confused with winter is summer and morning is night stuff, we decided to visit places all over the earth to see how different groups celebrate differently. Axlerod: Our next stop was a place that I didn't even realize was so close to Australia. It's a place Mommy and I grew up hearing about every night on the news, because American soldeirs were fighting over there and Americans at home didn't want them fighting there! :::::::::::::All the other stuffed animals, and even Mommy stare shocked by Axlerod's words:::::::::::::: Axlerod: Yes, Viet Nam was a place of much fighting by Americans when Mommy and I were young! It's beay hot there AND since we Americans lost the war, those people are still stuck with communism. It's not so war damaged anymore, but it is still scarred! Teddy: Ohhhhhhhhhhh, that's why the peoples acted so funny! I bet that's why we didn't see many Teddy Bears either! Lady: Burma was hot too, but I kept picturing the pretty gowns and sharp outfits of the men in the King and I and couldn't help but be enchanted with the place! Dee: I liked the pretty birdies! They looked like someone got fancy with the crayons to make them that pretty! Ding: India was a huge mixture of types of people and how poor some could be and how rich others were. It was beary weird seeing cows walking around, but not in pastures! Spaulding: The __astan places creeped me out! I thought it was beary much like where Jesus lived, until we visited Isreal. Something about the people though, kinda felt funny! Axlerod: Most of the countries in that area are new, having been part of the Soviet Union, or Czechoslavia, and so, are just starting to figure out how to live on their own. Many of them aren't doing so well, having been instantly taken over by dictators and nasty men the likes of Osama Bin Laden, so they are beary oppressed with women getting it the worse and not being considered even as fully people! There is a reason that terrorist come from that part of the world! Teddy: Yeah, that's why we kinda were torn between going north to Russia, or remain on our course to visit the troops in Iraq! Beary yucky feeling over there. Not a fun place for Americans or Abearicans! Valentine: BUT, did you see the faces of the soldiers in Iraq when they met all of us stuffed animals on New Year's Day...which s also still part of our last day of the old year..... ::::::::::::::::::::::::Valentine, as well as some of the other stuffies, loose their train of thought trying, once again, to try to figure out how it can be one year in one side of the earth and another year on the other side. Eventually, they do what they always do when they think these thoughts, so Mommy must, once again nudge them awake to continue on with their journal entry.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dee (whose sheepish grin at being caught napping again turns into a broad smile when she remembers the soldiers reaction): They seem so happy to see other English speaking creatures, it never dawned on them that they were talking to live stuffed animals!!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ding (lifting his arms and making sounds as if he were shooting a machine gun): And I was so happy to see all their gear and guns and toys that aren't toys! Spaulding (for the first time in Ding's life, his Daddy's face is stern as he looks at him): That's not our way, Son. Teddy Bears, no matter what, are only for hugs and love, not for guns and shooting. We're so beary glad that the soldiers are willing to use their guns to help those people, but it is not our way. ::::::::::::::::::::Ding looks down embarassed, as he nods his head in true agreement with his Daddy. Both look at each other and quietly smile, knowing that, although it was a tough thing to say, it was the right thing to say for them.:::::::::::::::: Axlerod: After all those countries and places we visited on New Year's Day, it gives us such peace to be living in a country where even peoples understand the price of freedom, and it's also good to have visted so many other countries where freedom lives too! :::::::::::::::::::::::All nod their heads in agreement.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: We did fly over Ethiopia, which made me admire that Ethiopian in the Bible even more! Pretty places, but the people don't make enough money in a whole week to buy just one little Teddy Bear! Spaulding: I think one of my favorite places we visited was Israel, although I knew, in Jesus' day, they never celebrated the new year the same day we do! Axlerod: They also didn't celebrate Jesus' birthday on the day we do either! Teddy (openly shocked): How's that work out?! Axlerod: The star that the magi saw was probably a comet or a star going nova. It didn't last long enough for us to see it today. According to all the time referenences in the gospels, Jesus was probably born somewhere between 7 b.c. and 4 b.c., but might have been born as late as 6 a.d. No one knows for sure! As for exactly when, the shepherds had their sheep nearby, which tells scholars what time of year it probably was, but still, it's a debate between the whether it was Spring or Fall. Spaulding: Is winter summer and summer winter, like how it is between Mawson and us?! Axlerod: Actually, Israel is just above the 30th parrallel, so about where Florida is, so their winters and summers are like ours, but only like ours IF we were in Florida! :::::::::::::::::::::::::Once again, everyone starts thinking over Axlerod's words and Mommy must wake them all up again!:::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dee: Since we were watching the first day of the new year break in Israel, we then had to decide if we would go south to Africa, or north to Europe! Ding: Honestly, having spent those few hours in the gloomy part of the world, we decided to head north! Teddy: Yeah, maybe it would have been a deeper experience for us, had we gone south, but remember, we ARE Teddy Bears, and .... :::::::::::::::::::::::::All get up off the sofa and start wiggling their bums to the music in their heads as they all sing their Teddy Bear anthem, set to Cyndi Lauper's song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun!":::::::::::::::::::::::: ~~~~Teddies just want to have fun-un, Teddies just want to have fun!~~~~ ::::::::::::::::::::::::::After they get that out of their system, which took a while considering their experience on that first day of the year so far, took quite some time, but eventually, first Axlerod, then gradually everyone else, finally sit back down to continue their description of the trip.::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: And, boy, oh, boy, did we go NORTH! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Our next stop was Finland! Valentine: Which really took on some special Axlerod magical time thingy powers, since it's winter there so beary, beary long nights and the sun rose beary late..... Lady: ...but we got to wear our winter clothes again, so I got to show off my faux fur coat from Santa last year!!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: And, comparatively, the Fins are NOT o-pressed, nor gloomy, nor sad! Teddy: It was cool... Axlerod: ...literally... All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: watch the sun come over the glacier! Valentine: ...and then on to England for our next sunrise! Spaulding: Yeah, we could have picked so many European places since most of Europe is only in three time zones... Axlerod: Unless, since part of Russia is in Europe and most of it is Asia, you don't want to consider it part of Europe at all.... Spaulding: But, after visiting the troops in Iraq.... Ding: Americans, British and a few other countries... Spaulding: ...we wanted to go visit their homes to bring personal messages back to their families! Axlerod: And again, I think because of the beary magic of the day, no one seemed to notice talking stuffed animals! Valentine: Rocky stopped off at the toy factory that made him, to let the other, not-yet-ready-to-be-adopted stuffed animals know how his life turned out and the joys of being adopted... Dee: ...particularly on Christmas like Ding and me and Rocky and Babybear! Teddy: We did make a quick visit to Germany too, simply because it is where some of the beary original Teddy Bears came from... Lady: ...sorta like a visit to our ancestrial home... Ding: We started heading to Iceland, but got so cold that we decided to go down to Brazil for our next stop! Valentine: Beautiful country, even away from the rain forest! Spaulding: Since many of our Beary Buddies live on the east coast of North Aberica, we decided to visit where we haven't been as often... Teddy: The Carribeans! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Teddy starts beating on Mommy's glass of soda with a pen, as if it were a steel drum. Ding joins in with a pencil banging against any different surface he could find until some sounds could have come from a xylophone, while Dee pulls Mommys kazoo from out of the desk and joins in. It's not long before they are doing a Teddy Bear rendition of "I Shot The Sheriff." Gradually, even before Mommy decides to step in, they realize what they left doing and put their instruments down to finish their tale. Still, they are mighty pleased with themselves for the BEAUTIFUL music they made.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding (in his usual loud whisper, that's often louder then his usual voice): WE DID SNEAK HOME FOR A MOMENT TO SEE MOMMY AND DADDY IN THE NEW YEAR, BUT THEY WERE TOO BUSY ENJOYING THEIR ALONE TIME TO SEE US. Teddy (following his brother's lead): MOMMY DID WISH US A HAPPY NEW YEAR WHEN WE GOT HOME HALF AN HOUR LATER, BUT DADDY HAD ALREADY GONE TO SLEEP FOR THE NIGHT...EH, MORNING! Dee: One of the most enjoyable sunrises we had was in the Galapagos Islands, just west of Equador! Ding: I'm glad we decided to celebrate with turtles and lizards instead of even Teddy Bears in St. Louis! Axlerod (surprising everyone with his exclamation): Yes, you've never seen a sunrise celebrated until you see a 150 year old, big-enough-to-carry-us-all-at-once tortoise with his 2004 sunglasses and New Year's cap blowing on his noise maker and doing the bunny hop with all the other tortoises and us! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: I think that was the party that really took its toll on our kids! Spaulding: From then on, we had to nudge them awake every new sunrise! Ding (feeling a little defensive): I was awake for the sunrise in Malibu! Dee (trying to be as big as her twin brother): And I saw the sunrise over the Kodiak Islands in Alaska! Valentine (with a big grin): Do you remember the Teddy Bear beach party in Hawaii? ::::::::::::::::::::::Both kids look down sheepishly and shake their heads "no." Adults smile with understanding.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: I bearly remember the beach party in Maui! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod: We did make a mistake in deciding to visit Mawson's Daddy's old home in New Zealand though! Spaulding: Even Axlerod got mixed up on the whole one year in Australia and a different one in Abearica thingy! Axlerod (smiling sheepishly): Not enough naps in between I fear! Lady (defending her father): Hey, Proffessor Furred and Rumples got it confused too! Axlerod: The earth is split into 24 time zones corresponding to .... Teddy: Wait a minute! You know we'll never understand. How about just telling what happened?! Axlerod: I was?! Spaulding (pleading graciously): In a shorter way? Axlerod: OH! OK! The line that tells where day starts--The International Date Line-- got past between Maui and New Zealand, so we ended up visiting New Zealand on the second sunrise of its year! Short enough? ::::::::::::::::::::::::::All nod their heads in agreement.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: By then it really didn't matter though. Spaulding: I vaguely remember seeing Mawson's Daddy's old home before falling asleep! Axlerod: I'm glad the helioplaneship boxcar knows how to get home automatically, or we would have had problems! Valentine: We're glad you can do the magical time thingy in your sleep! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Our helioplaneship boxcar went on automatic pilot with all the other cushions and rugs and boxes of our friends and dropped off Mawson's family first, being only a few time zones away, then headed home dropping off Brownie and Holly, then all the bears back to their own homes before taking us safely back home and tucking us into our different beds! Teddy: After that trip, it was good that all the holiday parties were over. We had to nap for days, both in stopped time and real time after that! Spaulding: We still had one party to go--our own Christmas party! Teddy: Mommy and Daddy finally found out when our Christmas would be! Dee and Ding: Tomorrow!!!! January 3rd!!!!!! Spaulding: This journal entry is long enough to be its beary own journal, and now Mommy needs me to help "wrap".... Teddy: She still puts all the presents into beary pretty bags, so wrapping is easy! Spaulding: So, after all this, we have more to do and more to tell about, but will tell the rest after our Christmas. Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time... Axlerod: And, for those who also are having late Christmas, once again we say.... All: Merry Christmas to all and God bless us, everyone!

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