Month / December 2014

Collage of mother and father with two daughters

1. STATISTICS MUST LIE. For years, I have kept a daily exercise journal. For me, doing so has been a great source of motivation to help me get off the couch. And at this time of year, I get to see if I’ve made my goal of running or walking at least 1,000 miles for the year. Sadly, for 2014, I didn’t reach that mark, and in looking back at my records for the past few years, I’ve noticed a steadily sloping decline in the miles that I’ve been able to get in each year. So all that telling data has helped me reach one of my resolutions for next year. I’m going to stop keeping records!

Collage of family opening presents.

1. CHANNEL SANTA CLAUS. Even though my kids have long since stopped believing in the man in the red suit, they still insist we can’t put any presents under the tree until after they go to bed on Christmas Eve. When I tell them it would be easier on their mother and me if we did, they protest, “But it wouldn’t feel like Christmas.” I guess it’s a testament to my wife’s and my dedication to being good parents that we oblige them, even though our middle-aged backs don’t relish the prospects of carrying loads of boxes up from the basement at midnight. My one demand for granting this wish is that the kids put out some milk and cookies for Santa. My always health-conscious wife advises the girls that “Santa only needs one cookie,” but I insist the girls put more than a few on the plate. Santa’s reindeer need a few treats to reward them for their efforts, too!

Family hanging ornaments on Christmas tree.

1. BULB CONFUSION. Every year, at this time of year, I remember that I forgot to follow through on the vow I made to myself the year before: take a quickie electronics course before Christmastime arrives so I won’t have to waste hours trying to figure out how to get all the bulbs on our tree to light up.

Daughter decorated her dad's car in pink.

1. UNCOMFORTABLE MAKEOVER. Since my oldest is ready to get her license, I made a serious mistake – deciding to share my car with her, given that I rarely use it during the week. Somehow she read “share” as own, so she gave the car’s interior a makeover. Now there are hot pink covers on the steering wheel and rearview mirror, and pink dice dangling from the mirror, which she hung because “they’re so tacky, they’re ironic.” On weekends when it’s my turn to “share” the car, I drive it wearing the same gear celebrities in disguise do — sunglasses and a baseball cap pulled as low as it can go — and I always keep a vigilant eye out for cars filled with my daughters’ friends. If I pulled up alongside one of those, it probably wouldn’t take long for a picture of me driving the teen-girl mobile to show up on some social media site. Those dreaded paparazzi are everywhere!