This Christmas there is one item that is not coming out of the Christmas Storage Bins.
It's been a part of our Christmas for 17 years.
It is the Christmas Carousel.
This carousel was given as a gift to Oldest Daughter on her one year-old birthday. It has a giraffe, elephant, tiger, lion, zebra, and deer that go up and down magically as 12 carousel-organ-style tunes play, repeatedly, from the carousel itself.
In theory it is a lovely thing.
In reality, any 7 year-old child cannot get enough of it and will play it
continually . . .
throughout the day . . .
until . . .
you think . . .
you may . . .
One clue that you are losing your sanity is that as the "Hallelujah-Chorus-carousel-style" winds down, your mind is already forming the percussional introduction and subsequent notes to the following "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
Or you may find that as the violin sweetly plays "Away in a Manger" during Sunday morning worship, you are tapping out the accompanying rhythm on your thigh . . . calliope style.
It is rough as a parent, but parental love covers all.
Now that there are 3 teens in the house, however, the level of tolerance of the Christmas Carousel is all but gone.
Indeed, after a mere 15 minutes of Youngest Daughter enjoying the bright, cheerful carols, while the menagerie ascend and descend on their small golden poles, there are calls and hollers from the upstairs:
"Can somebody please shut that off? I'm going crazy!"
"Turn that thing down! I can't stand it!"
"If you wonder where I am, Mom, I'm in my closet . . . inside my sleeping bag . . . head first . . . with my ear muffs on."
There was only one thing to do. Leave the darling Christmas Carousel in the bin . . . at least for this year.
Just wondering . . . when does saving your sanity cross the line to Christmas cruelty?