Sometimes a small, silly suggestion makes perfect sense down the road. Here is a tale of goofy present with fun results.
For Christmas 2010, I didn’t want anything. Nada. Zip, zero, nothing. Many asked. Everyone got the same answer. Nothing. It was one of those years.
Once I had children, the holidays changed. It was all about what I could find for them, what Santa would bring, what batteries I needed to buy to make sure their toys lit up, played music and had motion. As my boys have gotten a little older, holiday shopping turned into finding the perfect Lego sets and Nintendo DS games. Christmas wasn’t about me anymore, and that was perfectly OK with me.
Unfortunately, my personal philosophy about the holidays didn’t stop everyone from asking what I wanted for Christmas. Some members in my family were not to the point where they understood how one could not even care less about what they are getting for the highly over-commercialized holiday. The Captain, my husband, was frustrated because usually every year I give him an idea of something that I would like him to buy for me – i.e. a print-out with the exact item, store, size and price. I kept telling him that I needed nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. He wouldn’t let up. So, after being exhausted from being asked, I told him, “Just a ukulele, please.”
He thought I was kidding. Maybe because a ukulele is an uncommon thing for someone like me who has absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. For some reason, at his staff holiday party, it became the story of the night. His principal walked me around the room to retell the story about what I wanted for Christmas. I tried to explain to her it wasn’t really much of a funny story at all, I just told my husband to get me a ukulele. She thought this was hilarious.
On Christmas morning, after the boys tore into their gifts, The Captain surprised me with a big box. I opened it, and voila, there was a real, genuine, no-bones-about-it ukulele. I was surprisingly ecstatic with the gift. I couldn’t believe he actually got me a uke. Hilarious – yes! A proud ukulele owner am I!
Since then, I have written a few songs for the ukulele. Most are in reference to what my little dudes are up to. Mind you, I have no idea how to play the thing, besides strumming randomly, so the songs don’t really count. But, it turns out, that creating a silly song on the uke is very motivating (and somewhat embarrassing) for two boys. Phoebe from Friends knew it all along! Here are a few of the titles to further explain my point:
Sleepover, Yeah, I Better Sleep
Don’t Eat Your Boogers ‘Cause It’s Gross
The Homework Blues
Put the Seat Down or Mommy May Drown
Nine-Year-Old Crankie Pants
Little Brothers Sure Make Me Fart
Don’t Tell Daddy
Not Gonna Buy It
and last, but not least,
Livin’ on Chicken Nuggets and Chips.
A few weeks ago, I ran into my husband’s principal. She introduced me to her friend as “the one who asked for a ukulele last year for Christmas and writes silly songs for it.” I chuckled and asked her why she even thought of the ukulele. She replied, “I think it is so funny, cool and unique.” Mmmm. Maybe next year I will ask for an oboe.