Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Have a holly, technological Christmas!

We've been enjoying getting into the Christmas season in spite of our colds. On Saturday we went up to Temple Square to view the lights, which I will post about after I get the pictures off of Andrew's computer. He's currently working on his final project—it's due on Wednesday—and then he will be free, at least relatively free. He has two finals to take after he turns his project in but those shouldn't be too intensive. I can hardly wait!

Anyway, he had loaded up his iPod with "rockin' music," and said we were going to be the party car. Unfortunately for him, none of the songs he put on his iPod were Christmas songs so we held a vote and quickly ruled him out. Luckily Auntie Sarah was in the car with us and she knew exactly which radio station had Christmas carols playing. We never listen to the radio anymore.

On the way home we turned the Christmas carols back on.

"Daddy," Rachel requested, "Do you have Frosty the Snowman?"

"This is the radio, Rachel," he explained for the umpteenth time, "I'm not in charge of what song comes up next. I can't skip to the next song. I can't play the song over again. I have no control of the music right now."

"Okay," she sighed gloomily.

A few minutes later she piped up again.

"Daddy! Do you have Frosty the Snowman? Will you play that song, please? I said please."

"I don't have Frosty the Snowman. I don't have any Christmas music on my iPod so I can't choose which song comes next. We just have to listen to whatever song starts playing."


This went on for quite some time (ie. the whole trip) until what with our wondering ears should we hear but the strains of Frosty the Snowman floating through the air. We were just around the corner from our house so Andrew slowed the car to a crawl so that we could finish listening to Frosty the Snowman—since we had listened to Rachel complaining about wanting to listen to that song for so long we figured it was only fair to let her listen to it in its entirety.

"Daddy!" she whined from the backseat, "I thought you said you didn't have this song!"

Here we thought she'd be happy that she finally got to hear Frosty the Snowman. Instead she was bitter that we had been "holding out on her," or something. We told her to just sit back and enjoy listening to her song. She seriously has no idea how the radio works. I'm pretty sure it's a dying medium—the iPod is taking over.

Perhaps I'm friends with too many librarians but I don't hear much lamentation about the quickening death of the radio. Instead I hear about how books are doomed to go out of fashion—with iPods and Kindles and other new-fangled devices people are buying (and reading) fewer physical books. Apparently. And even the publication of my favourite books—picture books—are dwindling.

I am not against electronic book forms. We only do an electronic copy of our Christmas letter and I think that's fine and perfectly legit—not that our Christmas letter is a book, but you get the point, right? I think that as technology gets better prolonged screen-reading will become more comfortable. My parents still have one of those old, boxy monitors and whenever I use it my eyes wig out because I've gotten used to LCD monitors over the years. LCD monitors seem to be much easier on eyes. And iPads? Amazing! I could totally see myself reading a book on one of those things. It's small enough to hold in one hand, portable enough to take to the beach, and big enough that a "page" of a book would easily fit on the screen. Not that we have an iPad...but we know people who do and I could see it being a comfortable book format.

However, we are still fond of books at our house. My girls have a whole bookcase chock full of books and both of them beg to be read to constantly.

We went to my parent's house for dinner last night and, much to my surprise, my mom already had the Christmas tree set up. We never set it up that early when I was a kid—I suppose now that no one is around to knock the tree over or pull ornaments off or electrocute themselves by biting lightbulbs she can take more putting the tree up at the beginning of December.

Rachel and Miriam were both thrilled to see it. Miriam started grunting in that excited baby-grunt way, "Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh!" while pointing at the tree. Rachel stared with dancing eyes for a minute before noticing the presents under it (another risk—my mom is living on the wild-side now that her children are grown up).

"Oh! I hope there are books in some of those!" she squealed.

You can never have enough good stories.


  1. So funny about the radio vs. iPod. Miriam is the same way with DVDs. When we were at grandma's house she thought the TV could work like a DVD. She was so upset when we couldn't pause it. :)

  2. Interesting article about picture books. Cost is definitely a factor for us - we simply go to the library to get books for Gareth most of the time. If we find one there that he absolutely loves then I consider purchasing it. I feel like I'm doing the opposite of those parents: I still keep Gareth's board books such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear out because I figure they'll be good ones to help him learn to read. I think parents are underestimating picture books when pushing their kids to chapter books so early. Gareth has Pinkney's "The Lion and the Mouse" and totally surprised me one day when I was being reluctant to go somewhere with him by deciding that I must be trapped in a net. He proceeded to pretend to be the mouse and chewed through the net to set me free. Like they said in the article, picture books are great for helping kids develop their imagination. And now I'm feeling guilty for not reading to Gareth more and letting him watch more movies than I probably should. :)

  3. I love the fact that Rachel and Miriam love to read and you will be getting a picture book from me (I bought several on sale at BYU and had them wrapped in Christmas paper several months ago). Also, the gifts under the tree I set out. Mom isn't that adventurous yet. :)