Monday, September 26, 2011

Two Teens and the Art of Thank You

I'm certain that I've mentioned this before, but George the Younger and Henry share a birthday.  No, they're not twins.  No, they are also not biological siblings (unless by some incredibly weird coincidence their birth mother moved countries and changed nationalities between one birth and the next - doubtful).  No, we do not celebrate both birthdays on one day.  Yes, we do a birthday-palooza kind of thing that spans across two days.

Day One = celebrator #1 selection of birthday dinner and dessert.
Day Two = celebrator #2 selection of birthday dinner and dessert.

All presents are opened on Day one.  It would be cruel to have to wait 24 hours for your presents just because it wasn't "your year" to eat first.

This year we decorated mightily and left those streamers and balloons up for the whole two days.  For those of you who know me - - this was torture!  But, a shout out to my favorite place to buy stuff, "Target!"  Adored the little "party set" with streamers, balloons, and banners!  All for some ridiculously low price of "who-cares!"  You can leave out the sparkly confetti next time.  Confetti is only used by stupid people who want to clean it up out of their homes for the next decade.  I'm just saying.

This year means we transition forever in to no-longer-having-a-less-than-teenager-in-our-lives.  Henry 13.  George 15.  Next birthday = potential driver's license.  Time is marching on.  and on.  and on. 

Henry is Celebrator #1 in 2011.
Dinner:  Porcupine Balls (not from real porcupines)
Dessert:  Creme Brulee

George the Younger is Celebrator #2 in 2011
Dinner:  Shannon's Island Pork Tenderloin
Dessert:  Classic Baskin Robins Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake

Just a couple of observations re:  dinner and dessert selections;

  • Henry chose Creme Brulee this year.  He is getting to be the King of unique birthday dessert choices.  Last year we did Boston Cream Pie.  This year we had to buy a blow torch.  Having now used a blow torch, I believe that there should be an entire cookbook dedicated to cooking things with small hand held fire makers.
  • Creme Brulee is tasty.  It has a couple of problems when used as birthday cake.  One: inserting candle into recently bronzed sugar is impossible.  Two:  Do not try to light candles with blow torch (even though it's going to be right on the counter calling to you).  Candle Wax burns much more quickly than sugar.  A lot more quickly.  Puddle of blue wax on top of beautifully browned sugar is not aesthetically appealing.
  • George the Elder was personally insulted that George the Younger chose one of Shannon's recipes for his birthday dinner.  Historically, George the Younger selects some pasta dish made by Dad.  George the Elder took his decision personally.  Dad did, however, choke down the delicious Island Pork Tenderloin while nursing his broken heart.

Shannon came to celebrate again this year.  HURRAH!

I try to make the boys write thank you notes for the gifts that they receive from others.  They've been writing these a few years now.  First we started them off with the fill-in-the-blank variety.  You know:

Dear ____,  Thank you for the _____.  Love, _______

They used a template that looked just like this and had to write them out as soon as they could manage it - - 5ish, I think.

This morphed in to a more sophisticated template of:

Dear ___,  Thank you for the _____.  It was the perfect gift because _____.  Love, ______

These days, there is no template.  They are simply reminded over and over and over and over again to write their notes.  Saturday, I finally got out their notes out of the boxes, placed them on the dining table and announced that NO-one was doing NO-thing the entire weekend unless the damned notes were done.  Amazingly, faced with missing fun-with-friends or just sitting on the couch watching Mythbusters - - the notes were written!  Huzzah!!!

[SPOILER ALERT:  If you are my mother, my sister, my father-inlaw or my daughter and do not want to read your thank-you note PRIOR to receiving it in the mail in two short days...STOP READING RIGHT HERE.  If you are not my mother, my sister, my father-in-law or my daughter, please continue reading to get a glimpse of what years of thank you note writing has morphed in to...]

Remember, the template is:  Dear X.  Thank you for X.  Insert personal sentence regarding the gift or that person.  Love, X....


Meghan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meghan said...

Love these! I'll have to start sending gifts just so I can get a thank you card!

Wendy said...

i have a lot of people whom can send gifts