Oh, man, I love Christmas. The twinkling lights, the cherub-faced children’s excitement building, the husband coming home with armloads of gifts, mostly expensive jeweler…. Ah, ha, ha, ha. Shit, I can’t even do it.
I find at least a few of the days during the week preceding Christmas maddening. I mean, there’s so much to do, and never enough time, and the kids are excited– TRUE– but it starts to manifest in the form of their kinetic energy crackling so fiercely that they’re getting on everyone’s last nerve… ESPECIALLY MINE.
And then there’s the issue of the division of labor. I’m not sure how it is at your house, and I hate to make sweeping generalizations here because a) no one appreciates sweeping generalizations and b) as soon as I DO make a sweeping generalization SOMEONE will pipe up with how, actually, in THEIR household the men do ALL the work while they sit back, sipping wine, and the most stressful thing for THEM is all the spa days their partners have scheduled for them this week ETC. Which, if that’s your life? I’m truly happy for you. But if you tell me about it right now? HULKSMASH. OK? (I’ll be happy to listen to ALL ABOUT IT. In January.)
So anyway the sweeping generalization that I mutter over and over to myself lately is this: Christmas is magical for children… AND MEN. Because for my husband (and many other husbands/partners that I know), he just goes about his normal life for the month of December, perhaps snitching a few morsels of something yummy that I’m whipping up, or perhaps politely (half)listening to me ramble about this gift decision or that, but MOSTLY just living life normally… and then suddenly it’s Christmas, and there are gifts under the tree (for HIS family too!), and good things to eat, and decent looking outfits for the girls to wear for church, and stocking that magically filled themselves, and…
Well, you get it. It’s not like you don’t know. HERE, LET ME TELL YOU HOW UNFAIR IT IS. (I don’t need to; I realize this.)
And David isn’t a total jerk. Nor is he OPPOSED to helping me. But… he just… doesn’t. Or at least not much.
BUT THEN. At some point during the 11th hour, he sighs about something I’ve purchased (or plan to purchase, having done all the thinking and decision-making about the gift at this point). And his sigh implies that he DISAGREES with this gift, again, this is AFTER the decisions have been made. And then he’s frustrated because “I always tell him that I want his input.” Well YES. But AGAIN, not AFTER the decision part of the process (often the hardest part) has been made. SO JUST STOP THAT SIGHING RIGHT NOW MISTER.
So anyway, I had to have a grumpy few days, but I think I’m over it now and back to my regularly scheduled programming of loving (MOSTLY loving, that is) Christmas.
Not that I’m promising anything. As I reserve the right to be grumpy again at anytime. Say, when it’s time to pack/load the car, for example.
ANYWAY. Here’s a few more things we’ve done for our advent calendar (your welcome, Future December Self):
Dec 12: Vanilla tootsie rolls (a family favorite) in the box
Dec 13: Time to make our gingerbread house (which we ended up not having time to do that night and STILL haven’t done it. But a good idea, in theory.)
Dec 14: Can’t remember… maybe a candy cane off the tree or something else little like that.
Dec 15: Help Mommy make cookies after dinner.
Dec 16: Tubes of lip vaseline for the big girls, new barrettes for Marin (she already has vaseline) (this may or may not be the correct spelling of “barrettes.” ASK ME IF I CARE, I DARE YOU) (Ok, so maybe still just a little grumpy?)
Dec 17: Shop for a present for your sisters.
Dec 18: Hang up colored Christmas lights in your room.
Dec 19: Hershey’s kisses in the box
Dec 20: Wrap the gifts you picked out for your sisters with Daddy. (Ha, ha, SEE WHAT IT DID THERE. The box is an EXCELLENT tool to force particpation from, ah, certain people.)
We only have a few more days left here at home (come! steal all of our crappity crap so we can make an insurance claim and buy nicer stuff!), so I’m not sure what I”ll do for the boxes on the days we are gone. I know one day before we leave I’ll let them open a gift early, and one day will be another baking day, and for Christmas day I’ll put their new ornaments for this year in the box (they can find them when we get home). I guess the other days while we’re gone will be busy and exciting enough that they’ll forget that we aren’t home to do the daily box. (FINGERS CROSSED.)
P.S. I probably write a “boo-hoo nobody helps me get ready for Christmas and I’m GRUMPY about it” post every December, but I’m not going to check my archives to be certain, so you shouldn’t either.
P.P.S. (or is it P.S.S.?) (or something else entirely?) (no one cares?) ANYWAY, I made my way into the mass chaos otherwise known as Mecca otherwise known as Target the other day and completed my list of stocking stuffers and such in a very timely, calm, and civilized fashion. I was– shall I even admit it?– SMUG about my superior abilities to ACQUIRE SHIT without LOSING MY SHIT. Until, that is, I got home (remember, no Target in Tiny Town!) and realized I forgot the most important thing on my Target list: gift cards for the teachers. You know, some things you can really only blame yourself for. So now I have to go BACK to Target, which will surely be even MORE crazy now, and I’ll probably behave WAY LESS CIVILIZED, and I’ll leave feeling LESS THAN SMUG, but at least I’ll (hopefully) leave with teacher’s gifts this time. SIGH.
P.P.P.S (or alternate way of saying I forgot yet another thing; see above): I am trying out the “one space after a period thing”. Mostly. I mean, I’m not going to go back and EDIT for it, and my thumb has been trained for over 2 decades to do 2 spaces after a period, so I’m sure there were a few times up there where I did it out of habit… but OVERALL… what do you think? Can you even notice a difference?