Quick Christmas Takes

1. My annual Christmas funk has come and gone and I’m happy to get that out of the way! Most of our Christmas tasks are also done (shopping, most wrapping, most baking etc), and that really helps my mental health. We still need to finalize our menu and do the final grocery run and wrap a few straggling gifts that are still arriving, but mostly I’m ready. Let’s do this. GO TEAM.

2. Our kids have school both Monday and Tuesday this week, and the girls have gymnastics both nights too. That means that we won’t officially be on winter break until around 9pm on Dec 23! I… think that’s cutting it a little close, Local School District? Maybe consider a little squick of a margin to travel? Luckily for us, we are not traveling until next week, so it doesn’t really matter. But if we were trying to go to SoDak? We’d definitely have to pull the kids out of school for tomorrow, and then they’d cry because they would have to miss all their classroom parties and fun activities. (Also, I’m so excited to stay home! A few of our friends will also be home, so we’re planning a few Friendsmas activities, and it’s the perfect ratio of being with friends and being just the six of us. Best.)

3. I bought a whole bunch of fun new Target Christmas decorations this year, including this lit “JOY” sign. When I first put the batteries in it was WHOA BRIGHT TOO BRIGHT WTH. However, the longer it’s been on, the dimmer the lights have become. I can’t help but think there’s some poetry there: the joy dimming more and more as the stress of the approaching holiday nears. EXCEPT! I’m not a cranky pants anymore (see above) so my joy is fully lit.

4. Two years ago, just Joan was in dance, and now all four girls are. A couple of weeks ago, I got to sit in a dim auditorium and watch all four of my girls dance on the same stage. My grandma, my dad and his new girlfriend (she’s so nice! I like her!), my aunt and her boyfriend, and David’s parents were all there too. It was a special night. I’m not sure there will be very many times in my life when all four of my kids are in the same show, so I soaked it up.

Also, Marin? Was a star. Life is harder for her than most people (the world is louder and harsher, for one thing). For an hour and a half before the show started, she sobbed because her costume was itchy. But then, she gets up on stage and her smile lights up the place and you’d NEVER EVER EVER guess the misery she was in. My sweet girl.

Whether or not Olive was going to actually dance with her Bitty Ballerinas class was ANYONE’S GUESS, but she got up there and she DID (well, if you count jumping around while making silly faces and pretty much ignoring the pre-arranged dance steps as “dancing.”) Her class was adorable. She was the tiniest dancer in the whole program and so funny to watch. I don’t think there was one moment where any two girls in her class were doing the same steps. It was so awesome.

Anna and Rachel also did beautifully, but by now we expect that of those two. They are really graceful and confident on the stage though, and I can’t believe those are my big girls up there, dancing so WELL. Man, having kids is just great.

5. For the first time in my life, we have a fake tree this year… and I love it. I can’t say that we’ll never get a real tree again, because we might, but not having to vacuum up pine needles every time the dog walks near the tree (which is like every 3 minutes)? That right there is some holiday magic. We got a prelit one and it’s FANCY. You can push a button and the lights turn from white to multi-colored. THE FUTURE IS NOW etc. Also, I hung some scent stick things in it, and I swear to Mary and Joseph that it smells MORE like a real tree in here than when we had an actual real tree.

6. I got all my Christmas cards done and in the mail today, finally. It was a task I was procrastinating because when my cards arrived?… I hated them. I usually LOVE seeing the finished product, but this year? UGGGG. It’s mainly because the photo printed very yellowed so the kids look like they are glowing with fake tan. That is already on top of the fact that we didn’t have a decent family photo to use, so I ended up using one of just the kids (and I believe strongly that the parents should be represented too). I KNOW I could have complained and had them reprinted, but I just felt like that was… I don’t know. Not necessary? Too fussy? It seemed so wasteful to throw out this entire batch and make them rush-send me new ones. But then I really wished I HAD done just that because I DON’T LIKE MY CHILDREN TO LOOK LIKE THEY HAVE LIVER DISEASE. Sigh. Anyway, they are done and sent and let’s just MOVE ON. (I have some extras if you want one. DM me on twitter with your address.)

7. While we were eating dinner last night, Olive waited for a break in conversation and then said “Hey mommy? We got you some new pajamas for Christmas and wrapped dem up and put them under da tree!” Ha! David was feeling relieved that he only let her help him wrap that one present.