So many words, so little time....

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Happy Christmas!

I got it all done to the best of my ability, but that meant I got to bed at 7:30 this morning. They woke me promptly at 8, and I've been fielding kids and family and friends ever since.

My brother-in-law is teaching my daughters how to play Texas Hold-em with my eldest. One of my daughters is threatening mayhem to her brother's social life due to his betting strategies. My younger son has dropped off into an Xbox-football-and-tryptophan-induced stupor on the couch, and I've served the pies and gotten the kitchen to the point where I won't be afraid to go in there without a whip and a chair to make breakfast before church.

I love having him here, but I just want to go to bed and pull the covers up over my head. I've finally caught the creeping yuck that's been going around the office just to top it off.

Merry Christmas. I'm always grateful, though. Somehow it always turns out. Even with all the madness we've been going through, it all came together and we've all had a good day. So thanks to God, to Foamy, to the several people who helped, to the family and their generousity, to the guy who went way above and beyond the call and made it possible for all of us to be here, to the kids for stepping outside their usual Tazmanian-Devil cloud of sibling revelry.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Are you...
... actively nauseated by the sight of the Halloween and Christmas displays side by side in the stores?

... contemplating setting out elf-traps to catch the little buggers who do this to your meticulously wrapped strings of lights in the storage shed over the summer?

... trying to find something in the store your cute little neice begged for over the phone last night, but you can't remember what it was called or anything else about it other than it was pink and frilly?

... certain there is something fundamentally disturbing about Garth Brooks singing a swing arrangement of "Sleigh Ride" or Barbara Streisand singing "Ave Maria"? Or, for the piece de resistance, Rush Limbaugh reciting "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" (I actually own a CD with that on it, and no I don't listen to it EVER).

... more annoyed by the concept of wrapping another present than the kids' loud rap music?

... practicing how to smile graciously while gritting your teeth when your least favorite aunt "compliments" your cooking like she does every year?

... wondering exactly when did a glowing deer with an extension cord in it's backside start to say "holidays"? They are all over the place! And they could have at least wired the thing so the cord plugs in around the hoof or something.

Well, you're not alone. We've started the seasonal rush around here. I knew I was running late when they had the electric venison up on the roof of the mall before I got the lights out of their boxes. Then they Kringle'd the living daylights out of my usual Starbucks before I got my lists even written. Here we go again.

I'm dredging through the house, trying to find Christmas, and also trying to find the Christmas spirit. I have a batch of my infamous shortbread cookies baking, and I'm also trying to figure out how to hang the wall decorations I want to do. I wish I had a great idea of some sort. Simple and clean is harder than the usual eclectic jumble we have hanging around. I've had a few glimmers, but then when I try to put them in my diagram they look stupid. It's like the keyboard and the graphics pad keep the good parts for themselves or something. Or it could be that I have my wall section drawings reversed - it fits much better the other way. Sheesh.

The kids are counting down to the last day of school before Christmas Break and compiling their long long lists. We've had our in-house drawing for who gets a gift for who, so they're plotting and planning behind each other's backs in a good cause. I've gotten a few hints already, and this is going to be interesting. I did find the perfect gift for my boss, and my mother's favorite perfume. Yorick (the skull from Halloween) is currently perched on top of the pile of opened boxes of decorations and stuff. The kids had put him up next to my "Nightmare before Christmas" Advent calendar, figuring it sort of fit the motif. I don't think he'll be staying, though. Maybe I'll mail that thing to my mother this year along with her present.... But then I'd have to explain it. Maybe not.

I just found my Christmas CD's, so that helps. They were in a box marked "exterior decorations", or at least that's what it would read in Klingon - I must have been using a tube of lipstick or something to mark with when I got this stuff put away last year. Nat King Cole is wafting through the house crooning about flying reindeer and silent nights. And it is quiet. The kids are nestled all snug in their beds, with visions of the modern teen equivalent of sugarplums dancing in their heads. The cookies came out, so I have glistening golden stars all over my countertops and the whole house smells of butter and almonds. The printer is spitting out my cards for this year - Aaron Williams over at Nodwick has done it again.

I feel like this is the part of Christmas that's for me. The rest of the whirl and bustle are for the kids and family and friends. I love that part too, but it's not mine. This time, when I get to get everything ready is my celebration. I get to do some things I really enjoy that I rarely take time to do the rest of the year. It's busy, it's a terrible pain in the backside, but it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Or it will be, as soon as I get these ^)@%$* lights untangled.