I have spent the better part of the last two weeks primarily doing four things...eating, working, sleeping, and shopping...and not necessarily in that order. I've done other things I'm sure, but thinking back right now, I'm a little fuzzy on exactly WHAT. I've been fairly determined that this Christmas was going to all be in order by the first week...and so far...so good.
Yes, of course, I have a list. What would my holiday be without a little OCD?
As I am writing this, it is December 9th. I'm officially supposed to be onto "baking, wrapping incoming gifts, and planning the menu." I guess one out of three is acceptable. One really must be in the mood to bake.
As far as the big ticket items are concerned...the tree got up with very little fanfare. I didn't have to whine, pout or threaten to go get the tree myself this year. This usually lasts approximately a week beginning at Thanksgiving with the tree being up by the 7th of December. This year, Big Dave just sucked it up and let me get it done as November was exiting stage left. He didn't complain...he just pulled into Home Depot and we picked out a nice tree. Of couse, he made me wait 24 hours to get the decorations out of the attic while it just sat there naked in the stand. He said it was that he wanted the branches to "settle" but the truth is that Big Dave is passive-aggressive and thought I should wait since he didn't hassle me about getting the tree in the first place as some kind of trade-off. The whining actually came from Brian this year...who was enlisted to get the decorations out of the attic.
After the boxes were retrieved, I got the tree decorated, the Christmas decorations out and the wreaths ready for the front of the house. The wreaths are Big Dave's domain. Because of this, they actually sat by the front door in a pile for close to a week before Jill came home and asked her Dad why they weren't on the house. Within thirty minutes...they were.
I've been trying to be a good steward of what little money I do have for Christmas this year. The presentation, tons of car repairs and the final tuition payment at Trinity have been hovering like little thugs around my bank account...so I was determined to find bargains while at the same time attempting to fulfill the wish lists that both of the the kids came up with in starts and fits over the past month or so. Never mind that I've inquired about thirty times for them to let me have a running start. No. They weren't entirely sure what they wanted. Oh, they threw me a bone every so often so I would quit asking them incessantly, but it is only now...now that I have finished spending and am only in the wrapping phase...NOW they have a whole host of wishes on their lists.
And wishes some of them will remain. Fortunately for Jill, her birthday is in January.
Anyway, as a result, the final result was in budget...and is a very eclectic mish-mash of totally random items in some cases that they will probably love but won't realize they need until they think about it. And yes, I did get everything that they specifically asked for (up to a point) except for new cars, a maid, and unlimited Bagel Bites from Costco.
(Wait! The maid was on my wish list. Never mind.)
I think that now that my company Christmas party is over and everything else is pretty much scheduled...I am really enjoying the thought of the holiday season. I've loved that the temperatures have been positively arctic over the past week. Yes, we even managed to turn on the heat earlier in the week because the dogs were looking at us like "How DO you people survive without fur?"
(And NO, I will not go there.)
Anyway, my girl is coming home tomorrow after her final exams and that will be fun. I've really missed her despite the fact that she has been home more often than normal over the past month. This excitement will last for about three days...and then she will tire of our boring existence and long for something more interesting to do than watching "Elf" again. Yet, as far as I'm concerned...her arrival marks the official start of the holiday season for us. Of course, as I previously mentioned, the tree has been up for two weeks and will soon be potentially flamable in another week or so since I put it up a week ahead of schedule, put a gazillion lights on it, and insist on keeping it lit while we are home. But HEY! who cares, right?
After all, it's Christmas!
But for now...the shopping is over. Yesterday, I arrived home and found eight packages from various delivery agencies on my couch where they had been picked up from the porch by Big Dave. I have at least that many - if not more - waiting to be delivered. Of course, because I cannot have an unwrapped gift in my presence...all of the gifts are immediately wrapped and placed under the tree. I'm personally amazed that the dogs haven't bothered any of them. Probably because none of the packages are in the shape of a ball. So there's that.
I've watched the Hallmark movies and the traditional holiday shows already. I suppose that I enjoy seeing these like I did when I was younger. I used to find the TV Guide (a fixture at my grandmother's house) and map out the Christmas specials including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when I was little. For years, it wasn't Christmas if I happened to miss "Rudolph." And I mean...a LOT longer than was normal...like college age. I could miss "Frosty" and survive...even if the little girl on it was named Karen and I thought that was really cool.
Tonight I am sitting here looking at the Christmas cards that are beginning to arrive and feeling very happy that I have friends who send them to me. I am also happy that I have a place to work, a family that cares, and the prospect of a happy Christmas ahead. So many blessings.
I hope that my fixation with http://www.fatwallet.com/ will lessen in the coming days and that the UPS guy won't just start throwing the packages from the truck to the porch because he's sick of dodging Rebel in the driveway. I also hope that on Christmas morning that the gifts will be well received instead of that look that is sometimes hard to disguise that says "What WAS that woman thinking?" Hey, I tried.
I believe that right now it is time for me to retire for the night. I'm trying to make sure that I am well rested because I have a cantata to attend Saturday night. My friend, Beverly, calls me every year to check my attendance plans, and this year...barring a stomach virus, unexpected problem, or weather related issue...I'm planning to attend. I hear that I'll be blessed if I do.
Here's hoping that your Christmas is getting off to a good start. Some of you may be trying to figure out how to get it all done...and others may simply be just delaying the inevitable fear-laden flight to the mall on Christmas Eve to finish (or...well...START) your shopping. Just try to enjoy something about the season. I know I'm trying...
and succeeding...hope you are as well.