I should write a post. I should write a post. It’s now been over a week since my last post and I vowed to write at least one post a week. Damn. What should I write about?
Should I write about how little time there seems to be to do everything we want to do this time of year? How making gingerbread houses, EVEN just the kind that are ready-to-assemble with frosting-glue and then decorated with the entire candy aisle of CVS take my three kids an entire afternoon and how we can’t seem to find the time to get them done? And about how we colored cookies and packaged candies to give out as a random acts of kindness a week ago and STILL haven’t given them all away?
Should I write about how with every present I buy for the kids, I remind myself that it’s JUST. TOO. MUCH? Yes, I’ve read about the “One thing I buy, one thing I need, one thing to wear and one thing to read” strategy and I love the idea of it. But I just can’t commit to that. For reasons that I can’t articulate but that I’m sure have something to do with my warmest, fuzziest memories of Christmas morning involving a tall stack of presents and yes, even as I type that I’m very aware of how spoiled it sounds.
I could write a whole book about how hard it is for ME to remember the true meaning of the holiday season (family, generosity, love, and if you’re Catholic, the whole “Happy Birthday Jesus” thing), never mind convince my kids that it’s not really about the presents. But I don’t have the time to write that book. Because I’m too busy shopping for presents.
Should I write about how during the month of December I feel the need to have this out on my counter?
Hey, maybe I won’t actually write anything… I’ll just share my Holiday To Do List! So you can read it and scream “YES! TOTALLY! ME TOO!” at the computer and we can be cyberly-bonded holiday BFFs! OK, here it is:
- Drag up the heavy boxes of Christmas decorations. Damn, those nutcrackers need to lay off the Kisses.
- Spend too many hours designing Christmas cards. Not one picture of three smiling kids. Time to get creative.
- Make this year’s gift list. Woah. Grows every year.
- Send kids’ requests to grandparents and aunts and uncles.
- Bring a holiday craft to the preschool classroom.
- Buy 15+ gifts for nieces and nephews. Luckily, teenagers like gift cards.
- Design annual family photo album.
- Refill the Hershey Kiss bowl. Can’t disappoint my imaginary guests!
- Think about writing a blog post about the holiday season and how busy it is.
- Forget. Sorry.
- Buy gifts for parents. You’ve heard of the Man Who Has Everything? They named that guy after my Dad. Luckily, he gave me some ideas this year. No siblings, I’m not sharing them.
- Decorate the tree. Argue with the kids about the lights. White is always always always better than colored.
- Decorate the rest of the house.
- “Build” gingerbread houses. Prepare for the inevitable ugly sugar crash. And it WILL be ugly.
- Make homemade ornaments for Grammy.
- Buy presents for multiple Secret Santas and close friends.
- Unpack the twelve Amazon boxes that are coming in everyday. Open box, throw gifts into the basement, breakdown cardboard. Hope that wasn’t breakable.
- Take inventory of whose gifts I have and whose I don’t. Wow, am I still missing that many?
- Surf the web for the perfect ________ for _________. Do this for a hundred, million hours.
- Get cupcakes for another preschool party. Get annoyed by all the nut restrictions and then remember that it’s my kid that has the nut allergy.
- Set up my new Christmas village.*
- Refill the Hershey Kiss bowl. Wow, did my imaginary guests finish those again?
- Research air hockey tables.
- Research bikes.
- Research hermit crabs. I know, we’re suckers.
- Address the Christmas cards. For three days.
- Prepare hostess gifts for multiple parties.
- Realize I have nothing to wear to any of those parties.
- Plan the Nibbit’s birthday party – need invite, goody bags, gifts, food and a cake. DO NOT FORGET THE NIBBIT’S BIRTHDAY.
- Think, “Oh yeah, I still have to write that holiday blog post!”
- Forget again. Sorry.
- Organize gifts for teachers at multiple schools and activities, coaches and various other awesome people in my life.
- Remember that I need to shop for KJ, too.
- Google “beer gifts” and “ugly Jets stuff” since those are his favorite things.
- Finally write that blog post. Yay! You are HERE.
- Unpack more Amazon packages. Open, throw gifts in the basement, breakdown cardboard. Oops.
- Bring paper products to the second grade holiday party.
- Tackle all the stuff in the basement: final inventory of whose gifts I have and whose I’m missing. Shit. I still have a LOT of shopping to do.
- More research. More surfing. More buying. More boxes.
- And then, we wrap.
- And wrap.
- And wrap and wrap and wrap and wrap.
I bet this list looks pretty familiar, huh?
But wait, it could be worse for me… here’s what I’m NOT doing:
- Throwing my own holiday party. Hats off to you holiday hostesses… I’ll happily drink your egg nog.
- Moving an Elf on the Shelf around every night. Told my kids that they were so well-behaved that Santa didn’t think we needed one. Also told them that he’ll be EXTRA disappointed if they prove him wrong.
- Making gifts that involve craftiness of any sort. Nothing knitted. Nothing sewn. Nothing crafted with fabric, jewels, yarn or glitter of any sort. Someday, my sewing machine will get the attention it deserves. But that day is not today.
- Organizing or even participating in any type of cookie exchange. I may actually get through the month of December without baking one single cookie. Wait, I hope that doesn’t mean I don’t get to eat any.
- Writing long, meaningful blog posts about the true meaning of Christmas. Blech, boring… right?
So, if you’re doing any (or all, you goddamn overachievers) of the above, I commend you. You are exceeding holiday expectations in a big way, so congratulations.
Now, please bring me some cookies.
PS. I hope you know that all of my bitching is done fully in jest. I actually really, really love the holiday season. I love the spirit and the energy and even the stress, which I obviously keep in check with chocolate. I love the 24/7 Christmas carols on old-school radio 106.7. I even love my To Do List. It’s the most wonderful time of year! I hope you’re enjoying it.