Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ho Ho Hosed

This Christmas season has been more hectic than normal. I think I feel that way every year but this one takes the cake, frosting and all. For one, I’m doing everything on my own. No one to hang the lights on the house (that decorating step was omitted this year), no one to drag the giant red and green boxes in or pull the tree boxes down from the rafters in the garage. It was a comical experience I tell ya. Imagine a tall skinny girl on top of a ladder trying to pull down trees without killing herself or her very curious children. “Keep your hands on the truck! Don’t move! Back awaaaaay from the ladder! NO climbing! Get back to the truck!” Fortunately, no one was smashed. The other boxes were neatly stacked between the wall of the garage and Bill’s truck…Bill’s dead truck. A truck that could not be moved because I let the battery die. So again, here I am dragging boxes over the truck while trying to not compromise the state of the paint on said truck. Are my children behaving by quietly watching an educational video while I try to make Christmas a magical and sparkly experience for them? No. They are in the garage, practically clinging to my legs.

“Mommy! Can I help? Mommy! What’s that? What are you doing? Mommy, watch this! Mommymommymommymommy.”



That was at the end of November. Not much has changed. It took weeks to get the house decorated. I’m still wrapping presents, a task I started over a week ago. We don’t have a plethora of presents. I just have to stop after about five to either deal with a child, or one comes downstairs, early from a nap when I’m wrapping his gift or my eyelids won’t cooperate and I just have to go to bed.

Then came the parties. You know, the obligatory-if-you-don’t-attend-you’re-not-a-team-player parties. The Women’s annual tea, which isn’t a tea at all, but more of a coffee, singing, listen to a speaker and ornament white elephant thing. The staff party: great because it was OUT. I went out to dinner on someone else’s dime. The youth staff party: the crazy one with the crazy white elephant gifts and five too many people for the size house provided. The school Christmas performance: “please feel free (ie you are required as an entrance fee) to bring a plate of cookies to share”. Yeah, well, I dipped some oreos in chocolate, sprinkled on some festive Mexican Christmas jimmies and voila! I didn’t have time to bake or run to the store. The staff appreciation breakfast which I didn’t get to appreciate even though I’m staff because the MOPS leadership team provided breakfast and, well, I’m required to be at the leadership meetings, not the staff meetings. So, I made breakfast for that. Then came the end of the season MOPS party, and it was my turn, once again to cook for my table. In addition to bringing breakfast, this was the longest laundry list: kids in red shirts, cards for kids’ teachers, three dozen cookies for cookie exchange and an ornament for the ornament exchange. I was really really bad and only fulfilled the red shirt quota. And then I hear the other moms complain about their situation until they look at me and two of the other moms and realize that none of us will have our husband’s home this Christmas and they quickly change the topic.

I think Bill is having a harder time not being home than we are. Of course, I want him here. He’s great at starting a rip roarin fire Christmas morning, making sure we both have coffee and doing the ‘dad’ thing with the video camera to capture the festivities. This year, he’ll be with all of his co-workers but we’ll still be with family. He got the raw deal.

Since Trey was a wee lad, we’ve done Christmas at home. That was strange getting used to since our tradition while growing up was to drive up to my grandparent’s house. Every year. This was the only time I’d see half of my cousins even though we were only a two hour drive away. Tradition. Turkey? Check. Ribbon candy? Check. Crazy uncles drinking beer and cracking jokes? Check. Someone crying? Check. It was fun. At least I remember it being fun. Now instead of ripping through gifts, putting on my fancy dress and shiny mary janes to see family, we savor every minute of the morning and calmly go through our day. Not this year. We’re going to see my grandpa…and his wife.

They’ve been asking us for years to come up. They’re not getting any younger.

She has bells. LOTS of bells. Really. Like over 3,000. Seriously.

I have a two year old. How am I going to keep my kids from killing her precious collection? What in the world is there going to be for them to do? None of their cousins will be there. I will need wine or champagne and lots of it. And DVD’s for the kids.

So let’s be positive. No cooking, no cleaning, a change of scenery for everyone, and I get to see my grandpa. Man, I really hope my aunt and uncle stop by.

I’ve never wished for Christmas to be over. My eye is twitching from stress. My family room looks like the paper factory exploded. Bill will be home in three weeks but we don’t have an exact date yet. That stresses me out. I need to PLAN. I have a week with both of my children, children who need to be entertained, and fed, and attended to.

I would love to just curl up in my bed with some good magazines and my remote.

I need to focus on the true meaning of the season. Thanks, God, for the greatest gift of all. I’m praying for a miracle that will keep my budget balanced.


Judy said...

Jen, that is awesome that Bill will be able to come home soon for a Christmas is a bit delayed!

I am hoping that I just misread your post, but it sounded like you had the ladder on the back of the truck and were standing on it? Please say no!

I guess this is where being a person of Very Little Sleep has come in handy. Scott's been out of town most of December; my decorating/attic trips/wrapping sessions all took place after bedtime!

We'll be thinking of you this weekend and on Monday. Godspeed.

Andrea said...

Holy cow you are such a team player!! This is the first year I've blown off a couple of holiday parties because I just didn't have it in me to bake and buy so many of those white elephant gifts. It's so much work I don't know how you do it!!

I loved going to Grandma's for Christmas but I loathed dressing up. I know I fought my mom every time!! She'd always put my hair in those sponge curlers the night before. UGH!! Pure torture!! Now that I'm older and have my own little family we stay home in pj's all day. It's great!

My dad called us yesterday and said that he and your mom did the "I'll go if you go" bit and finally decided to go to Grandpa's for Christmas. I think we've done it once or twice. BORING!! Have fun looking at the 20 different themed trees. Some people have way too much time and money! And the bells...let's not even go there! Throughout my travels I see them everywhere and wonder if she has them in her collection. It's insane!!

Okay, well, enough blabbering. I'll try and keep my hands off your Marine! LOL! That was so funny. Love to all! Happy Holidays!

Shelley said...

Now if we can just figure out how to get my girls to CA to be with Trey & Leah...then maybe they could all distract each other from getting into the bells. Or - they might make a team effort to see how many they could ring at the same time - oh my.

Have a VERY Merry Christmas!