Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Madness

I am not ready for Christmas this year. I would have to take all next week off and I still wouldn't be ready.

Hubs bought the tree last weekend. The lights were found--they were in the only box that was actually put away last year (the other boxes were scattered throughout the garage).

The Advent Calendar is up but the Advent Wreath is not.

The boxes with ornaments and the table decorations are in the family room with the tree. I managed to watch three of my favorite movies last Sunday: A Christmas Carol, with Alistair Sim, Miracle on 34th Street, with Natalie Wood, and A Muppet Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine, Kermit, et al. I was working on the 25 sets of stationery that I will hand out to my cousins, sisters, SILs, and close friends on Christmas Eve. This is what I do instead of baking. Doesn't smell as nice, unfortunately, and it takes over all available flat surfaces. But I made a deal with my family--as long as they use it, I'll keep making it. (I hate to see the cards not shared!) The quickest turnaround was the year that Sis#2 used a card I had given her on Christmas Eve for our mom's birthday card--which we celebrate on Christmas evening. (Her birthday is actually the 26th.)

This year we have family pictures and Christmas cards with the kids' picture on them. They may get out by Epiphany--which is the 12th day of Christmas, right?

Hubs, who comes from a family that has all their Christmas shopping done and cards out no later than Dec. 1st, just shakes his head. He has learned over the years not to say anything. Besides, we have obligations closer to home, including the annual school Christmas pageant.

Hard to believe that this will be our last one, after 16 years. DD#2 is a narrator, as the faculty has learned over the years not to ask the 8th Graders to sing. However, the 8th Grade does a grand job with speaking parts and handling the technical parts (lights and sound). Let them dress in black and fade into the background. No one "oohs" and "aahs" over gawky teens--not like they do over the Kindergarteners and First Graders. (Which reminds me, DD#2 wants to wear tights. And she probably needs black shoes, since her feet are too big to wear mine and too small to wear DD#1's. And she'll probably want heels. I am so not ready for this!)

And everyone wants to party. How can we not get together with friends, with co-workers, with family? How can we not let DS#2 go to his Winter Ball or DD#2 go to her "Holly-Day" dance?

One of these years, I told a friend, I'm just going to do all the neat holiday activities and forgo the Christmas shopping and decorating. I'm going to do the "Sing-Along Messiah" and all the public tree lightings and drive around and marvel over everyone else's house lights. I'm going to see as many versions of The Nutcracker Ballet and A Christmas Carol as I can. I'm going to drink hot chocolate and watch all the Christmas specials that I can find on TV. I may hang a wreath on the door. Then again, I may not.

I probably won't be able to get away with this plan until I'm about 80, though, and my kids are so busy establishing traditions with their kids that they won't miss the ones I'm not doing!