Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Light

T-minus seven days until Christmas and I am done with all my shopping.

It truly is a Christmas miracle.

Watch for all the flying pigs, people.

I really don’t get into all the Christmas hub-bub like shopping or decorating or baking. It’s just not my thing. I work with all these crazy middle-aged women who are constantly freaking out over how “only one of their seven trees are decorated” and they “just can’t do anything with the mantle in their sitting room” and “oh my goodness heavens to Betsy, they can’t find their Christmas linens and their 17 million family members are going to be in town tomorrow” and “can you believe they started shopping on December 26, 2005, and they still aren’t done with all their shopping and ooh, they are so tired from staying up until 4 am gift wrapping last night”.

I just smile and nod because they might as well be speaking another language. In fact, I wish they were speaking another language because try as might to block out their nasally rants, some of it manages to infiltrate my crazylady-brain barrier and at least if it was in another language, me no comprehendo.

I so do not get why people do this to themselves over the holidays. They bitch and whine and moan over how much work it is to get out their holiday Pfaltzgraff , bake 16 million dozen cookies, hyperventilate over the Belk’s flier in the Sunday paper, and then have the audacity to suggest that people like me who see no reason to go bat-shit crazy shopping and take out a second mortgage to put inflatable snowmen and 14 million twinkling lights in my yard don’t understand the true reason of Christmas- the big JC’s birthday.

What would Jesus do? He certainly wouldn’t skip line in front of a woman holding not one but TWO children at the Macy’s counter and He certainly wouldn’t lament to all that are forced to listen about His binge eating on cookies and fudge and hey, I may not have the Bible memorized verbatim but I’m pretty sure He wouldn’t need to up his dosage of Paxil to help deal with the hanging of Christmas towels.

Maybe I’m just lazy, but when I think about going all crazy for Christmas and spending tons of money and redecorating my entire house for the season and cooking and eating until I want to puke, I just want to curl up in bed until the New Year. It’s just so not me and for the life of me, why would anyone want to drive themselves nuts doing it all? What’s the point? If you’re celebrating the secular aspects of Christmas then why would you want to anything that increased your stress levels to that degree and if you’re celebrating the whole “Jesus is the reason for the season” aspect of Christmas then you’ve really missed the ark. I’m sure some people enjoy it but most people just complain and declare year after year, “This is the last time I’m doing all this for Christmas!”

We have some lights and ribbon on our house and one small tree with lights- no ornaments (I didn’t want to go crazy watching the kids break all of them and throw them at each other and use the hangers for eye-poker-outers). My biggest display is a silver tree that is used to showcase all of the cards we receive during the season. I don’t plan on doing any baking or cooking- although the husband will probably do some- and if the wrapping isn’t done by 10:00 pm, it can wait until the next day.

I shopped last weekend and this weekend with both the kids and while usually, shopping with the kids would be akin to some sort of extreme sport of Fear Factor episode, I really tried to keep it low-key and move at their pace. It took us four hours to go to three stores yesterday. If Gavin wanted to stop and smell all the perfumes in Dillard’s and stick out his tongue at his reflection in every mirror in New York and Company then so be it. If Grace wanted to ride the elevator a couple of times then we rode the elevator a couple of times. When we went out to lunch and Gavin only wanted to eat the chips and Grace only wanted to eat the cookie then we smiled and made silly faces over their sweet and salty lunch. We put off shopping on Saturday for Gavin to go to a school mate’s birthday party and while all the moms stood around discussing “OMG THE HOLIDAYS ARE SO STRESSFUL!!!” I chased the kids around playing tag. The only time constraint I put on us while shopping was that we had to be done with enough time for the kids to play outside and enjoy our unseasonably warm weather.

The only “OMG” moments during our shopping were when Gavin announced in the middle of the mall “I’M PEEING!!!!!!!!!” and yanked down his pants and underwear right there for all to see. Thankfully, we made it to the bathroom in time. Also, I made the HUGE mistake of trying on clothes in front of Grace. I took off my shirt and she was all “nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, NUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRSSSSSSEEEE!!!!!” I, of course, had no intentions of nursing Grace because that would have left Gavin with ample opportunity to shimmy out from under the dressing room door and indecently expose his self in front of the entire mall again.

Good times.

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Anonymous Ally said...

I fall somewhere in between. I have certain decorations that have a lot of meaning and so they're out right next to the dining room table that is covered with crap and the ornament box that needs to back to the attic. I'm only making 4 kinds of cookies, dough for two are in the fridge and I'll get them baked little by little. Jamie's my official icer this year and I'm not going to worry about how they all look, just that there's icing on most of them. And lots of sprinkles too, I'm sure.

I'm trying hard to not freak about shopping, even though ours is only halfway done. I figure they'll get bought and they'll get wrapped and I'm not staying up all night to do it. The house will be kind of clean for the 15 people coming over for dinner on Christmas Eve and it will be so chaotic and happy that no one will notice that the dusting didn't get done.

Yep. That's the plan...

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I'm with ya, girl! Christmas has so become about everything else -- presents, shopping, gaudy decorations (because nothing makes the baby Jesus happier than a 6-foot tall plastic snowglobe in your front yard!).

I am enjoying every second of our lowkey season this year. Having kids makes you realize that if you're worried about all the other stuff, you will totally miss the good stuff.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

Hmmm I definetly celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we do that every day.

I also decorate the house, a lot. As in I have lights hung around the windows and doorways in the living room and the lights match the living room. We also have four trees. Emma has one, Davis has one, there is a small one in the dining room and the main one in the living room.

I will also bake and cook. I actually LIKE the chaos and what not of the holiday season. I thirve in that kind of environment.

I already made six dozen iced sugar cookies last week and will make six more dozen this week and those are to give away. I will make a quiche for Chirstmas Eve brunch and dessert for Chirstmas Eve dinner. I will mkae a roast (I think) for Chirstmas Day lunch.

I love this time of the year. The craziness, the family, the love, all of it. Even the secular part of it.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Amanda. said...

Abby, I wasn't insinuating that celebrating the birth of Jesus AND embracing the chaos of the secular celebrations couldn't go hand in hand.

5:42 PM  
Blogger karrie said...

Maybe I shouldn't comment since we're still not sure what exactly it is we're celbrating up here, but I think people should just stick to what makes them happy.

I used to manage a dollar store when I was 19-20, and you would not believe the assine things customers fought over, bitched over, and trampled during this time of the year. Total nutbags over $1 roll of giftwrap and potpourri satchets.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I worked retail too long, I know have a jaded experience with Christmas. I haven't decorated(mainly for the same reason you haven't).

I'm just ready for the whole season to be over with. I'll probably remember to send my christmas cards out in March like I do every year.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Will you marry ME? I am currently married to the Christmas tyrant and I am sick of it.

I want to take things slow and not worry about all the crap. Not with the TRYANT. There are lists of stuff to do and it all has to be done by me. I was scolded because the Christmas cards went out, today, instead of last week when I was fighting the plague. God forbid, someone get a card after Christmas. What will they think?

I was thinking the same thing, today. I just want to pace things and have fun. I dont want Christmas to become the time when I curse and hide under the covers. I wanted to bake some cookies with Amber. The cookies that you dont care how they taste (this is important if I am baking) and just have fun. Now, there is no time. *sigh*

7:39 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

I guess part of it for me is that I have kids. I am not feel like putting up all the decorations but I have kids. And I may be tired or crabby, but I have kids.

This time of the year, growing up was always magical. And while we also celebrate the Jesus aspect, I want it to be magical for my kids too. And I can not imagine not having a lot of lights.

I will never be able to be anything but what I am now as long as I have kids and/or grandkids. So forver....

8:06 PM  
Blogger Amanda. said...

Karrie, I hear you. I used to work Christmas breaks in my dad's Hallmark Cards store. YIKES!

Ummm, gee, Wendy. I mean, I sure do like you and all but I don't know if I like you like you. I appreciate the proposal- really, I'm flattered- but.... ummmm.... I'm not sure how to put this: it's not you, it's me :)

Better late than never, Melissa.

Abby, I certianly want the holidays to be *magical* for my kids, too, but insane, stressed out mama does not magic make... kwim? I guess my perception is skewed in that I had a mom who went bat-shit crazy every Christmas trying to bake and shop and decorate and do it all and the only memories I have are of her being frustrated and mad and flinging Waldorf salad at my dad. If I tried to do all the things that the women i work with say that they are stressed out doing, I would be a waldorf salad flinger, too, and I don't want that. Being sane and playing with the kiddos is pretty magical in it's own right.

Side note: did you all know waldorf salad can stick to the ceiling? It can.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

I really do thrive in the chaos. Always have. I do not know why. This is the one time of the year where I really do not worry. I do not get very stressed. I do get frustrated but I do that all the time anyway.

I decorate, bake and cook. Do shopping and wrapping. I *like* it. Scary, I know....

9:15 AM  
Blogger venessa said...

Amen! We actually do celebrate the birth of JC, which to me, means not buying too much stuff, or making too much food, or any of that stuff. I do love me some gingerbread houses though! If you aren't into baking, you can use grahm crackers, icing, and candy of your choice. But I love love love to bake so I do that a lot at the holidays. Shopping and wrapping? Not so much. And I put up ONE tree and ONE wreath on the front door.

10:02 AM  

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