Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is It Christmas Yet?

If her hair were only blond then I could claim this as a holiday portrait of, yes, yours truly. Christmas always seems to bring out the best bitch in me. There are people whose house spontaneously becomes Christmasy sometime between Thanksgiving dinner and getting up early to shop on Black Friday. I am not one of them.

I have been informed by the men in the house (well, by the eldest of them) that a tree will be procured tomorrow, to be decorated in the afternoon. Hmmm. Younger son plans to walk home from the university tomorrow (a distance of about eight miles) if it's not raining. Whatever doesn't come home from the dorm room today will be coming home tomorrow ... in the same pickup truck that is supposed to bring the tree home. Unless younger son has to be out of his dorm room by noon, he may not be starting his walk until afternoon. The evening is out for decorating because elder son will be helping to judge a karate rank exam, which I would like to attend for the purposes of practicing my photography. In other words, I'm not seeing tomorrow, afternoon or evening, as an optimal time for holiday prep.

Thursday? Ha! I will be up and starting a batch of bread by not much after 6:00 so that I can get it done before meeting a friend for lunch at 11:30. I have been informed that the husband's departmental Christmas party is from 2:00 until 4:00. The evening is reserved for kendo. I only give that up for my own office Christmas party, and that was last night (yes, I gave up kendo for it). Are we seeing a pattern yet?

Unless the holiday fairies magically appear and take on the decorating chores, it will likely be Friday before things start to come together, or less than a week before Christmas. I wanted to put up the tree and decorate over a week ago, but the husband mandates that it be a family affair and not take place until dormitory move-out has been accomplished. Never mind that I will be the one bringing the majority of the decoration boxes in from the garage and sorting out what goes where. The sons will each put an ornament or two on the tree and then retire to reading, writing, or the computer. The husband will have the outdoor lights to hang since ladders are not necessarily my friends. After Christmas has been decorated, I will either take the mostly empty boxes out to the garage or whine unpleasantly until the men do that for me since simple requests for help are often countered with whines of their own.

Am I being appropriately bitchy or Scroogey yet? If not, I'll get there. Maybe one day I will learn how to make it all flow. Before marriage and family, I actually enjoyed Christmas preparation. I put up the tiny artifical, already decorated tree that a friend gave me the year I was laid up following knee surgery. I would play Christmas carols and maybe make a long chain of red and green construction paper rings to hang wherever. It was fun! Now it seems an organizational nightmare.

Don't worry. I will get over it, and we will have a real Christmas here. A tree will go up, and all the wrapped presents sitting on the furniture around the room behind me will have a home at least. My Christmas cards have been mailed, and the husband's cards have been addressed and stamped (though not by him) and had the family Christmas newsletter I wrote inserted in the envelopes. I learned long ago not to stress once I've handed him the stack of cards ready for personal notes or not as he sees fit (I've already signed the cards, too). I have done my part; if his friends and family want to blame me if/when his cards are late, I can live with it knowing that I did my part.

On Christmas Eve, I will prepare my overnight cinnamon roll dough before we go to the Christmas Eve service at a friend's church. I will get up well before the sons on Christmas morning and get cinnamon rolls ready for when we wake them up. We will play Christmas music (at last!) and open presents, assuming the men go out on Christmas Eve day and buy some for me as is their tradition. We will eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and I will prepare a grand Christmas dinner, and perhaps even have time to soak in a bubble bath if I care to clear out all the potted plants wintering in the jacuzzi tub under the bathroom skylight. Life will be good. No, life is good in the sense that I have the time and mind to sit here and bitch a bit. Yes, life is good. Allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas a bit early just in case you don't make it back here before the big day.


Caroline M said...

Of all the Christmas jobs the one I hated was doing the cards so about ten years ago I stopped. Anyone in the house who wants to send a card can pick up a pen and write, I'll buy them but then I'm done. Guess what, we don't send cards any more.

This year I will have a decent stocking, I fill everyone else's but mine always looks like Santa hates me. This year I've bought the stocking fillers for me too.

Debi said...

Is it any wonder I love you so?!! This was just the laugh I needed today! I'm sick of butter and sugar, I'm sick of unpacking decorations, I'm sick of punching gift tags out of old Christmas cards, and mostly I'm sick of doing it all myself. But don't worry, I'll be all full of Christmas cheer again by morning. Until tomorrow wears me out again by mid-afternoon. Then I'll come back here and read your post again so I don't feel so alone!

Carl V. said...

I hate to ask, but did you receive your Secret Santa gift? I sent it a couple of weeks ago and now I am getting worried that it didn't arrive. Which will annoy me because I really had fun getting it all ready. Please let me know: cvincent68 (at) comcast (dot) net as I will do it again if for some reason it got lost.