What follows is a quick recap of our Holiday Timeline. I wish I could say I am sad it is over....
Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Morning Annual Flag Football Game – 25 guys come over for breakfast and coffee before the game. Husband plugs one too many griddles in outside outlet and blows the electrical fuse for the entire house. Men eat bacon, talk trash, and try to forget how old they have become. Each one stretches awkwardly while reminiscing about the good old days. They walk to middle school soccer field and begin to play. Game reminds me of a documentary on Rhinos I saw on the Discovery Channel. They are large, slow beasts running around, chasing each other and falling to the ground. Every now and then, someone makes a loud strange noise (as if they have been shot by a hunter), crumples to their knees and is dragged off the field. The whole game appears to be played in slow motion. I didn’t play but it still hurt to watch.
Nov. 26, Thanksgiving afternoon - We over plan and decide it would be a good idea to also have Thanksgiving dinner for 20 at our house. Husband has problem with deep fryer (this too has become a tradition) and can’t get oil to heat. Three hours later than planned, oil is heated to 400 degrees. He and his extremely bright friend then drop cold turkey in oil. Small fireball shoots up, almost catches roof on fire, and eventually spills on one guy’s shoe (Gucci loafer). Oil burns through leather and guy is left with a third degree burn on his foot. Dinner is served in garage/play room/man cave/office. The meal begins at the exact moment the children’s movie (which has been entertaining the kids for past 2 hours) comes to an end. Awesome!
December 2nd: Tree Purchase - Husband, children and I head to the Boy Scout tree lot. I take a deep breathe and check off item in my mental to-do list that says ‘family gives back’. Husband corners a man at tree lot and quizzes him on the difference between a Pine and a Fir tree. Husband is so into his forestry lesson he is not bothering to watch the kids who have now run into an area where many untrained lumberjacks (aka dad’s from our neighborhood) yield electric saws. Man being asked questions about tree eventually stops husband and says with great sorrow, “Sir, I don’t know anything about trees. I am just a scout leader.” Husband looks dejected and buys over priced tree, which he feels he knows nothing about. Men place tree on top of my car without a blanket and scratch my entire roof. Husband shrugs shoulders and says, “Don’t worry, it's good for it.” I don’t understand what he means but that is nothing new.
December 3rd, Tree Decorating – Really fun except my daughter only wants to eat the candy canes and my son keeps breaking glass ornaments. My husband and I try to smile and get along but we end up disagreeing about pretty much everything from the lights, to the placement of the tree stand, and finally the music we are listening to (he wants Frank Sinatra and I want Carrie Underwood). At one point I scream at entire family “THIS IS FUN. THIS IS CHRISTMAS!” They look at me like I am nuts and I take a time out. When we ask our son to put the angel on top of the tree, he has an epic unexplainable tantrum and locks himself in his room. Next year we plan to start drinking earlier.
December 6th, House decorating- I balance the ladder up on the roof all by myself, I put the lights on the house all by myself, and I wrap the bushes all by myself. Later, I put ladder back on roof all by myself, replace 7 broken bulbs, and try not to get electrocuted. Neighbors yell things like “Do you need any help? Isn’t that your husband’s job?” I smile and continue to risk my life because it is easier to do alone. When my husband gets home he looks at the lights and says, “Hey, those two strands of lights aren’t exactly the same. It looks weird.” I hide my rage and try to remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
December 9th, Big Lots – For some reason I don’t think the gaudy roof lights and slightly redneck bush lights are enough. I give into a deep-seated desire to buy a white reindeer and a small fake Christmas tree with colored lights. Put them in front yard and later husband re-arranges them into a ‘Christmas scene’ that he says looks cozy…it doesn’t. Deer’s head won’t plug into any of the available outlets so deer spends the holidays looking like he has a broken neck.
December 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd – Buy random shit from Target that I think the kids will like and/or return random shit from Target that I am sure the kids won’t like.
December 23rd – Full panic sets in as I try to remember all the people I am supposed to give gifts to but have forgotten. Start throwing $20 bills and $10 Target gift cards out the window of my car as I drive. Say a prayer that the right people will find them. Deeply worried that my garbage man/postman/babysitter/lawn guy/child’s teacher/creepy neighbor/strange old lady/UPS man/hairdresser will think that I have forgotten about them, don’t appreciate them, or that I am cheap…unfortunately all three of these things are partially true.
December 24th, Christmas Eve – Husband and I wrap, hide, and drink our way through the evening. Go to a friend’s house and feel beyond grateful that we are not at my house. Try to get drunk but instead find myself playing the “Just Dance” WII game with my best friend. We dance to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” and it makes me feel happy. We compete in a dance off and, even though she is carrying a newborn baby in a Bjorn, she wins. A low point in my life.
December 25th, Christmas morning –Son comes in bedroom very concerned because we forgot to leave cookies and milk for Santa. Tears well up in eyes and breakdown is inevitable. I quickly say “Santa didn’t want snacks this year because he is on weight watchers, just like daddy.” Son looks confused but then says, “He can’t have a snack because he is growing out, instead of up, just like Daddy?” I am grateful he understands and we head out of our room to begin the festivities.
Merry Christmas…It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.