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Good Tidings to You, one and all

Author: Mary Keating

For: Family Living Magazine

Date:  December 2007/January 2008

            1163 words             

November 27, 2007

Finally, we get a little break from the bone chilling cold weather. Yesterday, we hung up Christmas lights outside, did a bit of decorating, finished up the last of the turkey and stuffed the Halloween costumes into storage. Wow, the last two holidays sort of snuck up on me. One day we took off the pumpkin costumes and the next day we made a pumpkin pie.

So, in light of the last two sneaky holidays, I am planning on being prepared for the next. In fact, I think I have time to get ahead of the ball. This year, I will be able to sit back, put my feet up and relax before Christmas wrapping paper circles the tree.

Today, I drafted my to-do-list, made a tentative gift list, blocked out time in my planner to get everything done well before the heavy snow and the crazy shoppers strike. I have even mentally crafted delicious meals and thought about all of the sleigh rides ending with hot cocoa and a blazing fire. Yes, this year, I will be ready.

This morning I printed out a list of all those who are on my Christmas card list and dug out the envelopes and fancy paper I bought last week. Tomorrow, I will put the program from the USPS on my computer so I can even print fancy stamps on all the envelopes. And, I have even left time in the plan tomorrow to sift through the box of unfinished Christmas crafts and to confirm everyone’s plans for the holidays.

December 5, 2007

Oh, my gosh, I have less than twenty days left to make it ALL happen. My internet connection has been down for nearly a week and I haven’t been able to order those very important presents online.

Someone lost my black shoes, you know, the ones that go with the dress I plan to wear to the Christmas concert and I have penned in two parties for the same night. A couple of exterior light strings are behaving badly. I think they need to be replaced. And, I must do something with the little tree outside; the lights on it haven’t flickered since the day I plugged them in.

For two months now, we have talked about a holiday open house. I looked at the calendar today and I am not sure that our friends would be interested in coming on Monday morning at 9am and help us toast the holiday season with toddy. As for pulling together a party for the children, I think that will have to wait until February. Perhaps a Valentine’s gathering would be better anyhow.

What a frustrating day of shopping. Three of the items are no longer at the store. Santa called after receiving letters from the children and asked if I could perhaps do a little sewing as the elves have fallen behind. My in-laws had a change of plans and will be coming a couple of days early to attend a concert at the Performing Arts Center and the little red tights that go with the girls Christmas dresses are two sizes too big and the snowflakes tights are white not cream.

Fortunately, I was able to start on my Christmas cards today. Well, at least the envelopes are addressed, but the rest remains unfinished due to a couple of melt-downs and scheduling problems.

Then, like an idiot, I stepped on the scale in the bathroom this morning. Someone has been playing with it as it read five pounds heavier than it did last week. And, I only tasted the brownies and ate a couple of fast food hamburgers. But, really it shouldn’t have changed. I have been doing plenty of laps around local stores pushing a shopping cart.

December 11, 2007

I am pleased to report that we put up the tree this weekend. Ok, so the ornaments seem to have gathered around the front and the base of the tree and a couple of special ornaments cracked on the tile floor. The tree skirt is rumpled and could use a quick ironing, but it will do for now. Sadly, I haven’t enough wrapping paper to finish wrapping the FEW gifts I have carefully hidden in the attic this past week.

This year, little inspectors have been searching everywhere on a quest to catch a small glimpse of Christmas’ future. And, I was ahead of them. I came up with a plan to thwart their temptations. I put different names on each of the packages as I taped on the ribbons and bows. Problem is, I cannot recall if I marked Hannah’s or Emma’s presents with the name Molly.

December 14, 2007 7:52pm

ONLY ten days left! My brothers and their families and my in-laws all come next week. We have two dance performances, a winter celebration, haircuts and, finally a grown-up night out to go to the concert. I don’t have all my packages purchased or for that matter wrapped. My new jeans are a bit snug, dust has collected on the treadmill and my house is a disaster. I haven’t cleaned the guest bedroom and the laundry is beginning to crawl around the house and we won’t talk about the bathrooms.

Time to revamp the to-do-list and the schedule. I still haven’t uploaded the stamps program, so again this year, I must go to the store to buy stamps for those unstuffed envelopes still sitting on the desk.

December 14, 2007 10:21pm

It will all come together. I have been sitting in a bubble bath with a little glass of red wine. As instructed, I have been breathing and taking a bit of time for me. I realized, that if I totally blow this Christmas, it will be back around in another nine and half months give or take a week or two and I can perhaps redeem myself and try, once again to get ahead of the ball. I am thinking about celebrating merry hallow-thank-mas. It would be easier to get all three done at once rather than have one sneak up on me right on the heels of the last. Maybe, I can start in June or July and find time to put my feet up and relax.

December 15, 2007 5:32am

Holy cow, I have to get going, I have tons of things that MUST be done today. If I strategize, plan and drive fast, I could feasibly be home by 5pm. Thankfully dad has offered to watch the kids today – I do wonder, did he offer to be nice or did he offer to get me out of the house? With a little luck, packages could find a home under the tree by night fall. Tomorrow I can clean the house, plan dinners, and mail those Christmas cards.

From my hectic house to yours, may your holidays be filled with a pinch of magic, a dash of laughter and a sprinkle of love.