Can it really be Christmas already, I'm not ready for it to be here. This year has gone by much too fast and it seems like it just quit being summer. sigh! I think the part I dislike (can't say hate its a bad word) the most is all the stuff you have to do to get ready to enjoy Christmas. Me I could really just slide into Christmas and it would be fine but what I've learned after 23 years of being married is you have to prepare for Christmas. (This goes for every other holiday as well but Christmas is the big one) So here is my list of Christmas preparation:
1. Decorations. Ok, I'm not a Scrooge. But I have to say I question the sanity of puting up a bunch of lights that do nothing more then drive up my electric bill. The same for the ribbons and bows on the windows and the wreaths that never die but keep appearing at this time every year. I'm not doing the lights outside but we have to have lights inside so that when I have to get a drink of water in the middle of the night I can be blinded walking into the living room. These lights are always on. We will have to get a tree and when I mentioned getting a fake one this year you'd think I offered to shoot the dog! Oh by the way, fake trees are quite expensive unless they are ugly, then they are cheap. Ugly=cheap. So now we have the inflatable snowman riding the Harley on the front lawn and I'm done.
2 Christmas letter. This goes out to all of our friends and family. Even if your friends know everything you write you still retell the tale. Its great for looking back on the year and realizing that you haven't done much with your life and probably won't do much more next year either. You can try and put some type of spin to it like using words such as potential and expected but its just grammatical fluff. It can only be one page long so that means each person in the family gets 2-3 lines of verbiage. Try and sum up a year in 2-3 lines and really paint the picture. Can't be done. Still it has to go out before we are ready for Christmas.
3 Christmas events. These are those events that teachers plan all year to inflict upon you. Christmas plays, musicals, dance recitals, tournaments...etc. It also includes ward/office parties and nativity pageants. Everyone just has to go to these show pieces and every kid must participate in order to get his or her parent to come. This usually requires extra practices, uniforms, and costumes too. Got to get into that Christmas spirit. They are so long! How many times can you hear Jingle Bells before you scream? Silent Night is not so silent when heard a 1000 times. The echo in your mind lasts until the fireworks on the 4th. But all of your time is spent preparing for these events then you can be ready for Christmas.
4 Christmas baking/cooking. Ok, I like this one to a point. I usually get some good treats at this time of year and I can see how that might put me in a Christmas state of mind. The sugar buzz from cookies, and candy does wonders for bad attitudes. It can wire up the kids though and that leads to problems. There is just so much of it that it becomes not so much a gift of love as a chore. Especially when making a list of who can have what. My wife makes the ultimate gift, orange rolls. You would kill for those orange rolls, in fact I've had neighbors remind us about them in August, just to make sure that we would be doing them. You have to eat them hot too, not as good cold. Still our house is like a orange roll assembly line when we are making them. Rolls raising in odd hot areas of the house and that wonderful smell that means don't touch them they are for our friends. Still it must be done to be ready for Christmas.
5 The last thing really doesn't happen as much when the kids are older. Visit Santa and see the lights time. How many malls have you been to just to take your kids to sit on Santa's knee and take a picture. How many pictures do you have with screaming kids wanting to get away from Santa? The crowds, the lines, the parking lots filled with cars. Got to do it though because how else will Santa know what is wanted for Christmas. Then there is the trip around the city to see the light shows in neighborhoods where people have more spare time then they really should have. I'd just love to see their power meter and see the dial spinning fast enough to be used as a power saw. Everyone else has the same idea so there are long traffic jams along streets that weren't designed to have that much travel. In fact city planners need to take this into consideration. If you like to decorate so much you are not allowed to live in a circle or any place that can't be reached from both ends of the street. Same with one way streets too.
So after all of this getting ready you can finally enjoy Christmas. If you have any strength left. I'm thinking next year we should just take a vacation to Hawaii. Eliminate the readiness.
Two Years Later: The Exclusion Policy
4 months ago