I am having a very difficult time gearing up for the holidays this year. It seems like this happens about every other year. This year I didn't save enough money, I haven't made a list nor checked it twice and I just don't have as much time to prepare. It sucks!! Usually the day after Thanksgiving I tune my radio to the All Christmas Tunes All The Time station and I don't change it until the day after Christmas, I didn't even turn to that channel until yesterday!!
Shannon, Heather and I did the Black Friday Insanity thing this year and it was fun and it did help a little to get a small dent in the list for the little kids. When you get up at 4 and spend the whole day out there you'd think you would come home with more than a few gifts though. After Black Friday though, I soooooooooooo hate dealing with the parking, the crowds, the long lines, the bombardment of ads informing us that unless we spend an absolute FORTUNE we are not showing our love. The marketing people have shown us what the perfect Christmas is supposed to be...we all sit around in our perfectly clean homes, in front of our fireplaces with a beautifully and totally coordinated Christmas tree and decorations, candles burning, smiles on all our faces, sparkly red coordinated clothing, a gentle sparkling fresh snowfall outside, we sip on red wine out of beautiful crystal wine glasses, mamma on the floor while dad is leaning gently over the arm of the sofa with his arm around mama and they smile and look into each others eyes lovingly as we open our diamond earrings and the children run down the stairs with stars in their eyes and beautiful new jammies on and everyone is wonderfully joyous and MUST absolutely get EVERYTHING THEY EVER WANTED!! Geez...even their fricking Kleenex boxes have to be in a box with an appropriate holiday theme decoration.
So maybe the problem here is that I don't have a fireplace, I'm too fat for a sparkly red coordinated outfit, the kids will come out of their rooms (we have no stairs for them to make a grand entrance) with last years pajamas that are too small and their hair is all over the freakin place, they are rubbing their eyes because one of the parents had to wake them up. Oh and the wine...one glass? Sure, then another, and another and another. No one wants it to snow on Christmas cuz then you can't GO ANYWHERE!
The real truth is that this year will be the last Christmas most likely for a couple of my friends AND my aunt won't be here. That just isn't right, it's real, but it isn't right. I just don't want to go there, so if I don't deal with the holiday, I don't deal with the issue. This is the year when the "old" grandkids go to their other parents for the holiday too...I don't like to share and I selfishly want them here every year.
My mom and I made our annual trek to the Victorian Country Christmas today. That is an event that is getting TOTALLY out of control! It is unbelievably crowded, the lines are long, people get pushy and the food is HORRIBLE! This is the first year that my mom was ready to leave before I was...not that I wasn't ready to leave but usually we wait until I am verging on being HOMICIDAL. If one more fat lady or incredibly large and bulky stroller stood in the middle of the aisle blocking everyone's movements, I was ready to scream "get the FUCK out of my way and by the way..Merry Fucking Christmas"! But it's not nice to say fuck in front of your mom so I didn't.
Honestly though, even though we don't have the "perfect" Christmas as defined by the UBA-Marketing people out there, we have a great time at Christmas and we are a very close family. We have a beautiful Christmas Eve dinner with Prime Rib, twice baked potatoes, an awesome salad with baby greens, candied walnuts, orange slices, feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette, roasted veggies, whatever dessert we decided to try, wine and chocolate eggnog. The kids do come out in the morning with their big ol hair flyin all over the place but we think it's cute and it gives us something to make fun of them about when they get older. We always get very nice gifts, usually way too many of them and the house is usually fairly clean and nicely decorated if not completely coordinated. We bake cookies, go to a tree farm for a fresh cut tree, make gingerbread houses with the little kids and have a really good time. I feel blessed that the kids stay here on Christmas Eve so we can open gifts on Christmas morning all together and enjoy a traditional Farmer's Strata for breakfast and fresh coffee. At some point they may want to change that tradition and have it at their homes, that will be fine, I want them to do it however they want, but I'm gonna stay at their house when that day comes. I am spoiled and I really can't imagine Christmas morning with just me and Mark...too weird.
I think I am starting to get in the spirit now...at least I'm workin on it. Winter is hard this year, I feel totally enveloped in darkness and can't wait for the days to get longer, the New Year to begin so I can re-evaluate my life and priorities and of course, SPRING TRAINING!