Monday, December 27, 2010

Weeks of Work...Destroyed in Seconds

Ah, Christmas.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.  Stop singing.  Really though, it is the most wonderful time of the year.  It's funny how weeks of work preparing for Christmas are destroyed in seconds. 

I am not one of those women who plans for Christmas on December 26th.  My planning begins around November 1st.  Two years ago I finally decided to try out online shopping. Holy cow, why didn't I do that sooner? became my favorite place to shop.  Great prices and free shipping, you can't beat it.  I shop in my pajamas, in bed, with a coffee in hand.  How great is that?  As the packages come in, I wrap the gifts inside.  No more mass wrapping on Christmas Eve.  That has made for a much more pleasant me come 7am Christmas day.

So, November 1st, for me, is when I start planning for Christmas.  I begin by questioning the boys about their Christmas lists.  They rattle off a the items and I take notes in my Christmas book.  Each Sunday I peruse the ads to check for sales on the wished for items.  Then I ultimately hit up Amazon to place an order.

The gifts come in.  The wrapping gets done.  The presents get hidden.  My Christmas book keeps the running tally of items that are in and wrapped.  Props to me for at least having that organized.  I've done my husband proud in this department. 

Moving forward to December.  It's time for baking.  I baked a lot this year.  Mid-December, it's gone.  There were many nights where I literally made myself sick from eating too many cookies.  Gross, I know.  But, I baked again.  A lot.  Why don't I bake this much during the year?  Oh yeah, because if I did, I would be fifty pounds heavier. 

The week before Christmas is all about tying up loose ends.  I'm making the list, and checking it twice.  A trip to the dollar store completes the Christmas stocking stuffers.  Next, I swing by the grocery store to stock the fridge and cupboards...again.  I make one last stop at Home Depot for rock salt.  Joey really wanted an ice cream maker.  Home Depot only sells a fifty pound bag of the salt.  Like Xena the Warrior Princess I throw that bag over my shoulder with pride.  This completes the last of my Christmas needs.  I am momma, hear me roar!

Christmas Eve, we arrive home and unload the enormous amount of presents they have already received from grandma.  Really, I didn't even need to buy anything.  We do our Christmas Eve things and get the kiddos to bed.  It's 8:48 and the five of them are asleep.  Game time.  My face is beaming a bit because I know I have mastered the planning this year.  This set up will be a breeze.  Yay, me. 

Strategically I begin to carefully place the presents under the tree.  It's all about the presentation.  My husband, Joe, is filling the stockings with goodies.  The cat is running through the presents like a maniac.  He gets thrown in the basement.  The living room is staged for Christmas morning.  I pause to admire my work and capture some pictures.  All the planning, and shopping, and wrapping, and number crunching, and hiding, and baking, and loading, and unloading, and setting up is now complete.  Here sits all of my hard work in its glory.  How beautiful.  The house is quiet.  It's picture perfect.  But, in less than 8 hours, madness will begin.  The magazine worthy, present filled living room, will soon be destroyed.

Like I predicted, 8 hours later, three bouncing boys awaken to tear up the beautiful living room.  They don't care about the presentation.  They don't stop to admire the carefully placed presents.  They see presents and they want them open.  Instantly, they ravage through the wrapping paper.  Soon, you cannot see the rug or the gifts that have been opened.  Paper is everywhere, boxes and those annoying wires that hold the toys in place, are scattered all over the house.  My hard work has culminated into a pile of stuff that has taken over the living room.  Weeks of work have been destroyed in seconds.  In the midst of the stuff are five children beaming with Christmas joy.  Santa has come. 

The beaming children make all the weeks of planning worth it.  Next year, I'll do it all again.  Before I could stop to think about that, I tore into my presents, and scattered paper everywhere, just like the kids. 

Memo:  We will not discuss the messy bathroom, sky high laundry pile, full dishwasher that needs to be emptied and refilled, and all the bedrooms that have also been destroyed this weekend.  That's too much to process.
Perfectly placed presents
The look on his face makes it all worth it!

The Mario figures were a big hit.
Jadon's fav is Luigi.

Elia enjoying unwrapping.
SOME of the mess.  I had already cleaned half of the mess so Gracie could walk without being injured.

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