So Christmas is Tuesday.
The Little Professor keeps telling me he "just can't wait" however many days it is until Christmas. Every day, he tells me this, and the only thing that changes is the number of days he "just can't wait."
Chatting with Downstairs Mary (Goddess of Grids and Assorted Newspaper Layouts) earlier, we were commiserating over running around like mad women whose hair is on fire during the holiday season. The week before Christmas, the kids had me running to four Christmas parties, one community service project and one concert. (The Sainted Child's trumpet was to be wheezing along with the rest of the band; I need to get that kid some Miles Davis albums for inspiration.)
"I just can't wait until New Year," I told her. "Then it will be all over."
It will be all over, and there is a lot of it. We've already decorated the tree, but we need to wrap, and I'm going to do it before Christmas Eve. (I say this every year, and each year, I am up until ridiculously late on Christmas Eve, wrapping gifts that will be unwrapped mere hours after they were wrapped.)
Grandmama and the kids made cookies. This is a complex affair, and my mother's kitchen always looks like a war zone afterwards. My kitchen already looks like a war zone, so I don't need any cookie-making to make it look even worse. I do heat up some of those break-and-bake cookies, which taste just as good. However, the kids look down their noses at them because they aren't "homemade." These kids obviously have never tasted my homemade; break-and-bake is superior.
The kids made sugar cookies - complete with icing and colored sugar. I am taking bets on how long it will take her to find every bit of the green and red sugar; smart money is on February. These are "Santa cookies" and I am not allowed to eat them. By the time Christmas gets here, they're going to be stale and Santa isn't going to be happy.
I still need to take the kids shopping for gifts for the Long Suffering Husband. He's so hard to shop for because a) he doesn't have hobbies and b) he asks for the same thing every year - slacks. What kind of Christmas gift is that? It isn't fun. It's useful and practical. It's so him. I, of course, make it super easy for him to shop for me, because I show the kids a wide range of things I'd like to have, so all he has to do is follow them around.
Then, of course, there's all the Christmas day rituals. Of course, my children can't just leave out a plate of cookies. That would be too simple; too easy. There are movies that have to be watched and books that have to be read. We need to eat cookies and drink hot chocolate, listen to Christmas music and wrap last minute presents. We have to track Santa on NORAD's Santa Tracker (www.noradsanta.org), easily one of the most awesome things to come out of the U.S. government in recent memory. (You can actually use the Santa tracker in the days up to Christmas, and it has information on giving back to our active-duty military during the season; very cool.) We must put out reindeer treats for Santa's tired fleet - glitter and oatmeal (the glitter makes it magic).
Only after we have done all these things, can we put out the cookies and milk and a letter wishing Santa well.
... you know what? Now that I think about it, I just can't wait either.
(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)