To either hear those sleigh bells jinglin’ or roast someone’s chestnuts over an open fire.
There are so many expectations with Christmas. From the day of Thanksgiving and being trampled in a Walmart by some dude wearing a blinking reindeer nose, to Christmas Day where you either see smiles a mile long from the gift you so thoughtfully purchased for your Aunt Bethany (it was a jello mold), or snarls and condescending eye-rolls from your sister because you got her a feed bag to put over her mouth; a gentle clue to shut the fuck up.
There are some Christmas requirements I enjoy: decorating our Christmas tree, baking cookies, and spending time with my husband and kids.
Aaand, that’s about it.
Everything else is a royal pain in the ass. When my son was younger–this would be around the ages of 1 through 10–I would have to do a clean sweep of his room to get rid of all the stuff he was too old to play with, broken beyond repair, had missing parts, or he just never played with it. This “sweep” had to be done in order to make way for the onslaught of brand new toys that were coming in to take their places. By the way, he was never around when I did this. If he was, nothing would have ended up at Goodwill or the trash can.
That Kin-ex roller coaster I bought him (ahem) Santa bought him took me three days to put together. I had intended it to be a project for my son and me, but my son, who by the way was extremely interested in the roller coaster when we saw it a month prior, lost interest about thirty minutes after we opened the box and he saw the 300 pieces it took to put together.
But, I spent three days putting that sucker together. I played with it. It took up our entire loft space. I didn’t have the heart to take it down. My son enjoyed it for about an hour and then became more engaged with Lego’s.
If I ever step on another Lego it will be too soon. At least my dogs won’t eat another Lego since my kid is now 21, and I won’t have to go outside in the dark with a flashlight to dissect any dog poop to see if a yellow Lego made its way out of my dog’s colon.
Now that the kids are older, they are pretty much dedicated to wanting gift cards and of course, the all-mighty dollar. This makes Christmas buying for me and my husband much easier.
Of course, it would also make Christmas present opening a lot quicker and boring. So, I’m making a game of it this year; consider Amazing Race meets Blues Clues. I can’t say anymore because it’s quite possible one of the kids actually reads my blog.
The shopping thing, along with the parking thing, and the wrapping thing are the goiters on my ass. Some people wake up one morning and dance with glee that they get to walk miles and miles, along with other disgruntled shoppers, to find the plaid infinity scarf your friend wants. I, on the other hand, would prefer to walk a few steps to my computer and go onto Etsy. Everything on that site is handmade, original, and very affordable. The best thing? The only thing you need to park is your ass in the front of the computer; a front row parking space and you don’t even need a handicap sign.
Wrapping is a whole other matter. I hate it–both the task and the music.
My goal to wrap odd shaped gifts with wrapping paper and tape ends up in a blaze of unwanted glory. The snowball goes straight to hell. I could just stick the thing in a bag with tissue paper, but I rarely turn down a challenge. The other problem with rolls of wrapping paper is that they like to remain that way; as a roll.
You unroll it. It rolls back up. You unroll it again. It rolls back up when you’re not looking. This is where you need to find a paper weight to hold the determined roll down, which then causes you to rip the paper while you’re cutting it with scissors that can’t even cut through butter.
Then, there’s my nemesis; the tape. If you don’t have a heavy tape dispenser, just forget about using tape and just buy plenty of gift bags with plenty of tissue paper. I think the same guy who invented saran wrap invented tape.
Just a thought.
Helpful hint: Did you know that you can use the tissue paper to wipe your ass? It’s the same quality of paper used in most restaurants. The only difference is the paper is colored. So, if you wipe your ass with green tissue paper, don’t do it before you have a colonoscopy.
You’ll have some explaining to do.
I can’t put presents under the tree. I have four dogs, remember? None of them are named Snots either (thank God). So, I have to keep gifts in a closet where they’ll be free of dog hair, wet noses, and curious paws–as well as jaws–until Christmas eve.
I don’t have any issues with baking Christmas cookies. I used to make seven or eight different kinds. But, now I only bake two kinds because those are the only ones my kids devour. I used to hand out cookies to neighbors in pretty tins with tissue paper hugging them inside. I stopped this tradition when we moved because it was putting too many expectations on my part. Plus, my new neighbors don’t expect cookies because they never received them.
A win for Nancy!
Christmas has become easier for me because the kids are older, and I insist on not putting any big expectations upon myself because that just stresses me out, and who the hell needs stress this time of year?
Santa can have that job.