Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Shhhh... it's Christmas!

It's the middle of the night, and I finished stuffing the stockings an hour ago. The strata is bubbling in my spiffy new Crock Pot (that's "Big Ass Crock Pot" to me), the coffee pot is set for Wesley. He'll get up in an hour to go to work.

I'm exhausted from the massive effort necessary to get ready for the holiday. For days and days, I've been baking or pre-assembling food to serve on Christmas day to my sisters and my brother-in-law. We have champagne chilling in the fridge, and the kids have sparkling cider to drink a toast to the goodies they got this year.

Yamy confessed to feeling something of a letdown this year. I know how she feels. I hope that she will enjoy the day more once she gets to my house and spends several hours with us. We do so adore her; we fight over who gets to sit with her to chat.

I did a rotten job of shopping this year -- I'm giving everyone gift cards. *Everyone*. Except Martha, who gets the world's cutest'n'sweetest cockatiel. Our nephew Christopher got cash -- so much that he actually hugged us at my mother-in-law's house tonight -- right there in front of his way-too-serious-for-his-age girlfriend.

(Whoops -- I just realized I can't remember her name. It might be Marnie. But don't count on it.) (She's very cute.) (I just didn't expect to meet a *girlfriend*. Christopher is 11 months younger than Emily.)

Emily made a box to wrap Christopher's cash in -- I'll have to upload the picture tomorrow during a lull in the day... if there is such a thing as a lull!

Anyway, the thing is -- we weren't terribly inspired in the gift-giving department this year. Of course, that made the shopping and wrapping duties lighter than usual. And that's a good thing. But I feel guilty because -- well -- I *asked* for gift cards, and I *got* gift cards, but darn it, I didn't get the kind of gift cards I really wanted. I have three gift cards for Lane Bryant, which is great, because I'll be able to get something spiffy to wear. But I only got a $25 card for Starbucks, and really, I wanted *more*. At least for Starbucks. Isn't that awful of me to be greedy like that? And when it was time to come home from Louise's house, I packed up my loot in one hand. Seriously. It's hard to feel very festive if you aren't loaded down with parcels.

So -- if *I* feel this letdown from getting gift cards that I *wanted* -- then how do my in-laws feel about the gift cards they got from me?

Oh, well, the food was good. My sister-in-law Cheryl made little weenies in grape-jelly-and-mustard barbecue sauce. That was a new-old treat. (I remember those from the 70's!!! ROFL!!! Talk about comfort food!) And my MIL makes the most sublime mulled cider in the world. I swear, that's the one thing I look forward to most at her house!

The biggest disappointment/letdown, of course, is my kids. I honestly, sincerely, really couldn't shop for them. Emily's wish list was too extravagant and wild; Woodrow's wish list was too short and puny. We got stocking stuffers and cash for the kids. It's been great, because I kept telling the kids that I didn't buy them anything. "You were bad, bad kids," I tell them, "I didn't buy anything for you, and Santa isn't going to give you anything, either." This has led to *hours* of entertainment while they berated me and insisted that *of course* I bought them stuff. And they no longer *believe* in Santa Claus.

When I made my to-do list for Dec. 24th, I even had an item called "Wrap kids' empty boxes." We put the cash in pizza boxes and wrapped those. I encourage the kids to shake and rattle those presents. They are mystified by the seemingly empty presents, festively wrapped, beautifully bowed, and sitting under the tree with their names on them.

But -- now it's Christmas Eve -- well, Christmas day, 3:30 or so in the morning -- and, dagnabbit, I feel I should have gone to more trouble. I should have figured out some way to buy an X Box for them or something. They're good kids. I like 'em a little. They *deserve* extravagant gifts that they wouldn't think of asking for.

When the kids were little, I learned to start assembling toys *days* before Christmas. (A single Christmas Eve spent assembling presents taught me that valuable lesson.) Back then, toys were cheap and plentiful and big and plastic and garish. Once I made a huge pink Barbie yacht for Emily and a gargantuan blue HotWheels garage for Woodrow. *That* was a crowded Christmas.

This year, the stockings look so lonely without piles of toys under them.

It's days like this that I actually look forward to being a grandparent. Yeah, I said it. I look forward to having grandkids to spoil.

Oh, well. It's Christmas. At least the food will be great. Maybe the Harry & David Royal Riviera Pears will make up for the nonexistent mountains of wrapping paper and the noise of toddlers running around breaking brand-new toys.

And if that doesn't work, I could always try to talk my sister Martha into letting me keep her cockatiel. ROFL!!!!

Merry, merry, y'all, and happy, happy. Don't forget to take pictures. Your kids are going to be 17 and 13 before you know it.


At 26/12/05 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Bay!

Truthfully...I would have preferred gift cards to what I got. Somehow a gift card sounds much nicer than soap....which is what I got from my inlaws. Soap and a perfume I haven't worn in 10 years because it still makes me nauseous to smell it since I wore it when I was pregnant with Kristin.

If a gift card had come my way, I'd be happier. So don't beat yourself up about it. At least you didn't give them soap.


Post a Comment

<< Home