Tuesday, October 7, 2008

78 Days and Counting....

I've been remiss in the Christmas Countdown catchup. I wish I weren't; I've been doing lots better there than I have in the Grand Plan. The grand plan is awesome but a little (ok, a lot) intimidating, especially in weeks like this where I'm supposed to "focus on the bedroom" and in reality haven't put away laundry in over a week, instead just pulling from the basket.

But the countdown, while frightening in its relentless march to the holiday, has been helpful on several fronts.

1) On October 1, we were encouraged to get the Halloween stuff out since it was now October and officially permissible. I literally ran right downstairs and got Mr. Bones, our beloved skeleton from Girlfriend, and hung him from his spot on the mailbox, to the tremendous delight of both boys. And by Sunday, it was all out--the pumpkin plates and bathroom cups, the spiders from the chandelier, the faux jack-o-lanterns in the window. Of course, I just remembered I have the soft stuff (pumpkins, placemats, fingertip towels) still upstairs but I can do that tonight. Right after I put away the laundry.

2) The costume planning was also helpful. In my mind, we were settled; the boys were going as the blue engines, Thomas and Gordon. I had the right color blue paper for covering boxes and everything. Suddenly, they want to be Buzz Lightyear. Ummm...back to ebay.

3) I almost had a panic attack in late September when she suggested working on Christmas cards. I have, as Gwyneth Paltrow might say, a very first-world problem with this issue. I always have too many people on my list. Which I don't mean in a "poor me I'm so popular" way but in a "geez, I really like that person even though I'm not sure s/he knows I had a second child" kind of way. So when I write and order the cards, I do so thinking of not only the 86 family members (that's both sides, and yes, I'm in touch with almost all of them more than once a year--we are blessed) who need to get them, but also about 250 friends and colleagues and former colleagues and long lost friends and people I know on Facebook and people I met in my moms' groups and neighbors and moms of kids in my childrens' classes and my parents' friends and I think you can see my problem right here. You can guess the rest. I get the family done and then am totally out of steam for friends and others. So I currently have 150 of last year's cards downstairs. I was going to recycle them and then thought, hey, if they haven't seen my kids in two years, it'll still be new to them. And I PROMISE myself...if they are not out by 2009, they are leaving in the recycling bin. Really.

So you see why I almost had a panic attack there. Luckily, starting to think about it in September has yielded a few good things: more requests to others for pictures of the whole family so we can get a good one for the card. A resolution to write less on this one (happily, there is less to write; no big vacations, small job changes, one started school...that's it).

4) Today's post was on stocking stuffers and thinking about them now. It gives me a chance to point you here, to my friend Heather's amazing list of stocking stuffers that I pull out with love and gratitude every year. And when I go to Target tonight, it will give me some inspiration to get some little things for the boys and get started on that.

5) We don't handmake anything for the holidays (I am so un-crafty it's a kindness to all involved that I don't). But I did start working on the "big" family gift. And I didn't make the apple crisp yet but with three full bags of apples still hanging on from the CSA, I'm getting there!

Enough holiday prep for now. So far, it seems sane and sustainable. I'll skimp on the Grand Plan stuff I've been doing (much as I'm skimping on the plan itself!) except to say that I've spruced up the entryway (finally got flip flops upstairs, eliminated outgrown boots and jackets) and--yeehah--am working on the biggest completable house projects this week. Those being the glamorous new sewer line (um...yay?) and the new TV. (um...YAY!) It occurs to me that my husband has been very, very patient watching his favorite team play in the postseason for the first time in 15 years on a set with the color tubes going with nary a complaint. My hope is to have him come home on Friday to a newly installed flatscreen. Don't tell! And that will be Christmas enough for him. Really! (And I really stiffed him on his 40th. So it's all good.)


Domestic Goddess said...


I won't tell. Of course, I won't see him until Saturday, either.

listplanit said...

You are doing great! Keep up the good work!! I think this will be your best Christmas yet.