Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Wrap-Up

This is what I learned over my Christmas vacation:

1. Trying to do last minute shopping the week of  Christmas while your child is with you is unpleasant for you, your child, the people that work at Target, and the people shopping in Target. Also, lets not forget your husband, who gets to listen to a play by play of how your child has the manners of a wild animal because she took her socks and shoes off and threw them on the floor while she screamed and thrashed in the cart, all while he is desperately trying to surf the Internet and blend in with the couch cushions. It is good for no one. NO ONE. And it doesn't get any better the second and third time you go.

2. Two year olds find the idea of Santa lovely and the reality of Santa terrifying. (see pics here ) It is confusing for you and them. Just go with it and hope for more understanding next year of the concept of a huge man in a weird red suit that comes down your chimney to reverse rob you. Not to mention your parents try to force you onto his lap, which is weird because they don't love strangers touching you. Ever. Hopefully three year olds are less leery of beards and more interested in the idea that being good gets you gifts.
Santa, you don't want to meet this in a dark alley.

3. Dogs do not like dry grits. Not even the expensive fancy kind.

4. Dogs do not like swedish fish. Not even the expensive kind.

5. I should not purchase food as gifts and leave them on the guest bed. Related, my dog owes me $20 for ruined grits and swedish fish. Actually only $15. We ate the candy anyway.

6. Getting Christmas cards is one of the best parts of the season. I love seeing everyone's kids and dogs and happy smiling faces. It makes the mail exciting. That is no easy feat when normally the only things in the mail are bills and offers to refinance our house. (side note: they should not be allowed to make those look so official. Twice a week I think the government is sending me a letter.) We got a lot less this year so I am thinking there are two possible scenarios: 1) people are cutting back to save money or 2) I have offended a lot of people in some way via the words coming out of mouth. Honestly, either is a valid possibility.

7. Having a child with a birthday directly after Christmas is stressful to the max. Here is hoping I can get it together to have more than stale Christmas cookies and half a bottle of wine at her party. One would think I learned my lesson last year when I was out frantically buying her birthday prezzies the day before the blessed event. I swore I would buy everything before Christmas this year in order to be ready for a no-stress birthday for Lady Baby. Didn't happen. I thought about. I made lists. I shopped around for price comparisons on kitchens for shawtys. I did not purchase. I did not even order. Fingers crossed for amazing sales post-Christmas. I am now lying to myself that I waited so I could get an amazing deal. It makes me feel better, okay? Give me a break.

8. Everyone loves a good fake mustache. 

9. Traveling for Christmas has its perks. Growing up we always hit up both grandparents houses on Christmas day. Christmas mornings were an exciting and frantic rush of running around town leaving torn wrapping paper and cookie crumbs in our wake. It was late afternoon before we ever even got to really tear into our toys and play with them. Now that we have a family, travel is involved with almost every holiday. The downside is holiday traffic on 95 makes you want to throttle your spouse and put a muzzle on your child, then sit in the floor board weeping. The upside is four days of uninterrupted family time. It is both relaxing and fun. And it is at someone else's house, so you can enjoy 72 boxes worth of Christmas decorations at your parent's house, while you only have a wreath on your own house. Win-win.

10. Two year olds sleep better in the seldom seen extra-large pack n' plays than in tiny regular ones. Our last few trips have been NIGHTMARISH challenging in the sleep department. We are talking screaming at bedtime, inconsolable sobbing, and basic refusal of all things having to do with her pack n' play. My parent's neighbor's loaned us a crazy big one that is more like a playpen. Goodbye child in my bed who flops around like a goldfish that jumped out of its bowl. Goodbye child who thinks I am the mattress and the pillow. Goodbye feet in my ribs, feet in my boobs, feet in my face. Hello peaceful sleep until 8 am. Those things are worth whatever the BRU is charging for them. They say you can never make up lost sleep. Once it is gone, by way of a crazy baby who sits up and laughs maniacally in the middle of the night, it is gone. And it ain't ever coming back. 

11. When your husband tells you that your new phone (replacing the one you may or may not have broken) is your Christmas gift,  ignore him. It is a lie. He is only trying to make you mad, so that you will bitch a lot about being unappreciated and unloved to anyone that will listen. Then he swoops in and gives you an amazing gift. Like a Kindle. Then you feel like a huge b-hole because you told everyone that he sucks at gift giving. But he doesn't because he always does this. Except for the time he only gave you a book and a CD. But every other time, pretty freaking awesome. Someone please remind me to give him something amazeballs next year. Like a trip to Mt Kilaminjaro or a weekend at some sports related fantasy camp for grown men. Something better than some running clothes and shampoo. Future me thanks you. 

12. Preschools hate parents. Why else would they close when we need them most? They should be open, with extra availability,  until 7pm on Christmas Eve. Then maybe I would have been able to bake some cookies and wrap my gifts in peace. Instead, no cookies and two hours of trying to keep a toddler off the dining room table while I wrapped gifts. Thanks for nothing, preschool. Don't get me started on after Christmas. On our last day before the holidays, they said, "See you on the 5th," and I literally felt unwell. The children get all geeked up from gifts and sugar and staying up late and being spoiled by grandparents, and we have to keep them at home while they are coming down from that? Kill me now. My child needs preschool. Almost as much as I do. We should not have to go through holiday detox alone. 

Now we all have another year until it all happens again. You can stop trying to think of amazingly clever situations for your elf on the shelf, you can stop sweeping up dead pine needles and tinsel, you can stop racking your brain to figure out where you hid your husband's stocking stuffers. Get out the champagne, buy the new calendar, and dig out your gym membership card. Christmas is over and 2012 is upon us.  


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