I managed to finally decorate the house for Christmas. Nevermind that I then discovered that the top two layers of branches on the prelit fake Christmas tree no longer work. I poked those suckers in anyway and am going to just go with our own version of a redneck Christmas this year. I thought about doing that Pinterest craft where you glue together small mirrors and hang them in the tree so that they multiply the lights but then I realized that they can't multiply lights that refuse to shine. So its a good thing I didn't waste my time on that craft (although I did pin it for next year because hey, Pinterest is like the Dollar Store of the internet: if you don't pin it now, when you go back to get it, you might never find it again and seriously I have always envisioned myself as someone with her shit together, another Martha Stewart if you will, despite ample evidence to the contrary). I'm almost entirely finished with my present shopping. Wrapping, now that's another story entirely but I may invoke my dad and husband's genius ideas of simply folding the top of the shopping bag over and taping it shut. Can you picture Christmas chez K. now? A partially dark Christmas tree sans ornaments (did I mention I haven't yet convinced the kids to decorate the tree) with piles of Target and Walmart bags artfully arranged beneath it. As an added bonus, amazon boxes require no taping shut to stay secret before Christmas day. Festive, no?
I also managed to successfully threaten my children so that they would cooperate long enough to take a Christmas picture for our cards. Thanks to the evil input of my friend C., I told them that if they didn't let me take a decent picture, I'd take pictures of them sleeping and put those snaps on a card to send out. The 15 year old thought that was fairly creepy sounding although the 10 year old was ready to buy into it as a choice. I did take the pictures as collateral and even had the perfect tagline for the card: And Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in Their Heads. Sadly no one was drooling the night I snuck in to take the pictures but that's what photoshop is for, right?! Since I finally had the actual picture, I also managed to order the cards. Unfortunately, the delivery date for them could very well be after we leave to spend time with my family. I guess folks will be getting post-Christmas cards from here this year. At the rate my last minute laziness is overtaking me, our 2013 cards (provided the Mayans are wrong) will actually turn into 2014 Valentine's Day cards.
Aside from Christmas related chaos, there were other add-ons to the routine. First I fielded a phone call from the assistant principal at the elementary school telling me that my youngest has been discussing a girl's boobs with one of his buddies. He also passed on a nasty rumor about said girl but the a.p. was quick to reassure me that they know he didn't actually start said rumor. Well, golly. That's a relief. :-P Given that the boys were told that their comments could be considered sexual harassment, I then got to explain what that was (and admit I was unclear as to why the a.p. was using the term so incorrectly but to suggest that plain old bullying, which is what this was in my book, was just as bad and that if I heard anything further on this or any other bully situation that T. would not be sitting down for a week and would be grounded indefinitely). This raising kids thing can really suck eggs. At least that was the only bad thing of the week, as long as you don't count the foul, smelly porta-potties at this weekend's soccer tournament (and heaven knows I'm trying to wipe them from my memory). More entertainingly, W. and R. had a club outing to an ice rink and we (D. and I) got to watch numerous crashes and tense wall clutching as so many of the kids hadn't ever had skates on their feet ever before. And all of this was accomplished while trying to maintain their high school dignity and to flirt. Truly giggle worthy. The things that pass as Friday night entertainment for old married folks. ;-) Date night with D. and then a Christmas party at one of his former colleague's house where I knew no one (an introvert's worst nightmare but a legitimate Christmas gift to my husband from me given that he knows my aversion to stuff like this--and the bonus is that it's a gift I didn't have to wrap and one I can use in my favor for the next several months as well) rounded out the go-go-go week for me.
Luckily I did manage to carve out some reading time to slow me down in between all of the hustle and bustle. I moved to France and accumulated small, meaningful objects that helped to ground me when depression set in. I lived the nightmare of losing a child and then 19 years later uncovering the truth about that day through the incredible act of forgiving his murderer. I created a support group of disparate women who had one thing in common: that they were all young widows and spent the next year opening myself up to life and love again. I am still in the midst of several other fictional (and non-fictional) journeys so this week will take me to new and different places as I contemplate everything I still have left to do: finish making the Buckeyes that are a staple of my mom and grandmother's stockings and which are meanly tempting the kids with sweet wafts of sugary peanut butter each time they open the fridge (peanut butter balls are rolled but not yet dipped in chocolate), write and print out the Christmas letter, and maybe, if I get inspired, actually decorate the Christmas tree and wrap the presents in something other than the plastic bags they came in. OK, that last bit might be pushing things a little too far.
Have you had a busy week too? What books have you been reading to take you out of your holiday madness?