Buckeyes rolling around in my refrigerator. I have a kid who is in the middle of finals so has yet to text me his Christmas list (socks and underwear it is then). I have a pile of unwrapped presents that need to be mailed to my in-laws' house, which also means I have a trip to the chaos that is the Post Office at the holidays in my near future. I have little more than socks and underwear for my husband's stocking (are you sensing a theme yet?). My mother's gift has not yet shipped from the manufacturer. My husband said he'd come up with a gift for my brother-in-law (he hasn't). And my sister has never sent me any suggestions for her three young children's gifts. Not that I'm keeping score or anything. OK, I am keeping score. And from my vantage point, it looks like it's late in the fourth quarter and I'll need a Hail Mary to even tie (I'd say to win except my niece and nephews are going to be terribly unimpressed with their socks and underwear). On the plus side, I finally found the wreath hanger for the front door so the wreath can shed its needles all over the door step instead of in the house. Baby steps.
I have to be honest, being frantic or frazzled doesn't inspire Christmas cheer. But maybe if I got into the spirit of the season a little, I wouldn't be so stressed. It is quite the circularity, isn't it? So I think I need to settle in with some Christmas books and some Christmas movies and practice some deep breathing techniques (they didn't come in handy during labor but maybe they'll work now). I don't tend to like heartwarming Christmas stories, preferring funny or warped. I mean, last night watching Rudolph (it was the 51st anniversary of it first appearing on tv), I might have remarked on what an arsehole Santa (and Donner and the chief elf, and the young reindeer, and Clarice's father, and, and, and) was. Hard to imagine, I know, but it's fairly difficult to find holiday themed books and movies that hit my sweet spot. I think I've got the movies sorted with several Mrs. Brown's Boys Christmas specials (if you haven't read Brendan O'Carroll's The Mammy, read it--not a Christmas book but the inspiration for this completely hilarious and inappropriate series) but I keep running up against the dreaded "heartwarming" word in looking at Christmas books, David Sedaris excepted. And I've already read his book. Any suggestions for me? If you don't have any books to suggest, I'll take offers to dip those Buckeyes, wrap presents, stand in line at the PO, or shop for me too. Oh!!! Stop the presses! That's all I want for Christmas: an assistant, elvish or not, to take all of this crazy off of my shoulders so I can just concentrate on my usual levels of batty. But I need Santa to drop said assistant off before Christmas please. (And Santa, I'm awfully sorry I called you an arsehole last night--you kinda were, but if it gets me an assistant, I can be sorry I mentioned it.)
In trying to get myself closer to finished with Christmas, I haven't been reading as much as usual but this past week my reading travels did take me to India and Rhode Island as one brother grappled with his brother's loss and legacy to him, to New York City as Santa's letters from the poorest children were answered and then exploited, and to historic England as a married vicar fell in love with the earl's sister. I am still traveling through England's domestic realm before World War II, New York as a young woman traces what happened to her great aunt's art work, at the medical clinic with a father hoping to have his son "resurrected," and entrenched in upper class Britain between the wars with a family modeled after the Mitfords. Where did your reading take you this past week?