23 December 2015

Long, Winding, Christmas Post

It's almost Christmas and I came into the holding feeling unprepared.  I've been sick since our trip so I feel like I've missed the entire Christmas season.  Luckily for me, I'm now on Winter Break so I have days to get my stuff together.

I began at WallyWorld, not my favorite place, ranking lower than the dentist.  Of course, the first cart I chose was wobbly and loud.  I nearly just went home before I even began. It was 8:00 in the morning.

I had a semi-successful shopping trip.  I didn't bring my list because dumb.  I tried to run my card as a credit instead of debit so it was declined thus starting the panic/shame spiral until I figured out what I'd done wrong.  But on terms of WallyWorld shopping trips, successful.

Then I went to the grocery store and that went more smoothly.  For one, I could shop there blindfolded and for two, it was early enough that all the grandparents in the valley were there.  My list was done, except for one present for my grown niece.

Two stores down and I've still forgotten to buy stamps.  Then Kevin called while I was driving and I drove past my post office.  Finally, I get there and there was only a handful of people there. But the first lady in line was trying to figure out the easiest and cheapest way to send about ten over-sized envelopes.  We all wanted her dead, for five minutes, then she can be alive again because it is Christmas after all.

I buckled down as soon as I got home and wrote out about one million Christmas cards.  They're mostly going to be late, especially to our Canadian friends.  The border adds about a one week delay.  And East Coast friends, we'll see.  Sometimes the post office surprises me.  Because cards seem to be a lost art, I really want to continue to do them.  It's just nice getting something in the mail these days.

I will never understand why I feel like I could be a ballerina when I hear the Nutcracker music.  It will never make sense to me.  I'm the poster child of Not A Ballerina, short and curvy.  The other was I realized that I may have gestured stop to another driver while singing along to Frosty the Snowman.  Sorry, other driver, just busting a groove with Frosty.   On the flip side, Same Old Lange Syne by Dan Fogleberg and The River by Joni Mitchell wrecks me every time I hear them.

My family decided not to exchange gifts this year.  I am disappointed that I am at that time of my life, it's an unhappy milestone.  Instead, we are getting gifts for the toddler and my grown nieces.  I know, intellectually, I'm supposed to be understanding about this but emotionally, I'm feeling a little pouty and sad.

With Kevin's family, because there are so many of us, the adults draw names.  So each person gets two presents: one from the person who drew your name and one from their spouse/person.  Then the kids get eleventy billion presents, as it should be.  At least, though, it feels a little like Christmas still.

I got the craziest Christmas bonus at work the other day.  I don't say this to be all braggy but because it was funny.   As we know, I've had the plague since November 22.  When I came into work the other morning, there was a really pretty box of Kleenex with ribbon tied around it and a very nice card from my boss.  Like, with written sentiment and everything.

I've worked for non-profits my entire adult life so Christmas bonuses are few and far between, thus I had absolutely no expectations.  I saw the Kleenex and thought "Hahaha, I've had a cold for a month, it's a pretty box, hahahaha" and was totally happy with the card.

Hours went by when a co-worker came in and asked if I had used my kleenex.  I laughed, because what?  She laughed and said "Pull out a tissue, maybe two."   So, I did and there was one tissue then a whole bunch of $5 bills taped together in a chain.  How funny and cool was that?   Have I mentioned that I still have my dream job?

Oh, and the staff Christmas party.  I am not a party person, especially now that I don't drink.  This one was at  6:00 pm on a WEDNESDAY.  Who does that?  And, to up the difficulty level, it was at someone's house.  There was a gift exchange, which is always fun to watch.  I was the last person to pick so I had the choice of stealing any of the gifts.  Let me tell you, few things give me anxiety like anticipating having to choose a gift and I CAN'T EVEN with the thought of stealing someone elses gift.  I got a Very Cool paper lantern that I love very much.

The house decorations continue to be a challenge.  There is just something about this house that doesn't enjoy decorations.  I don't know what kind of grinch house we built but I'm slowly winning it over.  This year's challenge is that we changed the flooring so the colors of the house have changed.  (We had forest green carpet before. I know, I know, shut up) Now we have wood flooring and earth tone brownish carpet.

So, I got my pinterest on and have liberally scattered ornaments everywhere.  This seems to please the house.  Also, I have used pretty beaded rope and small string lights. Finally, Michaels (the craft store, not the former husband) has these overly glittered and shiny decorations that I love like I'm a small child.  They are very WhoVille.  (funny aside: Kevin took a bag to put a change of clothes into.  He grabbed the bag the decorations traveled home in and his clothes came out rather glittery.  Everyone wins there.)


For my birthday and unexpected riches, I went to the second hand store to browse.  I've become a Christmas ornament junkie and I wanted to see what they might have for Five, the new baby due any minute now.  Giant score!  I found a pleather jacket for him, cute jeans and onesies with heavy equipment and 4x4 trucks on them.  And, best score: a brand-new boppy pillow for mama and the baby.  $50 in the store and I bought it for $7.99. 

I also found old glass ornaments, like the ones I had as a child.  A Vegas photo album to help along my ongoing photo project, a purple track suit (they were actually separates but I have to imagine they just were separated in sorting, they match so well.  They're plum colored, that can't have been an accident)  A pillow that I don't need, I just wanted.  Two pairs of black corduroy pants.  A red fleece shirt to wear on Christmas.  My basket was full, an unusual thing for me.

I was approached by an elderly man who asked me if I had the discount today.  The store had just announced that seniors received an extra discount.  I told him no, laughed, and said "I'm not old enough yet, I'm not as cool as you."

He gave me his 30% off discount.  He said that he was looking around for someone to give it to and he chose me.  Me, the way non-hugger, hugged him and wished him a Merry Christmas.  He said "Now you can buy more things, put that discount to use!"  I  told him that we were waiting  for the arrival of my grand-nephew and he smiled.

Now, everything is wrapped, cards are sent, everything that is going to be bought/ordered has been, I dare to say that I'm ready.  So much work in just a few days.  Whew.  And it snowed yesterday and today.  Not a lot, but enough to make everything pretty.

Merry Christmas, Everyone.  I hope Santa brings you what you've wished for.  If not, there's always next year.  :)

1 comment:

Swistle said...

Favorite parts:

1. "We all wanted her dead, for five minutes, then she can be alive again because it is Christmas after all."

2. "I may have gestured stop to another driver while singing along to Frosty the Snowman. Sorry, other driver, just busting a groove with Frosty."

3. "I don't know what kind of grinch house we built but I'm slowly winning it over."

4. "He grabbed the bag the decorations traveled home in and his clothes came out rather glittery. Everyone wins there.)"