Wednesday, December 29

No Santa for Christmas

Whoa. I like the idea behind Santa, but never liked the lies. This really got me thinking.

I hated finding out that my parents had lied to me or held something back from me no matter what it was or what their reason. I had thought that I wouldn't be perpetuating the Santa story myself when I had kids, but hadn't sat down and worked out how I would get it done.

At a friend's place a little while ago, I was told "Santa will be making a visit this year!" The original grandpa who played Santa had passed away about a month before, and this was the host's way of telling me that someone was going to step in to play Santa for her two grandsons this Christmas. No one in my family ever played Santa, and this may be why I thought it was an odd tradition at first. I thought that having a relative play the role would expedite the process of bursting the myth.

I have no idea how I will be handling all of this once kids come around. I don't want to mislead them, but I also don't want to have them bursting anyone else's bubble. I'll be googling this for more views for sure.

Christmas is done

Wow - I am so tired. After my aunt arrived, her son, my cousin, decided to fly across the country and surprise everyone on Christmas eve. Whoa - that was a surprise. We set up a blow-up mattress for him, but it couldn't seem to keep air in it for the whole night. I hope it was just the missing cap, because I need to use that again this summer.

I had a good Christmas, but it was very full. Hosting a dinner for twelve and having our first out of town overnight guests took a lot out of me. I had hoped that having gone to bed at 9 last night would have gotten me back up to my old self, but I still need a nap. Hopefully I'll get one in time for New Years Eve!

Thursday, December 23

2 days until Christmas

I am crazy. I should have taken the couple of days before Christmas off as holidays, but thought it would be slow enough at work that I would be wasting my vacation time. I stayed home from work yesterday due to too much holiday cheer the night before. Thank goodness I did. I got a call around 10am that my aunt was coming to town for Christmas that day. The same aunt who I had offered to have stay at my place two or three weeks ago and she said she would be staying at home.

So yesterday I ran around trying to get everything done. I got the oil changed on the car, bought gravy and various groceries, borrowed an extra chair for my aunt to put her stuff on in the spare room, bought nightlights for the hallway and bathroom, bought a Christmas gift for said aunt, and bought a Christmas gift for my sister from my uncle. Not quite the relaxing day at home that I envisioned, but boy I was glad I didn't leave a bunch of other things to the last minute.

Something else I would like to share, people don't like to know that you've got Christmas under control. I had shared my joy at not having to hit the stores this past Saturday to a few friends and they were all like "Uh-huh." They just don't want to know.

Tuesday, December 21

4 days left

Four days left until Christmas. I bought a gift for my grandmother Friday after work. It really made my weekend that I didn't have to go into a single store that last Saturday before Christmas. Especially when we drove past the mall and saw the cars in a traffic jam all around the mall. It's a Christmas victory!

Of course, having just written that, I realize that I committed just this past Sunday to pick up a gift for my sister on behalf of another relative - so I'll need to go out there tonight or tomorrow. But it's got to be better than the last Saturday before Christmas!

Wish me luck on cooking a turkey for the first time!

Thursday, December 16

Christmas Pictures

We have a friend who spent $200 on Christmas pictures of their baby (first child) at Walmart. They were a little disappointed in the pictures, particularly of the low-res digital file they paid $15 for, and a little of the process. Amazingly they chose Walmart as they didn't want to pay the extra sitting fee that Sears charges.

Wouldn't the sitting fee be better amortized over all those pictures they bought when they were spending so much? And the service is just so much better at Sears. They let you preview pictures and don't force you into choosing just a couple. What is most amazing about this is that this family has a wonderful digital camera, and could have taken a million pictures of their wee one in her Christmas outfit themselves and had the results printed anywhere (including for 25¢ a piece at Walmart or 29¢ at Shoppers Drug Mart).

Having just read Why Family Portrait, Why? I wonder what we will do about Christmas pictures once we have kids - or should we have done one this year? We received a cute Christmas card the other day from another couple who doesn't have kids, which included a very cute picture of their new dog in a Christmas outfit and one of the two of them. Perhaps I really enjoyed their picture/card as they live quite a distance away and we don't usually see them more than once every year or two.

And Christmas newsletters... will I start doing one of those once we have kids? And how will I write it to be short and sweet and not annoy the heck out of all who receive it? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 15

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells...

Well we're down to one gift to figure out and two that are figured out that we just have to buy. Grandmother's are tough. I'm going to have to spend some serious mall time to figure this one out.

Looks like winter is here to stay. It was minus eighteen this morning when we left the house and there is significant piles of snow all over the place.

Friday, December 10

Christmas is coming!

I am very excited for Christmas, and so happy that I'm well organized this year. I haven't been feeling guilty for not yet mailing Christmas cards or waiting until the last minute to buy gifts. This great mood may also have to do with the fact that I haven't spent a lot of time trolling the malls this December. I have limited the mall-crawling to the mall near my work on my early lunch hour a couple times a week when the mall isn't exceptionally busy and just a trip or two to the other malls around town. I've also worked to avoid the stores on Saturday. That can be deadly.

I've bought or figured out gifts for everyone but one - my grandmother. This is going to be tough, but I've got 15 days left until Christmas to figure out that one gift. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 7

Christmas Cards - Check, Gift Buying - Half Done!

Last night my husband scurried out of the house after dinner and a Star Wars flick, which gave me a couple of free hours to wrap his and other gifts that had been building up. We've got everyone but a few covered now. We're down to four, and those four are tough ones. But the good thing is that we have 17 days until Christmas to put our heads together and figure out what we are going to get them.

The night before I wrote out our Christmas cards. I think this will be the first year where I've gotten our Christmas cards written and mailed before we received our first one.

The snow really has spurred me into action in getting Christmas things together. I've gone out on my lunch hour Christmas shopping at least 5 times in the last two weeks - I'll have to start baking soon to round things out.

Friday, December 3

Turning 30

I haven't turned 30 yet, but I've been thinking about it since just before I turned 29. I don't know that I have much to say about it, but I found some reflections here. I particularly enjoy item 20

The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty... The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits. (Hervey Allen)

I'm not freaked out about 30, but it is definitely a milestone. I'm not quite where I thought I'd be when I thought about being 30 when I was 10 or 15, but I'm quite happy with where I am. I've got a permanent, steady job with benefits after being out of regular employment for a year and a half, I am now married to my perfect partner, we have a house we have bought to grow into, and have plans to start trying to get pregnant in the new year.

Perhaps it's that I've matured quite a bit in the past few years, or the fact that my husband turned 40 before I had a chance to hit 30, but I'm very relaxed about it. Turning 26 was the last time my birthday felt like a milestone. It might not to others, but I saw it like a gauge on a dashboard, with 20 being the low end and 30 being the high end. Turning 26 meant that gauge was now past the half-way point and I was now closer to 30 than I was to 20. 26 felt like a much bigger deal than the upcoming 30 is feeling.

More Snow!!!

It is officially winter, unofficially. While whatever body that decides winter starts on December 21st might not agree with me, I declare that it is now officially winter.

The evidence:
1. We got a pile of snow the other day and we actually had to use the snowblower.
2. I started the car at least 15 minutes before I left this morning and still had to scrape ice off of the windshield.
3. I've worn my tuque at least 3 times this week and didn't care how silly I looked, just that I was warm.
4. I am totally into Christmas shopping now.

It's amazing how snow can really set the mood for Christmas, but I'm not even half way through my list yet. I have made some inroads though. I bought a big gift for my husband, we have gotten our gift for my step-father and my brother, and my husband has bought gifts for both of my sisters. So two down so far, and eight to go, but three are half done.

If there is anyone out there reading this I would love to know your gift ideas for the adult gift receivers in your life. The older they are, the tougher they are to buy for.