Life seems to move so quickly. The days fly by and the holidays pass in a blur. There are days when I feel good just keeping the clothes and dishes clean and food on the table. My sewing stack threatens to topple over. I was going to spend Saturday working on a new dress for DD2, when I realized the laundry needed attention, then the dishwasher needed to be emptied and re-loaded, and something else had to be done, then when my conscience was clear, I was too exhausted to think about anything other than a nap. That’s pretty much been how the last few weeks have been going. It feels as if a cold is hanging out, just waiting for the right moment to full-out take over and put me on my butt.
The good news is that there isn’t much Christmas shopping to do. A couple of years ago I started shopping year round and stashing the loot. I have to keep a record of what I buy and spend so the stash doesn’t get out of control, but I really enjoy thinking about what would make the kids happy all year long, rather than waiting to stress about it for a month or two. We still buy some things last minute, especially after I total each of the kids’ stashes. We’re not looking to get things even to the nearest penny, but try to avoid $20-$40 gaps. (We have those right now.) Sometimes the gaps are there, but not noticeable to the eye and we don’t correct them. When keeping track of what I spend, I also mark the original price if I got an item on sale or clearance. It’s extra motivation at the end of the year to see what I avoided spending.
I put some Christmas decorations up today: stockings, a garland, stands with glass snowflakes that the girls made, and a countdown calendar that my mom made for the kids years ago. I don’t plan on having the tree up for Thanksgiving, but my mom always has the house decked out for us when we go there for the holiday, so we can do at least some decorating for her. Of course, decorating kicks me in the rear end to dust too, so it was a logical combination. The floors still need to be Swiffed and mopped. My fingers are crossed that if the cats puke, they’ll at least do so on the linoleum. The carpets are currently soaking up the spot cleaners for the most recent batch of cat decorating.
We’re getting excited about our up-coming vacation. The oldest two are nearing the realm of summer jobs, so we decided to spend the Disney points we’ve been saving for years (and which are about to start expiring) and go to Disney World over semester break. They’ll miss two days of school, but vacations are important to us and we don’t know how many more will be taken with all three of the kids. Of course, geek that I am, thinking of the ‘last family vacation’ makes my mind jump to ‘the last doll’ in A Little Princess. But I digress. The teachers won’t be thrilled, but DH and I decided years ago that the few years we have the kids go too quickly to worry about a couple of days of school, especially when we don’t do it every year and the kids are good students.
We’ve been blessed to go to Disney twice before, and DH and I are ready to jump into the spirit of things and be kids again (I admit it. I ‘bounced’ with Tigger the last time we went). This will be a different kind of visit as the girls are willing to ride some roller coasters now, and our son will probably actually enjoy Thunder Mountain this time. (He and my eldest cried on it the last time we went, and DD2 wouldn’t try it.) This trip won’t be focusing on meeting characters, but we will get pictures with those whom we haven’t in the past, or a couple who have special places in hearts, and we won’t get autographs this time around. Our first visit was when our youngest was three, then when he was six. This trip he’ll be eleven and our eldest fifteen. I know the park is one big commercial and money pit, but we’ve enjoyed our family time there greatly. We have our ways of keeping the costs down (refer back to the Disney points – saved through on-line paying of utilities and orthodontics).
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, and even though I’ve been exhausted for, let me think….yep…fifteen years (the age of my eldest child), it will be a wonderful season. Dh and my eldest are performing in the church play while my youngest works behind the scenes with props and such. The choir music night will be the Sunday before Christmas. I always enjoy singing with the choir, but that’s a special night. Our town always decks out their houses with enough lights to read by – a block away. There are also the little traditions of our house to look forward to. My kids have already been quoting me from a past Christmas when I was making my Dh’s favorite: the candy cane cookie. As I rolled each one out, I was saying over and over “I hate these cookies!”. The quote will live on well beyond my days.