I think my kids are counting the hours until school gets out for Christmas break. My homeschooled middle has the advantage: next week she can start break as soon as the week’s work is finished. The caveat for starting a break early is always that she doesn’t rush through and do slop jobs and that she doesn’t brag to her siblings.
My list for shopping the day after Christmas is getting longer. While decorating the tree, I found three strands of lights with a burnt out bulb, so new strings of lights went on the list. Yes, I could fuss around and replace those bulbs, but the replacement bulbs don’t usually fit quite right, and sometimes don’t fix the problem. My sister agreed. I think it’s the throw away mentality of today. Why would you make something easy to fix? I think these same lights were out last year, but I tuck the burn outs into the branches and I always load the tree.
I love getting up early on the 26th and hitting the stores. By that point in the break, I need to get off by myself and I love bargain hunting. After I get the gifts wrapped I’ll know if I need more wrapping paper. I’ve got a little wiggle room in my stashes. When I find more than one pack of cute paper for the Christmas letter, I grab it. When I find wrapping paper I like, I get a bit extra. This covers the times when I don’t like the patterns or the shelves are bare. I’ve found Christmas cards that I like, and just keep buying those. They’re inexpensive boxes with a large quantity, but we give around 60 cards out at church, and send another 50 out to family. The family is more concerned with the latest picture of the kids and reading the letter, and the church family just appreciates the thought. They’re nice cards, just no glitter or gimmicks.
I also look for holiday themed Oreo’s, and some stores have containers of cotton candy – a real treat to pull out later in the winter. Of course I always buy chocolate. Usually I grab some Ghiradelli bark bars and set them aside for the Easter baskets. My family loves that peppermint bark, and don’t care what season they get to eat it.
I still have all of the wrapping and baking to do, but somehow I’m not feeling stressed. What will stress me most is if DH doesn’t get some ideas for his mom. All we have for her so far is a calendar which DH picked up for her while we were on vacation. Yikes! Our son needs a little to finish his stash, but if DH doesn’t start thinking about ideas to help me, I’ll make a couple of executive decisions.
We’ll see my sister and her family at my mom’s after Christmas. I want to let them have Christmas Day to themselves. We just don’t know how quickly sis’s breast cancer will take her. She’s holding her own for now and is going to have a radiation treatment in another week. Hopefully that will stop the tumor from growing (she’s already had a couple of surgeries and months of chemo). My nephew’s girlfriend will be at Mom’s too. No, it’s not that a wedding is on the close horizon. She has real winners for parents who each made travel plans without their daughter (19 years old). My sister has taken the girl under her wing and we’ll make her feel as welcome as we can.
I had a great childhood. My husband has a putz for a dad. After the divorce, Dh’s mom had to take DH half way for visits, then his wonderful father may or may not show. We found out that he never passed on years of birthday and Christmas cards/presents that Dh’s grandparents sent him. There’s more, but that’s enough to give the idea.
Wow – that’s a bummer of a way to wrap up. Let’s turn this around.
The neighborhoods are all decked out with lights. Two houses near us look as if they’re competing for a huge cash prize. I like to drive past it, but am glad it’s not across the street from us! The church play is next Sunday, home school co-op has their treat party tomorrow. We take a three week Christmas break. The choir program is a week from Sunday and always goes well. I love this time of year, busy as it may be.