Monthly Archives: December 2015

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 3

Merry Christmas Eve! Yes, I realize it’s Christmas eve and just getting my letter out. Procrastination is #12 on my list of New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry, it will be broken by January 2nd, along with giving up wine and eating more greens.

Can you believe it’s December Christmas Eve already? I swear I feel like I just put away that pain in my ass village yesterday and here I am again. Hauling shit out of the basement like I’m some kind of Martha Stewart or something. Except I’m clearly not Martha Stewart by my decorating skills. I’ve been using the same crap decorations I’ve had for the last 23 years. Recycling at it’s finest, people.

Do you find that as you get older, it’s just the same year after year? The same routine, the same lights, the same fake cranberry wreath hanging from your foyer mirror. It gets so monotonous and exhausting. I truly see why the elderly just throw one of those pre-lit ceramic trees in the window, plug it in, and call it a day.

Now that that’s out of the way, I was reflecting on the past year. So much has happened. Okay, that’s a lie. Not a lot has happened. Well, maybe a little. Enough to make a killer interesting, sit on the edge of your seat letter? Well, no. But here is it anyway. You’re welcome.

I suppose the biggest news coming from our household is this whole process of college shopping and applying. Look, I didn’t go to college. But I have friends who did and I do not recall any of the crap fun stuff that goes on today.

I swear, if your kid isn’t class president, maintain a 4.99 grade point average, is the leader of every single club in school plus not only participate in 12 different sports but excel to the point where some professional league is knocking on your door, then you can forget about getting a juicy scholarship. Or even getting in. The College Application. The place where dreams go to die.

Although we only have one kid and this should be a walk in the park, I have to tell you I really want our money to be our money again. I don’t mean to complain, but it started with diapers on Day One and the monetary bleeding just keeps on coming. It’s a wound that doesn’t heal. So, although becoming Empty Nesters sounds really great in concept, we still will be broke because four years of college in the 21st century equals one large house, two vacations a year and a boat.

All joking aside, we are proud of our little crotch apple. Wherever she goes will be wonderful. I’m looking forward to taking over her walk-in closet. What shall I turn it into? I mean, since I won’t have the money to buy any clothes.

Let’s see, what else is new? Oh how could I forget? We got a dog! A big, sloppy, hairy german shepherd. And when I say “hairy” I mean hair everywhere, in every crevice, on every surface. Just think Christmas tree needles on Crack. Except Christmas tree needles smell nice. It’s really DH’s dog but that’s okay. The hair is for everyone and we love him nonetheless.

There was a little trip to Ireland! No, really. This time I mean it. Well, it was just me and a friend.  The Kid was supposed to go because it was for a dance competition but she wound up getting another concussion (kids should not be allowed to play sports without bubble wrap taped to their head) and didn’t want to miss any more school (yes, she came out of my hoo-haa because I was there and saw it — go figure).

Anyway, that place is beautiful and green. Luckily, green is my favorite color so it worked out. The people are amazing and patient. I think everyone should go to Ireland to learn a thing or two. Although I went and learned and came home and my good patience lasted approximately 4 days (okay, that’s an exaggeration — it ended as soon as the guy in the seat next to me kept taking over my arm rest).

I started working a real live job this year. Which means I don’t have time for cleaning or shopping or making dinner or any of those things I didn’t do anyway. Except now I just have an excuse.

It’s fun being out in the world with people and talking and using my brain that I thought was past the point of no return and having to get showered and dressed before 5p.m. It took me about 3-months to learn how to walk in heels again without teetering over, and another 3 months for the bruises to disappear from my toenail beds but all is well. I can walk in heels like a pro now. As long as there is a wall nearby.

That pretty much sums it up. We are all happy and healthy to which I am eternally grateful. Cheers to a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you next year.

10 Reasons Why I have a Love/Hate Relationship with Christmas

I have the best memories of Christmas growing up in my house. My parents didn’t have a lot of money but they were sure to make every holiday special.

They made decorating a family affair, with the Jackson 5 Christmas album at full blast on the hi-fi (no, younger generation, I did not mean wifi) and showering us with second hand Salvation Army toys washed in bleach. As we got older and the financial situation got better, bleached toys turned into Atari and Jordache jeans.

Then I got married and became a mother myself. I continued the tradition (minus the Salvation Army and bleach) with my child.

Then suddenly, it wasn’t as fun anymore. Fisher Price turned into Abercrombie which turned into Lilly Pulitzer. The cost per item substantially went up.

But that’s not why I’m stressed. I’m just saying having a teenage girl is costly. Don’t know where she gets that from. I grew up in Cal-pros and homemade polyester bell bottoms. But I digress.

I find as I get older, I lose the energy for it. I love Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I love the carols, the lights on the houses, the festivities, the cheer, the eggnog. I love it all.

I love it all except what I don’t love. So I am here to tell you these are a few of my least favorite things:

  1. Sending Christmas cards – Choosing a perfect good enough picture, sending it to Costco via the inter webs, putting them in envelopes, licking them closed, printing the labels and stamping them is too daunting a task. And if you don’t have someone’s address? It sits on the corner in the “to-do” pile until next year because you are too lazy to go look it up.
  2. Decorating and Un-decorating – I love to go Christmas tree shopping. I love putting on the ornaments. But that’s where it stops. Because inevitably there are some lights that won’t work, I will break a favorite ornament and run out of extension cords. I find if I don’t have a nice stiff glass of spiked eggnog within arm’s reach, I just can’t get through it. And then putting it away is an entire weekend and makes me wonder what the point was. That requires much more eggnog but can be dangerous with the fifty trips down into the basement. I could fall and die. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing because then I wouldn’t have to do this again.
  3. Gift Buying – I love the gift giving part of it. Just can’t someone else do the work? With half a million nieces and nephews and cousins and now another generation in the world, my brain is overloaded with who I have to buy what for. There will never be an end. Well, until I die. If I drink too much eggnog during my un-decorating weekend, that could happen.
  4. Teachers, troop leaders, dance teachers, pastors, co-workers, neighbors, friends, bus drivers, UPS person, mailman, garbage man – Oh, did I already cover the gift part? Well, let me revisit. There are only so many $5 gift cards we can give from Dunkin’ Donuts.
  5. Parties – No, I like parties. How’d that get on my list?
  6. Elf on a Shelf – I remember when this guy was a thing before it was a thing. I acquired him years ago and he lasted precisely one-half a season. Now I just get tortured by seeing pictures of His Creepiness posted on Facebook. Well, unless you do something completely inappropriate with him like posing him with Barbie in a compromising position or have him hanging out of a wine bottle looking completely schnokered. Also, I feel like he follows me with his eyes.
  7. Crowds Every-freaking-Where – You cannot go to the mall without spending half a day looking for a parking spot. Then when you finally find one in the next town over and walk two miles to get inside, you are pushed and shoved until are bruised and feel like you’ve fought in a battle. The body heat alone is enough to send a peri-menopausal woman into orbit. You wait in line for whatever it was you settled for because they ran out of what you really wanted three weeks ago and will not be reordering. Even the internet is crowded.
  8. Wrapping – We spend hours, and I mean HOURS wrapping that crap up. We make it as pretty as possible with tissue paper, wrapping, bows and tags. Our backs hurt from leaning over for hours. And then we run out of tape. Where was that eggnog?
  9. It’s over in 3.6 seconds – After a month of decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, bruising and sweating, it’s over in a nanosecond. Those pretty, perfect packages ripped to shreds by greedy, anxious children (and some adults I know).
  10. The gift that keeps on giving – That credit card bill that comes in the mail a month later after all the festivities have died and the decorations have been boxed up and put away with the moth balls. You sit there with your mouth hanging to the floor and swear next year will be different but you just kid yourself…you know it won’t be because let’s face it, we love Christmas.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s to working lights and extension cords galore. Go pour yourself some eggnog and take a deep breath. It will all be over soon.