Friday, December 5, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

So, we decorated for Christmas.

Here's what happened.
A couple weeks ago I had my CM open house. So, since I wanted to make the house look nice, I took all our little piles and put them on my dresser. I promise, they were all little. But I guess there were quite a few. So the result was a dresser full of stuff that had probably once been sorted but not put away, and now needed to be resorted. Receipts, mail, a few pieces of the neighbor's mail (sorry, Walt), junk, Lillian's Sunday school papers, magnets (oh, did I mention that I totally cleared off the fridge? totally. everything gone. white. did you know my fridge is white?), and tons of other little odds and ends.

I love decorating for Christmas. My mom loved Christmastime, so I guess it makes me feel like that's something we can remember her by. Although it's sometimes hard, and certainly NOT the same since she's been gone, it's still one of my favorite things.

So I did something dumb. well, smart, know. dumb.

I promised myself that I would not decorate for Christmas until I cleaned off my dresser. ugh.

So on Tuesday I was REALLY wanting to decorate. But I wanted to do it as a family, of course. So I busted my butt all day so taht right when Steve got home we could get the stuff out and decorate before supper, because on Tuesdays he has 88improv meetings after supper. So I trasnformed into a sorting machine, making lots more mini piles, actually put them AWAY, and even shredded the mail that needed to be shredded (never mind the fact that I left the tiny scraps on the carpet when I spilled a little...or a lot...when I emptied the shredded paper basket)! I cleaned the living room where most of the decorations would be. I even dusted. I hate dusting.

Steve got home at 3ish I think, which was perfect. We had enough time to actually get it done before supper! but then Steve wanted to go running. He's thinking about training for a marathon, so I need to be supportive. Sure, he could go running. And he said he'd be back in 30 minutes. still enough time. But by the time he greeted the kids, changed his clothes, stretched, etc. it was getting a little later. But we could still do it. I was sure.

So I put Brielle down for her afternoon nap about 23 minutes after Steve left for his run, so she wouldn't be fussy and slow us down. About 30 mintues after that, Steve came home. (did you do the math?) hmm....

Well, by that time, it was close enough to supper time to start supper, so that we didn't have to break for supper during the decorating part. Thanks, Carla, for the leftovers that I only had to heat up so we'd still have enough time...

enough time...
enough time...
(I'm feeling slightly like Jessie Spanno at this point, and probably acting too much like her too.)

We finished supper in record time. Lillian ate her food. I'm not kidding. no games, no fighting. she ate. by herself. So I quickly cleaned up the dishes while steve got the boxes from the garage. He actually only had a phone meeting that night. perfect. a little more time. but wait, is Steve checking his email? are you kidding me? we are supposed to be DECORATING! *although I have ALL DAY(sort of) to check my email, and steve has very few moments of his day to do so, I still had the nerve to be annoyed that he took TWO minutes to do what he wanted.

And then I hear it. A distant crying sound.

So all 5 of us try to decorate the living room. Brielle mostly helps by taking away precious hands that could be helping, or fussing/crying/screaming so loudly that we can't hear our Christmas playlist anyway. Not exactly waht I had in mind.

And as we're doing the nativity scene, Lillian insists on putting her Hello Kitty in the stable. "Mom, why do you think EVERYONE came to see baby Jesus? Even Hello Kitty!" "well, he's our savior, so the people that knew that wanted to see him." "Look Mom! Hello Kitty is even there by him!" not a big deal, I tell myself. why can't Hello Kitty be there for now. She'll want it up on the tree in a few minutes, when it's ready for ornaments. So I decide to take a few pictures, and promise myself that I won't be so annoyed by this in a few days. (I was right.)

The tree was ready.

Steve had to run and do his phone meeting. he locks himself in the bedroom. the kids go totally crazy. totally crazy. loud. I don't even know what I did to pass that time. I know I refused to let myself cry, but that's all I remember.

Steve got done with the meeting, so we get out the ornaments and show the kids thiers, and help them hang a few up.'s past bedtime already. And I had promised Christmas cookies. So I get out the pre-made things from the fridge, and heat the oven. I'm feeling so rushed, but I want them to be good cookies, so I even take the time to dip them in the sugar bowl before I put them on my nastly looking stone. it looks particularly nasty this night, but I hear that the worse they look, the better they cook....or bake I guess. So I quickly set the cookies on the stone, and stick them in.

In a few short moments, I start smelling them. And they smell like Christmas. And I remember what this night was supposed to be. And I decide it still can be. I put the need-to-be-in-control-and-not-care-about-enjoying-anything part of me (which RARELY exposes itself, but was QUITE exposed this particular night) away, and reverted back to the usual go-with-the-flow part of me that I don't usually have problems with, so I'm not sure why I ever put it away anyway.

We eat our cookies by our pre-lit tree (best invention ever) with about 6 ornaments on it. And I give Lillian a few more odds and ends to do so she feels like she's a part of it. And I took pictures because I wanted to remember this. all of this.

SO...we finally get the kids in bed and I'm ready to "really" decorate the tree. I'm feeling a little more peace by this time, mostly thanks to the sugar cookies. I hate that about myself. :)

Steve gets a call from work. He has no one to work the following day, and has to spend the remainder of the night on the computer adjusting schedules and calling people.

So I cranked up Love Acutally (best soundtrack ever), made myself some hot cocoa with an Andes mint in it, and decorated the tree. just how I wanted to. and I thought about my mom, and how she would have reacted. probably not the way I did. And I enjoyed a few minutes by myself, smelling, and tasting, and seeing Christmas.

and I think it turned out alright. not what I was hoping for, but it was alright in the end. if you want to see a few more pictures, click here.


Gina De Hoogh said...

That one made me cry a little... I hate it that we have to get all grown up and lose that magical, twinkly feeling of Christmas. Good job for finding it back for yourself. :)

Angela Kim said...

Your home looks beautiful, Andrea. Great job. And way to go taking pictures :)Do you know how much mom would have loved to see how you've decorated for Christmas? And I have a haunch she acted exactly like you did--even in your "worst" moments...but those are not the things we remember. At all.

monkey mama said...

The tree looks beautiful. And I love how Lillian was into the festivities in her princess outfit. We [heart] princess outfits, too. The story was great...makes me know I'm not alone, since I've had moments/hours EXACTLY like that :). Crank up the Christmas music!

Corinne Doughan said...

Are you sure you didn't write this blog about me???!! :) I can TOTALLY relate, but you are much better at the easy going part than you me more than what you give yourself credit for! Your tree looks beautiful!

Mandarina said...

First, amen on the Love Actually soundtrack. I actually shelled out the cash to order the overseas version so I could have the instrumentals too!! (SO worth it by the way, I highly recommend it) Second, I have to agree with Lillian on the Hello Kitty argument. Third, your house looks beautiful. Last, I think you are an amazing mom and I wish I could come have a good long visit!! (How's that for second grade structure?!?! Except I should have said "finally" instead of "last)

meliawinter said...

1.)thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind words-they really meant a lot. more importantly-you won!

2.)your family is beautiful! i love this post-and so will your kids one day

3.)perhaps most important-when i read "more time" i instantly thought of that Saved By The Bell episode! that really was a great show wasn't it :)


melinda said...

this might just be my favorite blog ever...I have about 17 of those "enjoy the holiday melinda!" moments as my class is frantically trying to finish their countdown to christmas chains, and the cotton balls are all falling off of santa's beard, and my class is screaming (too often literally) so loud that I can't hear my piano Christmas music that's supposed to be calming them.

The Anema's said...

Your tree looks awesome, I wish my hubby would get into the spirit a little more, but right now he is a little preocupied with his work and becoming partner right now. I didn't get pics of my kids decorating the tree, but I let them decorate it this year, I didn't care. Oh...and yes my camera works :o) I just need to get the pics off of it.