I have been meaning to post. But like, wow. This has been an amazing holiday season, folks. But first, let me preface with what I have learned this season.
If you are not feeling the Christmas spirit, let it go. There are always other years.
However, if are feeling the Christmas spirirt, then embrace and go Girls Gone Wild with it. You may not feel this way next year.
Just call me your Christmas Confucius. You are welcome.
Last year was so bad. So very, very bad. I was so busy working on the now defunct Snapgifts that I did the bare minimum of Christmas Pageantry. However, this year everything is simply perfect. It helps that we have had loads of free time. And also, the Team of Chaos are like real people now. Really! They are no longer mutants with non-working legs and a strong propensity to crap in their pants. Nope, these days they can walk of their own accord and use toilets. Like humans. For another, they understand the whole Christmas Thing now. And oh my, it is so much goddamned fun having miniature humans in this house who believe with all their souls that Santa is real. The flurry of activity around here with markers and papers is hilarious.
I never want to forget this past month - mostly, it has been simply magical and special and delicious. Of course, having a small cache of kifli smothered in powdered sugar has not hurt.
Exhibit A: A small portion of Arun's Christmas "List"
The best part is that with each successive Santa he meets, Arun changes his list in a desperate attempt to get more lootage. He has figured out the scam and is trying to work the system to his advantage. That's my boy, doing me proud.
Exhibit B: Advent Calendars Galore
Every morning, Arun hops out of bed and updates every single calendar. Even the garland thing that Anjali gave up on long ago. He carefully marks his paper tree, cuts loops from the garlands and hangs a wee ornament every morning. This is fascinating to observe because normally, Arun is grumpy when he wakes up and takes about 30 minutes to reach Human Status. Christmas miracles, indeed.
Exhibit C: Our Annual Trip to Union Station and Crown Center
Items Missing From These Exhibits:
- The gingerbread house carefully handcrafted with a hot-glue gun. Martha Stewart has probably issued a warrant for my arrest as we speak. Although, in my defense, I do live in Kansas and that house could now withstand an F5, in addition to a hungry West Highland terrier.
- A huge pile of wrapped gifts from Arun hidden in his bedroom (at least, he thinks they are hidden.) He holes up in his bedroom with paper, markers, wrapping paper and scotch tape while he handwraps his "creations". At this point, Santa is getting two presents and even the fish is one lucky duck. He sneaks next door and proudly hands over his latest creation to our neighbor while declaring "Special delivery for Zech!"
- I do have a picture in the Christmas 2010 set I have started from our our excursion to the Liberty Hall Christmas Tree Festival. We do the festival every year with my mom and sister and cousins. It is a lovely way to start off the holiday season.
- A visit to Bass Pro and Santa and a visit to their craft area which resulted in a beautiful fishing bobber Santa ornament decorated with cotton balls.
- Decorating gingerbread cookies. This is HUGE. I have never, ever done this. Sure, I used a tub of pre-made dough (Yes! Nestle!) but considering how deathly allergic I am to baking, this is ground-breaking. I even broke out the fancy pastry mat.
- Multiple special excursions in the car to look at Christmas lights.
- Sending out Christmas Cards - I was on-time with cards this year! I will never forget that dark, dark January of 2008 when I had a 6month old baby and a recently-minted 2 year old while I was in the wily grasp of post-partum depression - I actually discovered a huge stack of Christmas cards lurking in a drawer. They were addressed, but were not sealed and had no stamps.
- The look on my face over this past weekend when I received not one, but TWO Christmas gifts from Brit. Both of which were incredibly thoughtful, unique gifts which made me cry. The nerve! I need to rethink this friendship thing if she is going to make me cry TWICE in a single weekend. Rude.
- The look on my face when CPA Mom sent me an extra copy of the Charlie Brown Christmas special she "had laying around". In one fell swoop with a Random Act of Undeserved Kindness, she completely turned around a really bad week I had been having. Speaking of rude. Ahem.
- The look on my face when I realized the other day that I had vastly underestimated the amount of continuing education hours I need to complete by the end of year to keep my CPA license intact. Sarbanes-Oxley, ahoy and a Merry Christmas!
- The look on my face when I discovered that Angry Birds Seasons was finally, finally available for the PalmPre. No worries, I will show those bastard, cloven-hooved swine who is boss.
- The look on my face when Manoj gave me some incredibly good news regarding his latest business incarnation - a business that has to do with colonoscopy prep so I call it the Butthole Business. Because I am classy like that. Hey, you can marry the girl off to an Indian, slap on the name of George, but she will still always be an Oliver. Always.
- Attending Average Jane's Annual Cookie Exchange and having a blast gorging on cookies, watching Bad(er) Santa and having some girl time - a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. To boot, I plied Celeste with wine and somehow convinced her that she should inherit Team Chaos in the event that Manoj and I get eaten by a roving band of rabid squirrels (which considering my archives, is not so far-fetched.) I also found a potential home for Lucy in the event of our demise (thanks, LuAnn!) Suckers! Now, I just need to track down spots for the fish, the gecko, the cats and the tarantula, then find a lawyer and make this all official-like.
- Enjoying Arun and Anjali's Christmas concert at their school. Nothing like a group of wee tots terrorized in the spotlight, barely whispering Rudulph. Arun insisted on wearing his Santa hat, even on stage and was the only kid wearing a Santa hat. His spot in the Kingdom of Total Dorkitude is assured.
- Repeating viewings of our favorite Christmas movies (including, but not limited to): Elf, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Robbie the Reindeer. I still need to squeeze in Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story. The clock is a' ticking so I best get my rump in action.
- Repeated readings of our favorite Christmas books (including, but not limited to) Olive the Other Reindeer, Snowmen at Christmas, The Snowglobe Family, Mooseltoe and now, thanks to Brit, The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas.
- Lighting all the candles on the mantle, getting a good fire going, then turning on the Christmas tree lights and just sitting quietly. Relishing. My house will never be Martha Stewart Ready. But it will always be my home. And that is more important to me.
We still have an outing planned to see the Country Club Plaza lights and I have another tub of gingerbread dough in the refrigerator. Presents still need to be wrapped and the house needs to be scoured before guests arrive Friday night. However, I have plenty of time to do all of this.
My grandma handed down this heavy stained glass and iron tree to me years ago. There were many years in college and after when I simply could not afford a Christmas tree and this little luminary had to make do. If I put only one decoration up on my mantle, it will always be this tree because of what it has come to represent to me.
Merry Christmas to all of you and make the most of whatever you have.
Having my babies, good food and a warm home is more than enough for me.