(Picture by Currier and Ives. Who apparently believe in child labor.
Our kids would never go just cut Christmas trees down by themselves.)
Kathy and I went to visit her family in California for Thanksgiving. On the way there, we were both so excited to see everyone, and go to her uncle's almond farm in the central valley for the turkey eating part. We also had plans to hang out with our friends in Berkeley Saturday night, go into San Francisco on Sunday, before flying home Monday. As an ex-East Bayer, I was super excited to be on my old stomping ground with my old friends (as in they were my friends when I lived in the Bay area, not that they are old). The kids were excited to see grandma. But then, the thing that always happens, happened.
Leaving for the airport at 5:30 am, no cabs show up. Frantic calling in of favors (thanks, Amber - 5:30 am is EARLY) and last minute shuffling. Exhausted kids stuck on plane for 6 hours (where no sleeping occurs). Stress, stress, more stress. This seems to be everyone's complaint when it comes to the holidays. I am sure Christmas will be no exception. It already is no exception, and it's December 3. I mean, I love my mom and dad, but yikes, 5 days of them and Kathy's mom (first time meeting!!!) in the house, plus work, plus presents, plus kids, plus.... anywho.
When we got back from Thanksgiving, I said to Kathy, "You know, my sister's storing stuff in that guest room closet. I talked to her about cleaning it out, and she said she could come next weekend or the weekend after." Kathy responded with a frantic to-do list for our upcoming weekends, which culminated in "AND IT TAKES TWO FULL DAYS TO DECORATE THE HOUSE, AND WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DO THAT?!?!?!?!?!" Ahem. I maintain that it does not. Take two full days. To decorate the house. (Excluding outside decorations, of course.) But the point is that she thinks it does. Or wants it to, because it's fun. Or whatever. Stressball Kathy.
But, thanks to the finger, I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and had to "work from home." Kathy chaperoned a field trip, and had to "work from home." So I suggested we take an hour last night, put on the Amy Grant Christmas CD, and pull out some of the decorations. You know, a little bit at a time, like anything else that has to get done. We got the Advent calendar, and the cheesy Happy Holidays sign from my childhood that my mom gave me when I moved to California, and the Christmas china. We had a great time. Our stress levels dropped. We sang along, pulled out things that we hadn't seen in a year, and burned the Christmas smelling candle. When all was said and done, it wasn't that much work, it didn't take so very long, the kids had fun, and we had fun. Kathy said, in the end, that it was the kind of Christmas she had always wanted. Me too, sweetie. And it's only December 3. It's only just beginning. (Awwww, puke, I know.)
(One of the best parts of the holidays. Wine out of fancy glasses.
With the Christmas cookie cutters peeking into the picture.)