I think I did it! I am now at T-minus something and it just turned into Christmas Eve. Despite major sickness and blackouts and lack of a paycheck until YESTERDAY!!! I think I am sufficiently prepped for Christmas. Not only that, I think I am prepped enough to relax and enjoy it.
Not without a few sacrifices, though. No Christmas cards went out this year, and many people that should have gotten small, token gifts, like the daycare ladies and the healthy start teacher, didn't get squat. My father and sister didn't get squat either, but I don't expect anything from them so its fine. Some years it seems like we exchange gifts, some years we don't seem to. It doesn't seem like there is any expectation or anything so it's cool. I probably would have if the stupid state of Oregon wouldn't have completely screwed up my paycheck for November, causing me not to get paid till YESTERDAY! Have I mentioned that? Well, Since October I got zilch because D was hospitalized, lets just say that things were lean this month. December is not a good month for things to be lean. So if you expected a gift/card from me, you totally deserved it and there is absolutely nothing personal about the fact that you didn't get one. I may just send out "Happy January" cards or something.
Yet still, I think the kids made out on Christmas gifts. They each have four gifts under the tree, one gift from "Santa" that will not be wrapped, and a few small stocking stuffers. This was in large part due to some great last minute deals and some stuff I had already bought earlier that they hadn't seen yet that suddenly became Christmas gifts. They each got two kind of large gifts and three small ones. The large ones will be shared of course (well, at this age, it all is shared.) D has two gifts from me and a few stocking stuffers, and that's that. That's all I could pull off this year. I do think it is plenty, but I've seen pictures around the net of the haul some people have for their kids and I am absolutely shocked and amazed. It must just take the whole day to get through the gift unwrapping. One of D's gifts cost me more time and irritation than money. I felt like shooting myself in the head repeatedly during the process of getting it together and just finished it late last night. Ugh. Thank God it is done though. I had planned it out to do a bit over several days, but my schedule was ruined for about a week due to illness, so I really had to crunch the last couple of days.
I ordered New Seasons take out for Christmas Dinner. It actually cost less than if I were to get all the things I needed to cook it, and I didn't want to spend the afternoon cooking anyway. I ordered stuffed pork loins, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread stuffing, and some kind of vegetable side dish or other. I did not order desert but I think we will make cookies from scratch tonight.
Tonight we are going to six o'clock Christmas eve church service, where the kids will be up in the sanctuary with us rather than in the nursery, so wish me good luck with that. There is a cry room but I hate sitting back there. I might as well stay home if I am going to sit in the cry room the whole time...so here is hoping they are good little angels. I think we are going to go out to eat afterwords and then come home and make cookies. Christmas will be just D and I and the kids with presents and dinner and possibly Grampa B. will come over as well.
The laundry is pretty much caught up and the house looks pretty decent and the presents are wrapped. The kids really need baths and I couldn't get to them tonight so that will be done in the am tomorrow, which will probably freak Naim the hell out since we never do baths in the morning. The tree is decorated with my 7, count them, 7 ornaments on it and no lights. (We had lights until the blackouts and then they didn't work anymore. I would have had to take the whole tree down to fix it, and it just wasn't in me.) But I told D that they didn't have lights on trees in "Little House on the Prairie" times so we don't need them. He proceeded to tell me that they put candles on them and I said that is total bullshit. I know that is what you see in romanticized versions of pre-Edison light bulb times, but really...did people who lived in un-flame retardant log houses with no fire department actually put candles on a live tree in the middle of winter? Methinks not. [ETA: Okay, okay! Apparently I was wrong!]
But, I'm relieved now that sans lights and Christmas cards, we are set with a warm and so far, electrically powered house, presents under the tree and food in the fridge and healthy people (one of which has a brand spankin' new and much needed WHEELCHAIR! Woo Hoo!) in the house for a nice Christmas. My wish for you is that you have the same. I want to wish all my readers a wonderful Holiday season. I appreciate your support and you all each have a virtual gift from me under my tree.