Wheezin’ With the Season

Smudge Moon

Smudge Moon

It’s that time where I post about how crazy busy everything is, and how behind I am on getting ready for the holidays.

This year I’ve done absolutely nothing to get ready so far, but oddly enough I don’t feel stressed about it.  Each year we pare down a bit more in terms of the number of gifts purchased, amount of money spent, types and amount of cookies baked, amount of decorating done in the apartment and size of the tree. Because I’m not a shopper, I miss the biggest sales more years than not, and by the time my youngest was ten, I didn’t even pretend I would go anywhere on Black Friday, enough was available online.   And let’s be honest, hitting those big sales often means you end up buying more than intended, so financially it’s a wash, with more crap to figure out where to store on December 26th.

I am never spending three days making rolled gingerbread cookies again, whee!

I am never spending three days making rolled gingerbread cookies again, whee!

Art Child is disappointed because I told her I won’t be making any rolled (i.e.: fun holiday shapes) cookies this year.  I’m sorry she’s disappointed, but I’m glorying in my lack of guilt.  I’ll make some drop cookies, much less time and prep required, and they’ll be absolutely fine.  Instead of gingerbread cookies, I made a gingerbread bundt cake (used an oatmeal stout in it, freaking delicious!) so the apartment could at least smell like we’re getting in the spirit.  Because she’s sick (always at this time of year, it’s the one tradition that will apparently never be omitted) that little missing slice is all she’s eaten of the cake.  We won’t discuss how much I’ve eaten.

I probably should be feeling stressed about shopping by now, but I don’t.  The wish lists are small and mostly practical.  Nerd Child actually made a request (he’s the one who never asks for anything) so that completely removes the anxiety of trying to guess–knowing as I hand over my cash that I’m guessing wrong and spending too much–and we have to have him with us to make this purchase.  He won’t be back home until later this week, therefore there’s 0 reason to go fight the hordes on music row, 48th Street.  Not that there is a music row in New York anymore, most of the stores have folded or moved elsewhere, adding an element of maudlin “remember when” to the crowding.

If it weren’t for the fact that I once again forgot to factor in medical copays, I’d say we are going to be completely within budget.

If I can see this guy's rooftop decorations from my terrace, does that count as us being decorated?

Thank you, guy on the next street, for putting your decorations on your roof where we can see them even if you can’t.  

Tis the Season

I think she's pretty, am I done now?

I think she’s pretty, am I done now?

And, as usual, I’m unprepared.  Can’t say as always, because some years I’ve been relatively on top of things, but not usually.

I haven’t prepped a thing, haven’t so much as taken the Christmas boxes down from the closet, no clue what any of my kids would like, haven’t even purchased a box of candy canes–which I usually do right after Thanksgiving. I know, if Nerd Child reads this, he will think, “I told you I wanted ____.” I know he did tell me something, but my brain is like a sieve these days (heh, who am I kidding? has been for years), if it isn’t written down any thought drains away.

I did buy one new snow globe yesterday, see above.

Husband has a cousin whose home is always perfectly, tastefully decorated for the holidays. The woman could have been a window dresser for Saks, her eye is flawless. It’s the type of talent you either have or you don’t. I don’t, but I love to admire the efforts of those who do.

I like to know what the kiddos and Husband want for Christmas, not just taking a stab in the dark.  A lot of that is due to the budget, if we don’t buy them the item they reeeeally needed/wanted, that’s it for quite a while. I am not hitting the after Christmas sales on December 26th.  Husband is easy, he always wants clothes. Well, easy except for that whole pilgrimage to 34th St in the holiday season, but I’ll save that for another post. A couple of times over the years I saved and splurged and bought him toys instead of clothes (an iPod, a GPS), and my sense was that he still would have preferred to see those red boxes from Macy’s.


Tiffany’s (Photo credit: peterjr1961)

For several years, Husband and I admonished each other not to buy each other anything. I’m not going to say that anymore. He knows I’m going to buy him something, I know he’s going to buy me something.  Do I have a wish list? No. Things go in and out of my head all year long, but when it comes time to Husband asking me what I would like (usually around 11PM on the 23rd, sometimes 2PM on the 24th), my mind goes blank.

If I really push myself, I turn into Marilyn Monroe singing “Santa Baby,” picturing jewels and deeds. Or Elmer J Fudd, with a mansion and a yacht. Around 6AM  Christmas Day I remember that I’m wearing the same pjs that I’ve been wearing in the photos for the past 7 years, could have asked for those, 10AM I look at the wreckage of wrapping paper and boxes from the kids’ gifts and sigh over my imaginary iPad, around 3PM, I remember the paring knife I could have used.

Do you have a wish list?

Elmer Fudd

Elmer Fudd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)