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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Me vs. Christmas

I haven't heard much this year about that whole War on Christmas thing that was going on last year (or so I heard through the grapevine). Maybe it's because I don't listen to anything--and  do mean anything, I don't care what it is-- Glen Beck says. Or maybe that war really is over and I just missed the announcement.

I'll tell you what is still going on though: my war WITH Christmas.

Now before you run screaming to personally contact Mr. Beck and tell him his war is back on, let me explain. I'm not talking about the baby Jesus, reason for the season Christmas.Let me assure you, I am totally on board with that Christmas.

It's the card sending, present purchasing, treat making, party attending, holiday complicating Christmas that keeps trying to take me down.

It started when we decided to bag our plans to spend the week of Thanksgiving at my parents' house in Utah-- partly due to exhaustion and sickness and partly due to the fact my brother in New York decided to spend Christmas there. So, hubby and I decided, instead of buying a bunch of presents this year, we would surprise the kids by taking them to Utah for a big family Christmas.

At first this was an easy surprise to keep secret since hubby kept forgetting this was our plan. But then, my darling tween--who is acting very much like a teen--found out all her cousins were going to Papa and Grandma's house. And that we weren't. Thus she has spent the past month alternating between begging us to go, begging Grandma to come pick her up and stomping around the house yelling that this is going to be the worst Christmas ever. But mostly that last one.

There have been days when I have been so irritated with her that I've wanted to yell, "WE ARE GOING! THAT'S YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT! SURPRISE! HAPPY NOW?" And maybe one day I did yell this before she stormed out the door to school and I spent the day in bed feeling very sad that I had ruined Christmas.

But Christmas can not beat me. Because what I learned was that, when I yell, all my daughter hears is noise, not actual words. So when she came home from school and asked, "what did you scream at me this morning?" I lied. And then hubby lied too, saying, "your mom is crazy when she's mad, (okay maybe that part is true) you shouldn't believe what she's saying when she yells."

Christmas - 0. Crazy, Screaming Mom - 1

Of course in the days leading up to the exploding Mom and near Christmas win, Christmas launched a sneak attack.

Since we are not doing a bunch of toys this year-- or basically giving our kids anything on their lists-- I decided to do something special for my girls by making them some photo albums. Not the kind that require actual cutting and sticking and creating, (been there, done that, not going back) but the kind you can do on one of those photo websites--like that one that rhymes with butterfly--and all you have to do is drop the pictures where you want them, then write a little something about them. Still a lot of work, but a lot less mess.

And, luckily, a friend of mine had a coupon she forwarded to me for 50% off + free shipping + another $10. So how could I pass on that deal? Except I only had a day and a half to put together three photo albums before the coupon expired. And so I spent an entire day in front of my computer working on the albums. An. Entire. Day.

But I did it!


By the time my last project finished downloading, it was 12:02 a.m. Two minutes past the deadline. I frantically fired off an email begging them to still honor my coupon. Then the next morning I called and spoke to a very nice lady. And do you know what she told me after speaking to her supervisor?


But she kindly pointed out that they were now 40% off. I then, very politely, pointed out that 40% is still less than 50% plus $10 and that I had been a customer for really a lot of years, but would no longer be. Then she secretly took another $20 off my order.

Christmas- 0. Crazy, Picture Lady - 2.

Christmas lodged one more feeble attempt at keeping me from doing everything by getting me sick one day before the start of my Seven Parties in Three Days Christmas Extravaganza. Really Christmas? Did you think a little sore throat/laryngitis + mucousy cough + lack of sleep would keep me from hot glue gunning graham crackers to milk cartons so that 32 first graders could make gingerbread houses? Or keep me from playing Just Dance and gabbing with friends? Or bowling? Or teaching 3rd graders how to make the most awesome snowflakes ever? Or Journeying through Bethlehem with the rest of my ward? Or watching fifth graders decorate cookies? Or win a totally awesome snowboarding jacket for my husband (who doesn't even snowboard)?


Christmas - 0. Crazy, Party Lady - 3.

And, in a pre-emptive strike I had already hired someone to make delicious cookies for my friends and neighbors ( go there, try them, they are so very yummy. Find them on Facebook too). So they still got my treats, but without my sick germs!

Bah Ha Ha!

Christmas - 0. Crazy, Treat Lady - 4.

You can not beat me Christmas.

You. Can. Not. Beat. Me!!

At least not until I get my credit card bill.


Melanie Jacobson said...

Ah, yes, MasterCard, the dark minion of Christmas.

Also, I got an LSU snuggie out of it, so you can put that in your + points column.

Beth Freestone said...

LOVE Just Dance! I think I need to take some time out now and do it. Work schmirk. Cookies Schmookies.

Enjoy Birth said...

That was brilliant to have someone else make your Christmas Treats. I just don't make treats at all, but next year I may pretend to.

I hope you have a lovely trip and your girls are happy and surprised. I think my kids don't hear anything, whether I am yelling or speaking kindly.

Beeswax said...

I just spilled half a pot of soft ball stage sugar over half my kitchen and gave my son second degree burns, but I still got half a batch of divinity. So I think Christmas and I are tied for today. Or he might be a little ahead. Since the floor might never be unsticky again. But I'm glad you are winning.

And that somebody else yells, too.

Tia Bach said...

I so appreciated this post. I have lost it a couple of times this season and pulled gifts out from under the tree and started a "give to children who would appreciate them" pile. So sad.

My problem... I expect Christmas to be this beautiful season of loving and sharing, and my kids can't fully embrace it. I need to keep it simpler!

I have a tween, too. May the Good Lord grant us special wisdom, patience and serenity in 2012! (and my tweeen is my oldest, so I have two more girl tweens in the wings).

Merry Christmas!

Anne Marie said...

Brittany, I just discovered your blog through your sister's blog and I have to tell you that you are hilarious! I just stayed up way too late reading through your archives. I'm your little brother's friend Ryan's little sister, by the way. Glad you are staying true to your Idaho roots! Your stories of good ol' BHS crack me up! "Going with" people. Did other people do that, or just people from Burley? Oh, the days...