I should have known it was going in that direction when Darling Daughter and I were hanging out in the living room several weeks ago…
Me: I saw a watch I love; going to buy it next time I’m out.
Darling Daughter: Oh? What kind?
I tried to describe it, then fumbled with my iPad, as I tried to look it up.
Darling Daughter: Was it like this one?
Me: Yes! That’s it. Isn’t it pretty? Working in an office, I need a watch. Just isn’t acceptable to look at my phone to keep track of time.
Darling Daughter: It will be here in 2 days.
Darling Daughter: Just ordered it.
I was a little stunned…
Darling Daughter: You can wear it when it gets here. We can just wrap it up on Christmas morning, and you can act surprised.
So really, Darling Daughter started things off with her gift to me…
The Christmas Tree
Lead off the season getting it up a little late. In the spirit of our tradition of cutting down ridiculous trees, this years was a long-legged beauty—like a gazelle. Or a “pencil necked” tree, depending on how you look at it. The tree has a very long trunk; branches start 2 1/2 feet from the ground.
The Christmas Cookies
I made homemade dough. My mom’s recipe needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight before being rolled out into cut out sugar cookies. Except it sat overnight for many nights, and we (mostly I) slowly ate the dough. I did roll out and frost 11 cookies a couple of nights ago. A miserable failure, really.
The Christmas Gifts
We started off with gifts under the tree from Santa, but the kids slowly opened them before Christmas.
I had the best of intentions, but I’m working downtown now and who wants to shop after work? I’m not a fan of the mall, avoid it at all cost. I’ve always been the girl who wishes the right clothes would magically appear in the closet. Same with furniture and household goods. Shopping has never been my thing. I kept planning to get the Christmas shopping done, but things came up…
And the kids couldn’t come up with anything they wanted.
Darling Daughter: You know what I REALLY want for Christmas?
Darling Daughter: Toilet paper, paper towels, Clorox wipes, cleaning supplies for my apartment, shampoo, razors…Would it be bad if I asked for Kroger gift cards?
Darling Daughter: Because I really have no problem buying clothes, shoes, the fun stuff. I really, really hate spending money on groceries, the things I need when I’m back at college in my apartment.
Then, three days before Christmas, she tells me about a college t-shirt that she’d always wanted, but never bought because it was pricey. FAR too late to order the damn thing!
My son was no better. Badly needed a couple of pairs of jeans, and a couple of pairs of sweatpants. We went shopping a few days before Christmas, so that he could try on jeans. We found ONE pair that worked. He wore them to school the next day. They never got wrapped. Same for the sweater that my daughter picked out. Ugh!
That is how we wound up with only a few gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. We were already wearing many of our gifts, using others. I guess I just kind of threw my hands up, figured why run out in the madness? Why stuff boxes with shit nobody wanted, or that wasn’t needed? Figured I might as well take the kids out shopping this week, get them what they need.
I drew fun pictures of what I would have gotten them, if I was more perfect, if I had gotten it together–gotten the shopping done. Rolled them up, tied them with ribbons, and put them in their stockings. They (thankfully) were amused…
Really, I’m just giving them stories to tell. If I was a better mom, they’d have no stories.
I had Darling Daughter fetch my laptop so she could pick out the shirt she wanted—and we ordered it Christmas morning. It will be here soon. Almost the same as opening it Christmas morning, right?
Though we pretty much ruined the normal traditions this year, we spent a wonderful Saturday before Christmas at my Dads house, spent time the family/cousins, in Pennsylvania (a short road trip across the state line) on Christmas Eve, and the kids and I attended midnight mass. After breakfast on Christmas morning, we took a Christmas walk in the woods and we’ll see more family this afternoon. We’ll have fun in the coming days, we’ll get that shopping done—and the whole family will be together for New Years Day, even the Pennsylvania and California crews. We are getting the important things done.
Kids often grow up thinking they’ll do better than their parents…
I’m helping my kids out. Setting the bar low.