Christmas Eve Shuffle

December 24, 2009

in a picture is worth a thousand words

Every year we come back to my husband’s childhood home for Christmas. We are fortunate, I guess, in that we never have to worry/argue/agonize about splitting time between two sets of grandparents since mine are 7,500 miles away. It has become a holiday ritual:

Santa goes to grandpa and grandma’s house.

This year I let my 7 yo, Mr. Monk, pack his own backpack for the plane ride. Not surprisingly, “practical” was not his top priority…

Packed with Love by Mr. Monk



I have been doing the holiday the right way: I did not accomplish a thing since we arrived here on Monday. It certainly feels good to not have to be mindful of efficiency 24/7 because now I have plenty of time to burn… I am after all, as the British calls it, on holiday.

My mother-in-law on the other hand makes the gingerbread house, does arts and crafts, plays “pretend games”, bakes cookies, plays cards and Scrabbles, in short, provides great childhood memories for the boys. And in all honesty, things that I am not good at. I do however remain an accomplished “efficient” dishwasher, as my father-in-law commented appreciatively. Here’s the thing: I don’t mind helping out when I am at my in-laws because they are always so appreciative, making sure I know that I “don’t have to do this or that”. They actually thanked me EVERY TIME I did the dishes. Because of my own anal retentiveness, I cannot sit around watching the mess built up anyway. I volunteer to vacuum the house while they entertain the children. I consider that a more than fair trade.

There is no rest for the wicked as the cliche goes, especially on the day when baby Jesus was born: I do need to pay the piper today. Christmas Eve. An entire holiday tradition of my own: Frantically wrapping all the presents that have been arriving at my in-laws since November and accumulating in the basement. The “DO NOT ENTER” zone for my kids until December 25, aka, Santa’s Workshop…

Santa'w Workshop...

The most annoying part of “Santa’s job” is to open up all the packages, tear open the plastic wrapped around the items and discard the cardboard boxes and the said plastic thingy. Seriously, Amazon.com, have you not heard of global warming or any environmental alarm about our impending doom? You do NOT need to wrap books in that fashion: they do not break! One of the boxes has an elongated shape, and is about 4 feet tall. You wonder what it contained? A nylon kitchen spoon for my mother-in-law, wrapped in giant bubble wraps! Yes, yes, yes, I do feel guilty for being part of this… But they (Amazon.com) make it so easy to just order everything and have it shipped to my in-laws rather than lug them all the way from Chicago…

So. Now you know what I will be doing the whole day on Christmas Eve: Hiding in the basement. I only wish that Santa’s Workshop came with a bar…

If you celebrate Christmas, here is wishing you a peaceful Christmas Eve and a very Merry Christmas.

My treasured James Garfield card from The Bloggess

{ 14 comments }

BugginWord December 24, 2009 at 7:42 am

Adorable! Big squishy holiday hugs to you and your family, Planet Killer.
.-= BugginWord´s last blog…Planning =-.

Absence Alternatives December 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I know. I just spent the last 3 hours breaking down the cardboard boxes, wrapping, etc. I am so guilty of contributing to the landfill it is not even funny…

Iva December 24, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!!
.-= Iva´s last blog…Merry Christmas Eve!…Tips To Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain =-.

Absence Alternatives December 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Thanks! Merry Christmas to you too!

Traci December 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm

My son (six years) packs much the same way.

Merry Christmas!
:-)
.-= Traci´s last blog…Secret Santa!!!!! =-.

Absence Alternatives December 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Hey! :-) Merry Christmas!!!

Jane December 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm

My boys do the exact same thing! Every time we go somewhere overnight they have to pack (and sometimes the strangest things) their backpacks to take along. Sounds like our boys would get along just fine!

Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours! And have a safe travel home!
.-= Jane´s last blog…Thank You, Colonel Harry Shoup, For Keeping Santa’s Magic Alive! =-.

Absence Alternatives December 25, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I do feel that they will play well together. Hope you have been enjoying your Christmas day! And that all the wrapping paper has been picked up and thrown away. 😉

magda December 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

I am always so happy to hear of mom’s who allow children the freedom to the pack what we might “deem” unnecessary. It is cute to see what they value and think they will need, and how important it makes them feel. My William is only 3 and loves to pack his backpack with his tools. He is unshakable in his confidence that with the right tools, he can fix anything. Last week, one of the palm fronds was broken from the winds. When I told him Daddy would need to get the saw to fix it, without delay he fetched 3 different kinds of his own saws and set up to tackle the job. Merry Christmas, Lin.
.-= magda´s last blog…Wordless Wednesday =-.

Absence Alternatives December 26, 2009 at 6:25 am

William is Awesome! And a MacGyver in the making. (I’m hoping NOT Tim the Tool Man, but I have a feeling that his is the sensitive soul so no worry there…)

Merrilymarylee December 25, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Did you fly there? Our daughter had everything mailed here, too. They drove, but there wasn’t room for gifts and their dog. I now have a year’s supply of boxes to mail birthday presents in.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful, wonderful day!

Oh. . . one grandson brought no clothes, but plenty of books! Good thing is brother is the same size! The Little Shaver brought his pirate chest with all of his special treasures. Since we gave it to him for his birthday, it made our day to see it was special to him.

Give Mr. Monk an extra hug! Grandma surely has some rabbit ears that need aluminum foil.
.-= Merrilymarylee´s last blog…Merrily Merry! =-.

Absence Alternatives December 26, 2009 at 6:28 am

Thank you for the Xmas wishes! We did fly. With our boys, we dare not take the 12+-hour drive. Maybe if we had a tricked-out van with DVD players etc. LOL. No. We are not looking at upgrading to a van or SUV. Probably never will. 😉

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by your loved ones. xxoo

Unknown Mami December 25, 2009 at 10:41 pm

At times I’ve wondered who is doing the packaging for Amazon because there seems to be no logic behind it.
.-= Unknown Mami´s last blog…Chasing Rainbows =-.

Absence Alternatives December 26, 2009 at 6:33 am

I am sure Amazon outsources some of these warehousing, packing & shipping. It intrigues me how they can offer 2-day shipping for a book, or a DVD, while still making a profit. If they are, then UPS must not be making much off of them…

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