While my bedroom closet may be in disarray (that’s an understatement!), and the laundry may be backed up for three days, I am very organized with regards to business, paperwork/bills and…Christmas. Yes, really. It’s a bit of an obsession for me. I have a large spreadsheet with everyone’s names. When the children send me their lists in late September, I fill in the items (that they’ll be getting). I also put the website link (if it’s online) of the gift, and the price. That way, I have a running total of what I’ve spent. Richard tried long ago to curb my obsession with Christmas but he gave up. The number of hours I work each week at BookLocker and WritersWeekly is the equivalent of more than two full-time employees. I don’t get much leisure time. Christmas planning is something I really enjoy so Richard just goes with the flow, and helps out immensely with cooking and dishes!
I do not, of course, have the Santa gifts on my list because those magically show up, thank goodness. He sure saves us a ton of money each year! Oh, if only Santa brought grown-up gifts, like underwear, and socks, and champagne!
My spreadsheet has cells for whether the gift is still pending, or if it’s arrived, and whether it’s been wrapped or not. For out of town gifts, there’s a cell for if it’s been shipped. I work on my list daily, beginning October 1st, until all the shopping and wrapping is finished. We also donate money and toys to charities, of course. We love to share our blessings. 🙂
The week before Christmas, I check my spreadsheet to see how many neighbors we need to deliver cookies and candy to. Our daughter, Ali, and I then spend several days destroying the kitchen. My angel, Richard, is right behind us, cleaning up the mounds of flour, colored sugar, and candy cane pieces. (Those things hurt like heck when you step on ’em!) This year, Frank’s girlfriend, Chelce, will be knee-deep in the baking flurry, too!
As long as I’m confessing my obsession, I might as well tell you that I’m also addicted to big, fat, shiny Christmas ribbons. The more sparkle and glitter, the better! Since they’re so expensive, I save them year after year. For weeks after Christmas each year, we find glitter in every nook and cranny of the house.
Our son, Frank, has inherited a bit of my obsession. Each year, he pulls his jolly Santa hat over his ears, drags the boxes of decorations and lights outside, and makes ours the prettiest house on our street! I know you probably think this is starting to resemble the Griswolds and you’re right. As I wrote last week, that’s my favorite movie of all time!
Okay, okay. It’s all a bit much, I admit, but when you’re expecting more than a dozen people each Christmas morning (it looks like we may have 16 this year), you have to be organized or you might go nuts. (Well, I would anyway!). And, like I’ve written before, there’s almost nothing I enjoy more than making Christmas absolutely perfect for our loved ones.
Did I ever tell you about my recurring nightmare? Several times a year, I dream it’s Christmas Eve…and I haven’t started my shopping yet. In my dream, Richard and I go to the same dimly-lit mall with a horrible, gray department store that has things nobody wants, like bits for screwdrivers, white knee-high pantyhose, and dusty bottles of generic dandruff shampoo. It’s awful!!!
In a couple of weeks, I will post pictures from our anatomically correct gingerbread people parties, which we host just before Christmas each year. Viewer discretion advised!
My older brother is also a Christmas fanatic. We both got that from our mother. When I’m long gone, I hope our tradition of over-doing Christmas to the EXTREME will live on through our children, and their children. 🙂
THIS WEEK’S MASONISM
We were going out to run errands one day last week and Frank (age 22) was going to be here alone with his girlfriend (age 23). Mason (age 8) turned to Chelce, and said, “You better not get pregnant because we don’t need any new babies right now!”
Angela Hoy lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!