Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Not to Bah Humbug Yet

The house is clean (including the basement and bathrooms!) and decorated. The Christmas cards seem to have arrived at their 96 various destinations. The open house has been scheduled for next Sunday.

I just need to plan and shop for the open house (ask friends to borrow their coffee carafe for mulled cider, purchase all ingredients, organize, bake). Did I say bake? YES. I SAID BAKE. I wonder if people would mind if they showed up at a Christmas open house and there was no food? Moving right along so as not to stress about that tonight.

Almost all of the Christmas shopping is done. For my mom: hubcaps or donation to charity? These are the big decisions. Much wrapping remains, but that's fun and not necessary to do very far in advance, as long as we have a few presents under the tree for atmosphere.

The last little item of stress (other than BAKING) is teacher presents. We need a dozen (that's 12!) of these for various teachers, therapists, and bus drivers, and we always do some sort of craft. This year I had the bright idea of making Christmas trees out of star shaped sugar cookies, but there are two problems. First, have I mentioned BAKING enough? Second, the specially sized cookie cutters I ordered have not yet arrived.

It's always a frantic mad dash, but it always gets done and I always love sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying it once the big prep goals are accomplished.

Paul and I had a funny argument this weekend. He was frustrated with how little I've been sleeping lately, and the negative side effects of that. (But surely I'm my usual pleasant, patient self?) "I think you've got your priorities all wrong! You're spending way too much time on this stuff!" he said as I paged through catalog after catalog, working through my shopping list.

(The next night, I was up even later preparing an Advent meditation and Sunday School lesson, so it's not all the "wrong" stuff I'm focusing on this season.)

"HAH!" I replied. "I told you that the open house was going to be a LOT of work, especially since November was shot with NaNoWriMo, but that I could get it done if you wanted to do it. And you said that you wanted to do it. So now I'm doing it. And you're criticizing how I'm getting it done?!"

I'm sure I sounded rather dangerously unbalanced during this little diatribe, because I got a quick apology and the conversation ended right there. Paul does so much around the house. But the whole organizing/hosting thing is really my gig, and he doesn't quite register all the little details it takes to pull something like this off.

Anyway, we went out on Saturday evening for a wonderful date night and all is well. He worked like a dog this weekend, plugging through a formidable to-do list. This year, like last year and the year before, it will all get done. And in the days before Christmas we will be so happy and proud of ourselves as we sit back, relax, and enjoy our prettily decorated house and delicious cookies, surrounded by friends and family.

Sure, there'd be a lot less stress if we eliminated some of the items from our to-do lists. But there'd be less reward, too.


Lynnie said...

I feel your stress! Good for you for stepping up to the plate and doing an Open House. Even though things like that are a lot of work, I always find the fun in the end is worth it. I hope it goes well!

We did chocolate-dipped pretzels with sprinkles this year for teacher gifts. I was trying to avoid baking! Simple as that sounds, it was still a bit of a pain due to the number required. The girls were eating them left and right!

RobMonroe said...

Anny and I had a "conversation" this weekend about how we prioritize our cleaning. I'm concerned about things like making sure there are chairs in each room to account for all of the people coming. (or, in yesterday's case, not coming at the last minute.) Anny is concerned with dust - and only dust. She decided that we make a good team.

Sarahlynn said...

Lynnie, I've made those and they're delicious! I especially love the white chocolate ones. Yummmmm.

Rob, chairs???? I'm more on the dusting side, myself. :)

Sarahlynn said...

Paul, on the other hand sees dishes, laundry, and clutter (which he sees as trash, trash, immediate trash). Nothing else. Just dishes, laundry, and trash.

"Honey, why is this in the trash covered by coffee grounds?" is a common refrain in our house.

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