The last 48 hours in our home have been a frenzied gift-wrapping, costume-creating, line-rehearsing, treat-making workshop as we headed into the final hours of what I like to call "CPPC", also known as "Christmas Program and Party Chaos". The whirlwind that invaded my house the last few days would make the Tazmanian household look comatose. I could see my holiday hyper reflected in the eyes of my children as they watched me frantically gathering all the holiday necessities I would send to their classrooms via their overstuffed backpacks.
Here's the thing - I knew it was coming. I have been fully aware of this date since the first day of school when school calendars are handed out to all of the families. In fact, Christmas has always been in December - hasn't it?So, what's the deal?
To make myself feel better I have done some self-examination as to try to understand why a known date has snuck up on me so, not to mention my confusion concerning my crazed reaction . Here is my conclusion: the fault lies with my husband and children.
Chaotic Case Point One: John is in a new practice and is unaccustomed to the gift giving policies of his office. Staff bonuses and gifts for his nurses were expected. Treat exchanges among the physicians were not. Last minute gifts always have a look of desperation and these certainly were no exception. I sent my husband to work with 6 gifts encased in crinkly bags that were covered with frolicking, happy blue snowmen. And they were each gathered with a large metallic blue bow. It will make me laugh the rest of the season imagining sweet John as he delivered each of his snowmen packages to his esteemed co-workers in white lab jackets. He said the snowmen didn't bother him nearly as much as the sound of the crinkly bags that followed him through the halls.
Chaotic Case Point Two: Chandler's 5K class decided last minute to put on the play," The Gingerbread Man." How cute, I thought, especially when I discovered that my little fellow was going to be the G-Man himself. (And a very handsome one, might I add) What I didn't take into consideration was that the star of the play was going to need a costume.
Made by me.
I don't sew and I've already made it clear my feelings about Martha Stewart and my approach to all things crafty. So, during an inspired moment at Michael's, I bought a glue gun and anything that looked remotely like gingerbread adornments and, $187 later (not really, but it does make for a better story), created what you see below. Keep in mind I had a temporary design mindset, and the suit could not have lasted one more minute than necessary, but Chandler thought it was the best, which of course was the point.
(Please notice the picture depicting the weakening of the hot glue. Also, Chase's delight in missing a spelling test for the Gingerbread play.)
Chaotic Case Point Three: Classroom treats. Why must they be a nightmare every year? I chose an easy treat that the children could help me with, and at the same time, fulfill the glorious picture in my head of emulating an apron-wearing, happy-faced June Cleaver. We were going to sing Christmas carols while we put together our goodies.
And tell the story of Baby Jesus.
And pray for the homeless.
And welcome daddy home with a mug of cocoa and shiny children with clean faces. (So I'm a little ambitious, but if you could have seen the picture in my head you would have wanted to channel June Cleaver too. Come to think of it, I think there was a fire roaring as well.)
None of this happened. The children ate more of the ingredients than they put together, producing a sugar delirium that showed up in crystallized form on their skin for days to come. Did I mention that everyone was bored after just a few treats were completed?Final products were put together by me, with the help of dad, upon recognizing the mania he saw beginning to emerge in his wife.
Chaotic Case Point Four: When you choose to birth multiple children, it is important to understand that there will be a classroom Christmas party for each of them.
On the same day. At the same hour.
And to throw in a neat , little twist, you may even have additional programs to attend of multiple children on the same day as multiple Christmas parties. In addition to the Gingerbread Man production, we also attended the Christmas Story put on by 23 three year olds.
Our three year old was assigned the part of a lamb. She claimed that she was only going to be a shepherd, but surpringly, superbly fulfilled her obligations to the livestock crew minus the baaaaaaad attitude. (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
I think my case is clear that the Christmas madness that surrounds me is not of my own creation. So shifting the blame has got to make me fell better, right?
Because despite the labor and mental drain involved, there is nothing that can substitute for the joy you feel the moment when the little face that belongs to you searches for your own in the crowd. The smile when they spot you, ill-fitted, crazy-glued costume and all, stops all time and you beg God to help you remember. So, I'm a little tired. Aren't we all? But as myhusband puts it, "What's a little labor when you have the rest of eternity to rest?" Amen.