Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Eve Party Eve

It's the most stressful day of the year for my family. It's the day we clean and clean and clean before our 50+ guests descend for our Christmas Eve Open House. I try to make it a festive and cheery cleaning extravaganza with music and snacks and even prizes for various cleaning contests, but my children are too sophisticated to fall for that shit and basically just ignore me, do their chores as quickly and half-assedly as possible and get the hell out of my way.

But this year, Mother Nature is on my side! No one can go anywhere to escape Christmas Eve Party Eve because the snow has basically made them all my captives. Ha ha! Snow day that, kids!

I asked a question a while back re: what other people were spending on or buying for their kids, and didn't get a lot of responses. My shopping is finished and here is the final tally. NOTE: feel free to stop reading right now if you could not give a shit what I bought my kids for Christmas. You won't hurt my feelings at all and if you choose to leave now, good bye and Merry Christmas!

Also note, We were keeping things pretty simple and then grandpa sent cash asking us to get gifts for the kids. So that bumped up each kid a notch from "small gifts" to small gifts plus one biggish gift from us and grandpa.

Out of towners: I sent Maggy pajamas ($30), Iris three DVDs that Maggy requested ($40) and a gift certificate to a restaurant for Maggy and the boyfriend ($50). 

For the in-house kids: Taylor has a hat that I have knitted for him, a pair of gloves, pajamas, a gift certificate to a favorite local coffee house and a "credit" from us/grandpa towards the purchase of a new bicycle, which he desperately wants/needs for commuting to school and work, but wants to wait until after Christmas to purchase as he is a frugal lad and knows he'll get a better deal. And when I say credit towards, that's because his idea of a good deal on a bike is $600, and my idea of a Christmas gift is under $200.

For Erinna, I have knitted a hat and purchased an iPod touch, which was a 50/50 gift from us and from grandpa, otherwise she wouldn't be getting it. Also pajamas and a CD that she wanted.

And for Carlie, a combination of gifts from mom and dad and grandpa and Santa: Flip video camera (from grandpa, actually), pajamas and everything on her list, which was a pretty flimsy list so it was easy (a couple of music CDs, a movie DVD, Starbucks gift card, two games for Nintendo DS). I'll be holding back one of the Nintendo games and one of the CDs to save as birthday gifts for her on 12/28.

And for my husband, I knitted him a hat and a pair of socks. Purchased new pajamas. And he's getting a homemade card with the promise of a back scratch every night for a year. A back scratch at the end of the day is, like, the way to get that man to do practically anything. So it's a win win.

I was having a philosophical dilemma today about the "snow days" we're both having from work. Last time we lost time for winter weather was in 2004 when we were hit with a raging ice storm. At the time, we were both gainfully employed by someone other than ourselves and it was like, OH YEAH, BABY, SNOW DAY. Because no work but you still get paid? Who doesn't love that.

But now we're both self-employed. And no work = no pay. Period. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. While we're enjoying the chance to be home during this holiday build up week, we're going to be paying for it monetarily this time next month. And that reality sucks.

But then I go out in the snow, and slide my car to the grocery store to get bread and diet coke, and realize that attempting to get anywhere would be suicidal. Which is why everything is closed and no one is venturing out. So there's really no choice but to relax and let nature take its course and deal with the consequences when we get there. That perspective helped me be able to enjoy the down time tremendously. Someone remind me of it when I am crying broke in January and wondering how I got so broke.

To wind down the day and celebrate the eve of Christmas Eve Party Eve, we had a lovely dinner at La Bottega and booked our New Years Eve reservation for a wine tasting dinner. Now are dropping the kids off at home and going over to the home of friends for poker and cocktails. Tomorrow? Another snow day. My booked jobs have cancelled and Tim cannot get to his office in Gladstone, Oregon. Hopefully we can keep the anxiety and bay and enjoy it.


stephanie (bad mom) said...

Hoping the anxiety stays away; it would be hard to enjoy the snowy fun when money is slipping away...

Your gifts sound lovely - I particularly like to hear about homemade stuff.

I'm sorry I missed your earlier query about what we're giving. If you still care, we do 3 gifts per person: something to wear, something to read, something to play with. Really we give 3 gifts to open; I might put 4 books in one gift bag, sweater & jeans in another. But the point is to narrow down what each person would really like, limit the crazy of the gift haul, and be creative (a calendar can be something to read; lip gloss or cologne to wear).

ANYway. Hooray for the successful cleaning party and merry Christmas :D

My Name Is Cat said...

Sounds like a good Christmas for all. I'm wishing you more work than you can handle for the new year.

Keetha said...

I like your thought process - there's nothing to be done about being house bound and unable to work, so just go with it. January will take care of itself.

Also, a wine tasting dinner to look forward to! Fun!

Keetha said...

Hey - what about that gumbo? I meant to ask how all that had turnd out. Inquiring minds.

bernthis said...

I work freelance and know how you feel. Fact is it is your choice how you want to feel today, tomorrow or anytime. It's a lot harder to choose to feel happy when the world is falling apart but, oh boy here I go, sounding just like my mother, God help me "At least you all your health".

Have fun tomorrow.

karismar said...

my, my...where's a girl to gather an ounce of sympathy if not on her own blog, eh?!!!

HB said...

I hope you have a wonderful party - a glass of wine is good for stress!
Have a Merry Christmas!