Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We do Christmas right...

Everyone may be picking out costumes and getting their candy ready for trick-or-treaters, but in my house, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

To explain, there are two things you should know about me: 1.) I love the holidays. 2.) I hate crowds.

From October 1st until New Year's Day, I am a happy woman.  As much as I hate shopping for myself, I love buying gifts for other people, and I spend hours at the mall, stores, and on shopping websites, getting ideas, making lists, and comparing prices.  I want to find the perfect gift to put a big, genuine smile on the recipient's face when they open their present.

But I despise crowds, particularly when I'm in my gift-shopping happy place, so it's imperative that I get all of my gifts bought weeks before Black Friday.

I also just love the time with my family, whether it's taking my son trick-or-treating with his cousins, or having everyone stuff our faces together on Thanksgiving.  I love the complete pandemonium that is a Christmas Day with a ton of people and kids underfoot.  I love Christmas Eve services with my church family.  I love the food, and the hot chocolate, and stockings, cheesy holiday movies and the way Christmas trees smell, and just everything about the entire Holiday season.

It's also great that I have so many kids to spoil, now.  Way back before any of us were married or had kids, I used to try to buy for my sisters like I was an extra parent (not that we didn't have plenty of those already).  But now, I've got four babies who can get cute clothes, and toys, and games and, honestly, whatever they ask me for.

Maybe that's why, a week before Halloween, I find myself sitting on the living room floor with my son, watching "Cars" and showing him how to wrap gifts.  We're wrapping the toys I let him pick out for his cousins, and I'm impressed by the way he remembers exactly which toy is for whom.  I have a mug of black coffee and he has a sippy of milk, and we have the artificial fireplace turned on.  (Only the light though; it's 65 degrees outside, and we don't need the heat.)

My little boy is being silly, and drapes wrapping paper over my head, saying, "I'm gonna wrap Mommy up!"  We finish with the gifts and pile them into boxes.  We have three boxes worth of presents wrapped now.  We're maybe halfway done.

Sadly, the boxes will have to sit in the attic for at least a month.  As much as I'd like to go ahead and start with my Christmas decorating, it's way too early to get a tree.

I'm also having to force myself to hold off on working on the gift baskets.  I've already wrapped the non-perishable items, but the cooking and baking and goodies-making will have to wait until closer to the big day.

But until it's time to string the lights and hang the stockings, I'm going to sate myself through spoiling my kids on Halloween and Thanksgiving.  They're like the warm-up holidays for Christmas.

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