The last few days have been trying, to say the least. My father-in-law has been wrestling with his mortality in the ICU, but he’s home now, just in time for the holidays. Although he’s currently weak as a kitten he remains as feisty as ever. Chalk one up for the tenacity of our elder statesmen.
But enough of this sentimental junk. My family deserves their privacy so let’s get to back to bellman blogging business.
The day for before the Big Day has arrived. For parents, Christmas Eve isn’t about religious symbolism, acts of gratitude towards those we hold dear or any other holiday staples. No, when you’re a parent, Christmas Eve is about...
1) That last-minute trip to the
battlefield mall… that you regret five seconds after entering the parking lot.
2) Hunting for surprise gifts that seem to appear on your kids’ list the day before the stores close for the season.
3) Pouring over empty shelves for appropriate stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank.
4) Realizing the bank’s been busted beyond recognition anyway.
5) Accepting your holiday poverty and moving on.
6) Standing in a line that. Never. Ends.
7) Staging an expedition in a metal, fiberglass and glass jungle in hopes of finding your car and returning home to tell the tale of the horrors you’ve seen.
8) Lugging what was supposed to be two bags – but turned out to be ten – of seasonal wares into the house, past the pets, kids, and assorted jink that’s always lying around, just underfoot.
9) Digging the wrap, tape, tags and bows back out from their appropriate resting place – which is never accessible.
10) Sobbing quietly while staring at the pile of presents before you.
11) Abandoning your task to concentrate on the holiday feast.
12) Imagining the enormity of the task before you while the oven heats up.
13) Stifling the urge to shout out for help from the family. (You fool.)
14) Cursing your family’s need to eat as you tend to four burners, the oven, the microwave, the crock pot, the blender and miscellaneous appliances.
15) Staring at a once-full bottle of “cooking wine” and whispering, “I’d do it again. Is there another bottle somewhere?”
16) Surveying the carnage that was once your kitchen and setting off to find another bottle…
17) Watching in abject horror as a meal that took eight hours to prepare is devoured in eight seconds. (Don’t people swallow anymore? They just inhale.)
18) Whipping the dirty dishes – and all that damn fruitcake Aunt Bessie brings over – into the yard of the vacant house across the street.
Or is that just me? Never mind.
19) Resetting the kitchen – one way or another – for the
horror festivities to come.
20) Watching the family room slowly disintegrate into a smoldering heap as the Christmas Eve festivities unfold.
21) Trying to lose yourself in the joy of the season while your mind contemplates the tasks that remain.
22) Ushering everyone off to bed so you can get right back to work on those tasks you put off until now.
23) Digging the last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers out to conquer them once and for all.
24) Realizing you haven’t dug the stockings out. And silently screaming at that realization.
25) Making a vow to be better prepared next year.
26) Shuddering yourself to sleep as you realize the futility of that vow.
Well, this may not have been my best work (I’ve been too worried about my family to focus on writing this holiday season), but its done.
Have a safe, happy, holiday season, my dear friends. I love you all – in my own way.
See you in the lobby, kids…
What do you mean The Hook’s writing another book? Haven’t we suffered enough as a people? When will it end?