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Thursday, November 3, 2011

And so it begins...

Now that the madness of Halloween is past, it’s time for what my peeps at Rants From Mommyland like to call The Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral.

When I first read that particular post last year, I found myself nodding my head and making affirmative noises that annoyed and perplexed my office mate to no end. Then I realized that I don’t really have it so bad. Here’s why:

1. My kids are YOUNG. Which means:
     a. No sports parties, coach’s gifts, or schedule-shuffling for end-of-season games.
     b. Only one kid is in “big school” and the extent of my obligation to the class party is supplying some sort of food item the room-mother-in-charge (call her RIC) has deemed I can be trusted to provide without much effort or thought.
     c. Daycare is at work, so those parties can be attended on breaks! No time off needed.

2. My family decided a year ago to buy only for the kids. Which means more $$ in my pocket to squander on useless crap for said kids, that will probably be broken before New Year’s. Mixed Blessing.

3. It’s horrible, but I really don’t have to deal with the IL’s much over the holidays. They don’t really DO Christmas, and we do. And, the last eleventy-bajillion times we’ve invited them over for BBQ’s, birthdays and whatevers, they don’t show up. So the Big D sort of gave up on making any firm plans with them. It’s sad because we love his family, but it’s another mixed blessing in that we have a slightly more flexible holiday schedule because of it.

4. My mom still does Thanksgiving at her house. I have not yet been granted the right privilege of working my fingers to the bone for a week providing a hearty holiday meal for the entire family. Don’t get me wrong, I totally help out, making stuffing, making my famous gravy, helping the kids set the table…you know, helpful stuff.

5. I don’t do Black Friday. I did once, and that was enough for me. Never. Again.

6. I live in California. It gets foggy, and it rains (sometimes) but we don't get snowed on where I live.  We VISIT the snow.  For Fun.  Yeah, I know. Oh, and our landlord pays for a gardener to rake the leaves that deign to fall.

7.  I don't do Christmas Cards.  It's just too much work to find a decent card, compile the addresses, sign every single one, address every single one, stamp every single one, and take them to the post office.  Nevermind wondering who is going to pitch a fit because they did not get one, or why there were no pics of the boys in them, or or or or or.  A people-pleaser I am not.

On the other hand…

A) I don’t do Black Friday. That means I have to deal with the hordes of people flocking to every retail space in North America in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

B) My kids are YOUNG. With on-site daycare. Which means I have no excuse for dragging out pick-up when I get The Call to pick up my snotty/pukey/poopy kid before they start leaving an impenetrable wall of germy goodness on every available surface.

C) Family only buys for kids. Which means an excessive haul of stuff times 3 kids.

D) Family only buys for kids, but we also have 3 or more White Elephant gift parties to attend. And for some reason, I always end up choosing the wine…

E) My mom still does Thanksgiving at her house. Which means something is going to get broken or stained or worse. Funny those things don’t happen when she watches the things every week. Just at family functions.

F) I live in California. Only 29% of California residents know how to drive well in the rain. Of that 29%, only 2% will be driving in the rain when I am on the road. Leaving me with the other 69% of crappy drivers.

G) The Fog. It’s Tule Fog, which means it’s basically soup. You can’t see more than a car length in front of you, and high-beams make it worse, which is why fog-lamps were invented. Yet the vast majority of drivers here insist on driving the regular speed limit, with their high-beams on. I am surrounded by idiots.

H) I don’t have to play with my IL’s. Which means oh-so-much family togetherness with my family. Which makes my right eye twitch. And my B to hover just below the surface, ready to burst forth in all her snarkety glory with little to no provocation from my mom family. Which makes Big D ask dumb questions about my regular consumption of mood-altering prescription medications.

What fun times do you have planned this holiday season?