Once upon a time, back when the boys were all very young and culture dictated that I was supposed to be harried and late to everything and have baby-barf on my clothes most of the time, I was none of those things. Organization, tidiness, and careful planning were the concepts that ruled the day. Especially the careful planning. Especially where Christmas was concerned.
Christmas planning started on December 27 or 28, possibly as late as January 2 or 3. Not for the Christmas of that year, but for the following year. Sales, y’know. Cards 50 to 75% off. Children’s toys, winter stuff like scarves and shawls and gloves, all marked way down. I’d stock up. There was a boxed labeled “Christmas (whatever year) in a closet. A list was made of what sort of cookie or candy this or that person preferred. Then later, around May or June, I would start making the things that had to be made- oh, not the cookies, that would be gross, but the sculptures and ornaments and sewn things, neatly labeled and put in the box. Usually by Thanksgiving, all Christmas gifts were purchased, made, packaged, and ready to be mailed. My whole life was like that. Packaged, orderly, and done early.
It had to be done like that. In order to be able to afford Christmas stuff for everyone on the list, it had to be spread out over a year. In order to have time to make all the stuff, it had to be started in June.
Now, notsomuch. Now, it goes like this:
“Oh shoot…go to Uncle Shug’s and see if they have any fried turkeys left!”
(look at the calendar and notice that Christmas is Wednesday of next week)
(spend 3 frantic days baking cookies and make a note on the calendar to start thinking about Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving of next year)
Ok maybe it’s not that bad, but close. Yesterday I woke up at 4 am, and in the midst of the Dark:30 mental wanderings, realized there were 2 immediate family members for whom I’d COMPLETELY forgotten to get a gift. I mean, I KNEW what to get, and had written it down (somewhere), but somehow that was as far as it ever got. Yesterday was spent doing the hated Mall Wander looking for the specific thing because Amazon didn’t have it in the right size that could be ordered with the 2 day shipping option. I found it, yay, but that was too close for comfort.
The calendar is one of those wonderful 18 month ones, that ends in June of next year, and a large not in red ink has been made on May 31, that says:
BEGIN CHRISTMAS LIST NOW