I don't want to scare anyone, but in one month the Christmas tree will be empty, the trash cans stuffed full of discarded wrapping paper, and the return lines at Wal Mart and Toys R Us and Nordstrom's will be forever-long. Ouch. So much to do, so little time.
Except I don't plan on being hurried this year. I say that every year, and I'm notorious in my family for mailing packages a month late, but I'm really trying this time. I have each gift carefully planned, except for Chris', because his require the most thought on my part. Everyone else, though, is written down in my little notebook, ready to be crossed off when the gift is finished. Unfortunately, I'm making almost everybody at least one gift, which means I'm going to have to forfeit either sleep, meals, or cleaning to get them done. Guess which one will go.
On the other hand, the decorations are still up in the attic, and I'm just going to be honest: I hate decorating for Christmas. I love undecorating, and that probably makes me unAmerican, but the thought of crawling around in the attic and pulling out a multitude of enormous bins full of stuff that has to be artfully arranged, only to stuff it all away again in 5 weeks makes me itch. If it were up to me, I'd only have a tree and a decorated mantle. But I live with Father Christmas himself, so we compromise on decorating every room, including mini trees in the kids' rooms, and even in the bathrooms. How that's a compromise, I'm still figuring out.
This year, I'm on a quest: stockings. I have my stocking from my childhood, made by my Aunt Barb, but it's on its last leg. Chris' stocking has been handed down to Caiden, so now he has a stocking once designated for the dog--you know, pre-children. Funny thing is, we don't even have the same dog anymore. Grayson's stocking is an embarrassment--it says Baby's 1st Christmas 2004, and it's as ugly as dirt. Addie has a cute stocking, but her pink velvet clashes enormously against the rest. And since the mantle is the only thing I really care about, I have to make an improvement. Seeing as I'm already sewing a puppet theater, a multitude of matching pajamas, some cluches, handbags, and Christmas dresses, I don't have time to make stockings. I'm willing to give up cleaning, but certainly not sleeping or eating!
So--and wait until you hear this one! Bridget told me she was insanely jealous--Chris and I are going to Canton for the entire day Friday! If you're not from Texas, the word "Canton" doesn't evoke any warm fuzzies for you, so I'll help out: Canton is the site of the largest flea market in the world, if I have my facts straight. It has five covered pavilions that are each the size of at least a football field, filled with vendors down both sides. Chris thought it was all flea market junk, and there is certainly that on the outskirts, but everything under the pavilions is brand-new. You can buy high-end furniture, have flower arrangements made, personalize boutique clothing, you name it. I have a friend who almost entirely decorated her (super expensive) home from trips to Canton. And the food there is famous: foot-long corn dogs, grilled corn cobs, enormous turkey legs, funnel cakes. It's fair food, and who doesn't love fair food? Top it off with the fact that there are so many crazy women at Canton who bring their dogs and wear them in dog-style baby carriers on their chests or push them in doggie strollers that even without the corn dogs, Chris'll have a blast going just to people watch. I'm supremely proud to be the only member of the club (What club? I don't know; I just made that up. It's the club consisting of me, Bridget, and Brittani.) whose husband has willingly gone to Canton.
So Friday my entire purpose will be to find stockings for the family. They need to be handmade, so I can lie and say I made them, personalized, tasteful, and complementary as a whole. I have to keep that at the front of my mind, because when I get to Canton, the sight of so much stuff makes me forget what I'm coming for. Oh, and I need bows--Addie throws her bows off everywhere we go, and her hair is so long the poor thing can't see without one to hold her hair back (And she eats the small clips I get at Wal Mart), so I need to restock. Bows come cheap at Canton. Another perfect reason to go.
Chris and I have hired our sitter to come spend the entire day, and we'll drive off for 10 hours of shopping and eating. I can't even believe he's going. It would be like if I begged to go on his annual alligator gar fishing trip. Except that's never, ever going to happen. I'm so excited at the thought of a full day with just my husband (and thousands of crazy-dog-wearing-ladies), that I'll even cheerfully pull the bins down from the attic this week and get the house decorated. Now, if I could only come up with some other motivation to help me get the gifts actually made, wrapped, and mailed, that would be great.