I have started writing this post 2 3 4  multiple times now, and each time, I have deleted everything I wrote before and started over – and not, as you may suppose, because what I had written previously was so bad! No, I keep starting over because each time, my mood swings and whatever I wrote before no longer reflects how I’m feeling about Christmas this year.

So I guess how I’m feeling is ambivalent. Wouldn’t that make a lovely Christmas carol? “We wish you an ambivalent Christmas…and a so-so New Year!”

But I think ambivalent is probably a more realistic perspective than it’s all good or it’s all bad. Not that many people do, in fact, walk around saying “Bah, humbug!” but from talking to some people and hearing about how terrible their life is, they might as well say it.  The truth is that this whole Holiday Season is made up of a whole bunch of normal, everyday kind of days, and mixed in with the good is the bad, whether we like to admit it or not.

So as I try to arrive at something close to a point, let me just say that yesterday was a bad day. The lights on the tree won’t all light up – and so after expending a whole lot of energy trying to figure out why, I’ve finally given up and have resigned myself to stringing an entirely new set of lights on the tree.  But this time I’ve gotten smarter! I’m using the indoor/outdoor kind with BIG BULBS! That way, it takes fewer lights to illuminate the tree!

I considered just buying a whole new tree.  Until I saw this at Target.  Even worse is that the tree was really ugly.  I looked at Hobby Lobby, just to give it a fair shot, and learned that they have really pretty floor models, all of which say “Price Reduced!” then in small print “Sold out. Floor model not for sale.”.  Thanks for getting my hopes up, then dashing them.

Another reason yesterday was bad was because I haven’t finished my Christmas cards yet.  Because (THANK YOU U.S. POSTAL SERVICE) I’m having to go through and write on every envelope “Please note the new zip!”. Yes, our zip code has changed but we haven’t moved and our address is identical in every other way. Some idiot just decided there were too many people living in our zip code and changed the last digit. From a 4 to a 3.  Yeah, that’s not going to be hard for people to remember.

How can you have too many people living in one zip code? I mean, does it put too big a load onto one particular mail sorter machine? Couldn’t they have simply updated the machine, rather than put all of us through the excruciating pain of changing our ZIP CODE with every single company that needs our address? And to top it off, our zip is so new, it doesn’t even show up half the time!!! So when I order online, it’s always a shot in the dark – do I use my old zip, or do I chance it and use my new one??? And lest you think it doesn’t matter, I have actually lost entire orders because A) That particular system didn’t recognize my new zip or B) My entered zip didn’t match the zip on my credit card. It’s a lose-lose situation, if ever there was one.

Here is what my kitchen island looks currently.  Have I mentioned that I am hand addressing my cards this year???  I’ve never done that before, I don’t think.  But because my computer had the virus, I couldn’t print labels.  Then, after every one was hand addressed, I was informed by my husband that we did not receive the usual address labels from State Farm this year.  So I had to go back and write in the return address.  That’s when I remembered that we have a new zip code.  And I think I’ve pretty well covered how I feel about that.

Add to that children who have decided they hate each other and a dog who should be nicknamed “Cujo” and you get the picture – yesterday was not good.

However, now that it’s over, I have to laugh a little about some of what happened. For instance, Matthew and Samuel have this ongoing battle about how Matthew spells Samuel’s name. Here is one of the joys of living with Matthew – he thinks Samuel should be spelled Samule. And it drives Samuel CRAZY. No matter how I try to stop Matthew from saying it and Samuel from asking, they just keep going at it.

So yesterday, at the dinner table, Samuel asked Matthew how to spell “Samuel” and Matthew responded in the usual manner so I told them not to speak to each other anymore. In return, Samuel turned to Peter and asked him how to spell his name. Peter answered “s-t-u-p-i-d”.

Yeah. He’s not a preteen or anything.

By the end of dinner, everyone had lost every privilege except bathing and going straight to bed.

However, this morning is decidedly brighter. The kids are at school for one last day before their 2 week break, and since today is a party day at school, they all woke up without alarm clocks and were ready to go 15 minutes early!!!!

Add to that the wonderful cold weather, the stack of firewood outside, a dog I can finally walk since the rain has stopped and you have the makings of a lovely day! My Christmas cards are almost ready to mail, my shopping is pretty much done, and – best of all – today I get to finally unload all these teacher gifts and not think about them again until next December!

So it’s not all bad! Who knows, maybe I’ll even turn on some Christmas music! Maybe I can find a song about having a mediocre Christmas.

Here’s wishing you and yours a very blah Christmas and an abnormally normal New Year!

Now, my Christmas gift to you – more pictures of my completely average children!

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Picked Peter up from 5th grade camp and he was all smiles – despite falling into the lake right before they got on the bus!  (Falling in the lake actually made his story THE most popular story from camp.  I’ve heard it retold multiple times.)

Tuesday night, Samule Samuel and I went to his gingerbread house pajama party at school.  We had basketball practice starting right after, so we had to rush through making our house.

Of course, Samule cared not one iota about the house and just kept eating candy.

That is, he didn’t care about his house until I we finished making it.  Then he looked around and started complaining about how boring ours was compared to the ones with 2-3 stories.  I almost said – but bit my tongue – “Kid, you’re lucky you even got to come tonight.  Look around – the ones with the really cool houses have TWO parents here building their house!  You’ve got ME and we’re in a hurry!”

Next up – practice – where Samule Samuel showed off his MAD SKILLZ…at doing the splits.

The next morning, the roof had caved in on the GB house so I fed it to him for breakfast.  I figured it was payback for the teachers who fed him all that candy then sent him home with us.

I almost bought this for my dog.  Until I remembered our dog would EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST on Christmas morning.  Mmmmmm…tasty!

I had never actually seen a pair of these, but have read about them on various blogs.  And I have to agree…if you’re too tired to change out of your pajamas into ACTUAL jeans, then you should just stay in bed.  But you’ve gotta love the blurb “Pajamas you live in.  Jeans you sleep in.”.  Notice it’s actually TRADEMARKED.  Because good heavens – you would never want anyone to steal THAT gem of marketing verbiage!!!