Ready for Christmas?

I’ve been wavering between feeling downright euphoric (I’ve actually squealed at the piles of boxes waiting for me to open and squirrel away, and I was super-excited when I scooped up something the girls will like thanks to my oh-so-clever friend C) and going into a minor panic at what I haven’t done yet.

Did I tell you about what happened last year? We were at our Christmas Eve church service when J leaned over and said, “I wonder what Santa’s going to get for Madison.” Madison. You know, our goldfish. As far as I was aware, Santa had made no provisions for Madison the Goldfish at all. Which is ridiculous, because he always gets some things for Isis the Cat. So, on Christmas Eve, after the kids were in bed, I headed out to Target hoping to find some fake kelp in the pet section. So, first? Whatever you and I might think about Target on every other day of the year, Target at 10 pm on Christmas Eve is an utterly joyless place. It’s a bunch of disorganized, stressed-out people and children who should have been in bed long ago. Plus, the fish offerings in the pet section consisted of fish food. Nothing festive. Santa ended up picking out some window gels to put on the tank. Hopefully Madison enjoyed that. J thought it was cute. Anyway, I feel pretty confident that Santa was clever enough to hit the pet store hard and early this year, so that’s one less worry.

Holiday preparation-wise, today was not my most successful. I had two main items on the to-do list. First, send off a package to Grandma, then head to the (gasp!) mall in search of just a little something more for one of my daughters. Have I mentioned that my daughters have given me almost zero ideas? It hasn’t been helpful. M started by asking for a phone and a dog. That’s not happening, and she most downgraded to a kitty. I’ve pointed out that the reason that we own our cat is because she couldn’t get along with the other feline at her previous adoptive home. J started with “I don’t know” and has most recently declared that she only wants a pull-up bar and some chocolate. Our small, old house doesn’t appear to have a single doorway in which a pull-up bar can be installed. But I bet she’ll score some chocolate.

Anyway, Cute W drove our new Rogue to work so that he could bring home the large-ish gift that had been delivered to his office, which left me with his car.  So my first challenge was that I couldn’t find the damn keys. I’ve been so spoiled by the Rogue. I just need to have the keys somewhere in the general vicinity, and I love that feature. It didn’t seem like that big a deal when we bought the car, but it has changed my life. Except not this morning. Eventually I found the keys, but by the time I got to the counter with my package, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet with me. I’d dumped it out of my bag while I was searching for the keys. Then I was told the package probably wouldn’t arrive by Christmas. Well, good effort.

Then it was off to the mall. Cute W had driven away with the GPS stored in the Rogue, too. I’m sure that you remember that I am crippled by a complete lack of directional-sensing abilities. So much so that I’d looked up and written down the directions to the mall. On a sheet paper that was cast aside during my frantic search for keys. Well, I reasoned, surely I could make it to the mall. I’ve lived in the area for 12 years, and I’ve been there many, many times. Yes, well. My ability to get lost is well-nigh heroic. If getting lost were a superpower, I’d totally be wearing a cape right now. I ended up having to park at a random Hannaford to run in to the bathroom and check the GPS on my phone. Tragic.

By the time I made it to the mall, there was a big flashing sign suggesting that I might drive to a different entrance, but I’d barely made it to the ramp I’d found, so I ignored that.  The parking lot was a horror show. I was way too hesitant for some mad-dog shopper who blared her horn into me as I hesitated between near-left and far-left lane. Being at the mall was a bit like visiting a wake as I mourned the loss of M’s favorite store (Delia’s) and J’s favorite store (Ruum). There was so much inventory that I wished I had the girls with me to do some serious shopping, but anytime that they’re free is a time when the mall is likely to be even more crowded, and as you can tell, I barely made it through my trip on a weekday morning, so. . . no. Maybe we’ll try after Christmas. Anyway, purchases were made. Also, chocolate was acquired. I managed to get things home and hidden away before J was home. Which means that I’ve swung, once again, from despair to optimism. Maybe I’ll get it all done.

Hope you’re all ready.

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