Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is a Fairy Tale They Say

Every year we go visit Santa and buy candy and fudge and look at the downtown Christmas lights. Every year. As in, we ALWAYS do it.

This year, we couldn't seem to find time to fit it in. First, there was the 4th grade musical. Then, the 7th orchestra winter concert. Then winter guard practice. Scholarship volunteer hours. Anime club. Teen Advisory Board meeting at the library. Band concert. And on and on it went.

I was complaining that all of the kids' activities were starting to interfere with our Santa visiting time when it hit me like a mean brick- the kids? They grew up. They aren't little kids with open schedules and visions of Santa anymore. They are teens and tweens with extra curricular activities and visions of X-boxes and iPods under the tree. No need to ask Santa.

But wait a minute! I still want to see Santa! I'm not ready to give up this yearly tradition. Not yet. Our youngest child just turned eight and it can't be over yet. Not yet.

We finally managed to squeeze a visit in this week, but we couldn't convince the Boy to go with us. We did manage a quick shot of all of us with Santa and Little Bean told him that she really wanted a puppy this year. Oh poo. (Santa handled that really well. Thank you, Santa.)
Hey, I think I see a future Santa there on the left. 

So, we're barreling toward our first high school graduation and we probably just made our last visit to Santa. This year is really kicking my butt. 

This week kicked particularly hard. My sister was in a bad car wreck. The Big Guy picked a fight with black ice and the ice totally won. We had another less than enjoyable visit with a contractor. Our hardwood furniture is still held up in customs. The high school was put on lock down for a doomsday bomb threat and later evacuated (in mid-20s temperatures) for a potential gas leak. By mid-day Friday I was functioning in one-crisis-at-a-time mode. Some folks say life marches on, but I don't think that is really true. I feel more like life is coming at us like a steam roller and if we don't keep running, running, running...we'll get run over. 

Friday night was movie night with 4 extra kids in the house (because we don't have enough kids in the house) and Saturday night was cookie night with 5 extra kids in the house. The house has been a little bit insane and we are completely exhausted. Movie night with the younger kids sounded more like a stampede of buffalo and cookie night required a mad rush to the store and resulted in me burning my finger and teaching my 10 year old the new word "mofo" which I yelled out in my best outdoor voice. The stress of the week has taken it's toll and I had to wonder why we would commit to having all of these kids over to hang out at our house at this crazy time. 

Then I looked into the kitchen tonight and saw 7 teenagers laughing and decorating gingerbread men. They were eating pizza rolls and cutting out cookie dough and drizzling melted chocolate over peanut butter balls. They were all crowded around the new island in our newly remodeled kitchen sharing some fun down time after finals. What a great way to kick off winter break. And in that moment I thought "yeah...we're home...we're going to be ok." I knew, this is exactly what we were fighting for all those long months since the fire. We're home for the holidays and all of the crazy is a whole lot easier to cope with from the comfort of our home. 

We're carrying on our new tradition of the countdown socks. This whole week, according to the kids, the countdown socks contained crappy surprises. They are right. In all the rush and stress of the week we resorted mostly to candy. The night the Big Guy fought with the ice we didn't put anything at all in the sock. Tonight, we figured it was time for something fun. We set up a sort of scavenger hunt based on Frosty the Snowman. Each clue corresponded to a set of lyrics in the song. The clues were found on a can of corn (corncob pipe), a Cinderella DVD (a fairy tale they say), a broom (a broomstick in his hand), etc. They led to container of self-stick snowman parts for snowman building. 

We confiscated their cell phones so they couldn't look up the song lyrics but that was useless because Rough Stuff is a displaced elf and she knows the lyrics to every single Christmas song by heart. She sang the lines one by one and the teenagers landed the clues in nothing flat. Next time we play this game we'll have to confiscate her. 

Now that school is out and the performances and parties are all over, we're looking forward to a very calm, quiet Christmas. 


You hear that?

It's the universe laughing. Who are we kidding?     

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