Christina M. Currie: Memories that last
Many people got the gift of a three-day weekend for the Christmas holiday, but if they’re anything like me, it wasn’t near enough.
I look forward to Christmas Day every year. There are a lot of reasons, but primarily because it means the end of pre-holiday stress. What hasn’t been done Christmas morning just ain’t gonna get done (my editor is gasping for breath right now, but I’m just that adamant).
Really, on Christmas morning, I feel like a balloon that’s just had its air let out. It’s finally time to relax and enjoy the results of three frenzied weeks of preparation (OK eight days, but they were very stressful days).
But five days have passed, and I still haven’t hit that deflated point. I attribute that to the fact that, at ages 4 and 5, my girls are old enough to understand and revel in the joy of the holidays. Well, the joy of presents.
As I understand it, that joy is lessened when you can’t see spread out before you every single piece of every single toy that was opened Christmas morning.
And there are a lot of pieces.
Stupid Santa brought two, four-person tents (yeah, we have the space for that) and a 40-piece make-up kit (can you say carpet cleaner?), among other things.
Clearly, Santa was in a mind-altered state when she made those decisions.
I’m not opposed to the 107-piece art kits — though the scissors that were included are about to be “lost.” The practice pieces dot my living room floor like scattered snowflakes.
The glitter in the make-up kit is already gone, mostly used to glam up a stuffed puppy. What remained after the mongrel makeover is ground into the carpet, and I’m pretty sure one of the tents has been redecorated with nail polish.
I can’t find a place for everything faster than the girls can put everything in every place.
I don’t even have to think when I get home I just go into a zone where my mantra is “Pick up, pick up, PICK UP!”
I returned Saturday, after 10 days in sunny Arizona. I still haven’t managed to unpack the suitcase — mostly because I made carving a walkway a priority over having clean clothes.
The girls may be having more fun, but mommy certainly isn’t. She doesn’t even know where to begin when she walks into the house each evening.
I think my stress level will level out once the house is back in order — in 14 years or so.
I’m also sure that my post-Christmas Grinch’s heart will swell before it’s time to jingle bells again, and that will block out all memories of the past year.
I’ll forget my vow to purchase no toys with more than two pieces. I’ll forget that ribbons and bows are pointless. I’ll forget bigger is so not better. And, I’ll forget that “batteries required” really means “created to drive adults insane.”
I’ll remember the smiles and the laughter and the excitement and will do or buy just about anything that brings that back.
And I’ll remember that giving other people’s children the loudest, most annoying toys you can find will come back to haunt you.
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