It's the most wonderful time! | | Brainerd, Minnesota

It's the most wonderful time!

It's that time of the year again.

By that I mean it's winter.  And of course, it really started about a month ago.  I like to avoid thinking it's winter until we get a really good snow, and this past week and a half we finally got it. 

I don't like winter.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing in the snow with my almost 4 year old, I do enjoy all the Christmas season brings... but it seems that with the good, there's always some not-so-good... frustrating things...

For example, you know how you'll be driving down the road, you're going at a good pace, still driving safely, and all of a sudden, there's some jerk in front of you driving 10 miles an hour on the highway?  Well, I apologize, because it's probably me.  It's not because I drive like a turtle... it's because I drive a Civic, and it's just not heavy enough to get through the snow and ice. 

Do you remember when you were young and had to work on the holidays because you were "low-man-on-the-totem-pole" and there was that one person that would walk in right before you were going to close and then made you late?  Well, I apologize again.  Because of my outstanding memory capacity, I can't seem to go to the store just once, the grocery stores love me around Thanksgiving- I think this year I made about a dozen trips (in just one day!)

The one thing I have nothing to do with is the holiday shopping.  At least not the Black-Friday-up-all-night-waiting-for-almost-deals, or the "Get away from that toy because my kid wants it!" (as they ram your cart into the paper towel pyramid)...  Nope, to me Christmas should be about joy, happiness, and celebrating what Christmas really is- Jesus' birth, and being able to see family and friends!  I like to think that my family keeps it pretty simple- without too much fuss about things that aren't going to matter when the January storm blows in and snows us in for a week... (always make sure to have enough batteries for the toys...) 

Of course, there are some obstacles for keeping Christmas simple...

It really starts just after Thanksgiving...  After rousing myself from my self-induced food coma (I have come to the conclusion I'd make a pretty respectable bear), I have to dig out all of the Christmas decorations.  I refuse to put them up before Thanksgiving- you can't skip a food holiday! You can't count the lights that are on the outside of our house- those are up all year... maybe I'll actually take them down this spring...

Decorating the tree is getting pretty interesting too- my oldest daughter is now big enough to help, and bless her little heart- she does a great job of hanging things on the tree.  We let her pick where to put the ornaments this year and it looked picture perfect! (if you're Picasso)

Once we rearranged the ornaments (after she went to bed) we planned out the cookies- from my previous post you get an idea of what we are working with... I'm not sure how, but each year it seems like we make more.  Of course, we never actually keep track of what we made and each year we think that we ran out- so naturally we just make more... (pretty soon I won't have to make gingerbread houses... I'll be living in one!)

Because of the massive amounts of cookies we make it takes 2-3 days- and of course, my daughter gets to help with that too.  To her credit she is a great helper and really does a good job helping out.  However, it's still about what I imagine cooking with a Muppet for a helper would be like... Oh well, help is help I suppose.  :)

Then with Sunday School, work, baking, and trying to organize the plan to visit relatives, the days leading up to Christmas begin snowballing together so by about today, we don't know up from down, left from right or inside from out. 

But I know that tomorrow, we'll wake up, start our travels, and despite all the craziness that this time of the year brings, it won't feel stressful, it won't feel like we need to pull our hair out to make it through this last week of the year.  And, as the day goes on, we'll all enjoy it and have a good time!

Merry Christmas to everyone!


p.s. and if you see some jerk driving down the highway tomorrow going 2 miles an hour- just wave, it's probably me.