Okay, people, I've done the profound and moving part of Christmas. I'm ready to get real. And here, at 1:00 am on Christmas eve, after just finishing the Christmas wrapping, and half in the wrapper myself (not true, but you know my motto: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story), it's time to share my tips for making Christmas simple.
A Lindsay How-To:
How to...remove the stress of a huge concert just three days before Christmas: Get 24" of snow and get stuck inside all day, enjoying family.
How to...beat the crowds at the post office: Send your Christmas cards at 11:00 am on Christmas eve. No lines! No waiting!
How to... have the greatest Solstice party ever: Cancel it, then wait and see what happens instead.
How to... have the most beautifully decorated house ever: Buy four massive poinsettas for a concert, with intent of then delivering them to friends after concert... then... never... quite... get... to... it...
How to...avoid wrapping a large and bulky gift: Leave in car for two weeks, warning husband repeatedly not to look there, right after he repeatedly looks there. Leave gift in car. Forget about gift. Then, ask husband to do dump run at noon on Christmas eve. Then, at 12:45 a.m on Christmas eve (which technically is Christmas Day EST), look for gift and discover it's not there. Tell husband you can't find gift. He says, "Uh... you mean the glass shelves? They're right at the bottom of the basement stairs."
How to...make wrapping happen fast: Go to church at 7:00 pm, then stop into the local fire station with neighbor to drop off gifts, and get a 75-min tour by the Battalion Chief, seeing every corner of the entire station, including all of the trucks, the storage closets, the office, the workout room, the break room (where all of the firefighters were watching A Christmas Story on individual, matching maroon recliners), the control room, the training room, the sleeping quarters, the Captain's private quarters, the inside of the scuba ambulance, and the Pepsi machine where all the cans were two years out of date but free. Throughout, Daughter looks unspeakably cute in box-pleated red coat, white Mary Janes, and little red fireman's hat.
How to... Get nine plastic bowls and twelve plastic water-filled cups dirty as fast as possible. Leave them out on back step to feed reindeer.
How to...enjoy wrapping ten thousand gifts in 90 min. on Christmas eve, when you're already exhausted: Do all that stuff above, then wrap gifts so badly that you find yourself laughing out loud, repeatedly, all alone.
How to...ensure that the tape sticks: Run out of the four rolls of tape you bought (a bargain!!!) two weeks ago, because it turns out that each roll only had appx. 3 inches of tape on it. Use whatever you can find instead, because after all, it's Christmas eve. Aha! Super sticky packing tape, beginning at 11:30 pm with frugal, meticulously torn little pieces, but ending at 1:00 a.m with six-inch slabs of tape slapped on 4-inch stocking stuffers. (Continue laughing hysterically.)
I agree with Jimmy Stewart. It's a wonderful life.
Merry Christmas from our crazy house to yours!