Holiday Overtime Starts Tomorrow

When I was a child, I always knew Christmas was coming when the annual Christmas Advent calendar appeared at our house. For those unfamiliar, a Christmas Advent calendar is a holiday “child distraction,” created to (supposedly) help keep the religious basis of Christmas present in the holiday while relieving parents of the “how-many-days-till-Christmas” question every day. It is essentially a calendar numbered 1 to 25, counting down the days till Christmas. The numbers are printed on little “door” flaps and, behind each number, the little flap opens and reveals a candy or a small toy. They are fun for kids.

christmas advent calendarIn my little childhood  brain, I always knew that – once this calendar appeared on my parents’ refrigerator door –  somewhere, very far away, there was a massive “increase in elf output” happening. And it was all happening for me…

Santas elvesNow that I am a grown-up (and have been for longer than I care to admit), the traditional Christmas Advent calendar has been replaced at my house with what I less-than-fondly refer to as the “Countdown to Christmas List.”

From now till Christmas Eve about 8PM, I will be pulling double shifts…

working overtimeTonight after work, I actually sat down with a calendar – ours hangs on our kitchen door, BTW – and mapped out what needs to happen every day for the next ten days till Christmas Eve at 8PM. The “short list” includes: haircuts for me and my hubby, finishing/mailing about 30 more Christmas cards, finishing Christmas shopping after working eight hours on Monday, packing a box for my niece and her family to be mailed on Wednesday, after we renew a driver’s license and before I have therapy at 2:30P, attending an amazing holiday gathering the Saturday before Christmas, celebrating Christmas with MY family on 23rd December – the list goes on and on…

Truthfully? Right now, I feel more like this guy than one of Santa’s elves:

assembly line guyHo ho ho, am I right? But honestly? This really is my favorite time of year – it is a visually-beautiful holiday, my beloved Martin LIVES for Christmas and my nieces and nephews still get excited on Christmas Eve. So, I organize and schedule, chart and plan and at some point, ten days from now, I will sit down with my husband on Christmas Eve, enjoy a lavish and traditional Christmas Eve dinner – just the two of us! – on fancy plates at a candlelit table, and just breathe and live in that beautiful moment… 

Christmas Day, as is OUR tradition, we will spend the day together in our PJ’s (new pajama pants, no doubt – gifts from the nieces and nephews) eating leftovers and watching a zillion holiday movies, drinking “fancy coffees” and just being together. We will call friends/family and give thanks for all we have.

Tonight it looks like a long ten days ahead but somehow, the final “reward” seems MORE than worth the effort. Ho ho ho, away we go!

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