Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Hell has begun. Warning: my holiday rant.

The only thing I really like about Christmas, is the day after Christmas. So begins our holiday timeline from Hell.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving and for an entire month after that, I stress out about what to get someone, whether I should order it online or go out and elbow my way through the mall to try to find it, whether I can get it in time, and whether or not I can get it mailed out in time to arrive for the holidays.

On top of that, we have to consider Holiday pictures for Sebastiano, decorations, and Christmas cards. Let's not forget about the handful of birthdays that happen right around Christmas, including Sebastians. Then we have school activities that I've volunteered to help with.

I hate Christmas cards. Am I the only person who detests sending these out every year? Are there really people out there who find joy in sitting down and filling these out? I mean, I don't even know where my address book is let alone if it's up to date. Before I met Phil, I never sent out one Christmas card. Once you get married and have a kid though, your Christmas Card Obligation Factor goes sky high.

Then let's talk about toys. This year, our son is really only insistant on maybe two toys for Christmas. Usually, that's easy. I go online the morning after Thanksgiving and order 'em, and they are here in just a couple days.

Unfortunately though, everyone else, their brother, and their dogs have all started ordering online. For me, this meant that the Shell Shocker (see above) and the other thing that Sebastian wanted, was sold out by the time I got online the morning after Thanksgiving. Everywhere. Well, except for Ebay. Ebay is partly to blame, too. All these people buy hundreds of these toys which contributes to why everything is sold out, then they jack the price up, and put them up to sell. And the sellers, they tout their items as being "Sold out everywhere!" and then you look in their inventory and find out that these assholes have 200+ of these items for sale, and you understand WHY they're sold out everywhere and only available on Ebay for $30+ more than they were retail. The worst thing is, I go to every online retailer I can find to see if they will have this silly toy in stock before the holidays, and when I find out that there is a slim or zero chance, in the end I resort to going to Ebay and coughing up the extra money after all. :(

Let's move on to Christmas eve. Let's just assume that you survive mailing out your Christmas cards, picking out the perfect gifts, wrapping 'em, mailing 'em etc. Now you have to wait for Santa to arrive.

This means checking his progress on the NORAD site. In our house, Sebastian basically sits at the computer all night and hits "refresh" over and over again like a crazed fanatic, eyes glazed over, just clicking and clicking.

There is no such thing as "bedtime" on Christmas Eve. Sure, you can put the little booger to bed, but he isn't going to sleep. Phil and I sit downstairs waiting for Santa to come, while listening to our son thumping around in his room. Generally speaking, he's pretty good about staying in there once you put him in there, but you always run the chance of some creatively made up excuse that he might use to LEAVE his room. You can go upstairs and beg, plead, yell and threaten Santa passing our house by, but this is all pointless and ineffective, and in the end you have the clock striking 4am with two pissy parents, powerless, tired, and desperate enough to consider drugs (for me, not my kid!) or nailing certain doors shut for the evening.

Finally, Santa comes. We trudge off to bed as the sun is coming up, being careful to boobey-trap doors so Sebastian doesn't sneak downstairs before waking us up because after all, the joy of Christmas is seeing the look on your kids face as they see the tree in the morning.

Approximately one hour and 45 minutes after my head hits the pillow, we are jolted awake by a wide-eyed, hyper, bouncing child furiously whispering "mommy? mommy? MOMMY?" If we ignore him (and we make a half-assed attempt to do so) he will climb into bed with us and start shaking us until we are left with no other option than to get out of bed.

Not without revenge, though. I send Phil down to make coffee and verify that Santa has indeed stopped by our house, and Sebastian is forced to suffer and wait until we have completed our first cup before we make our way downstairs. Now to those of you who might consider this "Cruel and Unusual Christmas Morning Behavior", let me just tell you that my siblings and I had to wait for my mom and my step-dad to polish off an entire CARAFE of coffee before we could go downstairs Christmas my son has it easy.

Then, whoever has been nominated to handle the video camera, has to make it downstairs before he does, to capture the moment.

Thus begins a sleep-deprived day of holiday and joy followed by a full week of attempting to recover.

Really, I'm not as negative and hateful during the holidays as this post probably leads you to believe I am, because by Christmas Eve I've pretty much been beaten into submission and I just go with the flow.

That's all, folks!

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