Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Very Odd Christmas

We're having an odd Christmas this year, extreme good mixed with extreme bad.

We got all of our Christmas lights up on the outside of the house by Thanksgiving (a first in about eight years).  Our neighbors joined in.  For the first time ever, all the houses on our street are lit up and colorful.  It's awesome.  But we have no ornaments on our inside tree - just lights.  I suspect the ornaments are not going to emerge from the basement this year - I'm starting to accept it.

My husband wanted to get me the awesome Kitchenaid mixer parts of my dreams so I can make soup, lots of soup.  We decided to include it in my Amazon order with the kids' gifts  if only to be efficient.  Apparently if I want it wrapped, I'm going to need to do that too.  It's unwrapped under the tree. 

My husband planned on taking vacation the week after Christmas - it's a use it or lose it kind of thing.  He's been working 70 hours a week lately (no exaggeration) and getting about four hours of sleep a night.  For his vacation, he only has to work 30 hours.  (Seriously.)

Yesterday my kids and I (babes included) made our amazing chocolate chunk cookies for teachers and friends.  We've made them every year for several years.  They have dark, milk, semi-sweet, toffee, and vanilla chips or chunks.  By some miracle, we made the batter and cleaned up the mess in record time even after a brown sugar and flour explosion.  But we missed or maybe mismeasured some critical ingredient - they tasted like chocolate-coated butter and were kind of wet.  After the first batch, I added more flour and egg to the remaining dough - this batch tasted like chocolate eggs. 

Christmas shopping has been really odd this year too.  I usually take a lot of time and energy shopping for my husband's very large family.  And I always miss the mark - I assume this from the complete lack of feedback about the gifts.  This year, my husband is handling his family.  I only had to shop for my kids and husband, one niece, and a nephew, which was much less stressful.

Yesterday I managed to ostracize a family member, which is uncool right before Christmas. But sometimes you have to stand your ground.  I wish I had said, "Gotta wipe the little guy's butt," and got off the phone before the conversation escalated to the point where I couldn't just let this person think I agreed with them.  I know I'm in the right in taking my stand (a story for another day), but it sucks to get an older person that upset - even if I was in the right, which I am.  (Note to self not to be narrow-minded and stubborn about things that have nothing to do with me in my old age.)

Both of my kids have a tremendous amount of reading to do over two weeks of Christmas break.  The good thing is, we love to read, and we all plan to read together.  I imagine us reading and then cooking, reading more and then baking, reading some more and making soup.  The time with my kids will make this the best ever Christmas for me.   


  1. Those cookies sound awesome, except for the vanilla chips.

  2. Thirty hours is a vacation?
    Sorry about the altercation with a family member. Maybe they'll forget. (You did say they were old...)

  3. This has been an odd Christmas season for us too. Usually I have my family (aunts and uncles included) to buy for and then my husbands family (bro an sis-in-law included)...but this year, I was told only to buy for my mom, dad and sister. My husbands parents are in the middle of a divorce, so we have to separate Christmas into two this year. For the first time in all my 22 years, I have no Christmas tree in my house. It's kind of odd listening to Christmas music and not have a tree or even stockings put up in my house.

    By the way, I found your blog from Elisa's blog. I'm your newest follower coming from

  4. Grumpy - We tried a different cookie yesterday - peanut butter with chocolate chips (some dark, some semi-sweet, some vanilla). I'm going to take on the failed recipe again today.

    Alex - He's not going to forget - he's going to fixate on it. And you are exactly right, that's not a vacation - I need to convince him to take all of his off time in the summer next year.

    Alicia - That's awkward even as an adult. I'd like a big LCD with an awesome tree - I know it's wrong but it's better than a naked tree. You reminded me I completely forgot the stockings. Thanks for the follow! I'll check out your site today.

  5. This is the first christmas in years my husband has off. He had a worse schedule than your husband. The new job has granted us a saner schedule. 1/2 the lights on my tree went out. Don't know if i'll get it fixed or not ...

  6. M Pax - Very frustrating on the lights. How long have people been selling lights? You would think by now they would just work.

  7. The lights sound so wonderful. It must look gorgeous! My husband handled the gifts for his side of the family this year too; it's such a great feeling ;)