* Shopping: DONE! Seriously, it is so amazing for me to have finished my shopping before December first this year that I can't believe it. I have to interject an amusing story here. Yesterday I told Annamarie to empty her bathroom trash can, and she decided to empty all the ones in the house. Late at night I was craving chocolate and I remembered that there were M&Ms in the bag of stocking stuffers I had bought. All of the stocking stuffers were in a Target bag that I had tied shut and set on top of the waste basket in my scrapping area. It looked like trash, so I knew the kids wouldn't notice it, but I realized that Annamarie had emptied it into the trash bag and carried it out to the garage. Of course mine was the first trash can she emptied, so that bag (fortunately still tied shut) was on the bottom of the big Hefty Bag. I dug through all manner of unsavory things to retrieve my children's peppermint stick and orange. Hey, if it was good enough for Laura and Mary Ingalls....
* Wrapping: Mostly done. I have a stack of gifts on the kitchen counter, wrapped in identical paper, with no ribbons or TAGS. I truly hope that I will remember who they're for by the time I get the tags made. I wrapped one of my gifts in one of these this year, and I laugh every time I imagine the face of the recipient, who asked for something very specific. I will be around to see it opened.
Thomas has been home for one day and is driving me crazy asking, "Where are our presents hidden? You can just tell me, because I am NOT going to look. I'm just curious." Right. This is total divine retribution because I was a terrible gift snoop. My poor mom had to devise codes for the presents instead of labeling them, and one year my assumption that I had figured out the code led to bitter disappointment when the Sony Walkman whose wrapping I slit open and re-taped turned out to be for my brother. Given my own checkered past one would think that my son's snoopiness would just amuse me, but it drives me insane!
Annamarie is right behind with her million questions about how Santa is going to make the sparkly purse she asked for and EXACTLY what time does he come and how does he get in and when will he leave the North Pole and all of this wouldn't bother me except that she is almost eleven. I am so torn between not wanting to spoil the magic for her and wanting to say, "Dude, do you not see any inconsistencies in this story?" And I am trying so hard to make them focus on Jesus this year and if Jesus would maybe just come with more sparkly pocketbooks and video games it would be easier. Annamarie melts my heart when, out of the blue, she says, "Mom, Jesus is my favorite." But recently she has been adding, "Santa is my favorite too." She is clearly hedging her bets, wanting to stay on the good side of whoever is bringing the loot.
Oh, was I making a list?
* Baking: We made cinnamon ornaments, and they are stacked on the stove waiting for me to go over to the Ben Franklin and get some homespun to tie on them. Everyone who comes over thinks they are cookies and it is just a Christmas miracle that no one has taken a bite of their cement-y goodness. Tonight we made actual edible sugar cookies, most of which I am taking to my Sunday School class in the morning. Mmmm, sprinkles.
That's pretty much it except for last minute details and a lot more talking about Jesus and his birth. And a lot more, "No, I am not telling you. No, they are not in the attic. No, they are not in the garage. I am not telling you."