By Kelly Hines
Halloween is only a few days away, and while my kids are busy preparing for candypalooza, I’m eyeballing the calendar. Halloween officially kicks off the slow descent into madness known as “The Holidays.” I thought I’d share this helpful timeline to keep you on track for the holidays.
October 31: Halloween
November 1: Put away Halloween decorations and start planning for Thanksgiving
November 2-Thanksgiving Week: Stress out over who’s hosting, who’s bringing what, getting the house cleaned, and why in the world you keep making pumpkin pie when no one eats it.
Thanksgiving Day: Spend 17 hours preparing food, 15 minutes eating eat, and three hours cleaning up.
Day After Thanksgiving: Decorate for Christmas and stare at the calendar in shock.
December 1-15: Attend 4,628 school performances, plays, and holiday parties. Plan on making 93 classmates homemade ornaments as gifts, settle with throwing a bag of half eaten Hershey’s Kisses on the table at the class party.
December 15: Try to get everyone together for a Christmas card photo. Realize your son has a hole in the front of his red sweater and the crotch of your daughter’s white tights hits her at the knees. Decide you hate him in red anyway, and she doesn’t really need tights. It’s only 30 degrees. Take 400 terrible pictures with your phone and 1 good one. Spend six hours on the Costco website trying to find the cutest card at the cheapest price. Finally get everything ordered and picked up, realize you sent the wrong photo. Go with it anyway. Spend a hundred bucks on postage and try not to think about the fact that they will all be thrown away on December 26.
December 16: Wake up in a cold sweat at 1 a.m., realizing you have not bought a single present.
December 17: Thank your diety of choice for Amazon Prime.
December 20: Your youngest tells you, for the very first time, about the toy he absolutely MUST HAVE for Christmas. In fact, it’s the only thing he wants for Christmas. He told the Mall Santa, so he’s confident he’ll get it.
December 21: Search desperately for the aforementioned toy, to no avail. Consider this being the year you have the “Santa Talk”.
December 22: Find the last one of the toy, choke at the price, decide to buy it anyway. It was time to give up that Starbucks habit anyway.
December 23: Wrap presents. Remember how much you hate wrapping presents. Decide that wrapping presents would be better accompanied by a glass of bourbon.
2 Hours Later: Realize that was a bad idea.
December 24: For real freak out. Prep Christmas dinner, purchase new white tights for your daughter who now NEEDS them for church, bake cookies for Santa, find one floppy carrot in the crisper bin for Rudolph, feel not at all guilty for sitting your kids in front of the TV for six hours straight, read aloud both ‘Twas the Night AND the Bible story and do not, under any circumstances, throttle your husband when he announces that he’ll be spending the day alone, shopping to “get into the Christmas spirit”. Do not be jealous and resentful when he goes way over budget and gets better stuff for the kids than you did. Don’t be angry when he gets you something a) completely over the top, or b) something that doesn’t fit in all white. Even when you got him exactly what he asked for.
December 25: Wake up at 3 a.m. and remember the gift you still have in the back of the car. Never get back to sleep. Get up with the kids at 6, destroy your living room, eat a ridiculous amount of baked goods, drift off to sleep on the couch for 15 minutes, until the kids start asking you to play everything they got. Play, eat, repeat. And when you crawl into your bed that night, limp like a noodle and full as a tick, be thankful. Spend a moment in gratitude for the madness and realize, at the very last moment, what it’s really all about.