Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

…a Meltdown.

Happy Holidays!  Are you still with me?  Are you coping ok with all the festive, joyous chaos on your calendar.  I think I am, for now.

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Two kids.  Two concerts.  Potlucks, Secret Santas, Hampers, International Shipping, Shopping, Buying, Wrapping, RSVP’ing, Dressing, Planning, Ordering, Running, Drinking, Eating, Drinking, Eating.  Its the most magical time in the year.  I BELIEVE!

When you’re the Chief Event Planner, Chief in Charge of Acquisitions and Head of Hospitality in your house, Christmas delivers the trifecta of a f*$%load to do.  I’m doing my best to ignore my inner GOOP, my Martha-esque tendencies for the perfect tree and the ultimate gift.  I’m TRYING.  Not totally succeeding but doing my best.

Its the final sprint at the end of the year.  All leading to that moment on December 24 when the dinner is served, the gifts are wrapped, the kids are in bed and the chips will fall where they may.  Over a Bailey’s on the rocks we’ll breath a sigh of relief and settle in for a long winter’s nap (only to be awoken by gift-hungry kids at sunrise).

Until then my recurring nightmare will rear its ugly head.  It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve forgotten to do EVERYTHING!  Every shop is closed except the local gas station.  Good thing the kids like scratch and win tickets windshield washer fluid, right?

I know I’m not alone.  You hang in there people.  We’re almost there and we’re in this thing together.  Smile when you open that gift from a colleague knowing how much thought and more importantly EFFORT went into that box of chocolates. Have patience with your friends when they double book themselves and miss your party.  Love your family for caring enough to work so hard to make Christmas a magical day for you.  Yes, hang in there friends, we are indeed almost there.

XOXO
The R&R Mom

 

The Holiday Buffet

vectorstock_1422154Dear Holiday Buffet:

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  Your oozy cheeses and tantalizing dips.  Your crispy crackers and comforting confections.  On olives, antipasto and bread.  On charcuterie, cookies and cake.  Yes chocolate in all shapes and sizes; truffles, barks and caramels.   The small little morsels so easy to enjoy and the forgetfulness that comes with alcohol so you lose track of just how many calories have been consumed.  Yes, I love you Holiday Buffet.  And passed hors d’oeurves.  You too sweets tables.

The open houses.  What a concept!  Stop by for a visit.  Eat and drink.  Carry on to the next and repeat.  I love this time of the year.  Why on Saturday alone we had 3 parties in succession all within 10 metres from our house.  On Sunday I should have done a fast or a cleanse or something, but instead I spent it in bed nursing a hangover.

So for the next two weeks it will be stretchy jeans, baggy sweaters and antacids for me.  Just so I can indulge in my true love.  Food.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good meal,

The R&R Mom

 

Hustle Bustle Blah

Even the big man is pressed for time...

Even the big man is pressed for time…

Fa-la-la-la-la… its that time of the year again when the pressure is on to take supermom status to a whole new level.  There’s gift buying/wrapping/ delivering, baking, card writing, greeting sending, party going, pageant attending, house decorating, charity giving and general mass organization.  I am the self-appointed project manager of Christmas in our house.

I love Christmas.  Always have.  You’ll never hear a humbug out of me.  Twinkling lights, Bing Crosby, Chestnuts – I love it!  Okay maybe not the chestnuts.  (Have you ever tried roasted chestnuts?  Um euw.)  But it is a lot of work when already juggling momhood with my day job.  So this year I’m trying to go easy on myself and online shopping has become my new best friend.  No more running around the crowded mall, sweating profusely and hoping you’ll find that EXACT thing in the right colour and size.  Hello online shops, you freaking rule.  I just ordered gifts, had them wrapped and delivered from the comfort of my couch.  Does it feel like cheating?  Absolutely.  Am I going to keep doing it?  I’d be stupid not too.  Its all about time management you see and if I did all of that on foot it would take the better part of an afternoon.

And how about those pesky teacher’s gifts.  I mean, poor teach, you probably have a pile of stinky lotions and travel mugs in your desk drawer of Christmas past.  Right?  How many boxes of chocolates can one poor teacher endure.  This year, they are getting a gift in name from Unicef – Survival Gifts to community schools in need.  I figure that may be appreciated more in lieu of yet another Starbuck’s giftcard?

Its the same with the cookie situation.  For years I spent a whole December Saturday baking.  And we all know how awesome I am at that!  Not this year my friends.  Not only am I so far off the wheat and gluten train that I won’t even enjoy the little goodies, I am so bad at making them I’ll save my family the grief.  Oh yes, it will be store bought this year.  Just enough for the big day so we’re not laden with too many treats for the whole season.

This year, I will pour my extra energy in hosting whoever wants to come by for some holiday laughs, creating memories instead of adding to the pile of stuff.  So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.  Just don’t expect any cookies or a beautifully wrapped gift.

Its Beginning to Look a lot Like…

The Christmas decorations in the hotel on my last trip kept reminding me of my shortcomings as a gift giver...

The Christmas decorations in the hotel on my last trip kept reminding me of my shortcomings as a gift giver…

Yes, yes it is.  The most wonderful time of the year.  Unless you’re someone’s mom.  Then its a little less wonderful and whole lot more manic.

I was organized this year.  With all the time on the road, I buckled down one free Saturday and did all the Christmas shopping in one shot.  Ordered the out of town gifts online so they shipped directly.  Sorted out the Shorties.  Organized.  Awesome.  Now we’re a week away from the big day and I’m starting to second guess.  Its like when you make a record and it takes 6 months for the label to release it, you start to worry.  Will it be ok?  Will they like it?  Is it enough?  So now I’m in that manic panic of running around from store to store coming out empty handed.  I know I shouldn’t worry.  Three weeks ago I was on top of the world, doing the Rocky run around the house, fists pumping; “I’m done!!!”  What happened between then and now that I am second guessing every gift I bought.  Seriously?  What’s my problem?

Aside from my own psychotic need to please people and make everyone’s holiday perfect, I’m also now deep in the throes of the hostess gift.  Stocking the right amount of gifts to give to those kind enough to invite all 4 of us over for some holiday cheer.  When you have toddlers, the hostess gift better be good to make up for the pomegranate juice spilled on the white carpet or Shorty #1 single handedly tearing off the fireplace door (this actually happened…).  Maybe a gift certificate for a maid service?  Or a free post-holiday/ visit by us carpet cleaning?  These are good ideas for next year.

I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and to be honest, this year I’ve taken a bit of a chill pill.  There’s no lights on the outside of the house and save for the stockings being hung by the chimney with care, the inside Christmas decor is kept to a minimum.  Maybe I’ll even live up to my annual vow to “not go overboard this year.”  So if you’re on my list, I apologize in advance if you hate it or if you think I cheaped out.  Its all about the presence, not the presents – right?

Happy holidays.  xoxo