Secrets of a Stress-Free Christmas Eve, or "All the Things I Keep Doing Wrong"

This is a dramatic re-imaging.*
Help! It's 7:00 am and I have wrapped nothing, the house is a mess, I'm kind of sick, and I still have a few gifts to get. What happened to peaceful, love-filled family time? Don't worry! I have a plan for next year, so this never happens again.
  1. I will have all my shopping done ahead of time and I'll wrap as I go. (HAHAHAHAHAHAH! That's so cute.)
  2. I will no longer use the guest room as a junk room all year so that I don't have to frantically clean it for three hours starting at 6:00 am the morning that guests are due. (I will instead throw everything out the back window, all year.)
  3. I won't buy several boxes of peanut-free frosted sugar cookies from BJs (AKA: crack) and then eat them one by one as I stare blankly out the window over my morning tea. (There is no antidote to crack, as far as I know.)
  4. I'll forgo the cookies all season, in fact, and instead dust snowflake-shaped plant-based protein sprinkles on my organic strawberries. (Strawberries are #1 in the Dirty-Dozen, to-give-them-to-your-children-is-abusive list. I will continue to keep my head in the leaf pile and buy the cheaper, nonorganic ones that last more than ten minutes in the fridge.)
  5. The leaf pile? I won't still have a yard that is completely littered with dead maple leaves—as in, every inch of our quarter-acre lot. (We will cut every one of the 50 trees in our yard down next Spring by hand, with plans to enjoy global warming from the comfort of our beachfront property in 2040.)
  6. I will not buy enough small plastic dinosaurs and Pokemon to single-handedly bring the entire population of Ridley sea turtles to extinction. (I will hand-carve toy trains, miniature endangered African animals, and ornate nutcrackers from the maple trees I've cut down.)
  7. I will not book seven gigs in December to help pay for Christmas presents. (Hopefully I'll win the lottery in late November. That will help pay the tree guy, too, so we can have someone else do the work. Wait! No! We'll pay someone else to rake so we can keep our trees. The yard guy will also haul away all the backyard crap tossed out in #2.)
  8. I'll go for car rides with the kids to look at Christmas lights. We will sip homemade, organic cane sugar, fair-trade hot chocolate and visit Edaville, LaSalette, and Marshfield Fair. (See "Lottery," #7.)
  9. I won't overspend. (Each child will get one orange and one tin whistle. But anyway it won't matter because: "Lottery," #7.)
  10. I will not take two graduate classes in the fall semester. (I won't need to worry about my professional stability because: #7. I will quit my job immediately, to allow for more time to clean the guest room and carve toys with the maple logs the tree guys set aside for us.)
  11. I will make all my other gifts, too. (HAHAHAHA!!!! Wait, no. I'll pay someone else to make them because #7.)
  12. I won't get a puppy two days before Christmas. (If we don't win the lottery, next year I will sell this year's puppy to buy more plastic toys. I'm sure the turtles will be fine.) 

*The dinosaur pile, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this image are staged. No identification with actual families (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. 


Unknown said…
Good planning...but you forgot that the puppy will take care of all the small plastic some of #7 for vet. Merry Christmas!
PgM3 said…
We get The New Yorker Magazine on-line. This piece is as good as any humor piece I've ever read there. Merry Christmas to the Lindsays and their dog.
Soul Mama said…
Merry Christmas to both of you. Update: Puppies are a major PIA.