My regular readers are shocked at the lack of blogs lately. I mean the holiday season is pure gold for me. The nuttiness of the season intersecting with my natural neuroses and augmented by ridiculous things like gigantic grade 4 social studies assignments due one day before the school break is fertile ground for me to blog about.
My absence all comes down to this: Christmas planning. I am kind of a planner. I like to analyze, list, dissect and generally cogitate on all that it takes to make Christmas happen. I actually enjoy it. It's a project, to be sure. But I live for the planning as much as the execution.
A very big part to the enjoyment comes with the fact that I start in November. I know when most of the December events will happen, how many times I will have to feed people. I start gathering intelligence about gifts and order a few things online that I think may be the hot gift that season (note, I have never yet predicted what will actually be the hot gift).
The charm of my plan is not only that I am done early and I get to spread the expense out over two MasterCard bills.
Of course things never run as smoothly as I make out. There is always at least one gift I am desperately checking on line inventories for. I still like to send Christmas letters and photos and I leave this to when the shopping is mostly done. So our long-suffering family in Europe and in the U.S. will never receive our Christmas greetings before Epiphany in a good year. Or Valentines Day when the wheels really fall off the wagon.
But this year, this year, what was I doing when I should have been making lists and reflecting on the merits of homemade cranberry sauce?
I was keeping up with the puppy. I was reading Puppies for Dummies, I was gleaning as much as I could from every episode of the Dog Whisperer. I was trying to keep Finnegan in chewy toys in order to save our carpet, fingers and shirt sleeves. I was trying to ensure that no foreign material made it into the puppy's digestive system, most especially marbles or SillyBanz which appear EVERY-freakin'-WHERE despite numerous sweeps to puppy proof the house (if you don't know what SillyBanz or just look at the cash checkout in every store in the western hemisphere. A lot of people are getting rich off of them).
November 8th, I learned, is not the ideal date to acquire a canine family member if you hope to keep some kind of sanity in the holiday season. I did pick up the odd item while grocery shopping in November. But I did not have my master plan in place. I didn't have lists or menus or even a rough idea about which would be the busy weekends until we were well into December.
But I am happy to report that a full week before Christmas the shopping was done, the Christmas turkey meal was planned and food purchased, the presents were wrapped. All that was left is to be tracking two packages that have not yet made it to our doorstep. But I believe in the power of Purolator and the United States Postal Service to make our dreams come true. Even though the good folks at the USPS can only tell me that our package was picked up in Kentucky on December 6th.
P.S. as I try to reclaim my blogging equilibrium, I will re-post some seasonal favourites.