Every year I start my Christmas cards a little earlier. It’s part of giving in completely to that roller coaster ride that is the holidays: the waves of joy and despair ridden the last two months of the year. This year, I have two designs ready to choose from; all set to order before the coupon code expires. I’m more prepared this year. I have a grab bag of tricks to pull from to make sure we all come out unscathed. Or, with fewer bandages anyway.
Trick one: Get out. The kids and I find our groove with retreat and adventure in equal measure. Adventure means getting lost in the city and letting the day unfold, to return home late and sleep in the next day. A few weeks ago, we ended up at the bowling alley, unplanned, on a Friday night. They still talk about how much fun that was. I'm pretty sure the spontaneity was as much if not more fun than the actual bowling.
Trick two: Borrow Momastery’s goal to complete the shopping by December 1st. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. We’re also adapting the approach to presents: one need, one want, one read, one wear, one give.
Trick three: Make it a game. This comes from Martha Beck. As adept as I can be at stepping outside a situation to observe so as to avoid losing my shit, I have yet to turn observations into a game. Beck’s game is a Holiday Bingo.
The other day, on the way home from the second soccer game of the day, I asked Jack (for the fifth time in a day) if he had found his toothbrush. The Sonicare toothbrush that is less than a few months old. He said he hadn’t. I asked Reese if she was ready for a bath. She wasn’t. They both hollered at me; I hollered at them. Then we were silent.
A moment later, I noted, from an outsider’s point of view, how goofy it was that I was getting yelled at for trying to parent --to help the kids take care of themselves---and how I’d really rather not have to deal with that anyway. Jack thought that was hysterical. He chuckled the rest of the way home, mumbling to himself “getting in trouble for having to parent stuff you don’t want to…”
“Moments that highlight the ridiculous” for 200….