May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

Since the half day I’m at work today promises to be the last instance of quiet time until 2015 for me, I shall now seize the opportunity to wish those of you who have kept me in your reader all this time a Safe, healthy, happy, and merry Christmas.
I know a lot of you are like me, stress-ridden and busy over the holiday season, but here’s hoping that no matter what else you’ve got on your plate, you get a chance to relax and enjoy the holidays for what they are.

As for me? I’ve got two little boys who are clock-watching like an office rat. The Narrator’s enthusiasm for Christmas has been picked up by Mini-Me, who still hasn’t got any idea what’s happening, but can sense something exciting in the air. The two of them are doing me a world of good, and they’ll never know it.

When I was a kid, every Christmas Eve, the families would rally to my grandmother’s house. There would be food, presents, and family, and always a lot of fun.

Now that my grandmother has moved to live with my aunt, my parents have taken up that mantle, and we’re gathering at their place tonight for a short while, until it is time to take the kids home and put them to bed. Then will follow a flurry of wrapping gifts and trying to get a handful of hours of sleep before The Narrator inevitably wakes up at some ghastly hour of the morning.

Tomorrow will be filled with family dropping in to visit. My parents, whom we’ll see tonight, will stop in in the morning, and my in-laws, who we’ll go visit in two days, will be there immediately after. We stagger their visits, mostly because the house is too small to accommodate what would be twelve people all at once, and also because my mother and my mother-in-law get along like a house on fire. They’re always pleasant to each other, but the temperature when they’re both around is always much, much colder than is comfortable.

….’tis the season- right?

I’m also on ambulance call starting around 6, so I could be celebrating part of my Christmas Day with some interesting illness or injury. It’s probably bad form to drive the rig wearing a Santa hat….right? And I’d probably get fired for wheeling a patient into an emergency room shouting “Ho Ho Ho!” as if I’m delivering some sort of squirming, barfing, or bleeding gift?

Anyway.

Sarcasm and joking aside, Tomorrow will be great. Exhausting, but great. We have family that we love visiting, and we’re going to have some honest-to-god quality time with the boys in the morning. Just us, them, and coffee.

I really and truly hope that every last one of you manages to have a great holiday, and if I don’t happen to get back here between now and then, I will see you all in 2015. Thanks for making adequatedad part of your 2014 experience.

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The Wrong Outlook on the Holiday Season

I found myself looking at the calendar this morning and saying “Its almost over” with a sense of anticipation. As the first wonderful sensations of my morning coffee kicked in, I realized that I am doing the holidays all wrong. Especially this year. I’ve caught myself looking at the holidays as ‘just another something to get through.’

I’ve honestly been looking at the next week of what should be joy and family, as little different than the few days where my car was laid up at the shop, or when I have to work a few 16 hour days back to back. “Gotta get through this” is not the way to be viewing the season. I’ve missed the point entirely.

However, between today and January 1st, I’ve got two 4-12 PD shifts, three 8 hour days at the day job, two 12 hour ambulance shifts, A visit to my parent’s house Christmas Eve, Both families visiting on Christmas Day, a “Polar Express” train ride with the boys on the 26th, a 4 day trip to the in-laws for New Years…even though they had visited us less than 72 hours before we’re due to arrive, and a large grocery shopping to get done. So where some of us are slamming high-octane eggnog and donning hideous sweaters and felt reindeer antlers, I’m tearing from one obligation to another until 2015 comes rolling in. (Hopefully with some good news, more on that later, I don’t want to jinx myself!)

So you’ll pardon me if I seem a tad stressed out about the week upcoming.

I KNOW I’m looking at it all wrong, and I’m trying like hell not to let my grinch-like feelings bleed through to sully the boys’ excitement, and I’m doing something right, because the little one stood in the middle of the living room floor this morning chanting “Kheee-mas!” -while the big one counted how many sleeps were left until Christmas…so even if I’m a bit grouchy, I haven’t blackened anything for them.

The tree is up, decorations complete, Christmas shopping done, there’s snow on the ground, and as an added bonus, there’s actually a pay day coming up at the end of the week, so things aren’t really all that bad. I’m just having a tough time adjusting my brain to get into ‘celebration mode’ as opposed to ‘survival mode.’

Perhaps some Creme de Minthe will help.