Greetings from the ongoing wreckage of Hurricane Christmas!
If all goes according to schedule, I should have all remnants of this holiday cleaned up just in time for July 4th.
I used to think that today — the first “real world” day of back to school, work, etc. — was the most depressing day of the year. HOWEVER, this year, while I am sad to leave the revelry behind, my opinion has evolved and today is not so bad after all.
In fact, as I sit here, typing in silence, I do believe there’s an unfamiliar feeling creeping up on me. Why, it’s joyful solitude. Holy crap, I’M ALONE. (Well, until the baby wakes up.) I am not fulfilling a snack request or mediating an argument or thinking about the next activity we can pursue to keep everyone from going insane.
I am sitting. The TV is on a channel of my choosing. The coffee I am drinking is still hot, without the assistance of a microwave.
But I did love the break, in the way that we look back on all things frenetic and wish we had enjoyed them more. I had lots of family around. Everyone stayed healthy. I even pulled off a pretty good Christmas dinner for 20 adults.
And I learned a few lessons along the way.
1) The period of time that constitutes winter break is not analogous to the normal space/time continuum. It’s like dog years meets the big bang. Or something slightly more science-y.
2) A very reliable meat thermometer makes all the difference between stress-free holiday dinner prep and the hostess yelling, “We are SO having Chinese food next Christmas! DO YOU GUYS WANT LO MEIN WITH CHICKEN OR PORK?”
3) New addition to the Ninth Circle of Hell: Any and all airport pick-ups on the Sunday before Christmas. Bonus points if you brought a kid along “for a quick ride” who didn’t use the bathroom before you left the house.
4) There is no existing scale on the market that self-destructs into flames after producing your January 1 weight. (Hellooooo, product development opportunity.)
5) Forget North Korea’s threats. The real terrorists are the folks in China who package children’s toys.
6) How to set yourself up for failure: Trying to create a photo book of your entire year (OK, your previous 2.5 years) on the last day possible for holiday shipping. Disregard if you enjoy a) picking through 6,772 photos in one sitting and b) a slow, steady descent into blindness.
7) If you play a YouTube video of a previous New Year’s Eve in Times Square for your kids well before midnight, they will not know the difference. (Pro tip: Just conveniently stand in front of the screen when they flash the year 2014 or 2010 or 1977.)
8) Do not bother buying new toys for toddlers.
9) There is no limit to the amount of princess accessories my daughter will wear simultaneously.
Or at any time, day or night (“I didn’t want my ice powers to freeze my bed.”)
10) Above all, listen up: NEVER, ever play Cards Against Humanity with your dad. Unless you are already in therapy — then, consider doubling down on your weekly sessions.
I hope you and yours had a great holiday!
Now, back to reality we go. I have a lot of clean-up to do by my July 4th deadline.