Thursday, December 01, 2005

She's making a list. She's checking it twice. She's throwing it out the window.

Happy 1 weeek post-starch laden feast! I’m up to my ears in Bourbon sweet potato but that’s ok. All the stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and biscuits were eaten within days. Now, I’m finishing the last of the sweet potatoes.

This year was the first year since I was a child, where I got to take a nap. I took a nap before dessert. It’s the simple things in life that make it worth living.

I volunteered Thanksgiving morning to serve senior citizens a Thanksgiving Day meal. It was less arduous than past volunteering duties. It was actually fun. There was a swing band and dancing. Volunteering only took 4 hours of my time. If I can, I plan to do it again next year.

Oh, I actually stayed to watch a portion of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I watched Pikachu and the giant Nutcracker parade down CPW. It was actually kind of fun being the spectator.

Because we stayed home for the holiday, life was pretty uneventful for us. I kind of like it that way. It’s sort of the calm before the storm that is Christmas and New Year’s.

Oh, I did find out that the traditional gifts for each kid has been changed to gift for a kid. Yes, after more than a decade of buying gifts for each individual under 18, kids are now entered into the grab bag. Each person will purchase a gift for one person.

My plan to finish Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving has turned against me. Drat! Double Drat! Lrudlrick, the avid-shop-at-Toys-R-Us-on-12.24, has not stopped ribbing me about this. “See, if you plan to far in advance, it kicks you in the rear. When are you going to learn that you cannot plan for anything with my family?”

He has a point. I’ve decided one of my resolutions this year is to take his statement to heart. Case in point, his cousin came up to visit. Originally it was a guys only night out which later turned into a couple only stay in which turned into a family stay in.

For the first time, I planned nothing and allowed Lrudlrick to handle the affairs. As he struggled to vacuum, I sat on the couch and worked on my Christmas card. I didn’t plan an activity for the kids. I didn’t prepare any eats. I let Lrudlrick run the show.

Lrudlrick later agreed that stress levels increase exponentially when plans are altered but there is a curve. If you plan too early, you increase expectation and stress levels. If you don’t plan, you increase stress levels. If no one follows the plan, it’s Armageddon and one person is left to be the parent wrangling in the kids in the playground.

So I guess, the lesson today is plan but don’t plan too early or too late. Give yourself enough wiggle room and if it’s just too much for you, plan your trip to Bali and enjoy the holidays Island style.