Monday, November 26, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Christmas prep

Surprising no one, Thanksgiving took Awkward Mom out within the first moments of Thanksgiving Day. They all walked into Awkward Grandma's kitchen to be presented with a vat of Clam Dip and Awkward Mom was down for the count. The descent into decadence just went from there and she has only just emerged to realize that the rest of the world has been preparing for Christmas while she was floating in dreams of deeply oniony, slightly salty, creamy heaven. (Readers, it is that good, no joke.) Hence, she is late to the Christmas prep party. This also surprises no one.

I love Christmas. Like LOVE Christmas. Like sleeping in, on warm sheets just out of the dryer, while someone takes my kids out for the whole day, while I read trashy novels and eat chocolates love. It is a serious love affair, Readers. But until the day after Thanksgiving, I have no time for Christmas. And I never crack, I am strength itself. I don't even see the twinkle lights and stockings piled next to the Halloween candy. I breeze by the Christmas carols on the radio. The children plead for Snowman window clings and candy canes, but I am immovable. The Peanuts trilogy is limited to the Great Pumpkin and the Thanksgiving special; I act like that third DVD doesn't even exist. I am deaf to my children talking about Santa because I am stalwart in my appreciation of fall right through Thanksgiving. Basically, I treat Christmas like he is nerdy-not-quite-nerdy-just-about-to-bloom-into-full-on-college-hipster-cool and I am some impossibly beautiful ice queen from an 80s movie. Christmas-John-Cusack stares at me with all the naked adoration of being in love at 18 and I breezily laugh and hand him a pen. Don't you fret, Readers; we make up in time for the plane to take off.

Funny thing happened this year, though. While I was busy fully enjoying Thanksgiving with clam dip, my father's library, and an illegal trip to Best Buy, Christmas had a party and didn't invite me. It is like Christmas-John-Cusack got tired of waiting for me to come around and he moved on, with the rest of the school! That is what I get for playing hard to get, I suppose, but I feel totally left out. I feel like I missed an amazing party that everyone is talking about, and there is no way to catch up. No way to go back in time and sneak a listen at the Christmas station last Wednesday. Maybe get rid of those molding Jack-O-Lanterns or take down the cornucopia window-clings before we left for the Awkward Grandparents'. At least bring the Christmas decorations up from the basement, showing pure intention to Christmas-John-Cusack; let him know that my heart is softening, convince him not to give up on me yet.

I guess everyone needed Christmas pretty bad this year because they managed to stuff several Christmases in while I was driving back from Illinois. Not only are my mother's gifts for the Supers already in my basement. Not only has the radio been playing carols since Halloween. Not only did I pass about 1865 fully decorated houses on the way. Not only was everyone else invited to Christmas-John-Cusack's (totally decorated) house for a party this weekend. No. I also came home to find out that the Awesomes already have their tree up, we are invited to a holiday party at Marvelous Preschooler's house (they want me to bring the Jello again...yikes), and Perfect Neighbor has not 1, not 2, but 3 blow-ups Santas on his (completely leaf-free) lawn. One is riding a train. Are you telling me that people actually do things other than eat clam dip and lose at Scrabble on Thanksgiving weekend? Even the weird people 3 doors down who never mow their grass or bring their garbage can back from the curb have a wreath.

I don't even have a tree. Or a wreath. Or candy canes. Or any idea what we are doing for Christmas cards. Or cute light-up antlers to torment Super Baby with. Or a Nativity set that isn't broken and missing a wise man. Or a gift list. Or the slightest idea what anyone wants. Or cross-stitched- stockings that are finished (a craft-project that seemed like a great idea in July). Or holiday sweaters. Or egg nog. Or cookies. Wait, strike that. I was send home with cookies. I have cookies. That is the sum total of my Christmas preparedness at this moment in time. Some of my mother's cookies that are rapidly disappearing as I type this.

It might be easier to list what I do have. I have 18 leaf and 3 cornucopia window-clings. I have 2 molding pumpkins. I have a "thankful tree" that Super Preschooler made at school that I think his teacher made for him because he is apparently thankful for brothers and sisters, Jesus, and school. (Now, if the tree said he was thankful for angry birds, twinkle lights, and Skittles, I would be more apt to count it as his work.) I have a "nature wreath" that Super Preschooler also made at school that the cats got a hold of and is thus missing most of its nature; it is trying to maintain its dignity with 2 pines needles and half a leaf. I have 2 half-burnt apple-cinnamon smelling candles. I have a yard littered with leaves and twigs. I have a Super Baby who is loudly protesting her nap. I have 7 original Transformers that Awkward Dad would not leave his mother's house without; therefore, I now have 1980s (probably asbestos-laden) dust wafting through my living room. I have a Super Preschooler that has eaten nothing today but 3 donut holes and some chocolate milk. I have a Super Toddler whose nose hasn't stopped running since last Tuesday. I have 8 loads of laundry to do. I have Bing Crosby crooning Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and though Bing is quite able to create Christmas out of nothing, just one Christmasy thing going on is pretty sad, especially given how much I really do love Christmas.

Therefore, I am gearing up to haul my boombox over my head and let Johnny Mathis' Winter Wonderland convince Christmas-John-Cusack that I am serious. I may be late, but I am here and I am ready to give in to the magic that is Christmas. Consider this my romantic-comedy, running-through-the-airport, if-it-wasn't-a-movie-it-would-be-really-creepy, outrageous gesture of love. I am standing in front of the entire internet, Christmas, and I am telling you that I am in love with you. Mistletoe or not, I am planting a big wet kiss on you. Thanksgiving who? I am totally yours.

Mostly because my mother makes clam dip for Christmas as well.

Why was their Thanksgiving trip to Best Buy illegal? Oh, well, the mini-van has 7 seats, and Uncle Awkward makes 8. He may have ridden some of the way in the trunk. And by some of the way, I mean the entire hour long trip to Rockford. And the entire hour long trip back. But that is all I am saying until I am clear on what the statute of limitations are on driving infractions. The silver lining to all this is that the Awkward Grandparents now have a new computer, a fast internet connection, and are probably reading this right now. Hey there, Awkward Grandma; tell Dad I say hi! I know that Awkward Grandpa is totally refusing to leave his library for a flashing screen full of Awkward Mom's bloated phrasing.

Mom's just lazy; I've been Christmas-ready since last year. Bring it on Christmas 2012.


  1. Omg. Clam dip has reminded me of our "famous" shrimp dip! (Which probably is famous, as the recipe is from the label on a tub of sour cream.) Must make immediately if not sooner!

    Never fear, Awkward Mom! Plenty of Christmas yet to be had! Heck, one trip to Target and you'll be all set. And thanks for the trip down memory lane - I used to think the guy I dated in high school was Lloyd Dobler. Then I realized he was just a loser. :)

    1. Yum...I want some shrimp dip with a side of clam dip....sounds like heaven.

      And yes, we went to Target and Christmased it up right after I wrote this. We are offically in the spirit!