Last night, Archie and I (with a little help from my mom) wrapped all the kids' presents. The books and the clothes and the games and the big-ass My Little Ponies. (The scooters will be assembled tonight while we watch a movie.) My mom said, after I'd taken out the present-filled bags to the garage to wait for Christmas Eve, "This is just wrong. It's not Christmas Eve. What are you going to do on Christmas Eve? I can't remember ever having everything done before then!"
This is true and I am nothing if not my mother's daughter. Every other Christmas since we've had kids, I've been, at the least, wrapping on Christmas Eve. Several years, I was out purchasing gifts. And then wrapping. Maybe even assembling a few things. What will we do with this gift of time?
Well, it will mean that the Christmas Eve activities won't be rushed or devolve into tears and anger, like other years. We'll bake cookies and leave out the carrots and sugar cubes (the reindeer need a snack, too). Archie will build a fire and we'll roast marshmallows on stretched-out coat hangers. We'll read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and sing a few songs. Then off to bed with the girlies. Even if they want several drinks of water or come out a few times to sneak a peek at the fire, it won't be a big deal. Because we have time.
Archie will make the pies for Christmas dinner. I'm still debating whether I should mix up the Yorkshire pudding batter. I just might do that. We'll probably enjoy an adult beverage and stare at the fire for a little while. The girls should be good and asleep by then. We'll troop out to the garage and bring in the bags with all the loot. I'll let Archie arrange everything while I stuff the stockings.
Maybe we'll watch a movie. But it won't have to be a Christmas-themed one like most years. That's a force of habit, but also a motivational tool to keep me focussed on wrapping.
I feel so virtuous with this gift of time. I want to have even more for next year. How could I arrange that? Well, I could try to do what I've wanted to ever since the girls were born -- buy everyone a gift every month. Bring it home and wrap it, label it, and stow it in a big Rubbermaid tub in the garage. Then, when the season turns festive, I'd only have stocking stuffers and maybe some special thing each girl just discovered they want. Then I'd have so much time. What would that be like?