We’re not discussing how many days you have left to finish Christmas shopping. If we were discussing it, I’d tell you that there are 18 days, 19 if you’re completely insane and Amazon gets that drone delivery working by December 25.
We are not discussing how much shopping you still have left to do. If we were discussing it, I’d tell you that nearly all of my shopping is left, or as I choose to look at it, some of it is done.
Hoo-whee. My chest is getting tight and I’m having trouble breathing.
I have two little boys placing their Christmas dreams in my hands. Well, mine and Santa’s, but let’s be real here. Santa does not pull his weight in this deal, not even close. Hey Santa, how ’bouts you put down the cookies and get to work?
I’ll let you in on a secret: I didn’t even mail their letters. That leaves me with two largely indecipherable lists in my hands, and only 18 days to get it all figured out.
I’ll let you in on another secret: Brilliant Sky Toys and Books Austin is going to save Christmas. Of course Santa will get all the credit, but I’m okay with that. As long as the kids are happy on December 25, Santa can hog the spotlight. And the cookies.
Like most four- and seven-year-olds, my boys are big fans of toys that engage their imaginations, allowing them to build their own worlds. Their dad and I love educational toys that are so crazy cool the kids don’t even know they’re learning. We’re all happy when toys provide hours upon hours of entertainment.
Thankfully, Brilliant Sky Toys and Books Austin is my one-stop shop for imaginative, educational toys that will thrill our whole family. Everything in the store is carefully selected, and get this: they have curbside pickup. Seriously. This time of year, between holiday errands and activities, I get in and out of my car roughly 735 times each day (give or take). The idea of pulling up to Brilliant Sky and having my kid-related Christmas shopping delivered right into my car? Heaven.
I could go on and on about what an amazing place this store is or you could watch these short, funny ads. They say it much better – and more concisely – than I ever could. Take a look (or click here if the videos aren’t working for you):
Now that the kids are all taken care of, it’s time to figure out what to get my Great Aunt Edna. She smokes cigars, plays bingo, and hates almost everything else. Too bad Brilliant Sky doesn’t have a Cranky Aunt section.
This post was sponsored by Brilliant Sky Toys and Books in Austin, but all sentiments and opinions are mine. I keep the sponsored content to a minimum here, and only post about businesses and products I know and use. It’s thanks to generous sponsors that I’m able to keep Wonder, Friend afloat. Thank you for reading and for your support!
‘Twas the night post Thanksgiving, And all through the house Were boxes of Christmas crap, The mess made me grouse.
Ha. You thought I was doing an entire post in verse, didn’t you (unless, of course, you have the power of scanning ahead to see that in a mere four lines I switched to prose)? Ain’t nobody got time for ripping off Christmas poems.
As for the grousing, I have great guilt over that. I love decorating for Christmas, but I hate doing so with children. Hate it. Kids, it seems, want to touch everything. And they want to discuss, at decibels typically reserved for Metallica concerts, all the things they are touching.
“Where are our stockings? I pulled all the things out of this box, and nope, no stockings yet!” “What is this? Is it glass? If I drop it will it break?” “Jingle bells. I found jingle beeeeelllllssss! I’m ringing the bells. RINGING THEM!”
I want to make moments, memories. And maybe – MAYBE – if I scheduled decorating on a day when everyone is well-rested, things would go differently. Maybe. I don’t know, however, when that circumstance will occur, since I believe we have two choices: 1) Have a full life, leaving us short-ish on time (and, sometimes, on sleep); or 2) There is no other choice.
Therefore, instead of a moment, I made a movie of the week. It’s a cautionary tale about mothers who cannot keep their shit together when small people are tearing through their carefully packed boxes of ornaments and festive vase fillers.
As much as I want to honor Thanksgiving, the second it’s over I want it to be Christmas. With Thanksgiving falling so late this year, it was more important than ever to get our Christmas on and get it on right now. No matter that I’d spent two days in the kitchen (after spending a week literally cleaning the skin off my hands, thanks to a short-lived, but still terrifying, stomach bug for the seven year old. I could not face the possibility of sharing that bug with our Thanksgiving house guests, so I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, and the skin peeled off my fingers, but that’s a post for another day).
No matter that I was cooked and cleaned out. The carnage of a Thanksgiving feast had to be cleaned up to make way for the carnage of Christmas décor. And, apparently, I was too overtired to make it a moment.
I want to play it cool. I want to hide my suburban Mommy Dearest mode from you and from my family. I know, intellectually anyway, that none of this matters. Whether my house is decorated or not has no bearing on Christmas, on what it’s all about. I freaking love Christmas decorations, though. I love creating a place for my family to celebrate the season. I don’t care if it makes me look like a Stepford Wife.
What I do care about is that it makes me act like a lunatic until everything is in its place, all the boxes returned to storage until January 2 (when I begin to hate the very decorations I so dearly loved just a month prior, but again, another post). Why can’t I be cooler? Why can’t I be that easy going woman I want to be, the one who lets her kids do holiday crafts inside the house and doesn’t care if the ornaments break?
I don’t know. I have no answers. Do you? Really. I’m asking. How do you handle getting ready for the holidays without losing your mind?
(Meanwhile, once it’s all decorated and the chaos of boxes is cleared away, I do think I return to my mostly calm self. I love for friends and family to be comfortable here. As long as no kids run or play ball in the vicinity of the trees, that is. But really, I’m so chill now. Really. Stop touching that, please. Stop. Now. It’s breakable, dammit! Now let’s get back to chilling and enjoying the season, shall we?)