I feel as if I’m waging war on my home and frequently retreating because I’m losing the Christmas battle. Even though I’m much more positive about the move now, mostly due to the fact all our stuff is finally here and I kind of like organizing things, I am hard pressed to get the house ready for Christmas.
Things keep coming up that have to be dealt with like my daughter wrecking her car on 405 a couple weeks ago. Well, she didn’t wreck it, someone rear-ended her. But honestly, the fact that she wasn’t hurt at all far out-weighed her totaled car. The party at fault’s insurance company treated her right and we found her a replacement car in a matter of days. All’s well, but it took time away from the house.
Fortunately for me only my mother and sister will be visiting, and maybe a beloved cousin who has a lot of children so my chaos won’t faze him a bit. But I’d still like to have some semblance of order for the holiday so I can feel like there is an actual holiday coming.
We bought a real tree this year, which was a challenge just to get upright. After the first stand broke, even though it had a rating of “up to 10 feet”, my husband did a frantic search for another, sturdier stand on a dark and stormy night. I guess many people got a large, real tree this year because it took him five stores through three towns to find one.
We did finally replace our gas stove with an electric one. Now hear me out on my preference for electric over gas. I don’t know if the stove was working properly or not, but I couldn’t cook anything in a pot without the flame licking up the side and scorching my hands. I get that gas heats up quicker, but I usually set the electric burner to the heat I want it to be on for cooking then I can actually do some prep work while the pan warms to the exact temp. A glass top, electric stove is very consistent because it turns on and off to stay at the proper temperature. Anyway, the short story is, I made all the Almond Roca the day after the stove arrived and it was perfect. Really, I can burn myself all by myself, which I did when some of the oil splashed out onto my arm. I’m forever branded as a candy-making queen.
Though the tree is up it is undecorated. My kids are hanging onto the tradition of putting the ornaments on the tree themselves and it’s a chore to coordinate them both being home at the same time. I have it half lit, because I don’t have enough lights to cover a 9-foot tree as I was as unprepared for its arrival as I was when my oldest daughter was born 3 ½ weeks early.
My husband finally drove the last of his cars up to our new garage and is free to do my bidding, so I’m setting him on clutter patrol this morning. I delivered candy to many of our friends and people who have helped us through this home buying process. When I gave the candy to my very pregnant hairdresser she said, “is this your homemade Almond Roca?” Then she let out a slew of holy curse words that summed up her pleasure at receiving the candy.
So really, no matter what the house looks like, I’d say it’s a successful Christmas because my daughter is fine, I have a new stove, and I made a pregnant lady curse.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh. Her column is always available at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.