I tell myself, "Don't write when you're grumpy." But then the smart ass inside of me chimes in with "Well then when would you write?" Alas, I'm grumpy today. It's Black Friday, it's dreary outside, I've spent the morning cleaning, and my sporadic attempts at online shopping have been fruitless. I also seem to have infected Rob's Dell laptop with whatever computer poison apparently leaks from my fingertips as I type. Oh, and have I mentioned that I've got a 2:00 p.m. appointment with my Dell technician as we attempt to rebuild my computer from the operating system on up? Good stuff.
- Black Friday. As someone who rarely if ever enjoys the shopping experience, Black Friday terrifies me. I hate the traffic. I hate the crowds. I think the idea of waking up at 4:00 a.m. to spend money is ludicrous. But I also feel that if I don't bite the bullet and get out there I'm going to miss the deals of the century. And the cheapskate in me whispers "Just do it!" (For the record, I ignored the cheapskate and stayed home.)
- Decorating. I don't enjoy decorating. This bothers Abby considerably. Her friends' moms decorate for all the holidays. I don't find it to be a good use of my time. But letting Abby do the decorating messes with my need to control things in this house. Quite a conundrum.
- The tree. The focal point of the decorating. I don't mind the tree itself, but bringing it in the house and setting it up is akin to a home improvement job...someone usually ends up yelling or swearing. We invariably buy one that's too tall and needs to have its trunk trimmed, and then getting it straight is like trying to fix my damn laptop...darn near impossible.
- Enough (with the) Presents? Determining how many presents to buy always causes me anxiety. Frankly, I hate that my kids want so much when they already have so much. And I never know when enough is enough. It's especially challenging now that everything they want costs a small fortune. And do I keep it fair by quantity or monetary value? I liked it a lot better when they were too young to request anything and a
cardboard boxcouple small gifts sufficed.
- Online shopping. I greatly prefer online shopping to hitting the actual store. The downside to this is that it contributes to my Grinchy mood. No music, no decorations. I also have a need to avoid shipping charges, which means I buy more than I really want just so I hit the necessary minimum. I think they call this "penny wise, pound foolish."
- The letdown. We spend a month gearing up for what generally lasts for 30 minutes on Christmas morning. Within 15 minutes of all the presents being opened I feel a tremendous let down. The kids run off to play with their new gadgets, I clean up the discarded wrapping paper, and there's nothing to look forward to for the next six days until New Year's Eve. This letdown is probably not as bad if you have a large family to visit, but that doesn't apply to us. So we sit. And sometimes we go to the movies.
So, Freakin' Angel readers, share with me your suggestions on how I can replace my inner Grinch with the hope, love, joy, and peace that the season is really supposed to be about. Looking forward to hearing from you...