Column: Making Christmas memoriesWith just under a week until Christmas morning, I’m feeling like I’m not quite ready for the big day. Who am I kidding? I really am not ready for the Christmas season. In any way, shape or form.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
With just under a week until Christmas morning, I’m feeling like I’m not quite ready for the big day.
Who am I kidding? I really am not ready for the Christmas season. In any way, shape or form.
I’m not sure how this year’s holiday season spun out of control for me, but it has. I think it may have started as far back as Thanksgiving. And from there, I’ve just been all out of sorts.
This year, as you may recall, most of my family went to Colorado to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. While I had a wonderful time with The Beau’s family, none of them were especially enamored with the idea of getting up at 4 a.m. to go shopping on Black Friday with me.
My longtime cohort, my sister-in-law, was in Colorado, and I was left to shop on my own. Sure, The Beau came with me to Maplewood Mall and FleetFarm, but I had to stop back home at 10 a.m. to pick him up. In any event, left without my sister-in-law, I dawdled too long in JC Penny, spent nearly $100 on myself (in my defense, I had birthday money to use) and killed precious time I could have spent standing in long lines at Kohls. When I dragged The Beau to Kohls, he took one look at the line, and another look at the one item I had in my hand and said, “You want US to stand in THAT line?” Suffice it to say, I left Kohls empty-handed.
I did venture out a few more times, got all of the presents I needed for The Beau and his 10-year-old daughter. Took care of a few toys for nephews and nieces, and then more or less put shopping on hold. I made up a list of who was left last week (and managed to forget to put my 13-year-old niece on it) and discovered I have a whole lot of shopping left to do. I knocked off some of it last Thursday, but still have a ways to go.
Two weeks ago, we bought a real tree from the YMCA on University Avenue in St. Paul. We had the 10-year-old along for this excursion. It was her first time looking for a real tree, and she was not as impressed by the process as we’d hoped she would be. Anyway, we got it home, got it up and got lights on it. And that’s as far as that has gone. We were hoping she’d be able to come back and help decorate after school one night, but so far, that hasn’t worked out. So that’s on my to-do list.
I have a grand plan to send out Christmas cards to all of the volunteers who helped at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum last summer. I thought I’d include photos of each volunteer in their respective cards. Haven’t gotten those photos all ordered yet, and I’m running out of time on that project, too.
And then there’s my cookies. Or lack thereof.
For years, my now-13-year-old niece would come to my house on a Saturday in December, spend the night, and we’d make batches and batches of Christmas cookies. Well, now she’s a swimmer and she’s got meets on the weekends, so our baking tradition has been put on hold. I’ve made a couple batches of peanut brittle, and a couple bark recipes, but as to cookies? Well, I’ve got the goods to make them, I just have to find the time.
In all of this yet-to-do mayhem, though, I’ve still had the opportunity to enjoy the season. The same day we got our tree, The Beau, the 10-year-old and I went to a holiday show at the Lakeville Performing Arts Center. My aunt (by marriage, and I’m three years older than her) and her sisters go by the name Sister, and they do a musical act that is absolutely wonderful. I was glad to be able to share that part of my life with The Beau and his daughter.
Last Saturday, we’d planned to go to a Christmas party in Wisconsin. We’d planned to leave the dog at my brother’s house in Hastings, and had even dropped her off, when The Beau got a message the party was cancelled due to weather.
I wound up bringing in the cheeseball I’d made for the party, and we spent a terrific evening in Hastings with my brother’s family. We watched Christmas movies, my 13-year-old niece and her 4-year-old sister and I sang “All I Want for Christmas is You” loud and off-key. We ate pizza and the cheeseball, and just enjoyed a quiet Saturday night together. Well, kind of quiet. My brother has 4-year-old twins, but you get the point.
When I think about this past month, I realize that even though I’m not caught up with shopping or baking, I’ve used my time wisely all the same. After all, not all Christmas memories are made on Christmas morning.
Merry Christmas, Farmington.