Christmas makes my hair stand on end.

I freaking love Christmas!!!

There’s fun music, presents, good cheer, a higher tolerance for a little extra fluff around your middle, and you get to have a tree inside your house… I mean really, what’s not to like? I will even tolerate the horrible, cold, wet snow without complaint one day a year just because it’s sparkly and festive.

For me, this time of year is full of love and blessings and that feeling of Christmas magic I still have left over from childhood. However, now that I’m an adult, the magical wonderment is now mixed with the very grown-up reality of Christmas stress-induced cardiac pulmina. Is there such a thing as a cardiac pulmina? I think I just made that up… It sounded festive and scary at the same time. Anyway…

Every year I have glorious, glittery, sugar-plum laced visions of spending my time cheerfully listening to Christmas music with my children as I buzz around the kitchen making amazing candies and canning festive jams for all to enjoy. Also, I’m wearing a fancy ruffled apron. My house, of course, is decorated from stern to stem and looks exactly like the North Pole. Every present for every person is beautifully wrapped and stacked neatly underneath my tree by the second week of December and I am relaxed and content.

Smash cut to me looking at the calender on December 17th and realizing that Christmas is less than 10 days away and I haven’t bought anyone anything. In fact, my tree isn’t even decorated. Though, to be fair, it was decorated until the girls decided to play something called the “spy game” that involved them rescuing all of the ornaments off of the tree and smuggling them in a backpack to their rooms.

Yes, rather than my blissfully organized Christmas fantasies, I spent the three days after my horrible December 17th realization frantically scouring the internet for the perfect present for the perfect price, clicking swiftly from page to page, sweat forming on my brow, as I tried to find a way to avoid paying double the present’s value in shipping. I ended up wasting hours of my life with absolutely no results. I eventually came to the sad conclusion that if I got the gifts I wanted to get for everyone I would indeed be paying the extra shipping, which made me sick to my stomach… That is, until I remembered that Amazon two-day ships things for free when you sign up for a free month trial membership of Amazon Prime. So being the frugal person I am I signed up for the free trial with every intention of cancelling it immediately upon receiving my packages…

I have turned myself into some kind of Christmas-time free shipping scam artist. It is shameful.

At this point, Christmas presents have started arriving on my doorstep (thank God!), bringing with them a mixture of relief and horror. Relief that I am finally done shopping, horror that I now have to wrap the damn things. And I am not good at wrapping things.

Every year I sit down with my wrapping paper, tape, and scissors, and visualize the perfectly wrapped presents that will soon emerge from between my hands (apparently I do a lot of wishful visualizing around the holidays)… And every year someone asks me as they’re opening their gift, “Aw, did the girls help you wrap this?” Um…. NO!!! They didn’t, actually!!! And guess what, I tried really hard!!! I just suck at wrapping presents, ok?!?” Well, I would never talk to anyone like that, but you can see how I would be highly insulted…

Therefore, to formally and forever end any debate about my gift wrapping skills, I present the following:

Below is are some photos of a present that I wrapped and a present that my 3 year old wrapped… I think you will find that you can easily tell the difference.

Okay, okay, I hope you’ve all had a good laugh. I suck at the present wrapping thing! Sadly, I try really really hard to do a good job and they always end up looking ridiculous. If you’re curious, mine is the one with less tape.

Anyway, stressful though it might be, I do adore Christmas… I love giving presents and, okay, I’ll admit it, I love getting presents too… Seriously, if someone tells you they don’t like getting presents back away slowly because they are not to be trusted. Presents rock, spending time with your family rocks, and having an excuse to eat waaaaaay too much rocks. So even though I now have a bald spot as a result of my frenetic December shenanigans, I am so looking forward to the next few days of wonder and cheer. Yay Christmas!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and thank you so much for spending your time reading this!!!

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