My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Redneck Tips for Early Christmas Preparation

Wasn't it supposed to be easier to get up this morning, dst and all? It wasn't for me. But maybe that's on account of all the nyquil I've been drinking at night to stop this stupid nighttime cough. Aren't the peanuts out YET? Maybe I'll film my own Nyquil commercial for youtube that shows what happens the next day after you've had this knock-out night of sleep.

I'm kind of in a funk this morning but trying to beat it. I've got a ton to do today and don't really want to do any of it. I'd like to be out in the yard planting pansies and bulbs instead of cleaning my Monday house. Does anyone else have 'Monday house'? I don't know when the week-end became defined by pulling everything out of your dresser drawers, dumping out all the Legos, pulling the pillows off every sofa in the house, leaving candy wrappers EVERYWHERE, scattering soccer equipment from one end of the house to the other...and it's like I'm totally blind to it until they leave Monday morning, and I'm, like, Oh, &*%#*. What happened?

I'm looking out the window at the most beautiful maple tree in our yard. It's all scarlet and gold--stunning. Christmas will be here before we know it. Time for us to start getting organized--redneck style. So here's a few redneck mommy tips for early Christmas preparation. Enjoy.

1. Go ahead and let the kids see those toy catalogs that clutter your mail. Give them each a folder or envelope and tell them to tear out what they like (or save the whole catalog and fold the page)

2. In our house, Santa brings THREE things to each kid because Jesus got three things. This has been the most awesome thing we've ever established as a family for so many reasons, not the least of which is the kids are more selective in their requests from Santa.

3. I'd also challenge you to think about THREE gifts your family can GIVE this Christmas, not like Uncle Harry's name you drew, but community or what we call 'eternal gifts'. Collect for your local food pantry, collect clothing for coats for your town's Clothes Closet, or raise money to purchase school supplies for needy kids. We also try to choose a family or group to deliver an anonymous gift to on Christmas day. It's very fun to sneak out with your kids very late on Christmas Eve and set a basket on an unsuspecting family's porch. With the economic situation the way it is, I KNOW your local school or church can give you the name of dozens of families with needs. Consider a basket with a gas card, some tasty food items, maybe a grocery store gift card, and some toys or age appropriate treats for the children of the family.

4. Think about teacher gifts NOW. My kids always design notepads. They draw a picture and write a saying or famous quote or even just "Grocery List", then I take that to our local printer, and he makes it into note pads for the kids to give their teachers. They're very inexpensive (run about 50cents apiece at the most), can be wrapped very cute in cellophane bags from the Dollar Tree or Michaels, and they're personal, created by the kids.

5. Start thinking outside the box for Christmas gifts. Give gifts of experience (tickets to a local theatre production, annual membership to the aquarium or planetarium, etc.) or find a local artist to paint your parents' house for their gift (great range of prices here from small pen and ink to fabulous huge oil--all very special). It's also a great time to think about gifts like magazine subscriptions, etc., but they take a few weeks to get cranking.

6. Lastly, try to do as much as you can now, so when it's truly the holiday season, you can enjoy it with your children. Make memories with them that focus on the true purpose of the season, not screeching into the last parking place at the mall, in a foul mood, with a list a mile long. ha

Have a wonderful week. Happy November. Plan to vote tomorrow if you haven't already.

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