The presence of December always brings such busyness, doesn't it? Which is such a shame because that stress detracts from the Peace and the Joy that is the reason for the season; it takes the focus off of the celebration of Christ's birth. Every year I vow to alleviate some of that stress by getting things done ahead of time or by taking extra events off of the calendar.
However, sometimes the calendar doesn't get empty, but rather, completely rearranged. At the last minute, we rescheduled a January trip to Chicago for this month, with an exact departure date of December 25. We will drive to Nashville Christmas day, spend the night, then on to Chicago where we will spend a few days with Mark's sister and her family. From there, we will head down to St. Louis to spend a couple of days with some friends. Then back home right after the new year.
So with the rearranged calendar and a departure date of December 25 has come of the dilemma of perfect timing for our regular Christmas celebrations. Our tradition of enjoying a lovely breakfast Christmas morning, opening gifts, and then spending time as a family have pretty much been removed from the calendar for this year. Not that I'm complaining; I rather welcome the change and the adventure of a trip to the North Pole.
What all of this has really meant, though, is a total presents free-for-all. Clearly we cannot take all of the kids' gifts with us in the car, and we want them to have a chance to play with their new stuff. That, combined with the fact that Alex has a birthday in a couple of days, has turned this month into the Presents of December. Think the 12 Days of Christmas, but double the number. The kids have already opened a couple of presents. There is also a planned scavenger hunt for next week for the kids to discover the big present wii are giving them this year. It will have to wait until TravelDaddy comes home, however, because I'm not that technologically advanced.
Yesterday, Alex opened her birthday gifts. Her sleepover party is tonight, which means that I really should be decorating a cake right now rather than writing about how I've propagated Greed in my children this Christmas season. Case in point, every morning, the Princess inquires, "Can we open an early Christmas present today?" Yes, there will be some re-training to do next year when December makes its presence known once more because I don't think we will make the Presents of December tradition.