Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WNPB: The Holiday Countdown

OK.  Today was the big day.  I bit the bullet (or fruitcake...same difference, really) and steeled myself for some holiday spirit.  There was going to be some holly-type jolliness even if it killed me.  Having assessed the state of the gift shopping, I ascertained that I wasn't in bad shape.  I was just missing a few of those small, but crucial sorts of things that one needs to make a Christmas To Remember.  And, though it is my plan to forget it as soon as is humanly possible, others might remember this year's festivities.  It's best to at least try.  Here is the day in bullet point format:

*My original plan was to hit the department store at some ungodly early hour.

*Plans are for chumps.  I slept late, had a second cup of coffee and made do with local shopping after 9:00.  

*The following is an actual conversation held at the Dollar Store where I was checking out after stocking up on gift bags and mini stockings for the kids in my class.  I happened to find a can of some cool spray paint that gives things a suede effect.  I will never use it...but it was a dollar.  I'm helpless in the face of dollar spray paint.  This was my first stop, so I was still in a fairly good mood:

Clerk Who Was Clinging To Her Seasonal Spirit By A Thin Strand Of Tinsel:  I'm going to put this spray paint in a separate bag for you, 'kay?

Sheepish Annie:  Good plan.  December is never my lucky month.  There will be some sort of issue before I get home and a can of spray paint is just a time bomb waiting to go off in my car, I fear.

Clinging Clerk (smiling a bit):  Gotcha.  I'll double bag it for you.

SA:  (encouraged by having spread a little holiday cheer):  It may not be enough.  But we have to at least try.  These things usually do whatever they are going to do right as I get to my front door, you know.  I'm fooled into thinking that I've made it and that the December Imps have stopped messing with me.

CC:  (chuckling):  That's always the way...

SA:  Seriously!  I get all celebratory and then I'm covered in pickle juice, Mountain Dew or spray paint.  It's like a curse, I tellya!  My neighbors won't even come out of their apartments when I pull in with bags at this point!

CC:  (now laughing outright)  Best of luck to you!

*At that point, I was pretty much feeling like Kris Kringle himself.  I've got this whole holiday cheer thing down, I thunk to myself.  I pulled out of the parking lot to head to store #2 with a self-satisfied grin on my lips and visions of spreading more cheer dancing in my head. 

*Then a large chunk of ice decided to let go of the roof of my SUV and smash my into my windshield wiper.  

*It's a little crooked, but it still works...

*Store #2 was mobbed.  I got the wonky cart.  I forgot my shopping list and became a little confused.

*I purchased dried cranberries for no apparent reason.  And a sweater for myself.  

*Neither of these were on the list but I couldn't have known that since the list was at home.

*Actual conversation from the checkout line after an hour of confused and list-less shopping during which many things were purchased which had no real relationship to my presence in the store:

Lady Behind Me With Kind Eyes And A Good Sense Of Humor:  Oh, I'm sorry.  You're still unloading your cart.  I didn't mean to crowd you out, dear!  

SA: (fighting back tears at those simple words of understanding and courtesy; this doesn't happen very often)  Oh, that's all right.  Frankly, I'm taking up way more space than I normally do at this point.  

Kind-Eyed Lady:  Oh, sweetie!  You're fine.  I just got a little flustered since I had to change lanes after the last register ran out of tape.  I should have let you finish putting your things on the counter.

SA:  No.  It's me.  I'm all over the place.  It's the Holiday Stress, you see.

KEL:  Um...

SA:  I'm all like this!  (waves arms dramatically as a demonstration)  Omigod, omigod!  Christmas is coming!  Help me, somebody help me!  I must shop frantically and with no real organization!!  (waves arms more frantically, then adds eye rolls and hair pulling to the show)

KEL:  Ha!!  I know just how you feel!  That's so funny!!

SA:  (smiles happily at what she considers rave reviews for her impromptu performance piece)

Young Clerk Who Doesn't Know From Stress At This Stage Of Life:  Uh oh...the receipt is stuck in the register.  

*The Kind-Eyed Lady and I almost wet ourselves laughing as the receipt was torn apart in an attempt at retrieving it and required taping with "paid" stickers in order to be signed.

*I then went to the doctor's office where I tried to bribe the nurse to not weigh me this time.

*You'd be surprised how resistant nurses are to offers of cash.  They are a noble and moral bunch.  I'd respect her greatly for this had she not been the one to discover that I have gained four pounds.  

*She redeemed herself a bit by noting in my chart that this weight was "with shoes."

*I almost had a heart attack this morning when I put on my jeans and discovered that they were quite tight.  Then I realized that I'd put on the size 4s instead of the comfy 6s.  

*Take that, mean nurse.  I may not have been able to breath normally, but your four pounds were successfully squashed into my skinny jeans.  

*Don't be fooled.  These are big 4's not my regular 4's.  And there was Lycra/Spandex involved.  It is a false 4.

*I don't much care at this point.  They fit.

*Here's a Fluffy Kitty next to a Christmas Tree:

She didn't have to go shopping today and has no right to look so disgruntled, in my opinion.

*I experimented with using some of my dried orange slices over the weekend.  These were kind of fun to make, actually.  Behold what dried fruit combined with cinnamon sticks and ribbon from the Dollar Store can become:

I'm using these as package decorations in lieu of the hand tied bows that I won't be doing this year.  

*Again...don't be too impressed.  There won't be enough for everyone.  I'm beginning to get a handle on the time frame at this point and realize that there are limits to what I will get done this year.

*But, they make pretty tree ornaments.  It's kind of like a gift attached to a gift.  And even if you don't buy that, humor me.  I am a woman on the edge, here.  There is a fine line between "Holiday Spirit" and "Requiring Medication."

*I know that no one really wants to hear about this.  But there is another snowstorm beating the holy heck out of us right now.  The forecast has been changing crazily since yesterday, but it is looking like I will be home tomorrow.  

*It's kind of hard to call at this point.  There is some rain involved.  But, I have an inkling.  And when I inkle it usually comes to pass.  I'm leaning towards a Snow Day right now, but want to go on record as having hedged my bets just in case.

*A Snow Day means no school and another day for the holiday preparations.  I will have to dig deep and raise the spirit once again.

*I'm going to need coffee...



Mia said...

Hey Sheepie... I think at this point you can skip the coffee and head straight for the booze.

and the orange slices are AWESOME! And there you are trying to make us think you've been slacking! We should have known :)

And really.. you're talking about size 4 and 6 ... puhleeeeese. I'm SO jealous.

Kath said...

What Mia said - but add chocolate.

And yes, the orange slices & cinnamon sticks look great! Hmmm....are you channeling Martha or something?

Donna Lee said...

Another snow day? You all will be in school right on through the summer if this keeps up. What did we do before Dollar Stores? I love them and buy containers and stuff that I don't need just because it is a dollar. I have nothing important to do tomorrow morning at work (crisis management in the afternoon, bring on the bruises) so I will be plotting my itinerary to finish the shopping for Friday afternoon (after a crisis management morning). I will strive mightly to uphold some holiday cheer and spread it around but I don't know how long it will hold out. A woman can only take so much.

Felt Like Knitting said...

Your tree pictures are really pretty! I'm heading to mine right now to take care of some more lights. Good luck with the winter weather.

Leigh said...

I dunno. For some folks, 9 am is an ungodly early hour.

Denise said...

I had to stop at bullet point #15 and comment before reading the entire post, because I was unable to continue after reading the words 'comfy size 6'.

Also? I'm trying to decide if I can still like you now seeing as how I live in some kind of Bizarro-land where healthy diet + regular exercise = weight gain.
(and no, it is not, as some of my very kind friends have suggested, muscle weight)

Ronni said...

You have soooo lost any compassion you might have gotten in the future from me vis a vis the clothes not fitting. Add a 10 to your numbers and then you're in my ballpark. I think I was a 6 in high school. As a freshman.

Your oranges with ribbon and cinnamon decorations are very nice. I bet they smell pretty good too.

Good luck with the snow day and the holiday chores. I sympathize. I haven't finished mine yet either.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm wondering too whether I can still be your friend if you consider size 6 jeans "comfy." Bitch. :-)

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm still here. Apologies if I offended you with that comment. But, really, size 6? I never wore size 6 except when I WAS 6. Anyway, the orange and cinnamon decorations look wonderful and I bet they smell every bit as good. Well done, you.

Anonymous said...

Your decorations are lovely and must have the most delicious smell.
I hope you got your snow day. After the trip to the doctor and gaining 4 lbs (with shoes) you need time to recover.

trek said...

You wore size 4 jeans yesterday.

I could hate you for complaining about your weight. In the nicest possible way, of course. But that could be considered mean spirited and I won't go there this close to Christmas.


And I have to go to the Dollar Store today to buy Scotch tape and packing tape and the line will be out the wazoo. And I will think of you and your "comfy size 6 jeans" and I will probably hate you a little. Only a little though.

Anonymous said...

I love what you did with the orange slices! You are such a clever sheep.

I hope you're enjoying your snow day.

Cursing Mama said...

I dunno - holiday spirit often requires the addition of a spirit. Isn't captain morgan a spirit?
Your decorations sure would dress up a glass of captain.....

Veggies.... said...

Orange slices and ribbon, who'd a thunk it...looks pretty neat!!!

I agree with Mia, perhaps a shot of alcohol is in order....sounds like you had quite a day!!!