Over at PBN, they're wondering how people are coping with the holidays and the stress and the too many cookies they're eating. Well, maybe they're not wondering about too many cookies. I think that's just me. Wondering. How I keep eating Christmas cookies (note to self: stop eating so many cookies).
When I asked Jason how we're handling this season, his remark was "take an extra week off from work." And that pretty much sums it up. Even though I think it's a bit of a shame that students missed out on these school days (because it doesn't do them any favors in raising our math and science scores, now does it?), it was very handy in creating a nice relaxing holiday buzz. We hung around. We slept in late. Actually, I ended up sleeping in every. single. morning. because Jason just happened to be awake around 8 am anyway, so he gave me the week off. Saint.
And the snow/ice/freezing rain/ARCTIC BLAST (that's what the weatherpeople call it) doesn't faze me much. I am exuberantly reckless when it comes to driving in the snow. I don't know why, and Jason won't let me drive when the weather is really bad because I get kind of strung out on adrenaline and impatient with other people on the road. Nevermind that I have lived in the Pacific NW all my life and should hate driving in the snow; there's just something about it that makes me want to show off my mad driving skills. "Let me drive in the snow!" I cry. "Give me the keys," says he. And so I do. Except tonight I did get to drive to the grocery store in the snow. Very exciting.
I would be less exuberant about poor weather if it meant loss of electricity or getting stuck in traffic. That doesn't really sound like much fun to me.
Having today off was especially nice because it took us approximately FOUR HOURS to pack for the two weeks we are staying at the farm. There is literally nothing of value left in the apartment, we've packed it all.
- The laptop and assorted technical gadgets
- Clothes for both winter weather (here in Oregon, er, Washington) and warmer weather (the week after Christmas we're spending in Florida where it was SEVENTY-SEVEN DEGREES today)
- Christmas presents
- More shoes than I can count
- And *drumroll* THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Yes, we packed the tree. We stripped the paper snowflakes off, hauled the tree out the door and threw it--still adorned with Christmas lights--into the back of the truck. The tree handled the 70-mile drive quite nicely, and within a few minutes after arriving, Jason had it set up in its tree stand, bedecked with ornaments and glowing with Christmas lights. It warms my heart to no end to know that our poor tree didn't get hauled off to the recycling center today and gets to enjoy its full moment of glory.
So, here we are. Spending the holidays near our family for the first time in our married lives. No arranging driving schedules (just as well, since the weather is supposed to be snowy and icy and terrible all week). No dividing our time equally between sides of the family. No forgetting Christmas presents at home 70 miles away (like we did last year; my apologies, again, to my sister).
We're here. On the farm. With our family, our dog, and our Christmas tree. That's how we're keeping it simple this year. Well, that and the extra week of Christmas vacation didn't hurt either.
This post is participating in Parent Bloggers Network's blog blast highlighting awareness for FFDA, "a non-profit organization that offers support and assistance for folks who are feeling overwhelmed, both at the holidays and all year long. Their free support groups for moms, as well as a plethora of other helpful services, might just be the helping hand some folks need to get them through the holidays so that they can enjoy a completely healthy and happy new year."