He’s married to a grinch….or something like that!

Nathan calls me a grinch. I guess it’s only fair after I called him a monster. But he’s been calling me a grinch for years. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas. Well actually I guess it goes back to that. Sort of. I loved Christmas when I was a kid. I mean LOVED it. My parents went all out to make Christmas really special for my brother, sister, and me.

One year they bought a kitten from California because they couldn’t find one in Texas of the breed we wanted. My sister had taken in a stray ragdoll cat that ended up getting killed by the neighbor’s dogs. We were all really sad, so they wanted to get the same kind of kitten, but couldn’t find one in Texas. The one from California was flown in, but she arrived a few days before Christmas and my parents had to keep her hidden. We swore we heard a kitten in their bathroom, so my dad ran out and bought a CD that played cat noises, set up the player in the bathroom, hid the kitten at my grandma’s and let us in to show us it “was just a CD.” We were so disappointed! By Christmas morning we had given up hope of getting a kitten, only to be pleasantly surprised to find her under the tree.

Another year we were driving to West Virginia to visit my dad’s family for Christmas. I had talked non stop about wanting a purple bike with pink hearts on it. They needed a way to get it to West Virginia without me knowing about it, so my dad loaded the bike into the back of our suburban, then put a piece of plywood on top with the luggage covering it, and none of us ever knew it was back there. Until years later of course.

So yeah. Christmas was awesome when I was a kid. Then when my parents got divorced, it totally changed. It was just never the same after that, and for many years I actually dreaded it. Money was much tighter after the divorce, and I hated people asking me what I got. It sounds so horrible now, and it is. I’m ashamed that I was ever ashamed and that I put so much emphasis on the gifts instead of the time with family.

As I’ve gotten older, Christmas has gotten better, and I do look forward to it. I swear! I’ll repeat that for you, Nathan: I look forward to Christmas and I DO like it. I’m just never ready for it these days. It comes way too fast and before I know it, it’s a week from Christmas and I haven’t done any of my shopping. Also the weather is still warm most years which makes it very difficult for me to get in the Christmas spirit. Also I can never come up with anything that I want until after the holiday has come and gone.

So that’s where I am this year. Completely and totally unprepared for Christmas to be here in a few weeks. Well I’m definitely prepared for the time off work. But everything else? Not so much.

Maybe someday I’ll be one of those super organized people who has all of their shopping done before Thanksgiving, who gives their list to their in-laws right when they ask for it, who has a holiday party scheduled and planned well in advance, and who doesn’t find themselves rushed and stressed in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Hahahaha. Right.

Until then I will just continue to be exceedingly grateful that I have a family who loves me and wants to spend Christmas with me, and who works hard to make it special for a grinch like me.

I’m definitely getting excited for all of the Christmas traditions!

baking Christmas cookies

....and decorating!

Last year's tree....well this year's too actually, since it's fake!