Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Official: Size Doesn't Matter!

In yet another effort to thwart my plans, the local school district here in Winchester decided, based on a forecast of an inch of snow, to cancel school early this morning.  We were awakened by the phone ringing at 6:00 am (which I promptly knocked off the night table) to hear that Frederick County schools were closed for the day.  There is nothing I like better than being awakened out of a sound sleep by the automated voice of the two year old who was assigned our "Alert Now" system notifying us of every emergency, such as the girls' volleyball team meeting times and wet paint drying at the local elementary school.

My plan for today was twofold...I have a beautiful cross stitch piece I'm working on and I was hoping to make tons of progress on it, after quite a bit of procrastination.  And, more importantly, I was planning to inventory all the gifts I had ordered to make sure they had all arrived and then, well, actually, you know, wrap them.

We've managed to puppy proof our Christmas tree in our dining with two baby gates, one on each entrance, and I thought that would be a great place to wrap presents without Jackson's very interested assistance and wet, dirty nose getting in the way.  The dining room table is also a perfect height to wrap, avoiding that pesky neck strain you get from trying to wrap gifts on the floor, my preferred spot every year thus far.  I never cease to forget that bending over gifts on the floor for three or four hours will leave my head permanently tilted at a strange angle for three days while I wander around the house sighing heavily and saying "OW!!!!" loudly enough to cause Justin to roll his eyes at me and wonder if he wouldn't have been better off joining the Navy at 18 and having a career where he could travel, see the world, and avoid marrying me.

After our 6:00 am phone call and waking Jamie to tell him to turn off his alarm and go back to sleep (can anyone see the irony in that?), I managed to go back to sleep.  Not much of a stretch for me, since I have made a habit of going back to bed every morning after the kids leave for school ever since losing my job in October.  There's nothing like being fired to help you into a little depression calling for about 12 hours of sleep per night.  Not that I'm complaining.  How many people would give their eye teeth to stay in bed until 8:30 or 9:00 every morning?  (I'm guessing Justin would be in that category.)  I have taken to scheduling everything I possibly can in the afternoon, just to enjoy the fact that I can crawl back under those covers every day and snooze just a little longer.

Anyway...after dragging myself out of bed around 8:30 this morning and realizing, coherently this time, what no school meant for my day's plans, I decided to do a quick inventory of the Christmas gifts anyway, since we are getting awfully close to the day.  One of my best friends has decided it is fun to post updates every couple of days, remarkably like that Hallmark commercial where the cute little blond girl watches the ornament which counts down the days, hours, and minutes until Christmas actually arrives and announces it continuously to anyone who will listen.  I love my friend, but these little updates are killing me because they keep reminding me of how much I have yet to do and how little time I have left to actually do it.

I was happy to discover that all but one of the gifts had actually been delivered and that the one that wasn't belongs to Justin, so if he doesn't actually have it on Christmas morning, he's not going to be horribly upset.  What I also discovered, and should have remembered from the last couple of years, is that as the kids get older, the gifts seem to be getting smaller.  In size.  Remember how much fun it was as a kid to come down on Christmas morning and see all of the big packages under the tree?  Somehow, the proportional size of the gifts seems to go down as the kids grow up.  I totally blame this on technology and the people behind it, who seem to think that putting more gigabytes of whatever into the smallest gadgetry possible is something consumers will want.  And really, who doesn't want smaller everything when it comes to their electronic thingies?  Just look at the hand held video game devices and the size of the games.  I am amazed that the boxes containing them are the size they actually are, since the games themselves are, literally, the size of postage stamps.

I was bemoaning to Justin the fact that while I've spent loads of money on gifts for the kids this year, the size of the pile is awfully small.  Justin was muttering something to the effect that he was going to handcuff me to one of the kitchen appliances without access to my computer or a credit card, when Joey snuck up behind me and said:

"But Mom, size doesn't matter, does it?"

Okay, this is one of those priceless moments.  It's a good thing I wasn't taking a drink of something at the moment, because it would have been sprayed across the room when I burst into laughter.  Oh, my little guy, you are definitely one of the three best presents I ever got.

No Joey, size does not matter.  It's the thought, care, and love that goes into the gifts and we're not even going to go anywhere near where my mind immediately went when he said that. 

I was still laughing to myself as I took a shower this morning and mulling over what Joey had said when it hit me.  I have so many large empty boxes sitting in the basement and garage from my beloved internet shopping.  For some reason, they seem to want to package these little things into big boxes when they send them.  And what I can actually do, because really, in a kid's mind, isn't it more fun to have big packages under the tree, is to put the little presents into big boxes and wrap them.  I'd had a stroke of genius!  Or maybe just a stroke.  When I came downstairs to unveil my amazing plan to Justin, saying "I've solved the problem!" he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "What problem?"  Okay, maybe we weren't continuing along the same thoughts lines within the half hour it took me to get my shower and come up with this idea so I shared my enlightenment with him.  He continued gazing at me like I was the crazy lady from the local mental institution (well, okay, I've been there, but I'm convinced this is a great idea) and just said "okay."

I've discovered a way to camoflauge the one gift I have that is large for the one kid who would know exactly what the gift is.  Just put all of them into big boxes and they can guess to their heart's content.

And no, Joey, size does not matter.  Unless you're a kid.  And it's Christmas.  And it's under the tree.  "It" being the gifts.  Get your minds out of the gutter people!

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