Thursday, January 6, 2011

Holiday Reflections

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Happy New Year!

A lot has been going on with Pooping Red Guy and the gang. They've spent the holiday season trapped in the closet having all sorts of adventures, most of which involved the watching our lives like a sitcom, or is that drama, but definitely not something like the Real Houswives. All I know is that to be a fly on the wall in my house had to be engaging.

Firstly, business came first. My sales during December set a new record. That God for that because otherwise, we wouldn't have had any money for Christmas. After Christmas, I took a break from putting up new inventory and shoppers took a break from spending money. I needed a mini-vacation from my business and people needed to let me have it. Don't you love it when life syncs up personally and professionally?

When I wasn't working, I was spreading Christmas Cheer. You wouldn't think this was an actual task, but it really was. Not many were in the spirit of the holidays beyond the obligation of dinners, parties and gifting. Who can blame them in this economy? So, I went about decorating and baking, doing good deeds when I could and generally being happy. My neighbor swears that I am the happiest, most easy going person she knows. Not sure if this is true, it's just that I've learned to roll with the punches. Certainly when the world gives you carte-blanche to celebrate, I seize the opportunity.

I would say about 4 pounds of flour and butter was used to spread merriment among those I know and even some I don't. Who knew that simple gifts could be so effective? Children shrieked with delight at the ability to get their hands messy creating edible pieces of art work. That sorta child-like happiness is contagious.

Did I mention my husband started a new job? So along with the regular holiday hub-bub, he was adjusting to a working in a completely foreign environment with ridiculously demanding and ever-changing hours. He still hasn't fully adjusted and keeps telling me the job is just not for him. He's been a trooper, hanging in there for the sake of the team.

The excitement of the holidays with an Asperger's kid provided extra challenges, especially with a dramatic change in his dad's schedule. I really tried to keep our routine stable, but it wasn't always possible. Plus, the kid could not stand the anticipation of presents, the worry over whether he was naughty or nice (a huge topic for another time), and the joys of sugar over-load. At least once a week, he woke up at 2 or 3 am because he couldn't sleep. Christmas Day, we were up at 2 am. Then there was snow… lots of snow that makes children very excited. And sleep-overs. And family. And gift cards he used on line, which led to more anticipation. He is still recovering.

All and all, it went off really well. I managed to stay within budget, so that Christmas was modest, but each gift had a lot of thought put into it. I found the ultimate oatmeal cookie recipe and have a few ideas for next year, including hand-made Christmas cards. Everyone who sent a card this year is getting a version of their card back next year. I also managed to spread cheer in many, many ways, even if it was as simple as reminding my neighbor you didn't need to go all out all the time to have a Merry Christmas.

Soon, Pooping Red Guy will return. I meant to take pictures of him in the snow, but real life called. (Plus, I kept forgetting to ask the man where he put Pooping Red Guy). Baby Jesus was present under our tree, along with other's from his birth. Husband and I argued how to set up the nativity, but managed to make it work.

Hope your holidays were bright and that 2011 will be a great year for all of us!

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