Monday, December 24, 2012

ghosts of Christmas past

While I could have gotten a sex change relatively easily in my hometown, Christmas shopping was another story.  Suffice to say that the place was not the shopping capital of the world.

My family, like most other families in town, took the roughly 200-mile round trip to the nearest "big city" about once a month.  That's when we'd live like the other half lived.  There was a mall there.  When I wanted something, I knew I'd have to wait until another trip came around.  When it got close to Christmas, I knew I'd better get my shopping done by early December.

When I was in college, I worked a retail job.   Black Friday was a zoo, but Christmas Eve was a JUNGLE! I couldn't believe all of the desperate shoppers out there buying up anything and everything that was left on the shelves and not nailed down.  And this was at a sporting goods store.  Merry Christmas fish bait?  Merry Christmas jock strap?  Desperate times.

So from my mall-deprived upbringing and my retail worker experience, I learned to not be a last-minute shopper.

Later on, after Magnum and I were married but before we had kids, we lived in New York and would travel "home" to Colorado for Christmas.  One year, we remember it well, we bounced around to 5 different Christmases.  The worst part was the confused little neices.  We vowed no more Christmas bouncing, especially after we had our own kids.  We're the black sheep of his family anyway, so it was easy.

So from the slightly dysfunctional family dynamics, we learned to not stress about Christmas.

I'm thankful for these lessons now, on this Christmas Eve.   I've also heard that, when the Mom is stressed out, the whole family is stressed out.  I'll just have to take that one on face value, having not experienced it first-hand *COUGH*COUGH*.  I'm staying comfy and calm and liking it.

I'm sitting here in my comfy bicycling clothes because I went for a nice non-stressful joyride in the opposite direction of the mall, wanting to beat the snowstorm that's moving in for our, hopefully, white Christmas.  I took along our toy from last Christmas - the helmet cam - for some experimentation.  Still some learning to do...

But [click this] and come ride with me!

Wishing all of my blog friends a warm, cozy and blissful Christmas!


  1. Now I know what to get for my heavily male family -- jock straps! Why haven't I thought of that before?! And to think that I actually considered making cookies for all of them. Geez. Blogging teaches me new things all the time. Wishing you the happiest of holidays!!

  2. Merry Christmas!
    And way to keep that head on a swivel!

  3. I obviously didn't learn the same lessons as you, but even though my day was filled with last minute baking and wrapping, I wasn't stressed. Just extremely busy and focused. :)
    Thanks for taking me on a ride! Amp and I were just discussing last night how much we miss Colorado. Even with the clouds it looks beautiful.
    Fingers crossed that you'll get your White Christmas!

  4. We're going through that whole multiple Christmases again with the new DIL's family and a new great-nephew. Looking to have 3 celebrations this year. I rather like your approach - fagedaboutit and got for a ride. I was out yesterday to pick up a few things but avoided the mall like the plague. Now it is just up to cooking dinner and opening gifts. Merry Christmas!

  5. I was less stressed this year and better prepared (thanks to a LOT of help from my daughter.) But we do the bouncy Christmas thing and I would love to stop. We do Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with the hubby's, and sometime in there, try to find time to just be with each other. We're having our family Christmas this coming Saturday when all kids can be home and hubby doesn't have to work.

    Sounds like your laid-back Christmas was great!