It's the final push. The last rush. Things are hectic. Frantic, even.
It wouldn't be quite so bad if last minute problems didn't keep popping up. Things like having to run Gracie into the clinic to check on a possible ear infection (and possibly a bit of strep throat) and then having to sit in the pharmacy for 45 minutes waiting for antibiotics.
Or the fact that I am STILL waiting on two presents for Tommy and Ben that I ordered three weeks ago yet the company can't seem to figure out where they are. The two things that Ben and Tommy really wanted. From Santa. You catch my drift here, right? Needless to say I had to run out to 8 different stores for replacements just in case the ones I ordered did not get here in time to wrap. Ugh.
And we just decided to get Grace signed back up at her old school for the second semester. So, there is a lot of running around, paperwork to fill out, and uniforms to order, quickly, so that come January everything is taken care of. Switching schools isn't something I thought we would be doing right now but we added it to the list anyway. We are so happy to be able to switch back. Grace has never stopped asking if she can go back to her old school (she misses her friends and going to school with her brothers) , and even though her current school is a good school it made Todd and I realize just how much we value our parochial school. So, we are very excited, but it is adding a bit more busy work to this already busy time of year.
Then, genius that I am, I received a call that the blood bank is in desperate need this time of year and a plea for a donation. So, when Todd came home last night I rushed out (in between wrapping 40 gag gifts for our games, and 3 loads of laundry) and donated blood. Not the smartest thing to do when you are already run ragged, but I did it.
I still have wrapping to do too, though I do not fault myself for that. I only had small windows of time to wrap before I had to run out again for Ben's Nativity play, or Grace's holiday concert, or early release from school, or, or, or...
It is amazing how quickly Christmas snuck up on me this year. You prepare and rush and plan and decorate and then just like that Christmas is here. It comes faster than you expect. Faster every year.
And here we are. Christmas Eve.
Grace can hardly contain her excitement. She talks a mile a minute and I can barely keep up with the conversation. When we come back from the doctor's appointment we listen to Christmas music as she helps me make the applesauce for grandma's house. She tells me all about Santa and his reindeer and the elves that help Santa get everything ready. I don't even have time to respond since she is already on to her next story. I nod my head and keep peeling the apples.
The boys are strangely grumpy. Or maybe just feisty. They are fighting with each other too often so we send them outside so we don't have to listen to it. They take advantage of the unseasonally warm Christmas weather and bike around the neighborhood. They are thrilled when I tell them to bike over to their grandma's house and deliver her Christmas card. It is the furthest they have ever biked and strict instructions are given for safety. After they leave Todd paces back and forth and finally decides to take a trip "to the store". Of course when he gets home he tells me how he spied on the boys and watched them as they biked back from grandma's. They were, indeed, following all the rules (helmets on, single file, Ben in the middle, on the sidewalk, stopping at each corner before crossing the street) trying to prove to us just how trustworthy they are.
Soon we'll be leaving for grandma's house and then the other grandma's house tomorrow. Before you know it Christmas will be over. Just like that.
For now I'm treasuring the craziness. I'm trying to practice patience reminding myself that these times are fleeting. I remind my children of what is really important. What the best gift of Christmas really is.
Wishing you all a peaceful and Merry Christmas!