If you’re like me, the season snuck up on you again. It hasn’t seemed like Christmastime because the stores have all been celebrating since September. We’re all like, “Look, the Savior is Born!” and the shepherds are like, “You’re late to the party, Holmes, we started way early. Jesus already has a mustache.”
If you’re scrambling to finish decorations, dinner plans, and finishing your shopping, here are some:
Lazy Tips and Tricks to Make it Through the Season
If you’re a procrastinator, Amazon Prime is your friend. If you do the free trial upgrade, you can get most of your stuff sent to your house within a couple days. Set yourself a reminder right afterwards to call and cancel the free trial, or go ahead and keep that meter running.
If you have kids and are a slave to fads like I am, then a tiny magical Elf visits your house and does mischief, makes messes, leaves notes, and other “magical” crap like sitting on a shelf. You are required by law to move the Elf each night, lest you spoil the whole thing and your kids end up being the weirdos at the mall food court wearing black lipstick and debating screamo cover bands and sharing terrible poetry.
The premise is that the kid isn’t allowed to touch the Elf, so the Elf doesn’t lose her powers and remain immobile for a day. But that’s not a good deterrent, because the Elf is basically there as a Santa informant. If I were the kid I’d be waving that sucker around. “Oh you can’t report my activities to Santa again? Oh too bad Elf.”
It is a really good idea to set an alarm to remind you to move the elf. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a mid-morning hurry and put it somewhere new, right as your kid is waking up. In a panic one time, I just grabbed it out of the kitchen and threw it in a jar as I ran across the living room, then let her float in the turtle tank.
The Panic Meal
By this point in the year, everybody is probably sick of the same mixture of tryptophan and carbs and gravy. If you pick up Chinese, no one will be upset. Especially if you pass out bottles of Sriracha as party favors.
The Panic Present
My Mema used to (and maybe still does) keep a stack of extra gifts in her closet, so that if anyone was forgotten or a random family member showed up unexpectedly with an extra person, the gift situation was under control. This is huge foresight on her part, but I’m not nearly that organized. I’m more of a frantic-shopper, and my closet is a wreck. This weekend I found a pocket knife that I meant to give to my brother in law last year.
I’ve shown up at a family event before (more than once) and totally spaced on one person’s gift. Panic moment. If this happens to you, do this: Take something out of that person’s house, wrap it, and then give it to them. The reactions range from “Oh no, I already have a decorative clock that is exactly like this” to “Hey, these are my keys. I’ve been looking for them for an hour,” to “We need to stop having Jeff over.”
I did this one time to my stepmom, and gifted her a lion-print couch pillow that she had actually made. To take it up a notch, later I wrapped it a second time addressed to myself, and then took it home with me.