Lately, I have asked myself questions and have come up with no answers. Or maybe the answers are right there, in front of me…?
Should we get a fake Christmas tree, for the first time, ever?
We’ve always gotten a real one, and the kids insist on it for some reason. But for me, honestly, I wonder if it’s worth all the extra trouble. I have to trim it, put it in water, water it, and sweep up or vacuum the endless needles that fall off it. I just don’t know…
I’ve seen some really nice, slim fake trees that have a very real look to them, for sale in various venues. The slim design would fit better into our small space, and leave plenty of room to set up the lego train and village the kids like to put up. Maybe I’ll make that decision myself this year, and weather the complaints the way complaints are meant to be weathered. With wine.
How do I communicate more effectively the kids’ activity schedules with well-meaning family?
My current method isn’t working. By method, I mean email, or text. The emails and texts are flying around in cyberspace and I ask myself, is this pointless? It certainly is not productive. Can anyone who is not in it the way we are understand in a tangible way what we are dealing with? It’s like trying to find a puzzle piece of a 1000 piece puzzle game…the conversations, whether verbally or in type format, go something like this:
Ok, on day X we are home between such and such a time but we have to leave for a game in XYZ at this time. You could come over in the afternoon, we could have tea and cake…
Or, on day Y the practice ends in mid morning and we don’t have anything else till the afternoon, we could meet for brunch. You want to meet halfway between the rink and your place and have brunch?
Oh, ok, well then how about on day Z, we could meet for dinner at our house, at such and such a time. No it has to be later because a kid is at a game until that time…
Well, it has to be our place only because the other kid has an early game the next day at a rink which is far away and they have to be there an hour prior. Plus both kids have homework and tests to study for…it’s just easier for us to host you. Just come over when you’re ready.
Oh, ok, if that doesn’t work, maybe we can meet in the year 2019, sometime between 2 and 4 am…
I hate those conversations. The only way you can truly understand the busyness of the schedule is to look at the physical, colour-coordinated calendar. And make a decision based on that.
One family (my mom) gets a copy of this calendar and she just consults it and makes decisions about visiting with the kids based on it. The rest of the family isn’t quite so connected, and also further away, and that makes it a lot more challenging. But with one kid in competitive hockey, the other in ringette and various other activities, the weekends are booked up EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. And by booked up I mean all day, with a few hours in between here and there…
The best way to connect with the kids is at the rink. Or afterwards….if it’s not too late.
So what do I say to well meaning family members who just want to see the children? I have no answers. Saying ‘sorry, can’t do’ just seems mean.
Is online Christmas shopping the way to go?
Honestly, as much as I hate shopping, sometimes I like shopping just because I like getting out of the house. There are a lot of little non-chain shops in the area I can frequent for something a little different, and since shopping local is the way to go, why not? The only thing is trying to fit in a time…
Having said that, I must admit having things delivered to the door is so very convenient. The one kids is particularly tricky to gift, and with both kids on the threshold of teen years, I don’t know how much in-person shopping will continue. When the kids were small, shopping for toys was kinda fun…but now? Some just want gift cards, or something electronic. I can pick up gift cards while grocery shopping, but electronic items? Seems online shopping is a lot more convenient (to me).
There is one thing I do enjoy, and that is visiting, in person, the One of a Kind Christmas show. It’s a special kind of show that features unique artists who make things and sell them there. Something like a big collection of Etsy artists…(some are actually selling on Etsy). I just love the atmosphere, all decked out for Christmas, and so inspirational!
Sometimes I join my parents who make the trek to the city every year, both for very different reasons. Mom loves the browsing and shopping of the unique items, my dad, well, he likes the snacking. 🙂 He will visit the long row of food outlets and snack on all the ymmies. Perhaps that is one way of finding out what to gift your 79 year old father with: where does he snack the most and what is he snacking on?
I’ll try to find a day next week to pop in and take in all the sights. Perhaps I will find something spirit-lifting in there for myself – every year for my birthday I get some cash from my mom to spend at this fair. Every year I treat myself to something from there…what will I see this year that will inspire me?
So the question remains: should I shop online for the remaining Christmas items I still need, or join the masses and hit the malls?