I can't really remember a truly happy Christmas Day of relaxing and enjoying myself for at least the past 10-15 years. I pretty much just grin and bear it while hoping the clock will magically speed to the end of it all. Smiling while opening that gift you didn't want and thinking how it's going into the re-gifting pile when you get home. Just remember who gave it to you so you don't give it back!
Trying to think of compliments to say about someone else's cooking even though you are trying not to eat very much of it and don't want to be dishonest or rude.
I spend the whole year buying gifts that I can set aside for Christmas. I catch the sales, and pay attention to great deals. When you have 9 siblings, 2 parents, plus all your husbands family... And the occasional friend to buy for.... You learn not to wait until December to get everything. I don't even want to watch tv during the holidays. All you see are ads of 50-70%, but you know they are lies. Stores put prices up higher in the middle-end of the year then announce "sales" to make you think you are getting a bargain. Until they are clearance, I'm not really interested. A couple days after Christmas until the beginning of January or even February, is when the real deals can be found. That's when stores are purging their inventories and prepping for new products to be stocked. Then you also have to listen to your kids saying, "Mom, I want that!" to every toy they see.
This year was no different. Maybe more miserable, but not different. I was awake about 1:25 this morning with a headache and unable to sleep. Since I didn't want to wake anyone else, I went to lay on the couch and play Hearthstone on the iPad for a couple rounds. Then I dozed off again and woke to a pounding migraine. So much for a restful day. Guess I should be glad that I got so much relaxation the night before. I quickly got to work wrapping the last of the gifts. I stuffed the stockings, made eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast, and began mixing up a batch of brownies for the in laws. We were supposed to go to their house for lunch. By this time, the children are awake. Ravenous little rug rats begging for food and trying to break into the neatly laid out gifts.
Breakfast first! That's when my daughter throws up. A torrent of chunky liquid all over herself, her father (who freaks out and starts yelling), and the surrounding area. May I just say, I don't freak out. Ever. Panic only makes things worse. I give my husband a handful of paper towels and then gather up my baby girl to go upstairs and bathe. After that, it was a whirlwind of cleaning for me. Something just clicks and puts me on the warpath. First the kitchen, then the floors, the stairs, on upstairs to the bedrooms. My stress levels begin to rise as my husband tried to tell me to stop and rest or continuously ask why I was cleaning. Any other day of the year, he'd be telling me I don't do enough. That if I'm sitting after work, I'm being lazy. After all, when he was the working breadwinner he didn't need as much rest or sleep as I seem to. Also, being the stay at home parent is difficult and he needs me to take over on my days off. But not today? How is it different today than any other day? This is one of my pet peeves. Pick a stance and stay with it. Regardless of day, holidays, or plans. But I digress.
On to opening gifts and deciding what the plan of the day will be.
Then I clean like crazy (which is what my husband thinks I am). I plug in the headphones to blast Skillet, AFI, Thrash80, and Sabaton among others. I know it won't help the head pains. It will, however, help to drown out the background noises and thoughts in my weary head.
My husband complained about not getting gifts for each other. I opened one gift from my parents but he had nothing as he'd already opened his gift from them. My gift to him was telling I'm divorcing him next year. I delivered that last week. No need to gift wrap something after dropping that kind of news, right?
My daughter again lost her stomach contents just before lunch. It looks to be a long day of cleaning and headaches. But I can't say I'm not happy. I'm not at work. I'm wearing comfy pants. I don't have to answer personal questions from family I don't see often. And I don't have to leave the comfortable, clean, organized chaos of my own home.
So today, enjoy your Christmas celebrations. Whether you do so in religious ways, with family, or as I'm doing in some form that is uniquely your own - do so with pride and pleasure! Get ready for a new year. It's almost here!