You guys! I’m back! I didn’t want to tell you that I was going on a vacation for Christmas because I know there’s that crazy band of robbers who reads mommy blogs until they find one who says they’ll be gone then locates their house and steals everything (just kidding, Mom-in-law! This does not actually exist.) But now it’s safe to tell you that we went to Portland, Oregon to visit the extended family for Christmas (don’t worry, I’m not going to include any blurry pictures of my pajama-clad children opening presents. I like you too much for that.)
Although it was our most successful family visit to date (not once did I hiss at my husband through clenched teeth, “I cannot handle your sister for one more second!” Nor did we get in a ginormous fight where one of us seriously threatens divorce. Tempers flare around family, I’m sad to say), it was still a pain. I would not recommend taking Christmas on the road with six kids. The massive amount of luggage (clothes plus presents) was frightening (yay for Southwest and two free bags per person!) Not only that but I had to bring stockings because everyone knows those are the best part of Christmas. And you can’t have stockings without stocking holders because I’m not about to lay the stockings on the floor. So those had to come too. And then there were the gifts for the grandparents and cousins on both sides. And the birthday presents for the two cousins with December birthdays (poor, poor souls).
Let’s just say that the possibility for screwing up this Christmas was tremendous. But it was a success! I remembered everything! And Christmas was wonderful! And we got everything in eight suitcases! And I remembered to bring jackets this time (we won’t go into the Christmas of ’08 when we went to Utah sans coats. That was a fun one.)
There was a little kerfluffle when Mister told me for real this year not to buy him anything. He “doesn’t need anything” (actually, that’s true so I shouldn’t put it in quotes). So I bought him a couple of shirts and a CD (I don’t want to tell you which CD because it’s embarrassing. OK, Josh Groban. See? Embarrassing. I’m an enabler. But when I bought Josh Groban concert tickets last year I only bought one because I have my limits. And paying actual money to see Josh Groban is beyond them.) Anyhoo, I’m sure you can guess what happened Christmas morning; I had lots of wonderful presents to open up and he didn’t. And then he was pouty about it. So I had to do what all wives do when they don’t give a good present: they have to give A Good Present. A private, wifely present(s), if you catch my drift. I don’t know why it even counts since it’s not under the tree or anything. But if it gets a husband to quit complaining, it works for me.
We had a lovely flight home today and are enjoying both our our cat who just about had a nervous breakdown while we were gone, and the sinkful of dirty dishes because Mister insisted that we leave for the airport three hours early and couldn’t wait just five extra minutes for me to load the dishwasher (it’s better to just indulge his fancy for being at the airport absurdly early).
We put the kids to bed without dinner tonight (well, I consider peanuts and Sprite to be a perfectly good dinner, but they are totally spoiled and wanted something more. So selfish, right?). We’ll be spending New Year’s Eve opening all the Christmas cards that came after we left (I don’t want to throw them away already but you procrastinators leave me no choice!) and going to bed by 11 pm.
P.S. Someone please explain how sitting still in an airplane chair for several hours can be exhausting. Because I feel like I ran a marathon (OK, more like a 5K, but still.)
P.P.S. It was scientifically proven today that a Honda minivan holds twice as much luggage as a Suburban. So all you Suburban-lovers with your “SUVs are so much cooler than minivans” can suck it!