It's not very Christmasy of me to admit this, but there are certain Christmas rituals that I look forward to completing because they ruin my holiday mojo:
1. Attending a Christmas school pageant and pretending that it is not excruciatingly boring and painful.
I endured 12 school pageants during my school career, and our oldest child (who went to public school for kindergarten) was in one. One of the benefits of homeschooling (for another example see earlier reference to book fair racket) is not having to pretend that sitting in a dark school auditorium for 2 hours so you can watch your own child perform for all of 2 minutes is FUN.
2. Attending Husband's office Christmas party.
Done and DONE! It was actually pretty painless. We sat with Husband's coworker and his wife and made snarky and geeky comments ALL NIGHT LONG. It was fun!
I did not participate in karaoke. Nor did I dance. Even though the DJ played two of my best dancing-and-looking-like-a-fool songs: Footloose, by Kenny Loggins and Dancing in the Dark, by Bruce Springsteen. I've been practicing my impersonation of Courtney Cox dancing with Bruce for 20 plus years. It is now perfect!
3. Writing our Christmas family newsletters.
It boggles my mind that these letters are so painful to compose. This year we devised a quiz testing people's knowledge about our lives. This is what happens when your life is (thankfully) quite lovely and (delightfully) fulfilling and you are very happy (though you're afraid to admit this lest you jinx yourself), but there isn't a whole lot of NEW things (ie birth of a baby, move to a new house, son entering the space program, other son becoming a world renowned surgeon) to report. [[*knock on wood*]]
But after many hours of formatting columns, editing photos, proof reading, and rewriting to ensure that we didn't come across like braggarts, I was exhausted. Compounding this was attempting to write with a minimum of sarcasm and scorn BUT still be funny. I think we succeeded at least part of the time. But toward the end, I'd exhausted my personal supply of sincerity.
4. We got our Christmas tree. Here it is before we cut it down:
Comparatively this year's tree-hunting expedition was fun and brief: 30 minutes. We are surrounded by Crown Land so it's just a matter of picking a direction and walking until we find a tree that's straight(ish), sort of symmetrical and isn't too smelly. One year we brought home a white spruce and within 2 hours of setting it up, we sent it back out the door because the stink was too bad.
We think this is a fir tree. This information was supplied by a friend who was passing by as Husband stood on the porch trimming a few of the lower branches. She's a professional forester so we will defer to her knowledge, until next week when my dad comes for a visit and applies his 50 years of forestry knowledge to the question.
So there. My bottom four joy-killers DONE. Bring on the joy. Bring on the snow. Bring on the Mexican vacation we're going on in 2 weeks!
Oh. Crap. We need to start packing.