All is Calm, All is Bright

Hello, friends! The last time I checked in with you all was on Halloween. And here we are, already just a couple days away from another holiday! Yes, just 2 days before Thanksgiving (and, incidentally, 6 days before Deer Day), I am sitting here in front of my computer, writing something just for you people to read. Doesn’t that make you feel special??

Well, don’t read too much into it.

See, here’s the thing. I’ve just realized that today is my “calm before the storm” day. I’m enjoying a semi-relaxing Tuesday because… It’s not my turn to host Thanksgiving! This year, all I really have to do is whip together a cranberry salad and herd the family into the car for a trip to my brother’s house, where my sister-in-law will be the one roasting and stuffing and cleaning and preparing for 21 dinner guests. Next year I will happily return the favor, but I gotta tell you— not having to host Thanksgiving may be the number one thing I’m thankful for this year.

One reason I’m so excited about this little respite is due to the fact that we’re just wrapping up football season, which may not sound like a big deal to most of you, but living in a big-time college football town where most of our friends and many of our family members attended school means that during the past two months, we’ve hosted overnight guests for seven weekends. We even broke a personal record last month, with 21 people sleeping under our roof at once.

It was always fun and absolutely worthwhile, but in between each of those crazy, fun weekends, I’ve washed & changed sheets, I’ve cleaned bathrooms, I’ve cooked, I’ve worked, I’ve parented, I’ve cared for my elderly mother-in-law, I’ve been active in my volunteer positions, and I’ve traveled. None of that is going to stop, but December will also bring at least 6 holiday parties, 12+ people to buy Christmas gifts for, 100 Christmas cards to order and address, 8 overnight guests during Christmas week, a probable trip to a Bowl Game at the end of the month…and a partridge in a pear tree.

It’s all good, I tell ya. I swear, I am not complaining. It’s a true blessing to be healthy and happy and have lots of friends and family to celebrate the holidays with. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m only listing my holiday obligations because I know a lot of you can relate. In fact, a lot of you have much more hectic lives and a lot more to be stressed out about than I do at this time of year. Obviously, I’m specifically referring to those of you who have to remember to move that damn Elf-on-the-Shelf every single night during the month of December. THAT, my friends, is Stress with a capital S. Just try to remind yourself, every time you’re setting up elaborate elfin scenarios that you found on Pinterest at midnight — someday your kids, like mine, will be too old for that crap. And, I’m here to tell you: YOU WON’T MISS IT AT ALL. Not that part of it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I actually lucked out because my kids were born just slightly too early to get sucked into the Elf-on-the-Shelf craze. Thank goodness, because lord knows, our Tooth Fairy had enough issues with remembering to replace teeth with cash on the correct nights. If we had an Elf, I’d have run out of excuses for why every other kid on the block had an Elf that pooped Hershey’s Kisses or roasted marshmallows over candles or played Monopoly with Barbie while ours just collected cobwebs as he sat frozen in time on the same shelf for the entire month of December.

So, never having done the Elf thing, maybe I’m wrong about you not missing it someday. Maybe you will, because maybe you’re insane. But I can tell you that the first Christmas that I didn’t have the pressure of having to wrap Santa gifts in different paper than Mom & Dad gifts, using carefully disguised handwriting, and making sure all evidence of said Santa wrapping paper was incinerated so that it could never be traced back to me — it felt GREAT. It was a feeling that almost compared to the first time I got to throw away an empty cereal box WITHOUT CUTTING OFF THE BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION LABEL. So good, so good!!

In any case, I can assure you that someday when you no longer have a kid dumb young enough to manipulate with a creepy elf, you won’t know what to do with all of your extra time. You may even find yourself with so much time on your hands that you start writing a dumb blog, much like this.

Which leads me back to the reason that I’m here, giving up a tiny portion of my calm-before-the-storm day to write here in this blog. It being Thanksgiving week, I just thought this would be a nice chance for me to tell you all, I am truly grateful for you. And I mean, all of you. I’m grateful for my 43 official blog followers, for caring enough about the dorky things that I write to actually want to be notified when I write them… I’m grateful for those of you who read this because it shows up on your Facebook feed and who actually tell me you liked it, whether you mean that or not… I’m even grateful for those of you who will read this and realize that I’m a huge dork and you can’t believe I’m not too embarrassed to post this crap for the world to see—because for the most part, you’re nice enough to not actually say that to my face… And I’m grateful for finally reaching the age & stage of life that I really don’t care how big of a dork any of you think I am. So there!

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Deer Day! And good luck remembering where you hid that elf last year!

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