Monday, December 14, 2009

Decisions, decisions

The last few years I have been on the ball when it came to Christmas. Sure, all of this year's shopping has been complete since Thanksgiving but I have yet to wrap and place a single one of those gifts under the tree. Usually our Christmas cards have been ordered, addressed, and stamped weeks ahead of time just waiting for December 12th to roll around so I can drop them in the outgoing mailbox. At this moment there is not a single Christmas card to speak of. We never took a family picture for a card. I'm feeling too frumpy and lazy to attempt to doll myself up let alone make sure we're all matchy-matchy and presentable enough for a family photo shoot. But I still have time to wrap those gifts before the big day comes. And thanks to Costco's web albums and online ordering I'm confident that I can pull together a cute card (with just the kids) in a jiffy. But what I'm really struggling with is what to give friends and neighbors this year. I've had some ideas but nothing that's stuck. I'm blaming this all on the pregnancy, of course. The procrastination. The laziness. The frumpiness. The indecision. But if I wait too long I'm afraid a last minute idea will result in a lame and effortless gift that won't accurately portray how appreciative we are for those friends in our lives. We consider their friendship a gift. An honor. Something to cherish and nurture not only at Christmastime but throughout the entire year. Am I over thinking this? Should it be this hard? In some years past we've always given a bottle of Martinelli's with wishes for a Happy New Year. As I was going through last years pictures I was reminded, yet again, of how behind schedule I am this year.

Last year us and several other families were practicing healthy and clean eating habits as we were all determined to reach our fitness goals. Not wanting to interfere and add to the sugar laden delights that they'd already been tempted with, we decided to give them pineapples. Although it wasn't a homemade treat, it was something tailored to their specific needs and goals at the time.

For the rest of the friends and neighbors we had fun making candied popcorn balls. Making and eating these is a childhood memory for me and it was the first time I had ever made these during my married life or as a mother. So although it may have seemed like a simple treat to those who received it, it really wasn't something that was just thrown together in a hurry. It was made with love, enjoyment, and a ton of Christmas spirit!!

For the kids' teachers, the kids dipped pretzels in chocolate then sprinkled the wet chocolate with crushed candy canes. These were delivered in a cute bag with a bottle of.... can you guess?... Martinelli's! This might possibly have been the first time I let my kids take charge and do all of the work while I sat back and watched. No meddling. No taking over in my control-freakish way. And somehow, I think their teachers would appreciate that (if they had known).

So now back to the tough decision of what to do for 2009? My sweet husband has been trying to help me come up with some ideas but his ideas are just too.... male. (I don't really want to deliver a bunch of Pepperidge Farms salamis and Ritz although he thinks that's the perfect idea.) He did have one other idea. He actually meant it for some comic relief but it needs to be told. He said that we need to get down to the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that we should just buy a bunch of cake mix and make everyone small "Happy Birthday Jesus" cakes. I couldn't even type the sentence without cracking up!!!

Now that I've boosted my morale by reminiscing about the organized Tiffiny of 2008 and giggled myself into a bellyache I think I'm ready to think some more about this oddly difficult decision. This post has been good therapy. And a good distraction.

And for those of you who might end up getting a gift that seems not-so-thoughtful and very last-minute.... just know that I didn't mean for it to end up that way. And that I'll do my best to redeem myself in 2010. But until then... a virtual gift for you:


annette said...

Two posts in one day! Score!! Tiff, don't feel bad at all. If it makes you feel any better, I'm feeling frumpy too and I haven't finished my Christmas shopping yet and it's only 10 days til Christmas. I do have my friend and neighbor gifts only because I got to spend the day at my awesome parents' house making them together. I would have never taken on the candy making alone. I am so impressed by the teachers gifts you made! And I LOVED the pineapple last year. That was so thoughtful and non-sabotaging. And assuming I'm still on the friend list, this virtual gift is good enough for me. Did you make that cake or did you find it on the world wide web? You guys make me giggle too! I just love the Sowards!!!

Tiffiny said...

I did NOT make that cake. I would never take credit for something so heinous. :) I found it on the web.
And the previous post was actually written a few days ago. I just didn't get around to attaching the pictures to it until yesterday. See? It's that whole procrastination thing again!!

annette said...

Ha Ha! I didn't thinks so Tiff, but don't you guys sing Happy Birthday to Jesus? One of our friends does. Hey, guess what else I haven't done yet too...Christmas cards, no picture, nothin'. But I DO love receiving them, especially with the parents in them too, hint hint. You always look beautiful Tiff and now you have that pregnant glow! (And don't let her fool you readers, she's a fit one, this girl!)

Eric and Lydia said...

I love it! Eric took over the neighbor/friend gifts and made about 12 loaves of cranberry nut bread, but that's only about 1/3 as much as we need. It's on the list to make more, but I got asked to talk in church (the only speaker) and our sudden trip to LA. So, they might just get a card from us. I DID get those done, i just didn't order enough and I have to keep going back to Costco to get more!