Live and Learn

trainlayout11If you celebrate Christmas, I hope your holiday was everything you wished it to be. This time of year is so tough for many people. My heart goes out to those families missing loved ones.

For those that follow my blog regularly, you know that Thanksgiving was awkward at best and I had considered skipping this year’s Christmas Eve extended family celebration. My father must have caught wind of it because he asked me to host it at my home this year. I hemmed and hawed for a good two weeks, before I finally gave in. Dad rarely asks for anything and in the end I couldn’t refuse.

My favorite comedian, Jeanne Robertson, tells her fans to look for humor, especially at family events. Well, Jeanne, dear, I looked at the time and have reflected since and I got nothing. The best I can come away with, is knowing I spent the evening with people I hold dear…and I will not do it again next year.

On Christmas day, when I heard my kids expressing a similar sentiment, I dragged out my laptop and got busy. Family politics are a bit like walking through a mine field. It takes finesse, which I sometimes lack, to make it through unscathed. But, I think, I found a way that will keep anyyone from getting their feelings hurt and put a little Christmas cheer back into the holiday for us.

I booked a trip to Hawaii for the week of Christmas. It’s perfect. We spent the day planning our adventure. Surprisingly, we had less trouble picking the islands than the accommodations. You wouldn’t believe the discussion that transpired over something so simple, but the laughs were loud and long as we finally came to an agreement.

We made a list of ‘must sees’ and have assigned jobs. That must sound silly, but when you live in a house of OCD, over-achievers, nothing can be accomplished without an agenda and spreadsheets. No, sadly, I’m not kidding. Both kids whipped out their laptops and got to work. My daughter designed the ‘jobs’ sheet and my son began on the itinerary. As you can imagine, they are color coded and will automatically generate emails when updated or when a deadline nears. Yes, I too, sit back and shake my head at the over-complicated-ness of it all, but they had fun and that’s all that matters.

All in all, Christmas 2013 was a wonderful time. The four of us laughed hard, hugged hard, and we are looking forward to next year.

Christmas Comes Early

My love asked me what I wanted this year for Christmas and as usual I came up with nothing. He is very doting and if he knows I want something more often than not within a few days I have it. Yes, I’m spoiled rotten. I’ve also learned not to express an interest in something if I don’t really want it. With that in mind, I drew a blank when asked for gift ideas.

The only thing I really desire, is time with him. He’s been working six days a week, up to fifteen hours a day. When he’s home, he’s never far away from his Blackberry or laptop. I’m not complaining. I just miss him. Our recent trip to NY was as close as we’ve had to a vacation in over six months and except for the four days our son spent with us, it was all about work. Since returning, he’s been catching up on everything that he couldn’t do from NY.

So, very selfishly, I told him what I wanted most was a few days at home with my love. This morning he spent a few minutes on his computer then turned it off and shut down his Blackberry. He is giving me a whole week sans electronic leashes. I have no idea the last time that occurred. My guess is it was back in the 80’s 🙂 before the things were widely used. Right now, he’s on the roof hanging Christmas lights with our children (when my daughter heard the news, she decided to come home and make sure he was feeling all right).

I’m off to bake cookies and dance around the house like an idiot because I have my handsome hubby home with me for an entire week!