Okay, this is not really my house but you get the idea.
Sad, isn't it?
The funny thing is, though, is that nobody has noticed. Well, I have but none of the other people in the house haven't noticed a thing.
None of the children have said "Hey mom? Where's the Dickens villiage that you always tell us not to touch?" or "Where are all of those weird Santas that you stick everywhere around the house?"
It's amazing. They're as happy as can be and they don't even care that it's the bare minimum.
Which leaves me to wonder, who the hell was I doing all of that for? The hubs could have cared less, the kids seem almost relieved that there's nothing that they will be yelled at if they touch, and I'm not exhausted from putting everything out and then dreading putting it all away when the holiday was over.
It's all kind of strange and wonderful at the same time.
Another thing that has changed about this Christmas is that we are staying home for the first time ever. Before, we always traveled to see family. We would either fly to Arizona to see my inlaws. And while it was always nice to see both of them (I mean that, I have truly been blessed with wonderful in-laws) have you ever tried to fight through an airport with three little kids and a thousand carry-ons, rushing to your gate so that you don't miss your flight only to find out that it's been delayed for three hours?
So, you open the carry on that has all of the activities that you were planning on using for the plane and try to entertain them for three hours. Then you finally get on the plane for the five hour flight and you've spent all of your activities in the airport and the kids are bored and they don't want to sit still and the guy in front of you reclines his seat as you're bent over, digging through bags trying to find snacks or ipods or DVD players. You finally find that thing that your one child wants and she's happy but then the other asks for something so you're digging again and that is the moment that your two year old son decides to find out how the table works and it slams down on the back of your head. And you're trying not to lose it because you haven't even LEFT THE GROUND YET but it's getting really hard. Then there's the endless trips to the bathroom and then the baby decides to poop and have you ever tried to change the poopy diaper of a toddler in an airplane bathroom????
The times we didn't fly to Arizona, we normally drove to Connecticutt to see the rest of the hubs family and while driving is a little better than the plane, there's the endless potty stops and complaints about being cold/hot/bothered/unhappy with the world in general.
Then you get to your destination, where a family member has offered to let you stay in their guestroom and sleeping arrangements are insane and you really don't want the kids touching anything in the house. And you're spending the whole time trying to convince the hubs' side of the family that just because you are from West By God Virginia, you are not a hillbilly and yet your children are walking around acting like the Clampets and you just want to scream!
Now, don't get me wrong, I love seeing the family but I always end up stressed out because I want my children to look perfect and act perfect and WHO ARE WE KIDDING? They are children!
So, this year, we have decided that we are making Christmas all about us and our little family of five. We are going to have the traditional Catholic/Italian Christmas Eve dinner of seafood and then we're going to watch...oh I'm so giddy about this!!!!....The first one of the marathon of A Christmas Story on TNT!!! I have watched that marathon every year of my existence and I love it. Then we'll wake up Christmas morning and open presents in, get this, our pajamas!!!! Then the hubs will make his famous "Big Breakfast" and I am going to make a Christmas dinner that involves making my first ever turkey. Pray for us that I don't kill us all from salmonela!
It may not sound as exciting as going to Arizona or Conecticutt but it's going to be ours and I can't tell you how happy I am about this.
Now, if I could just get that Christmas Spirit that everyone is talking about.....