Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

     I did something very out of character for me last weekend.  I went "power shopping".  My normal approach to Christmas shopping is to begin very early (like....July?) and buy a little as I see things that call out to me as being right for a specific person- or to build myself a theme and craft gifts around that theme.  This year I bought my older nieces and middle nephew something just after my birthday in July, decided on a craft project and searched for materials for months until I was able to complete that and then sort of crapped out.

      My son asked for cash - he had a fairly large expense and wanted help with it so that was easy, but for everyone else I waited until I had my budget in one lump sum.  Last Saturday I intentionally slept in-well, woke up at the normal time then went back for a nap by 7:30-but I got some extra rest.  Then I woke up, downed more coffee and left the house by myself before 10am with the intention of not going home until I was done.  To complicate matters- (if you remember) I resolved not to shop at Target, Walmart, Best Buy, ToysRUs- any of the retailers who opened for Black Friday either on Thanksgiving night or before 6am on Friday.  That made it a little more challenging but I was committed.  Well, by 4pm, all I had left was to stop at the dollar store to pick up holiday "tupperware" type containers for a portion of my craft project that needs to be separate.  I made that last stop and when it was done it was as if a weight had lifted.  I was tired, my muscles and joints were rebelling but I was satisfied with the work I had done.  I took my time, I stopped for coffee on my way out and then for a protein smoothie half way through and really paced myself so I could get through it all in one fell swoop.

     Another difference this year is wrapping.  Gift bags have been my strategy in all of the years I have had RA and can be such a boon for us.  The other thing I have done is to order online and have it shipped directly but my sister-in-law protested to wrapping all the gifts as they came in.  So I decided that I would wrap- rather than using gift bags at least for the things I had to ship.  I bought some cute paper for the kids and elegant paper for the grown ups and set to wrapping on Sunday morning.  One thing I picked up was a little "cutter" for the wrapping paper.  I cannot cut a straight line with scissors-and I am the first to admit it- and with my lack of hand control it ends up choppy anyway. Plus- you KNOW it hurts to use scissors after a while.  Of course, after using this nifty little tool I realized that a coupon cutter would be just as effective.  I put my television on and started clearing out the DVR and got into a groove.  I would wrap a couple of things, stop for a break to rest my wrists and hands and then go back to it.  Just before 3pm I had everything that needed to be shipped wrapped up and in paper grocery bags so I hopped in my car, went to work, boxed them all up and prepped them for shipping on Monday morning.  I managed to get back just in time to watch the Patriot's game (yay football!).  While I was putting together dinner I evaluated my hands and feet.  I had been standing the whole time to wrap because I learned from my Rottie (who would instantly lay on the wrapping paper as soon as I opened it to cut) years ago that sitting on the floor wouldn't work with two curious dogs.  I also knew that sitting on the floor would cause me to lean over more which would stress my already painful back so I was using my dining room table.  Once dinner was going (home made beef/veggie/noodle soup) I decided to leave the gift bags upstairs in storage and keep on wrapping.

       Well, I didn't finish until Monday night but when I was done I felt like the chick in this year's Target "Done" commercial.  I danced around my table doing the "Done, Done---Done-Done-DONE" dance. :-D.  All I have left to do now is to pack my clothes tonight, pack for the puppies tomorrow night and then load two boxes full of gifts (and 5 copper pipes- a part of my craft gift- thanks to @Riotkat for the idea) and all of our bags into the truck on Friday afternoon and head to my folks for the holiday weekend.  I love this.  I don't feel at all rushed, I managed to actually wrap all but the gifts for 2 "people" (one was a full gift bag for the pups- who just won't care and the other was my best friend for whom I used decorated gift boxes).  I even wrapped Mom's gift for Dad (can't tell you what it is in case Dad reads this but I am pretty excited!) even though, ironically enough,  I talked to Dad on one of my breaks and he said "you are worn out from work- don't wrap anything- just throw it in grocery bags, none of us will mind!"  I even took my hubby's gifts to work and did a stealth job on his since he always figures out what I got him.  It makes me so crazy that I was this|close to covering the whole wrapped gift in shipping tape so he couldn't peek.

The nice thing is that feeling this well prepared is that I can focus more on all of the work things I need to get done before we close on Friday for the long weekend.  I am also not second guessing myself- which I do when I buy all year long-wondering if I forgot someone on my list, if I bought enough, if I am taking the easy way out by using gift bags- all of those things that stress me out about the holiday season.  That is the key word right there- STRESS- and for the first time in a long time I just don't feel it in terms of the holiday.

I hope you all have a wonderful Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule or whatever holiday that you choose to celebrate this season.  Next up- deciding what I want to do with my new year!  See you next week!  

1 comment:

Nan said...

YEA for you! I too planned in advance this year and it has made my holiday season soooo much brighter! Have a wonderful, relaxing, and restful Christmas with your loved ones! Nan