Every year I tell myself I will shop, wrap, bake and prepare everything well before Christmas! Every. Year. This year was like every other, Christmas once again lands on December 25th – always a shock – but I was ready. My gift lists were made and by November 15th most of my shopping had begun. I signed up for the Christmas Pledge over on Karen’s blog called The Art of Doing Stuff, where she provides you with a daily check list of things you need to achieve daily to be stress free by December 1st, so you are well ahead of the game and ready for Christmas. Which is brilliant, if you do it. If you haven’t been on Karen’s blog, I highly recommend you do! Her content varies from building stuff to cooking to gardening and my favourite thing about her is that she always makes me laugh, no matter the content of the post. Needless to say, I failed the pledge. It’s December 19th and I still have, gulp, shopping to do! It’s the tiny details that seemed so unimportant at the time that are now rearing their ugly head and biting me in Christmas tinsel. I still have some stocking stuffers to buy, teachers and bus drivers gifts, and little gag gifts for the family “Pie”.
For those of you new to the concept of a Christmas “Pie” let me explain. First you take a bunch of little gifts, usually a variety of items bought from the dollar store and wrap them in plain paper, then tie a long string around each parcel and place the now mystery gift into a large decorated cardboard box draping the long string hanging on the outside of the box. When you have your family gathered around the box, known for some reason as The Pie, you take turns pulling a string and making a little pile of your collected loot. Once all the packages are pulled and the box is empty it is time to unwrap. The beauty of the game is you don’t know what you are going to get, and it is most likely something you don’t want. For example, once my 64-year-old father opened a very pretty nail polish set, although pink is totally his colour he figured it was probably meant for his 4-year-old granddaughter. It was now up to him to try to trade the nail polish set with her for something she had that he wanted, like a pack of toothpicks. The tricky thing is that it isn’t so easy to trade, perhaps his granddaughter decided that she wanted to keep the toothpicks in order to stab her brother with as well as prevent gingivitis. So my Dad would then have to sweeten the deal by adding in the really nice princess lip balm he also happened to get in order to make the trade! If it sounds strange… it is, but we have done it as a family for well over 25 years and we will continue to do it. We all end up in giggles and the “loser” usually ends up with the can of sardines! I will do my shopping for this tomorrow… I hope!
Every Christmas we sponsor a family in need and this year every thing went so well, or so I thought. All the gifts were purchased and ready to be taken to the shelter on Saturday. Only, I didn’t read the fine print and didn’t make it to the shelter until after it closed at 1pm on Saturday. Epic fail! Thankfully after two frantic messages from me and an email I have another drop off day. I will try my hardest not to screw this one up, but no promises!
Then there is our Christmas card! So many people decide not to mail out cards, and who can blame them at about a buck a stamp. We, on the other hand, still mail out cards. Not only do we mail them out, we do a silly family photo customized card layout too! As a photographer that shouldn’t difficult, BUT, I change the theme of our card yearly. One year, after the birth of our son, we “recreated” the Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus look… with a twist. Then there was the 1980’s family photo where we shaved the top of Jeff’s head and I rocked bright blue eyeshadow. Last year we all sat on Santa’s lap and thankfully he was willing to close his eyes with the rest of us, not all of our friends and family caught on that everyone was blinking! Check out a post I did about those here. This year I needed to do something different. I was still trying to decide mid November when one after the other we all ended up with the dreaded plaque. It is really hard to take photos when there’s a strong possibility someone may vomit mid click. Perhaps that should be next years theme!
Finally, FINALLY, we decided on our photo and captured it! Hurray, right!?! Only, I haven’t actually mailed them out yet! Christmas cards still count even if they arrive after Christmas, right? To those we don’t have address’ for, and to ensure you receive this before the actual day, here is 2017’s Christmas Card…. finally…
This Christmas I think it’s official that I have been a hot mess, well cold mess as I live in Canada! If you’re anything like me and still have some last-minute gifts to purchase, I highly recommend gift certificates! Did I mention we offer customizable gift certificates here at Left of Centre Photography Services? Cause we do! Don’t mind the shameless plug!
Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, and Happy New Year! Our love to all of you and may your holiday be filled with family, friends, and maybe even a Christmas “Pie”!
What is your favourite thing that your family does for the season? Can you top my Christmas Pie? Leave a comment below!