Notes to my future self (Top 10 Things to Remember for Next Christmas plus a Couple)

Hi adjunctmom!

It’s Christmas time again, I see. Let me give you a few helpful hints to help alleviate your stress so that you don’t feel like maiming someone on the 23rd of December.

1) Get those grades in as fast as you can. Seriously, the extra days have really helped so if you possibly can turn those grades around the day after the term ends. It makes your life 100% better and you’ll thank me for it. Really, you will.

2) Don’t make elaborate plans about what you can accomplish over your break. You’ll just disappoint yourself and that’s no fun for anyone. You are not going to get the entire house reorganized, work out a million times, or get Peyton to walk nicely on a leash in under three weeks. Try to relax, watch movies, and work on some craft projects, you’ll be a lot happier.

3) READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE BEFORE YOU GET BEN EXCITED ABOUT IT! Seriously, he’s not coping well with the extended wait time while the pieces dry. You could have done the construction the night before and had a lovely time decorating today. Far better use of time. Trust me.

4) Yes, you can make Julekaga in the bread machine. No, it is not sacrilege to do it. No one cares as long as there is citron and cardamom in the bread. I promise. Just remember to take the dough out, split it in two and bake it in the oven. Yes, you have to.

5) DO NOT OVERBUY PRESENTS. Yes, there are lots of cool things, but the kids don’t need the things and the things aren’t going to make your life better, so make a plan and STICK TO THE PLAN. You are not a ferret, so stop behaving like one.

6) Use the Mr. Cookie Baker chocolate chip cookie recipe. Tweak it if you want to, but you don’t need more cookies than that. You just don’t.

7) Make sure you make VERY enthusiastic noises when P proposes buying and glazing his own ham. Yes, you like Honey-Baked Ham better, but he doesn’t. This is a compromise you can live with, so go with it. It makes him happy. Also, if it turns out the glaze recipe is from Mad Hungry (which I hope like hell you’ve bought by now, since I know no one is going to give it to you).

8) The foldover cards with the separate pictures from Shutterfly are 1000 times easier. If Sam is still with you, make that a million times easier. Just remember, the girls need to have their pictures taken at a longer distance than you and P or the kids. I know you’d like to get just their heads, but Peyton’s head is too danged big for that, so give up gracefully and do it now. If it’s just Peyton this year, I’m sorry. I know how much you love Sam and how hard this Christmas will be without her. However, you can do a close up of Peyton (aka the Rock) and she’ll look good in the card even if it feels weird without Sam.

9) If you have gotten yourself addicted to Dr. Pepper again, this is not the ideal time to wean yourself off of it, no matter how much you think it is. It sucks. It’s working, but it sucks. Hopefully, you’ve been smarter in 2010 and just didn’t get back on it.

10) Check and double check the household medicine supply. Make sure you have enough medicine for every person likely to get sick (read, you, Ben and Katie). You do NOT want to make a late night run to WalMart on December 23rd (or thereabouts) for medicine. Trust me.

11) Remember to charge ALL camera batteries early. You use them far more than you think you do. Also, if you’ve been taking video with the Nikon again, remember, it kills the battery FAST. If you have not yet procured spare batteries for the cameras DO IT NOW!!!!!

12) Do NOT overschedule your time right before Christmas. You will get sick and you will be miserable.

13) If P has talked you into traveling for snow this Christmas remember that he PROMISED to find a place that would take Sam if she’s still with you. In either case, be sure you have researched kennels early for Peyton. Yes, she’s stable as a rock and can go anywhere, but anywhere should be as nice as possible, especially if she’s missing her sidekick and best buddy.