Let me tell you about the ridiculous dream I had last night. It was one of those really, really awful dreams… full of panic, anxiety, desperation. A nightmare, if you will. But let me also tell you that you’re going to get a kick out of this, I think. And it serves as a perfect segue into the whole holiday season for me.
So in my dream…
It was about 10pm and everyone was nestled all snug in their beds with visions of…well, I’m probably better off not knowing what they were having visions of, but my point is…I was the only one awake. I was sitting on the couch wrapped up in a blanket reading a book, and all of the sudden it dawned on me that it was Christmas Eve. Until that moment, I had absolutely NO idea that it was Christmas Eve. Somehow I had miscalculated how close it was , and I had lost two weeks.
I was completely unprepared. I didn’t have any presents for my kids. My heart started to pound and I went into full panic mode. I was thinking, ‘How could I have forgotten, and more importantly, how was I going to fix it?’ …because we all know that’s what moms do…fix things. I made a list of my kids names, and took off for WalMart to try to buy presents for the kids before they woke up in the morning and saw that there would be nothing to open. Nothing from mom and dad, and nothing from the “Big Guy” either.
Once inside the store, I made a mad dash through the aisles with my list of kids names in hand. But then, I lost the list and I couldn’t seem to remember all their names, so I kept trying to make new lists. And then I would loose the new list and have to make another, and another, and another until I ran out of paper. I ended up stealing a notebook to get more paper for lists.
I was wandering around the store up and down the aisles and could find nothing to buy, so finally I gave up and drove home at 4am Christmas morning, empty-handed and crying. Then, still in my dream, I woke up and thought, ‘thank goodness it was just a dream’. I looked at the date on my phone just to double check and it said Dec 25! What! It wasn’t a dream? It was real?
It was at this point that I really did wake up in a complete and utter panic. I just lay there for a few minutes feeling so confused and disoriented. I finally got brave enough to look at the date on my phone and saw it said Dec. 1. I was awake…and it was a dream.
This was my sign…time to pull out the old trusty Christmas binder. Yep, I have a Christmas binder. It’s the only thing that gets me through the holiday season with my sanity relatively intact. Writing everything down helps me to unclutter my mind (stop laughing, Liz!) and transfers the responsibility from my mind to the paper.
It’s just a regular red three ring binder with some wrapping paper glued to the front and covered in contact paper. Each kid has a separate page with color coded lists of…
1) what they want
2) what I have bought
3) what I have left to buy
The binder also has sections for
- family gifts
- addresses for cards
- gift exchange lists
- a calendar for the month
- a pocket for my receipts
The binder has been perfected down to a science over the years, as a way for me to survive Christmas without going absolutely crazy. The binder goes everywhere with me because you never know when the shopping bug may hit, AND , because we wouldn’t want curious eyes to stumble upon it’s secret contents.
FYI…this year I’ve decided to add a new column to the kid’s pages…
4) where the gift is hidden
This is due to a Christmas Eve missing present incident last year…a wii Rockband from you-know-who that was hidden a little too well. (I did find it at about 2am.)
So dear readers, here’s to a happy start of the holiday season…and here’s to my beloved Christmas binder, may you help me survive yet another Christmas.
Enjoy your Coffee Break!