You be the judge. Here's how the first week of December habitually goes at our house:
Weekend After Thanksgiving:
Boxes are hauled out of storage; the tree is put up. Lights and decorations follow. No one can sit anywhere until the tree skirt is unearthed and the tree placed in position. The couch might be accessable at this point.
Step #2 is the outside decorations. My SU (Spousal Unit) and oldest son go out to hang the lights, the garland, while I dig out the wreath hangers and decide which wreath to hang on which door. If the window stickers are desired, the kids decorate the front window with Santa, reindeer, and snowflakes. One year we even had fake snow.
Step #3 is the archway and my snow village. In past Christmases, putting up the snow village involved taking down the train set or mess on top of the train set; unrolling the glittery 'snow' blanket, and locating yet another extension cord so my church, southern mansion, and whatever other building I've acquired can be lit. (I've not seen my village in over three years; we have no room in the new house. HOWEVER...we've cleared a spot for the lighted buildings and nutcrackers. YAY!!)
Step #4 takes place beginning December 1st. I bake anywhere from 5 to ten dozen cookies per day, ranging from chocolate chip to sugar to oatmeal raisin to M&M and butterscotch chip. Here's where the 'punishment' comes in: No one is allowed to eat any of them, until they are counted and separated into categories: Teachers, friends, family, and other. Once the first three categories have their quota, the rest are up for grabs.
Can you hear the groans?
"Are you serious? But Mom...I'm your official Cookie Tester! You can't hand out defective cookies! That wouldn't be right!"
And then there's my SU's ploy: "Oops, this one has a bad spot. I'm honor-bound to eat it."
Yes, some of them get consumed without my knowledge. That's okay; it simply means I get to make more the next day:) And besides, I 'sample' enough raw cookie dough, so I'm guilty of playing with the final outcome:)
And my personal motto: I'm allowed to lie to the kids at Christmas and on Birthdays. So that book I carried in from Stephanie Meyers? No, it's not for you; it's for your cousin, who ALSO likes the series! That DVD you caught me smuggling into the cart? It's for Grandpa.
We also have two birthdays on top of all this madness. My son K's is first, so there will be a nice dinner party with the grandparents, and ice cream and cake at home with some of his friends. Last year he got Rock Band, so there was a rock concert in the living room. The adults hid in the kitchen and consumed wine and Tirumusu.
A week later, it's my turn. Last year, we had an Adult's Night Out and tried out a restaurant I'd wanted to go to ever since it opened. This year, my day falls on a Saturday, so I'll probably share my birthday dinner with K's, and either attend my family's Christmas party at my aunt's house or celebrate at home with the kids. And yes, I insist on my store-bought chocolate cake. Last year I had Indiana Jones on it. This year? Undecided. Wonder if there's a 'Team Jacob' cake? I'll take a warm, snuggly werewolf over an icy cold vampire! Unless it's one of Dakota's...but lately hers are gay.
I Received An Early Christmas/Birthday Gift!
Teacher's Pet has a contract! Woo hoo! Molly posted the blurb on her site, since I'm still not getting much traffic. Or at least, a lot of lurkers who refuse to say hi, lol:) Of course, it would help if I'd advertize a little more! I'll have to do that next year.
I also finished Class Reunion, the sequel to All She Ever Wanted. And since Austin from Off The Clock showed up, that series now has three books. Did NOT see that coming when I created Marc and Amber! Wonder what else the coming year has in store for me? Wait and see.
In the meantime, I'm off to go drag out my tree; I was busy writing this past weekend and tending to the MIL, who was released from the hospital on Sunday. I'm playing catch-up this week, and trying to stay warm.