One of the shows that Ben really enjoys, although we don't watch it much anymore,is Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Since they have shortened the time, all the "middle stuff" doesn't get shown as much. You have the beginning where they introduce the family, then the demolition. They work for awhile and then the dramatic ending. Everybody just wants the end result right? Well that is kind of how I felt about our Christmas this year. Christmas Eve, Ben and I are sitting in the living room. Under the nicely lit tree, are piles of presents, the cookies have been made (although not set out...just like TJ and Heather apparently), the kids are asleep in their new pj's, and It's a Wonderful Life is on tv. Sounds picture perfect. OK, but what about all that middle stuff? All the work that went into it? Here is a behind the scenes look....
**Connor's dream was to get Lego Star Wars 2. We ordered it and upon opening it, it was Lego Star Wars 1. So... we emailed the company. We get an auto-reply email saying they will get back to us within 3 days! Ugh. So by the time they respond, we send it back, and they send it back again, would we have it by Christmas? Who knows! So we asked for a refund and waited in line at Wal Mart.
**waiting in a huge long line of cars so that we could go and see the holiday lights on the boardwalk. The kids loved it and didn't even notice the traffic b/c they got to sit in the back and watch a movie.
**crabby kids, crabby parents, fighting, whining, crying and naps ( kids and parents!)
**me running around on the 23rd trying to get the last of the Christmas stuff. Crabby shoppers and rude drivers. Not to mention the lines!
** dragging all of the kids to church for what was supposed to be an hour meeting, and they were all behaving horribly,not just Ivan
**the morning of Christmas Eve, Connor tells me he can't wait to open his stocking because he gets a box of cereal in there. Crap! I forgot the cereal boxes. Not a big box but the multi-pack of little ones. After church, go to the store, yes I know on Sunday, and go and get some. Last one left on the shelf. Phew. Crisis diverted.
** a sore back after sitting on the ground wrapping gifts for over an hour
** a toy that doesn't work. Luckily it was Ivan's and he didn't question why a toy that Santa brought him had to be returned to BJ's
** finding Christmas cards on my desk that I forgot to send
I guess I never realized how much goes into pulling a happy Christmas off. What can I say, hind sight is 20/20. But you know what? The kids were so happy with everything they recieved. The smiles were worth it. I love Christmas time. Now I have 363 days to go before I have to do it again!