Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thirty Day Countdown-to-Christmas List

As has been mentioned many times here before, Kate *loves* to make lists. And list about lists. And, she also loves deadlines. And never being late. And with the rare exception [ahem, Lydia wanting to have coffee...] what she puts on her list gets done.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, it's time to do some planning so you can avoid the worst of the Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral

[Editorial note: Are you remembering my list from last year? Is that what you're trying to avoid? Because that's very smart. I nearly landed in the Nervous Hospital. - Lydia]

So, here's your Christmas Countdown List. Basically, you only have to do one or two things a day, and then there's that Saturday that will make you want to Square Up on Kate, but there's also *THREE FREE DAYS* in there so you can importantly wave it in everyone's face and be like "gotta do the list" and no one bugs you anymore and you totally get to watch "True Blood" all day.

AND, the best part is...if you do it all just like Kate planned out, you'll be done with a week - A WEEK! - of nothing - no scrambling, no rushing around, no midnight trips to CVS for cologne perfume made by Justin Bieber. A perfume made by Justin Bieber.

It starts tomorrow. Ready?

DAY 30: Pick favorite picture of your nose-picking dumb-face-making scowly happy, beautiful children - or one of each - scan them into computer and save in a file that you will remember tomorrow. May I suggest Desktop->CHRISTMAS PHOTOS. Don't try to file these away in some cleverly placed My Documents->My Files->Annual Festivities->Winter->Christmas->Photos->Kids->2010 because you'll just want to put your foot through the screen tomorrow. I got all file happy once on my computer and I think I pissed him off because now the rat bastard won't tell me anything. F**king paperclip.

DAY 29: Order Christmas photo cards from one of those online places, and you'll probably want to get the pre-signed cards. Ones that say joyous and happy and merry and something like "...with love from the Coupons...Cap'n, Lydia, Thumbelina, Hawk and MiniMiniMe..." even though it's not from anybody but me because they don't even know I'm ordering the cards so why should they be spreading good cheer when I'm doing all the damn work! [breathe]

DAY 28: E-mail the "Faraways" - those would be the people that don't live nearby. How lovely to hear from you and blah blah blah and can you tell me what the little darlings have their hearts set on this year. Then nag 'em like my Swedish gramma trying to make us eat until they write you back. Done.

DAY 27: This is the day to knock out Known Gifts. The things you already have in mind. Keep it all - for now - in your trunk. If possible, unless you're Lydia, and we haven't seen her trunk in about a decade.

DAY 26: Let kids rummage through the Sunday paper extras. Give 'em each a different colored Sharpie to circle XX number of gifts each. Note to self: Remember which kid had which color Sharpie. Other note to self: Remind children not to give each other Sharpie tatto--crap! Too late. Hide in the Crock Pot.

DAY 25: Grocery Store Trip: Buy wrapping paper, bows and tags. Hide in linen closet.

DAY 24: Write up "Small Gift Lists" - no, not for small people, snitches. Small gifts. Like, the little things for the teachers, neighbors, coaches, girls scout leaders, choir director, Kate & Lydia, etc. May we recommend Starbucks gift cards. Seriously. Or cash.

DAY 23: FREE DAY! Oh, and you have to get ready for tomorrow. Have fun with that. I'll be in Miami.

DAY 22: THANKSGIVING. Kate is very thankful she is on the beach. Woot!

DAY 21: Maude be with you if you go to the Mall today. If you DO go, stand in line to see Santa. If you do that, you're WAY ahead of me...

DAY 20: By now you should have Swedish gramma'ed your family into sending you those lists. Today is the day to order those gifts. Maybe you bought some yesterday. It's also possible you're travelling and threatening to injure your family if they don't stop hitting each other right this minute or I'm pulling the car over! Wave The List in everyone's face and go play on the computer. Click click clickety click. Thank you Amazon.

DAY 19: Write and address 20 cards. Maybe you won't want mention yesterday's car freak out fest. Except in the card to Lydia. She'll love it...

DAY 18: If you haven't seen Santa, go today. No lines. Santa is sorta fresh and probably hasn't had a screaming kid with a full diaper on his lap yet today. Your angel will get to be the first. Good for you.

DAY 17: FREE DAY! Or, write some cards. But really. Free Day.

DAY 16: Find the tricked out Sharpie'd Toys R Us circular and order those gifts. It's in the Crock Pot. OOH, and then make chili for dinner! Two-fer. Also, open the windows that night. Or light a festive, holiday scented candle. Oh, just me? Thank you, McLovin.

DAY 15: You're halfway there! Reward yourself by going to Starbucks. Buy all the Small Gifts Lists stuff here. Tonight, write 15 more cards.

DAY 14: And, ten more cards. Give ten to your McLovin. Threaten him with bodily injury if he doesn't do it.

DAY 13: KICK YOUR ASS SATURDAY: Today is the Festival of Tree Buying and Decorating. Between the lovely activities of tying the rope to the roof that also simultaneously ties the doors shut so everyone has to enter the car a la Bo and Luke Duke, the tree stand that doesn't fit, and the annoying tasks of  sawing off the top of the tree because it's scraping the ceiling - stupid men and their stupid mental measurements - and the unending tangled strands of lights - did I not organize these last year? What were they doing for the past 351 days? Listening to Barry White? Order pizza, shut off the lights and admire the tree. Collapse at 7:45pm.

DAY 12: Now you decorate the outside of the house. Also, teach the children every curse word they didn't know. Thankfully, they already saw Santa. Tonight, wrap the Faraway Gifts while watching TiVo'ed episodes of Glee. Wish Sue Sylvester was helping you.

DAY 11: To the Post Office. Mail Faraway Gifts. Note to Self: Take addresses. Kate forgot this part last year. The lovely Korean woman who worked the counter learned words she didn't need to hear. So did Happy. They bonded. ALSO: Buy stamps!

DAY 10 & DAY 9: SWAP DAYS. You and your Bestie agree to swap up kids. One day she takes all of them; the next day you take all of them. Use your child-free day to run errands, pick up forgotten items, get a pedicure, whatever you need to get done that hasn't happened yet. Also, write 15 cards. As an aside, try to pick a Bestie that has less kids than you. Just a small suggestion...stupid Lydia and her THREE kids...ugh.

DAY 8: Send children to school/day care/nap/Wii/punishment/etc...Wrap gifts. Return everything to Linen closet.

DAY 7: Write your McLovin's ten cards. Write funny little asides on the cards, like "Wishing you a happy 2011. Love, Kate and the IHPs...and the dude who said he'd write this card to you."

DAY 6: One last swing to the Post Office. Stroll casually by the ridiculously long line of people and theatrically drop all of your cards into the oversized mailbox thing. Take a bow. Go to Grocery Store for tomorrow's cookie making extravaganza.

DAY 5: Cookie Making Day. For the record, Kate gets about 2 dozen Cranberry Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies into it and gives up. Christmas Fail.

DAY 4:  Take care of the stockings. Hide everything in a separate bag for each kid. Write 10 more cards. Almost done...

DAY 3: Write up Christmas menu and grocery list. Give list to non-card writer. Tell him it's penance.

DAY 2: Wrap and assemble Teacher gifts. One year, Kate gave Lefty's teacher shoes. Lefty picked them out. They were red and had bows on them. It was awesome.

DAY 1: Clean House. Threaten everyone with the power of the almighty Santa Boycott if they don't keep everything tidy for the next seven days. And, write your last ten cards. Drop in mailbox. Pour celebratory glass of wine. Collapse on sofa. Notice smooshed in wet goldfish ground into the carpet you just vacuumed an hour ago. Gracefully slide coffee table over six inches. Sip.

And now it's Saturday, the seventeenth of December. If you're Kate, you're yelling "SUCK IT! I'M ALL DONE B*TCHES!" out your window. And, if you're Lydia, you're saying, "Wait, they aren't coming until the Saturday before Christmas. Wait. What? What day is it? It is? *sigh* I'm going to CVS..."

 xoxo, Kate

***This list only works if there's no sick kids, no snow days, no unplanned toilet explosions or nothing that generally deviates from "perfect" -- but hey good luck you'll do great it'll be awesome love Kate.***

P.S. I totally just found out that Justin Bieber has a Nail Polish Collection...the One Less Lonely Girl line. They have glittery heart shaped specks. I think my Christmas Shopping List is complete. To bottle of Me +, Kate.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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