25 days until Christmas! I am officially not procrastinating yet so I’m in a good place. I finished two more sets of countdown blocks, one set for my sister and one for me. This time I made them exactly the same so I don’t get block envy. I also started several other projects for a small craft fair so I’ve been busy, busy, busy.
I was able to ship them out before Thanksgiving, enough time for my nieces to be able to use it.
This year for Thanksgiving we were invited to spend it with a friend and her family. My own family celebrations were not big affairs, we were a small family of four and my dad liked to try to take on all the holiday shifts for the extra pay. Sometimes my Cuban grandmother, Tina, would join us, but her English was spotty at best and she never did learn to say my name properly. I was Amily to her and after a few years my parents gave up and stopped correcting her, Amy – Amily? – No, Amy – Amily – No, Aaaamyyyy – Aaaaamily? Usually she was parked on a couch in front of Telemundo and left to mutter to herself and occasionally shake her head and give us a “mmm, mm, mmm” which could have been disapproval or simply observational. My family didn’t watch sports so that was never a part of our household. We usually didn’t invite friends over either, all in all, it was usually an awkward affair. The best part was my sister and I helping out before the dinner, and then after the dinner when dad retreated back to the tv or took Tina home. This year was the opposite, more like what I might see in a magazine or a family show. It was amazing, and even as an outsider the awkward level was minimal. There was a kids table and a grown up table, people said what they were thankful for, lots of talking and laughing. I held a baby, simultaneously cooing at her and shaking my head at my husband. He’s itching for a fourth, but my womb is closed for business. After dinner we pored through the Black Friday ads and watched a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. This is the kind of Thanksgiving I look forward to when my children grow older and we become a larger extended family.
Late in the evening my husband took the kids home to bed and I stayed to join in on the shopping madness. Past Black Fridays I had clear goals, armed with my lists and on a tight schedule to get to every deal. This year I winged it. I got a few good deals at Old Navy, some slippers that my oldest has been eying and a couple of Star Wars Lego tees for my son and a cute little outfit for my youngest. The next store we hit up was Kohls and the line was wrapped around the store. I did find some nice towels, which ended up being dubbed the “problem children” for their constant tipping and falling out of bags. It was an hour of tumbling towels and slow shuffling and we were about to our breaking points. My friend Patsy became so irate with my towels she felt the need to give them a sad little punt. I’m sure that had we not been standing for so long, that blue hand towel would have gone across the store. I felt the slow clap I got as I got to the checkout was well deserved. I even took a bow.
On to Wal-Mart! I don’t even remember why we thought we had to go there, but at 3 AM powdered donuts and chocolate milk are magical! I had more energy, even if my mind was in a sleep-deprived stupor. At one point, one of the younger girls with us was laying her head on Patsy’s shoulder because she was so tired and her hair got caught in Patsy’s earring. In our state, it was hilarious on top of being somewhat painful for them. Being the great, caring friend that I am, I said “Wait, let me take a picture first!”
Look at that, even with her ear getting stretched and it being so late/early, Patsy still looks great! I’m pretty sure I was washed out and puffy-eyed. But I did score a big-ass box of Legos for my son! After Wal-Mart was another wait at a local Gamestop. Thankfully, all the people there were very friendly. Unfortunately bathrooms are hard to find at that time in a strip mall. One of the younger girls really needed to go so she went down to the Wendy’s and walked in, setting off the security alarm. The rest of the 45 minute or so wait was spent listening to the guys in line discuss the merits of more memory on the latest game console and the alarm constantly sounding. Why they had an unlocked door is a mystery, but the biggest question was when somebody was going to come by to investigate or turn off the alarm. We could have made snacks for everyone in line and still would have been out before somebody got there. I know some of those guys must have had the munchies. Really didn’t accomplish any of my Christmas shopping, but I did get some great memories and super soft towels.