Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Grinch versus The Kranks

On Friday, I did all my Christmas shopping for the boys. Saturday morning, I wrapped their presents and packed them along with their clothes into the truck. Following breakfast with Jason, I shipped all of them- Jason, boys, and Christmas- to Ohio for the week.

One day last week, as we were driving to school in the morning, Cameron asked if Christmas was "next" Thursday. Although, at a conscious level I was aware of the looming date, it's proximity did not quite hit me until that point. I had not bought presents and the closest I had come to decorating was buying tissue boxes with snowmen on them.

At lunch, I asked Justin's basketball coach what the practice schedule was going to be like during Christmas break. I was quite surprised when he said that there would not be a practice until after Christmas. Immediately, the hamsters spinning the wheels in my head starting formulating a plan.

Jason has a month off from work during his transfer of commands. He had mentioned previously going to Ohio to visit his family and I immediately shot down the idea. The reason I gave was that we needed to focus on where we were putting our money as we prepare to buy a new house. In retrospect, a more convicting reason was that I did not consider it a break at all to be home alone once again with the boys... after having been for the 6 months he was deployed.

When the option presented itself though... that he and the boys could go to Ohio... and I could be home alone for a week... the plan looked much more attractive. And, so it came to be...

Of course, very few people saw the benefit in this plan that I did and thought that it was blasphemy bordering child neglect that I would not be with my family for Christmas. Those wise to my plans have been calling me "The Grinch" for the past week at work. There have been several comments about "Christmas with the Kranks" mentioned at the lunch table. Neither are relative though. Both those plots end with an awakening on the part of the main character(s) about the "true meaning" of Christmas... and, that's just not going to happen with me.

It's one year without waking up Christmas morning to watch the boys plow through presents wrapped under the Christmas tree. One year without a big meal that always gets cooked on the day after Christmas because we snack too much on Christmas Day to be in the mood for it.

That's it... we have no family, here... and not much else for tradition.
December 25th is nothing more than a Thursday on the calendar for me this year.

The boys will have presents to open. Jason and they will sit down to a big meal, I guess... just in Ohio, not here.

My prerogative for this week needs to be an aggressive cleaning of the house. Early step one in working towards my new house... in which I will have a very nice Christmas holiday next year.