Two things I tend to dread about Christmas:
- Wrapping presents.
Now, I actually enjoy wrapping a present or two. My problem is, I tend to accumulate all the various presents for all the kids plus hubby, and wrap them all at once… and that gets old, particularly when the kids are trying to break down the door with the most recent ‘emergency’. (“Mom! I can’t find the hot chocolate! She stole my library book! He won’t stop singing that song! MOM!!!”)
2. Cleaning up all the decorations.
I already dislike housework. Putting away dozens of glass balls that just want to shatter and untangling lights, especially when my boys are trying to wrap themselves up in them, is a sure-fire recipe for Mommy Needs A Glass of an Adult Beverage and an Evening of Quiet.
This year, though, I had a flash of brilliance in the middle of Bed, Bath and Beyond. Rosebud was begging for a gingerbread house – a village, actually – kit. (Icing everywhere! Candy in the carpet! Graham cracker crumbs everywhere and people screaming because “My roof broke!” What wouldn’t there be to like?)
But then the light dawned. I turned and said, “Yes, absolutely, we will get the gingerbread village kit. You may put it together on Christmas Eve.”
Christmas Eve arrived, and after insisting that the kitchen first be cleaned – “You wouldn’t want yucky stuff getting on your houses, would you?” (I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have cared, but since it was mandatory they played along) – the houses were assembled. I locked myself in my room and wrapped presents, uninterrupted! (Well, except for dealing with the inevitable fight over the candy – but the threat of “If you can’t figure out how to divide it equally, I’ll just have to eat it all and toss the gingerbread,” gave them an incentive to work it out.)
The payoff came the day after Christmas, when they wanted to eat their houses.
Absolutely. You may eat your gingerbread houses… as soon as all of the Christmas decorations have been put away.
If you want my help, you can wait until New Year’s Day… or you can pack them up yourselves, earlier. All the decorations packed up, tree disassembled and back in its crates, stockings in their bin, carpet vacuumed, all traces GONE.
There was some initial resistance. “Mom! The houses will be all stale by New Year’s!” (And they weren’t already? That gingerbread couldn’t have been baked after Halloween.)
I’m HAPPY to help you on New Year’s, but right now, I’ve got other fish to fry! If you want that sugar rush early, then you’ll have to tackle it yourselves.
24 hours went by. Then, they all buckled down and CLEANED UP THE WHOLE POST-CHRISTMAS MESS THEMSELVES.
It was BEAUTIFUL.
I am so getting gingerbread houses next year. I will even take them down the candy aisle and let them pick out their own décor, within reason.
Long live gingerbread!