Monday, December 22, 2008

And the Stockings were Hung...

or rather, stuffed into an overnight bag.

That's right...if relentless snowstorms won't stop Santa from circling the world, we certainly won't allow them to prevent us from getting to Sunriver, Oregon, for a ski-filled, movie-watching, board game-playing holiday.

I believe this will be our first Christmas away from home since the kids were old enough to know who Mr. Claus was and whether his sleigh was GPS-equipped, and you know what? It's a monumental endeavor, getting all the baubles and bells, bows, and, er, boys packed and stacked in the car. I'm beginning to empathsize with the Grinch, lugging that heeeavy bag up, and up, and up to his pitiful cave, and this from a person who rarely blinks at the prospect of traveling with kids.

It's now well past 6 pm, however, and I think I'm as organized as I'll ever be, despite 11th-hour pleas from everyone up to and including Charlie to bring the tree. (Really? The tree? When I've already crammed the car with 5 duffel bags, 5 pairs of skis, 5 boot bags, 400 gifts, and a partridge in a--oh see there? We'll have a tree.)

So.

Christmas tree firmly in place in the living room, where it will remain? Check.

Skis tuned and boots fitted? Check.

Holiday baking finished and looking passable? Check. (Despite the fact that I forgot I had broken the rolling pin the last time I baked, which would be...let's see...sometime in 2005, but no worries--a heavy jar candle worked quite swimmingly.)

Christmas cards mailed? Check.

Gifts freed from their roughly ten metric tons of plastic packaging and wrapped? Check.

Ready to collapse on the couch and not stir until New Year's Eve? Check.

By my next post, you'll know whether we survived it all, or whether we're still there, caught in an endless loop of swirling snow and questionable Pictionary playing. A final load of laundry is calling me, but I'll leave you with this humble gift from me to you: a photographic narrative of our attempt to corral three excited boys for a photo session with their new nephew (note the randomly flailing limbs and uproarious laughter--a good time was had by...some).

It starts out innocently enough, if a bit silly:



Things get a bit more suspect (note the fact that we haven't yet entrusted them with the new baby that is supposed to be posed in their arms):



Everything unravels (my poor mother behind the camera is pleading, but to no avail):



The dancing morphs into a full-on smackdown (by this time, said grandmother is doubtless whimpering and rocking in a corner somewhere):



Annnnd here we have utter chaos (and a lone foot):



Ta-dah! The angelic conclusion, complete with baby nephew Homer:



You'd never guess these were the same three kids, would you? And why yes, there were hissed threats to the tune of Christmas can be cancelled and Santa is watching. Lots of good it did us, too.

And how was this a gift to you, you ask? Your own Christmas is looking pretty tame and manageable right about now, isn't it? That's what I thought. ;)
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