Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Christmas Bliss is....

. . . lying on my bed in clean, comfy sweats after a long hot shower and knowing that every trace of Christmas is gone (except for a few gifts I need to give to people). Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas well enough (although I don't think we need to celebrate it for an entire month and it's gotten too materialistic) but it's just so much work.

I don't decorate my home for holidays. I just don't care, don't have the room for all the stuff and would rather spend my money on other things. The one exception is Christmas and that is only when my Mom & Sister are coming over on Christmas. Then I feel I need to make an effort. I want to make Christmas special for them so I decorate. If nobody is coming over there are absolutely no decorations. No light are hung, no wreaths, no Christmas decorations at all. But this was a year when I was "hosting" Christmas.

I don't go overboard but I do get a Christmas tree, a real Christmas tree. That's what I grew up with and that to me is Christmas. I'd rather have no tree at all than a fake, plastic tree. And I know that a real tree is a lot more work. A week before Christmas I went to get my tree. A nice guy working at the place I got it put it in my car for me (note: the tree was wrapped up tight with string so I wasn't sure what size it was - only how tall and that I could carry it). Then when I got to my apartment my neighbor's boyfriend offered to carry my tree up three flights of stairs to my door. So far so good. I get the tree in the stand, untied it and decorated it. Everything was going great until my completed decorated Christmas tree fell over, not once but twice and the second time it fell on top of me as I was under it trying to adjust the screws in the stand.

As I was trapped under my Christmas tree I thought this would be it, it was a slow news week and the story of my Mom and Sister finding me dead under the Christmas tree would definitely make the evening news. But I averted death and got myself out from under the tree covered in pine needles, my hand covered in dirt and sap and only a few cuts and bruises. I cleaned myself up, called my Sister and told her I would never again put up a Christmas tree.

And while it wasn't as much of a life threatening experience, it was just as stressful to get the darn thing out of my apartment. The de-decorating started almost immediately after Mom and Sister left on Christmas. By Monday the ornament and lights were off the tree and boxed up. By noon today the tree was out of the apartment and everything has been cleaned up and put away. The tree turned out to be much bigger than I thought. I wanted to recycle but couldn't get the darn thing in my car. And after carrying it down three flights of stairs, it left behind so many pine needles I got out the broom and brushed them all the way down the stairs so my neighbors wouldn't complained (of course, less than five minutes after I finished this task a maintenance person came by and vacuumed/blew all the pine needles away).

But it's all behind me now and I feel like I can enjoy the rest of my week. And if I ever mention even the possibility of wanting to put up another Christmas tree, please just say, "Remember Christmas 2011 when your tree almost killed you?" That should do it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ready for Vacation

For me one of the very best things about Christmas is getting time off work. For the last two weeks work has been absolutely CRAZY. I’ve worked overtime pretty much every day. That along with just keeping up with personal daily stuff (laundry, grocery shopping, new tires on the car) hasn’t helped. Then all the stuff with holidays (I’m behind on my gift shopping and I don’t decorate for the entire month, if I decorate at all – that an entirely different blog for a different time)…I am ready for a vacation.

Here in corporate America vacations aren’t what they should be. As I’ve posted before, most countries give their employees way more vacation time than we get here in America. I think for the first time in my working life I’ve finally worked somewhere long enough to get 15 days of vacation a year. Before I’ve always gotten 10 days per year (think about that – that’s less than one vacation day a month).

I like to travel and have been very blessed to be able to go somewhere once a year and it takes up a good chunk of that vacation time. Any days I have left I usually spend on other special stuff (within the last year I took a vacaiton day to watch the royal wedding or be with my friend when she had her baby). So I don’t really take vacation and stay at home. Most people take vacation during the Christmas holiday and I’m stuck at the office with not much to do (and sometimes I’m the only person in the office – honestly). Working Christmas Eve sucks. Working the day after Christmas sucks. If you’ve every worked retail it triple sucks. But for the first time that I can rememver I am taking substantial time off at Christmas, specifically the entire week between Christmas and New Year. With holidays at either end that means I will have seven business days off. SEVEN!!!! Whoahoo!!!!!! (can you tell I’m excited).

I have absolutely nothing planned for my time off. I will probably squander it away with naps and reading and eating and watching tv/movies and naps and reading…. I can’t wait.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rude Awakening

I love Friday nights because I know when I go to bed that night I won't be awoken the next morning before I'm ready by an alarm clock (as my frequent blog readers know, sleep is very important to me).

This morning I was awaken a little after 6 a.m. by a snow blower outside my window. It had started snowing the night before and was still snowing at 6 a.m. Apparently the apartment management people thought this would be a good time to clear the sidewalks. Yes, 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Of course they didn't start clearing the sidewalk of snow that the previous Thursday morning until 8 a.m. Go figure.

So I went back to sleep. I had a dream that involved several people I know and if I remember correctly cooking. And then there was a ringing in my dream. Of course it took me a minute to realize it wasn't in my dream but my phone. It was 9 a.m. on the dot.

Now this is significant because I have nine o'clock rule. For the most part, don't call me after 9 p.m. during the week or before 9 a.m. on the weekends. Because I usually speak with Mom every Saturday morning I thought it might be her but I so rudely awaken I was too disoriented to get out of bed and to the phone before it went to voice mail. It wasn't Mom but the pharmacy calling to say a prescription is in. Is 9 a.m. on a Saturday too early for businesses to be calling? I think so.

I tried to go back to sleep but to no avail. My wonderful Saturday sleep-in had been ruined. And now I have to wait another week for Friday night to come along.