At this time of year, people seem obsessed with asking, “Are you ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas yet?”
Well, I am, though not perhaps in the sense they mean. As near as I can tell, when people ask this question they mean:
1) Do you have all your Christmas shopping done? (Answer: Surprisingly, almost all of it. Hope people don’t mind gift cards!)
2) How about wrapping? (Ans: Um, no, but that’s not my department. I can put the gift cards in envelopes, though).
3) Decorating? (A: No, but I like to put my tree up later, closer to Christmas, so I refuse to feel bad about that).
4) Cards sent? (A: Please, you’re hurting me).
4) Christmas cakes and cookies baked? (A: Maniacal laughter….)
I have my own way of interpreting this question. I choose to hear it as, “Are you ready for two weeks off work and for your kids to take two weeks off school?” Viewed in this light, I can assure you that you are ready for Christmas if:
1) Your carefully planned scheme (complete with chart on fridge) guiding your children to make their school lunches from Canada’s Four Food Groups has completely fallen apart, and school lunch now consists of a bag of whatever you can hastily throw together while racing around the kitchen on the way out the door. “Hey honey, I packed goldfish crackers, a can of green peas, and GUM! for your lunch!! Enjoy!!!”
2) Those September mornings when you rose early to do yoga, journal and pray before getting the family up and ready for school are a distant memory. Now, in the dark early mornings, hauling your own sorry self out of bed before going to haul all the others out of bed — just in time to be late for school — seems like a herculean task.
3) Speaking of dark mornings, it occurs to you that you haven’t seen your own house by daylight since the clocks went back.
4) The thought of coming home from work and preparing one more family dinner makes you think the mother in Little Miss Sunshine may have been on to something with the Kentucky Fried Chicken.
5) The power head on your vaccuum breaks and your first thought is to burn down the house and move into a hotel for Christmas.
6) You normally love your job, but the thought of doing any of the paperwork associated with the end of term makes you burst into tears.
7) You’re informed you have to spend the last three days of the term at a staff inservice on nonviolent conflict resolution and you think, “Can I get through this without punching someone in the face?”
8) After sitting through the second of two word-for-word identical Christmas concerts at your children’s school (because one child is in an A class and the other is in a B class), you begin to empathize with the Scrooge-like main character who just has no Christmas spirit at all.
And that, my friends, is how I know I am 100% Ready For Christmas. Vacation starts one week from tomorrow — bring it on!!!!