Well, I had thought that things were under control. School was moving along comfortably and 70% of the gifts were bought. There were only 2 Christmas cards to finish making before heading to the post office. Then the terrible bug that has been floating around our home decided that it was my turn. The stupid virus knocked me out for over a week. I no longer feel that things are under control.
Most of the presents were bought on Thursday and Friday. My fever had broke, so I ran to Kalamazoo and finished up the kids. The following day, I purchased Mike's gift. Still nothing has been made or purchased to put in the stockings and 5 presents left to buy for the gift exchange. Mike may be hitting the mall next week to finish off those things for me.
I plan to finish the remaining two Christmas cards and get the dropped off into the mailbox by the post office tonight. Our Christmas cards NEVER go out this late. Even the year that I gave birth to Allie on the 12, the cards were in the mail on the 14th. They will probably not arrive before Christmas, but at least they will be postmarked before Christmas Eve.
Yesterday, I managed to sew four Christmas gifts for the girls. The items turned out really cute and I hope that they are enjoyed. I had planned to make more items this year, but the week in bed has changed my plans. I can always make the other items in January.
My mom let us know when she expects us for Christmas at her home. She suggested 2:00, after we've all had dinner. I need to plan for a 2 hour drive each way due to traffic and weather problems, so we need to leave by noon. It's not going to be possible to eat our normal Christmas dinner and get out of the house on time. My children are really disappointed. We've decided to eat Chinese food instead. I'm hoping that the ethnic cuisine will be so different that everyone will throw themselves into the fun of eating egg rolls, instead of focusing on the loss of ham and mashed potatoes. If Mike gets home early from work on Christmas Eve, I will probably serve our traditional Christmas dinner that night.
Our church had it's children's service today. The service was okay. All the traditional Christmas hymns were sung by the congregation. The Sunday school children sang "This Little Light of Mine" and other simple, cutesy songs with hand movements. Madelyn went to the first practice and begged to be excused from participating. We didn't make her because she is 4+ years older than all the other children.
The Sunday school teachers chose the music for the service. They said that regular Christmas hymns were too difficult for the students to learn. Quite often people assume that learning songs or memorizing things is hard for children. My experiences have been different. Any time we have consistently sang a song or hymn together regularly as a family, my children always learn the words from memory before me. Their little brains soak up information so quickly! They also relish the fact that they learn it before me. Why do well meaning adults expect so little from children?
After church, Joe and Madelyn went caroling with the youth group to a couple of nursing homes. I didn't go, because I can't sing at all yet. My children were the only youth group members who went. The youth group leader and an elder from choir also went caroling. I asked my children if they were uncomfortable about the small group. Joe responded that he sang loudly and compensated for the missing people. A couple of the elderly ladies kissed Madelyn, which made her uncomfortable because she didn't know them. Joe said that Madelyn didn't act like she was uncomfortable until they returned to the car.