Making a List & Checking It Twice

I just overheard a student say, “There’s something about Asians.” Um, yeah. I don’t know what the context is but it’s funny to hear that when kids are supposed to be doing chemistry class work.


I had a great time this morning. The teacher did not have a first period so for ninety minutes I did this:


I am making t-shirts for my growing number of second cousins (my cousins’ kids and grandchildren; aka my nieces and nephews) because man, there are so many of them and I’m sure they already have everything.

But they don’t have a tee that says “MY COUSINS ARE MY BFF’S” with (most) of their cousins’ names printed on them as well. Ha! Try returning those t-shirts to Target.

I unwrapped and smashed a couple dozen candy canes. Last year I handed out candy-cane-and-chocolate covered pretzel rods. Yes, the ones that cost two bucks each at bookstores! I don’t like using the chocolate disks from the bakery section; they taste awful. Instead I just melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and dip and coat away.


Yesterday I took the day off and had a playdate. My friend and her kids came over. Our kids played while we sipped specialty coffee from my Keurig. She told me about how her family has stopped the entire rush of extravagant gift-giving, how they have a white-elephant gift exchange amongst the adults, and how their kids draw one name for gift-giving.

My family has done that before and it requires a lot of time, not just to organize but to ensure that everyone actually shows up to exchange gifts and with in-laws, different sides of their families, etc. that’s a lot to juggle.

And so I decided to just stop the worrying. I cannot afford to buy my aunts and uncles things they want and I’m pretty sure they have everything they need. I cannot afford to buy and/or stress over the dozens of cousins’ kids and grandkids and like my aunts and uncles; I’m pretty sure they have everything too.


I’m bringing back homemade ornaments, framed pictures, and fresh baked goodies for Christmas. I asked my BFF to just come over one day and bake with my children so I can take pictures and make a scrapbook page. I asked my cousin if in lieu of presents I could just have her two boys over for a slumber party, complete with pizza, ornament making, and cookie decorating (although with the dog being sick we may have to wait until after the holidays). I am going to give the items I’ve created for craft fairs but thoughtfully consider whether or not they would actually have use for them beforehand. Styles differ but how could you turn up your nose to a framed photo of thirty of your siblings’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren?


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