I'm not sure, but I think I have performed a Christmas miracle. I got all of my Christmas shopping done in just two days! Due to budget issues and how Tom's paychecks fell in the month, I was really cutting it close this year, but as I went to bed last night I realized that I am more "ready" for Christmas than I have been in years, I even have all of my handmade gifts done!
I shopped on both Tuesday and Wednesday and each night when I got home my oh so helpful daughter and I wrapped the gifts that I had gotten that day. Number one, it was really wonderful to have a helper, and number two, the wrapping was not near as overwhelming breaking it up a bit. Once again, my kids have really stepped up in my time of need. Thomas and my spare sons have been doing my chores so that I could get out there early in the morning to shop. Nathan and Isabella have also been more than happy to help with the wrapping, tagging and organizing of the gifts. Even my dear husband has done something that goes against every grain in his body, he went to the mall with me yesterday after the Christmas luncheon for his shop.
Which by the way I would like to mention real quick. Tom has been working at the same shop for 23 years and until 3years ago the wives were not invited to the luncheon; it really wasn't a big deal as it almost always falls on Christmas Eve. But, when they did start inviting the wives I of course had to go with him being a boss and I have enjoyed every one. It is so very nice of his boss to include us, and it is usually the only "formal" Christmas party we go to. The owner of the shop gave the guys their Christmas cards right before the party, and I am proud to say that even after a tough year, there was a bonus check in each workers' card! He gave an emotional speech to them all, saying he sure wished it could have been more because his guys are the best, etc. I was very proud for Tom, and especially proud of a small business remembering that the employees are what really make the money, not the economy.
Speaking of the economy, I'd like to touch on the subject of Christmas shopping. As I mentioned, we were on a tight budget this year and I was feeling a little down that it would affect the kids' Christmas. I know that it may seem silly when there are people starving that I was worried about getting my kids all they wanted, but there are another 364 days of the year that kids have other worries on their minds, and I really like to make Christmas special. The kids pared their lists down to their favorites, I did lots of research and had my "Super Secret Notebook" (that's what Isabella calls it) entirely organized when I walked out my front door. I knew what I was going after and most of the time where to go, and without busting the budget too badly I found everything I needed!
So, preparations are looking great here at The Royal Ranch and we look forward to my parents coming later today, and then my in-laws start arriving late in the night. This year I even get a bonus helper, my sister in law will be here in the morning when we go to "Grandma and Papa's" (my parents), so she will start the cooking for our Christmas dinner with Tom's family while we celebrate with my family!
Really, I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season and try to enjoy yourselves without working yourself into the ground like we tend to do. Break your to do list down into baby steps, they seem to go a lot quicker that way. Oh, and don't forget to ask for help when you need it!
Enjoy your miracle today!