An Odd Week

LifeOfJoy.meIt has been an odd up and down week. For about the past six years I have gone several hours away on the Monday through Wednesday after Thanksgiving to help a ministry prepare for a Christmas gift distribution. Several of those years I went on Sunday and came home on Wednesday night having stayed overnight with one of the organizers. It has always been fun but tiring work organizing and even purchasing the gifts. When there are several hundred children getting gifts, it is imperative to make the list and check it, not just twice, but at least thrice.

In my tenure of helping, we decided that the gifts needed a uniform labeling system and I was assigned the task of figuring out how to do so. This year the school, which is a boarding school for Native Americans, is under new management, I think. Anyway, they changed the names of the dorms from tribe names to such creative names as Wing A Boys and Wing A Girls not to be confused with Wing B Boys and Wing B Girls and so on through the letter D.

This creates several problems for organizing the gifts, which is done by dorm and then by alphabet. I could just envision those boys and girls gifts getting in the wrong dorm all too frequently, so a system needed to be devised to help. Now, it is probably a good time to mention that my husband has never liked me being away but has agreed to it for many years, until this one. He just didn’t think I should go this time but said he did not care if I worked on it from home, which is a great option for doing the office type work except for the fact that I do not have the same programs available to me at home that they have there.

We gave it a try anyway. :) We used different colors for the boys and girls and then made the dorm letters stand out in a different color. Then after figuring out how to get the info in the right format and all using my available programs, I had them print the first several and unfortunately, vital information disappeared. Thankfully I was able to figure a way to make it visible again for both of us. Of course, it wasn’t without its challenges. One such challenge was my computer freezing up on me after only a few changes, which became thoroughly frustrating.

Tuesday night we were supposed have a dinner date night with Brian and Lauren (my oldest son and his wife) but around 2:30 I had to postpone because of the compute freezing problem and the need to get the labels finished that day. It bummed we girls because we look forward to these rare nights even though it was necessary.

On top of all of that, Tiffany said it wasn’t feeling like Christmas this year. I reminded her that I’m not usually home which made her realize that although she is glad I did not go this year, that was making it feel different, as she is used to having some alone time to do as she pleased during the day. Mind you, in those first years she had at least one of her brothers home with her; I cannot remember if Brian was still homeschooling or if he had already graduated that first year I went. I remember the quandary I was in the first year she was going to be left alone during the day. She was old enough but it was still very difficult.

She usually gets most of the decorations up while I’m gone and hadn’t done any on Monday, which I think was another big reason it wasn’t feeling like Christmas too her. Upon making that connection, she started putting up the decorations as usual, since although I was home, I was occupied.

She has done a wonderful job this year! One of her classes/areas of study for the last year and a half or so has been decorating or interior design. Not only is it something she is interested in but is a good idea for her future being a homemaker.

I have nice little snowman collection that I usually put on top of my computer cabinet. One little snag this year is that since I no longer have a desktop computer and have used a laptop for the last several years, I let Sean use the computer cabinet. This was okay in the beginning but I didn’t really like the cabinet and wanted to purchase a desk. The new problem was what to do with the computer cabinet that was not in the best shape after its 17 years of service . . . the boys deconstructed it and moved it to the shed. We knew then that we would have to find a new place for my snowmen come December.  Tiffany cleaned off the counter area in the living room and put them there . . . nicely done.

We have other decorating creativity that has been necessary over the years. One such dilemma is what to do with stockings when one does not have a fireplace or more specifically a fireplace mantle to hang them from. I’ll share that fix and other decorating creativity with you next week, as this is getting long again.

It is Friday and I’m always home by Friday night.  Well I’m usually home by Wednesday night but one year was a huge challenge and I stayed until Friday afternoon and Mike and I ate out at Ihop that night, so I didn’t make it home until around 8 or 9 that year. Anyway, I said that to say, things are feeling a bit back to normal. We planned our activities for the month, which I’ll be sharing next week and I’ll be wrapping gifts and getting them under the tree. Of course, this will cause me to do another check of my own list, so that I can purchase any final stocking stuffers. It sure is nice to have the bulk of my Christmas shopping done . . . the rest can be done on normal errand days without feeling rushed.

I hope you are gearing up to have a most joyous holiday season! Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

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