Enthusiasm. Don’t you just love it?
One of the best things about being an enthusiastic person is that when you have offspring they often take on this trait.
I know because I have two kids and even though, individually, they’re as unique as little snowflakes, they share my* enthusiasm.
It’s a lot more fun to be enthusiastic when you have other enthusiastic people around you. Wouldn’t you agree?
I was in a mall today.
I don’t generally go to malls, ever, actually, but Thing 2 made a special request to go to the mall to buy Christmas gifts for her family, this morning, and well, when a little enthusiastic elf asks for help in elf matters, you just smile and say, “Sure!”, with enthusiasm**.
So, after the grown-ups were caffeinated, we headed out to our local mall to help the Things do a bit of shopping. We went for the divide and conquer approach, whereby the parents each take a Thing and help him or her to find what he or she needs and then meet up to trade Things and do it all over again. It works well for us. It was fun. The mall wasn’t very crowded and the kids were in great I-don’t-care-what-we-do-we’re-not-in-school moods.
We took our time and helped each Thing find the gifts that fit the bill. This was easy for one and difficult for the other. Thing 2 is decisive and goal oriented and was seriously like an elf on a very enthusiastic mission. Thing 1 had a hard time, but mostly because he really wanted to get something special and he wanted to stick to his reasonable budget.
Even though there were no fewer than three fancy schmancy easy-just-buy-whatever-sparkly-diamond-places, he just wouldn’t stray from his logical path. Go figure! Personalities come out in the most interesting ways, sometimes, don’t they?
Anyway, eventually, everyone got what they needed and I was even able to do a bit of secret elfing with Thing 2 and her enthusiasm in tow.
We ended our mall adventure with a teensy stop into the Apple Store (to ogle things we would not buy) and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (just to inhale). We enjoyed the seasonal red shirts the staff were wearing at the Apple Store – though the expendable joke was not lost on us.
Then we all hopped back into the car, which was parked in the same spot*** we always seem to get at this mall, and took ourselves out to a late lunch. We had worked up quite an appetite walking in circles and trying to dodge each other in the mall. It’s a great place to play super-spy, by the way, in case any of you were wondering.
Lunch was delicious. Burgers and fries and root beer****. Hot and fresh and yum! A real treat!
We arrived home just in time for the carb coma to hit, so the kiddos went to their separate corners and Daddy-O and I crashed into a delightful nap. I am a terrible napper, generally speaking, but with fighting the plague and all the running around, I guess I was due for a good one. Oh so dreamy! I guess Daddy-O is the Ross to my Joey, because I seriously can’t ever nap. Thing 2 can even recount stories of my escaping naps when she was teeny. I’m just no good at napping.
I awoke refreshed and with a newfound mission in mind. I simply had to get something into the mail and nothing was going to stop me.
(You should know I have a stockpile of very thoughtful gifts sitting neatly on a chair in my bedroom. I buy these things with every intention to get them sent out to their intended recipients asap, but alas, life happens and there they sit. Am I the only one? Tell me I am not the only one!)
So, I snipped school photos of the Things, wrote out a speedy holiday greeting, located the item and channelled my inner Grammy***** and packaged that baby into a teeny size that really should have been impossible to fit into a standard 8×10 Canada Post parcel envelope, but lo and behold it fit! (Dude at the post office was impressed. I know he was. He just expresses himself differently than I do.) Into the mail it went and we will have a new tradition to add to our already diverse Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Chrismukkah, La Befana, 12th Night mix because when that parcel arrives it will be a kind of miracle. Plus I know the recipient will laugh and be happy and that’s all that matters really.
When I arrived home, my Things had the TV paused for me (there was a brand new Austin & Ally episode) and were waiting (and waiting and waiting) while I was out making miracles happen and grabbing a few ingredients at the grocery store (Chipits were on sale. W00t!). The plan was to make a simple snacky supper, since we had had a late lunch.
We decided on nachos, but not just any old nachos would do. No sir-ee!
We had to have nachos worthy of a new tradition.
I give you, “The Night Before The Night Before The Night Before Christmas Nachos”.
Restaurant style tortilla chips, three cheese “shreddar”, another layer of tortilla chips, bit of cheese, browned ground beef, Tex-Mex seasoning, red pepper dice, tomato dice, black beans. 350 oven until melty, crispy and delicious.
Thing 2 couldn’t wait!
Late night nachos are always enhanced by my Village Pottery double dipper. I use this piece of pottery all the time. It even works as a cute Christmas candy dish!
Buenas noches, Nachos. So good!
They were delicious and I can guarantee my little enthusiastic, creature of habit, elf-y, Things will be reminding me next December 22 that we have to make them again.
We are only two sleeps away from Christmas and we still have plenty to do, but you know what? We are all being very chill about the whole thing. There really is no need to panic.
What traditions have emerged in your family over the years that seem so logical, but may be completely unique to you?
What’s your go-to dinner when the hour is getting late?
How are your Holidays going?
*Daddy-O is enthusiastic too, but he can claim them on his own blog!
**See how well that works out?
***Of course when you go the mall only a handful of times all year, selective recall is strong.
****Guess where we had lunch!
*****Grammy is my Mummy. She could pack an elephant in a matchbox and ship it to Istanbul and it would never escape because the sheer amount of tape used would stand up to anything the world might throw at it.