Monday, December 19, 2016

Battle Stations, Everybody!

Ok ladies and gentlemen, the week of Christmas is finally here. It's time to brace yourself, brew some strong coffee and gird those loins. There's some major work left to do at the Dunnevant house and only a few days left to do it. A short list:

1. Wrap presents. Our dining room looks like an Amazon warehouse after a conveyor belt malfunction. Boxes strewn about everywhere with piles of large plastic shopping bags littering the floor. Pam assures me that the piles are not haphazard. There is a plan, a method to the chaos. I will not question my wife on this matter. It is December the 19th and I only look like an idiot.

2. Christmas baking. I'm not talking about the romanticized Hollywood version where grandma makes sugar cookies while the grandkids look on with enraptured fascination. No, no. . .at the Dunnevant house its more like a shift change at the Little Debbie plant where management has just announced a production contest whereby whichever crew pumps out 50,000 Christmas Tree Cakes in the next hour gets to keep their jobs. Pumpkin bread and molasses crinkles have to made people and woe be unto anyone who gets in my wife's way. My job? Grab dirty pots and pans and wash them without being asked for once!

3. Set up the Christmas village. Ok, what's wrong with this picture?

I'll tell you what's wrong. Everything. That's what! Three houses have no one home since the lights are out. There's no snow, no Christmas lights, no kids frolicking in the front yards having a snowball fight. There are even Fall leaves in the trees for crying out loud!! If I didn't know better, I would swear this was a Jewish neighborhood where everyone had left town to winter in Miami! This will not do. The Christmasification of the fireplace insert community must begin at once! This will involve several trips to the garage and attic to fetch the winter improvements from their hiding places, and my wife standing on a kitchen chair assembling it all with a perfectionist architect's eye for detail. Her suburban renewal project will be complete roughly 8 hours later.

4. Jackson-proofing the house. In a couple of days my daughter, her husband and their awesome dog, Jackson will arrive. This means that the kid wing of our house must be properly prepared. Every square inch must be cleaned, vacuumed, and fluffed. Barricades must be erected throughout the house to better accommodate pet traffic flow. All dog feces must be gathered from the back yard to make room for the deluge to come. All knickknackery at swinging tail level must be raised to higher ground. Then, and only then then will our house be ready for this guy.

5. Social calendar event planning schedule syncing. It's not easy getting everyone in our large and rambling family on the same page during the Christmas season. But Pam will get it done. All of us will get Google-doc invitations to the various engagements for the week. There's the Christmas Eve-Eve service at Hope, the Christmas Eve service at Grove, the dinner reservation at a restaurant to be named later at some time between 7:15 and 9:00 on one of those nights. We have to pick up Patrick at the airport at noon on Christmas Day and be at Linda's by 2:00 for lunch and presents, then at Russ and VI's by 7:00 in the evening for dessert and more presents.

Feliz Navidad.