The Christmas Race

Christmas village evokes Christmas spirit?
Christmas village evokes Christmas spirit? | Source
Tired before we start?
Tired before we start? | Source

The Race is On!

The Christmas race is on! Thanksgiving is over and all thoughts (and songs on the radio) turn to Christmas. Every year we begin the race with the same rules. It begins with the usual terror - Christmas lists! Lists for Christmas cards, lists for Christmas presents, lists for what has to be done before Christmas. Then the lists whittle down to when to do things like write the cards, send the cards, buy the presents, wrap the presents, bake the cookies, decorate the tree and the house....

And so it begins, the Christmas race. Everyone goes about the race in a different manner and approaches it with different determination. We all know what has to be done and we all know the deadline - December 24! We can't change the date so we have to work to get things done by that date. The joy of Christmas begins with the Christmas season and the Christmas Race. How you handle it can make the difference between fun and nightmare! (Remember don't lose the Christmas spirit and the true joy of giving.)

Snow at Christmas Time

Old Man Winter
Old Man Winter | Source

Warning Your Kids About Santa

The first leg of the race begins differently for different people. People with children begin this leg by threatening their children with Santa Claus. They tell their children if they misbehave they won't get anything for Christmas. They even have songs to back them up, like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town";
"You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town."
Poor kids begin hearing this in November, by the time it gets near Christmas it's an idle threat! Don't overuse the Santa threat, think of something else like taking away the TV (horror, no Christmas specials!)

I have to add a quick funny story here....my three year old grandson has been told Santa is always watching him. The other day he opened the back door to his house and shouted outside, "I want an aquarium train for Christmas" and closed the door. My daughter looked at him and asked what that was all about. He replied, "you said Santa is always watching me and hears what I say."

The return of an old standby, the elf on the shelf, has made many children more aware of the perils of misbehaving. They see the elf in different places every day and know he's reporting back to Santa!

For the anal among us the first leg begins with shopping; I begin mine in July. The earlier you shop the better your choices and the better you know when something is really on sale. Of course you don't have anyone's list but if you know your family you know what to buy and you don't have to worry about the weather keeping you from shopping. Old Man Winter can creep up mighty fast and dump a ton of snow in a short time. This can all but eliminate you from the race. Trekking through mucky, icy parking lots and driving on slippery, sliding roads is no fun but may have to be done if you're hit by winter's glory.

Christmas Cookies & Gifts

Grandpa making cookies.
Grandpa making cookies. | Source
Wrapping in progress.
Wrapping in progress. | Source

Preparations Begin

The next leg of the race is more preparation oriented - wrapping gifts, writing and sending Christmas cards, and of course, baking Christmas cookies. I have yet to hear anyone say with excitement, "I'm writing my Christmas cards tonight!" Having an address book filled with up-to-date addresses is a must if you want to get your cards done in a reasonable amount of time. Of course those of you who have those gypsy relatives that can't stay in one place for a whole year may have to track down addresses. If you're like me and send a newsletter in your cards you have to prepare the newsletter before writing the cards. Mailing the cards isn't difficult but is getting more and more expensive each year as the price of cards and stamps continue to rise. Some folks are opting to only send e-cards which is great if everyone on your list has a computer and reads their email.

Baking Christmas cookies has always been a family affair in my house. Believe it or not my husband is the 'Christmas Cookie Baker." Each year my children and then my grandchildren, would gather at my house to make Christmas cookies with Grandpa. There was always flour everywhere and lots of sprinkles to clean up but the joy and warmth they shared made it all worthwhile.

Ah, on to wrapping gifts...we're getting near the end of the race now. My husband believes every gift should be wrapped, NO GIFT BAGS. I on the other hand disagree. There are those gifts that are just impossible to wrap so they go nicely in a gift bag. Then there are those last minute gifts you buy that you don't have time to wrap, they go nicely in a gift bag.

I have to share with you another story, this time about my son the procrastinator and prangster. He's the youngest so he was basically taught to get away with murder at a young age. One Christmas we noticed he would disappear after each person opened a gift or two. We watched and finally caught on. He had not wrapped any gifts. Instead, he waited until someone opened a gift that was in a gift bag. When they were finished, he grabbed the bag, ran into the bedroom and slipped one of his gifts into the bag to give to someone else. It was a brilliant plan until we caught on.

Then there was the Christmas, when he was much older, that he went to his siblings' homes and took a few items from each. He then wrapped them up and gave them back to his siblings as a gift. I must admit it was hilarious as they opened their gifts and looked at say a stapler that looked just like the one they already had, or a pair of shoes that looked slightly worn and familiar. The story of that son is definitely one for a separate hub at a later date, he is full of surprises!

Decorated Christmas Trees

My main Christmas tree.
My main Christmas tree. | Source
My Santa tree.
My Santa tree. | Source
My tinsel/retro tree.
My tinsel/retro tree. | Source

Checking Your List AND Breakfast Casserole

Back to the race. It's getting closer and closer to Christmas. Time to check your list, check it twice, and make sure everything is done that needs to be done. Cards sent, gifts wrapped, cookies made. The final leg of the race is getting the presents under the tree and preparing Christmas dinner.

If you're still sane and you've made it this far chances are you're doing fine. Some of the dishes can be prepared a day or two ahead of time - at least they should be to save you time on Christmas. I've found a nice breakfast casserole prepared ahead and just popped in the oven Christmas morning allows me to watch the gift opening and provide a nice warm breakfast.

Example:

1 lb. breakfast sausage
10 eggs slightly beaten
3 cups milk or half and half
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (mild or sharp to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 Medium tomato seeded and sliced (optional)
1 Green pepper seeded, sliced and sauteed (optional)
1 Small onion, sliced and sauteed (optional)

  • Lightly brown sausage in frying pan, breaking into small pieces.
  • Remember to sautee pepper and onion if adding
  • Butter a 9x13x2 inch baking pan.
  • Beat eggs and milk together
  • Add egg mixture to pan
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes the next morning

I failed to mention that my race is a little longer than most in that I have eight full sized Christmas trees in my house. It started with one and when there were too many ornaments it moved to two. Then each tree became themed and each year we added a tree. We have permanently stopped at eight, it was either that or divorce. I have pictured three of my eight trees to give you an idea; each tree is a minimum of six feet and is fully decorated.

Once all your chores are finished and the Christmas Dinner is over, you can relax...you did it! Now that the race is over and you're enjoying your Christmas and your family just remember, you get to do it all over again next year! Merry Christmas.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Christmas is a race every year, trying to get everything done. How does it affect you?

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Comments 31 comments

diogenes 5 years ago

I'm one of these miserable old farts who hates Christmas; definitely of the "Humbug" variety.

By goodness, your son is creative...he'll be a banker when he grows up!

Good article I suppose...bah, humbug...Bob


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

Well, things didn't quite work out that way for him. He's in the National Guard and works for Homeland Security; fact is stranger than fiction.

You may be the humbug variety but I somehow doubt you're an old fart!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

I find that, by the time the race is won, we are too exhausted to enjoy the victory :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wow...from your photos you go all out in decorating for Christmas. No wonder you call it a race! Of course it also sounds as though you have lots of fun. :)) Merry Christmas!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

How right you are Trish! Yes Peggy, I love Christmas decorations. Thank you both for stopping by and Merry Christmas to you too.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Wow what a wonderful hub my friend. I love Christmas and this hub has certainly put me in the spirit of things. So beautiful,interesting and useful and I vote up.Thank you for such a wonderful share.

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

So the race begins Eddy! Hope yours is a rewarding and blessed one!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Oh my gosh, this makes me tired just reading about it. : ) I'm still in shock from realizing last night that Thanksgiving is less than a week away!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Funny you should say that Deborah, I just found out yesterday that its next week and was arguing it wasn't!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Your trees are very pretty. My husband also makes most of the cookies in our family. We call him Cookie Monster. Voted up and shared.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I think its nice that they have a 'specialty' that is one the kids can relate to and bond with Moonlake.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I drink a lot of coffee and take lots of sedatives..lol.. I love this hub

Merry Christmas my friend

sharing

Debbie


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

tillsontitan are you sure you are not Santa in disguise. I think your home would be such a great place to spend Christmas day. What a joy you bring to the season. I laughed out loud about your little grandson making his request outside the door to Santa...Thank you for all the smiles. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

Sunnie


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Hmm, sedatives you say Deborah ;) Merry Christmas back to you my friend. So happy to have you here.

Sometimes I think I'm Santa, sometimes I think I'm crazy Sunny! My grandson is a pip! Glad I could make you smile. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

How can it be Christmas AGAIN? Didn't we just have it about 6 months ago. I just made out my grocery list this AM for supplies to make cookies, and our annual Gingerbread House.

I loved your trees! I voted this UP, etc.


nanderson500 profile image

nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

Great description of the Christmas season! Definitely feels like a race each year! Well, I better stop writing now, got to get my Christmas shopping done!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I know Mary, the time has flown. I'm house decorating now (trees and all that)!

Nanderson I know what you mean. Running from store to store or, sitting in front of the Internet! Best of luck.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

Nice addition to our listing of special Christmas Hubs this season. Thanks for sharing, tillsontitan. whonuu


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Eight trees - that alone is a huge job. My husband grumbles about decorating the one tree that we have, so I think divorce time at our house would have been about tree three. Sounds like lots of fun at your house during Christmas, though. Voted up!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

I love your Santa Tree! And you sound so organised Mary. I am pretty organised, though its easier for me now that I am not working :o) My daughter is 18 now so no Santa any more in our house :o( I miss it!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for adding my hub to your special Christmas Hubs whonunu!

Oh mperrottet, my husband puts up the trees and makes sure the lights are working, the rest is up to me! It is fun and it just looks so, well, Christmasy ;)

Jools, grandchildren will cure the missing Santa! Hang in there.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

What a wonderful hub ;I loved it and am in awe of your eight trees.Wow what great fun.

This true gem of yours my friend I vote across,up and share all around .

Have a great run up to Christmas.

Los of love

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Oh thank you Eddy...I hope we all finish the race with smiles and joy! Have a wonderful day.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Mary, I need you on this side of the pond to kick some Christmas organisation into me! 8 trees? I still don't have 1 tree up yet! And to begin your shopping in July? I don't even consider shopping for Christmas until November 1st appears on my calendar. I am in awe of you.....happy holiday!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh Jools we could have so much fun! All trees up, decorating done, cards out and 3/4 of my gifts wrapped but I'm a little late this year. Wrapping should be done but I've been spending too much time on HP!

God bless and have a Merry Christmas!


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 3 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

I so love this hub, why is it that I found it the day after Christmas. A lot of good info here, thanks for the share.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm smiling loveofnight, and so glad you enjoyed!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Oh, it IS a race! One that I lose the semesters I teach too many classes. I have boxes of d├ęcor all over my house, I'm behind on cleaning, and there's really nothing I can do. We have a couple of birthdays in the family (including mine) during December, so with trying to finish up the semester with everything going on, it's nearly impossible. I used to have a Christmas party every year--for 11 years! It's been 4 years now. Makes me sad. Maybe one day when life slows down. Awww . . . All that to say that I did enjoy your hub! haha!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Wow V ictoria its amazing you can fit Christmas in at all ;) I had four birthday's in December but now that both of our fathers are gone we just have the two. I, however, am not going to school which takes soo much time. Glad you enjoyed. :)


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 24 months ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Wow, 8 trees! You go girl! I agree with the mister. All presents are wrapped in my house. Your house must be a Christmas wonderland and your grandchildren must be thrilled when visiting. Have a safe and Merry Christmas, Mary. Kim


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 24 months ago from New York Author

Thanks Kim. I do love Christmas decorations, festive and fun! Hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

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