Christmas is coming, and i am a jerk. We haven't been to see any mall Santas, because i refuse to set foot in a mall until well into January. Actually, I can't recall the last time i set foot in a mall anyway. Although, heaven help me, i like to walk around at the Irvine Spectrum, which is just an outdoor mall. I have no Christmas lights up, but i'm not sure that's my fault, because i can't find any outdoor plugs near the front of the house. We have no Christmas tree, because we have been too stinking busy to go out as a family and get one. D tells me to just go out myself and get one, as he is booked solid right now, but honestly the thought of taking P & E to the tree farm alone is horrifying.
Although i am appallingly cheap, i think i have managed to scrape together a Christmas that will make our little family joyful. The boys are getting some Thomas trains and i lucked out and got inexpensive mud boots for them (since the backyard is mainly dirt). I found a big outside bowling set at a thrift store; it will be lots of fun to "go bowling" on the concrete slab in the side yard. I have been getting up early every Saturday morning to hit garage sales and thrift stores and I have found some really cool gifts. As always in the secondhand market, perseverance pays off. I have managed to get almost all of my "wish list" items for the boys & D. i even found a child-sized REAL guitar for P - made in Paracho, Michoacan, Mexico - which i have since found out is like the guitar capital of Mexico. P has been asking to go to Mexico forever, and he will be so thrilled to get a guitar from there. i wanted to get him one because i cannot practice guitar without him begging to hold it and play it.
"But Colleen," you may say, "you aren't poor. Why on earth are you so cheap?" I'm not sure. Part of me likes the thrill of the hunt - that moment when i spot something wonderful for five measly bucks. Part of it is compensation for the fact that it's outrageously expensive to live in southern California. Part of it is because we're saving money for P & E's missions & college, and so i like to keep our more frivolous expenses down. But I have to be careful, because of my genetic tendency to hoard and my addiction to pretty, colorful pottery.
Anyway, i think most of the gifts are done. i need to finish sewing gift bags (re-useable, no more wasted wrapping paper) and put together the C family gifts.
Oh, a quick E story. Yesterday at church, I was cleaning up my stuff after church was over, and D comes to the Primary room and says to me, "Do you have E?" Ahh, no, I did not. He got a worried look on his face and went back to Nursery to double-check if E was there. He was not. Nobody in Nursery knew where he was. We began running up and down the halls, asking everybody if they had seen him. Word spread quickly and people were searching in the parking lot. I was getting mildly panicked. Finally, somebody said, "I thought I saw him go through the overflow door to the chapel." So I immediately opened it. The 5th Ward, a Spanish-speaking ward, was meeting in the chapel. A man glanced over, saw my worried face, and pointed toward the front. I looked up to the stand and there was E, standing next to the pianist and watching him play a hymn. So I had to run up there in front of the whole Mission Viejo 5th ward and carry him out, which E was not very happy about. I was not embarrassed, just relieved, and cried just a little bit. later i was told that he had just wandered in, walked right up to the stand, walked around and checked out the organ before deciding to go watch the pianist play. Seeing as how he is incredibly blonde and Caucasoid and invaded a Spanish-speaking ward full of central American immigrants, i'm not sure why somebody didn't pick him up and try to find out where he came from, but oh well.
Of course the nursery ladies apologized, and I wasn't really angry with them - I'm sure they felt horrible and will be much more careful from now on. E is just his own person and does what he pleases and needs to be watched a little more vigilantly.