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We're an American family living in Australia, where everything seems a little bit turned-upside-down.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have Yourself a Charlie Brown Christmas!

Last night I had the "luxury" of venturing off to Target by myself.  I admit, I had a really hard time leaving the house.  The baby was down for the night, the lights were down low, and everyone was in their jammies.  You see, Daddy had popped a bowl of popcorn and announced that if the kids hurried and got P.J.s on, then they could watch Charlie Brown together before bed.  I hated to miss it, but there were things that could not wait...

  • Everest needed a book for his "Secret Santa" at school.
  • Hagen needed something "Christmas-y" to wear when he sat on Santa's lap.
  • McKinley needed a red sweater for the "Holiday" party at school.
  • I wanted a festive shirt to wear too!
Target was a complete zoo, much different than the peaceful, cozy house I had just left.  I wandered around the aisles scattered with merchandise all over the floor.  Half of the shelves were bare and it looked like everyone had already beat me to the important task of making Christmas perfect for the family. 

It was 8 p.m. when I arrived at the store, and I was hoping to find, like me, that the other shoppers had left their kids at home snuggled in their beds.  NOPE!  There were tired kids all over the store, begging for toys, candy, and clothes.  They were screaming and crying and whining everywhere... you get the picture.  By 9 p.m. I just wanted to gently let the parents of these poor children know that it was afterall, a school night, and the kids had probably had a long day at school, and wouldn't they be more comfortable at home... in bed?

I had been shopping for over an hour when I ran into my former hairdresser.  My hair was a wreck and pulled back in some sort of pony/bun.  The whole time I talked to her I couldn't decide whether I was glad my hair looked bad or not. I didn't want her to notice my fresh highlights... or even worse say something about them! AWKWARD!  She was very sweet and didn't say a thing and wished me a Merry Christmas.  Whew!  Onward...

More of the same... screaming, crying, tired kids (not mine!), bare shelves, none of the sizes I needed.  Two hours later I decided to go home.  I opened the door to a quiet, warm home.  Everyone was in bed.  The Christmas tree lights were on, there was an empty popcorn bowl left on the table, a shawl draped over the couch, a few candy wrappers left behind on the floor.  It was evidence of a fun family night I had missed!

The next morning my seven year old re-enacted his favorite part from the Charlie Brown movie.  He was in stitches over something funny Snoopy had done.  I told him I wanted to watch it with him, and that I was sorry I had missed it.  Later that night, we did just that.  We snuggled in my big, warm, cozy bed in our jammies and turned on the Peanuts DVD.  Everest was right on with his rendition of Snoopy... it was hilarious! 

Moral of the story:  Stay away from Target, shop online, and enjoy more family moments this Christmas Season!