That Week After Christmas

My 3 month old laptop crashed without warning right before Christmas. You know the brand new expensive one I bought to replace my 4 year old one that had been dropped twice. There was some serious distress, which is code for MAMA HAD A MELTDOWN.

I had to go to the mall twice the week before Christmas. I was only able to recover about half the data from backup. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a sobbing woman/writer at the mall. Two days in a row.

But I know the true meaning of Christmas, so I pulled up my big girl stretchy pants and ate a lot of Chinese food and self-medicated with 3 hours of The Carol Burnett Show.

I also didn’t open my computer (with a new hard drive) for 5 days in a row. Some might call it denial. I’m gonna call it a vacation.

We had a lovely Christmas (vacation) out of town. Imagine a little National Lampoon Christmas Vacation with a dab of I Love Lucy. I’m a realist (maybe that’s why you’re here), so I made a list for the week after Christmas:

  • I have a pile of money and gift card Christmas gifts for my children from well-meaning relatives.
  • I believe this is also an un-gift for parents.
  • I’m not a fan of giant candy canes the size of a child’s leg-thank you Santa. (I have two nasty ones in a ziplock bag right now. The third met a timely death by way of Schnauzer.)
  • Also not a fan of peppermint candy stuck in dog’s furry beard
  • I can’t shake that crazy feeling to purge THE ENTIRE HOUSE. Nothing is safe.
  • The pile ‘o Christmas cards I still haven’t addressed won’t stop staring at me.
  • Why isn’t taking down Christmas decor as fun as putting it up?
  • I’m just going to say it: I hope the Elf on the Shelf fad fades quickly
  • Feeling the pressure to stay up to ring in the New Year (yawn)
  • Realizing your youngest photobombed most of the blurry Christmas pictures of you and your hubby

What’s on your list?

Happy New Year!



  1. 1


    Those pictures are priceless.

    And, yeah….I feel the same way about gift cards. 😉

    Crying inside for your lost data, Kristen. Something tells me I’ll be backing up the computers today…or at least getting the husband to do it.

  2. 2


    What a week! Here’s our fun story… Half way through our 12ish hour drive to Florida, it’s about 6pm, dark, and we lose not one, but two tires to debris in the road. We have a reliable vehicle, so we don’t have AAA. I start making phone calls (beginning with a local dealer of our make of vehicle). We eventually get towed – go ahead and plan to buy four new tires the next day – and get to spend the night in our own personal Bermuda Triangle. (Yep, once before on this trip, in this vehicle (on a planned overnight stop) we have a dead battery to replace.)
    We were 19 hours late (a personal record) arriving at my dad’s house, but still managed a lovely visit – the rain and cool weather didn’t dampen hour spirits. The kids played in the rain (that day was warm) and enjoyed the porch swing more than anything! Next time, we’ll just leave a day earlier :)

  3. 4

    Ashley says

    I am so with you on the Elf on the Shelf. Seriously…creepy, mess-making tattle-tale.

    And money and gift cards for my kids? Because they didn’t get enough stuff in the past week, now I have to take them to Toy r us or Justice or wherever, and endure hours of “I’m going to get this.” “You can’t. You don’t have enough.” “Can’t you give me just a little bit more?” “NOOOOO!!!”

  4. 5


    Ugh!!!! We spent over an hour in Gamestop to spend a $30 giftcard. He says it is all my fault because I wouldn’t let him buy violent games.

    Happy New Year to you!

  5. 6

    Erin says

    Yes – love your realism :) Also love that you can put a silly spin on it and recover – love the big girl STRETCHY pants – lol!!!

  6. 7

    Lisa Prieto says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for so selflessly posting this…it made me laugh and smile at a time when i really need it!!! Your willingness to share so much of your life has made me a more confident and content Christian, wife, and mom! Happy New Year!

  7. 8


    *i just feel like we should be neighbors or coworkers or something because you make me laugh. i would probably use you, though. just saying.
    *that elf on a shelf? very creepy.
    *and, i don’t do christmas cards anymore because i think facebook is the christmas card that keeps on giving.
    *and gift cards become wonderful to the parents when the kids can drive themselves to the mall….hang in there.

  8. 10

    elizabeth k says

    LOVE you – period. I have been reading you for years – and love your heart for Jesus – your realism, and down-to-earthyisms 😉 I too have a hankering to declutter like crrrazy but am resisting going too crazy (yet.)

    Blessings to you and your fun/real family in the New Year – God + you + your family is an awesome, awesome happening in this dim world.

    elizabeth k

  9. 11


    Yep…my boys are getting belated gift cards to Toys R Us from an uncle (without kids!), and I can only imagine the amount of time I’m going to spend in there with my kids trying to get them to decide on something they can afford.

    And Elf on a Shelf definitely needs to fade away into 2012 history and never return.

    Looking forward to 2013!

  10. 12

    Lynnebee says

    oh i am sooo thankful that i am not the only one out there that doesn’t like that stupid Elf!( i was feeling like something must be wrong with me) although I DO admit to buying my brother’s family a pickle for the tree ornament one year that they thought was totally bizarre (and thinking back on it…it was) same type of hiding thing, moving the pickle on the tree, first one that finds it gets a special gift…what? a sandwich to go with it?? hahaha
    Blessings to you and your family, B

  11. 13


    I agree with the Elf thing. We don’t have one. Instead, my husband has a little goblin he calls “Pestulio” that hangs off a curtain rod in the dining room all-year-long! Our eldest tells her five siblings that Pestulio watches them for Santa all year long, so he does a better job than the Elf on a Shelf. Perhaps that’s why my kids are so well behaved?

  12. 15

    Alexia says

    Please tell me, in that second picture, that your husband is using his foot to push your child out of the picture lol!!!! I love this whole post!

  13. 16


    I’ve already heard… “I just need a little more money to buy xyz…” And “What am I gonna find to buy at THAT store?” *sigh*

    Already told the family that we are purging 100 items the month of January. If they can’t find things to get rid of voluntarily, I’ll help them!!!!

    All of the candy has been hidden. When I find it in March, no one will want to eat it & it will be tossed!! LOL!!!

    Sorry about your computer! Hope your New Year’s Day is a peaceful & relaxing one!

  14. 17

    Jen D. says

    I am sorry about your lost data. I hope that the documents that you wanted most were recovered.

    I am really enjoying your blog posts and I too appreciate your realism. I agree with you on wanting to purge the whole house, but unfortunately I don’t have enough energy for that and I am still packing up our Christmas decor.

    The pics are darling. I have learned that I need to save, even the blurry photos because that is still a way to save the memory/record of that point in time. I even started to scrapbook the blurry and less than ideal photos, along with the great master pieces.

    Have a Happy New Year!

  15. 18


    oh my goodness! i LOVE your photos. my 7yo daughter does the same thing when my hubby & i take photos. i have learned to give her the camera. she’s out of the photo & she takes pretty good photos.
    i’m so with you on the elf on the shelf thing. my child knows they aren’t real (like giving santa the report). my friend did her own version of it with grinch on the shelf. she has son’s and they got a big kick out of the things (sometimes bad) he would do during the night.

  16. 20


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  17. 22


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