Nearly every single person I passed in the store laughed. And there was a time when I would have been laughing at myself, too. Yes, I was THAT woman filling my cart with Christmas decorations before Halloween this year, and I did it because Mayhem asked if we could start decorating early. Because last year, we had the kind of holiday I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ever.
It started with me being behind on my shopping. Having a kid with a birthday on December 24 tends to complicate things. I decided we wouldn’t stress about it and we’d be fine. I’VE GOT THIS! But an unexpected call in mid-December changed everything.
Keith’s dad had been under the weather for about a month and his doctors decided a few more tests were in order. We dropped what we were doing, hopped in the car, and headed south to Georgia. The plan was simple: we’d go down for the weekend, and then head back to Ohio for Mayhem’s birthday/Christmas at home. WE’VE GOT THIS!
Only things didn’t go according to plan.
A mere twelve hours after we arrived, my father-in-law’s condition became critical. The hours quickly turned to days. But we were hanging in there together. WE’VE GOT THIS! Finally, my procrastination caught up with me. It was Christmas Eve and Mayhem’s birthday, when I realized the few gifts I’d purchased for Mayhem were back home: in Ohio. My body tensed and began shaking. I wanted to sob. I was envisioning the ceremony in which I’d be presented with the “Worst Mom of the Year” award when Keith rolled in. When he asked what was wrong, I bit my lip and whispered that we didn’t have any gifts. I fought back the tears and simply said “TOTALLY. DON’T. GOT. THIS.”
And with that, Keith announced (loudly, for Mayhem to hear) that there were a few things he needed at the store. We hopped in the car and 20 minutes later, pulled into the parking lot. Without saying a single word, we both knew the plan. Once inside, we split up. (The truth of the matter is that I looked like a stalker following a nice man and his cute kid around the store.) Pushing the cart and ducking behind racks, I began stashing some of the things she liked. And all of the sudden, we were having fun. It had been days since any of us had laughed or smiled, and this was just what we all needed. Mayhem was having a blast running up and down the aisles with her dad, oohing and aahing over ALL THE THINGS and Keith and I were having fun being the sneaky parents who might just pull off a decent birthday and Christmas after all.
When they reached the Barbie aisle, things came to a screeching halt. Mayhem slowly walked up and down the aisle, inspecting the dolls and noticing the details. Picking up boxes and putting them back. My instructions (via text) were that absolutely anything in that particular aisle would be perfect.
We sneaked around, making sure to avoid each other until I knew we were going to pull this off. I gave him one final instruction by text: “I’m headed to the checkout. Keep her away!!!!” As the cashier scanned the random selection of clothes, books, games, and toys, I felt a sense of accomplishment or relief (probably both). On the drive home, Keith and I held hands. And smiled. The holidays were not going as planned, but somehow, we’d managed to find a bright spot. And laughter. Which we so desperately needed. And we knew: WE’VE GOT THIS!
We’re absolutely thrilled to partner with one of our very favorite brands, Hallmark, to share our real life story of how we #keepsakeit together during the holidays. This year Hallmark is encouraging us all to celebrate and embrace even the quirkiest moments of our holidays. Be sure to visit keepsakeit.com and explore the moments others are embracing. AND …. you MUST watch the HILARIOUS videos featured! My current favorite is Vegan Christmas (click on the pig ornament on the tree to find it) and I literally had tears rolling down my face when I watched it. Also, be sure to tag your favorite holiday moments on on your social channels with #keepsakeit so Hallmark can see all the ways you embrace the (sometimes crazy) holidays.
And if you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to leave a comment sharing which video is your favorite (disclaimer: they’re all side-splitting funny!) or tell me a favorite quirky holiday memory of your own. After all, the countdown is on and the holidays are coming!