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A Holiday in Numbers

A Holiday in Numbers

December 30, 2006

Distance I have walked in my kitchen alone over the past week: 150 miles

Distance I need to walk in order to burn off the all the cookies I have been eating: 1.4 million miles

Number of times I have gone to the bathroom, sat down, only to hear the over timer go off: 3

Number of times I have yelled to one of the (big) kids to remove the tray from the oven: 2

Number of times they removed the tray of unbaked cookies from the wrong oven, leaving the other ones to burn: 2

Number of times I have said, “Watch out!” “It’s hot!” “Don’t get burned!” or some variation thereof: 200

Number of burns sustained during the cookie baking extravaganza: 3

Number of those burns on the children: 0

Hours I slept on Christmas Eve: 3

Probability that someone would be sick on Christmas: 100%

Actual number of sick children: 3

Probability that it would be the children who are the most needy and will demand to be held constantly with no regard to the fact that I have a meal to prepare and a house full of guests coming: 100%

Hours spents wrapping presents: 20

Hours spent unwrapping presents: .50

Toys that came broken in the box and needed to be returned: 2

Number of cookies I froze after Christmas Day so that I would not be tempted to eat them all: 280 (in ziploc bags of 14 each)

Probability that I will end up eating 14 frozen cookies while standing in the pantry with the freezer door open: 99.99% (I am forever optomistic that I will develop some self control)

Number of hours spent preparing for Christmas: unable to be determined

Number of happy, smiling faces that make all the effort worthwhile: 7

Probability that I will do it all again, exactly the same way, next year: 100%

Happy 2007 Everyone!

(I have a post up over on my other blog (link here) about our family tradition of building a gingerbread house,with recipe, on New Year’s Eve. We keep celebrating the Christmas season until January 6th, Epiphany, you know the whole Twelve Days of Christmas? I can’t tell you how much it irks me to see people taking down their Christmas decorations the day after Christmas. Maybe if they didn’t start decorating in October they wouldn’t be sick of them yet. I sort of feel like the time leading up to Christmas is stressful with all the prepartions that need to be done, the shopping, the expectations, and that the period after Christmas is really a wonderful time to reconnect and have fun.)

Posted by Chris @ 10:38 am  

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  1. Saucy Momma says:

    So, can you share this cookie recipe with us?

  2. meritt says:

    Sorry dude, but I’m one of those people that take down my decor by the day after Christmas!!!


    The tree looks naked and the decor looses all it’s magic. All the decor just makes my house look ‘cluttered’ instead of festive.

    But - I posted about this earlier this week actually… If someone shows ’shock’ or ’suprise’ that we take ours down right away then I tell them it’s because we have TWO daughters birthdays the week after Christmas (and actually a FIL and a SIL’s too) and that we take them down to fully focus on their birthdays and not ’smoosh’ the birthdays and holidays together. Keeping them separate.


  3. Novaks8 says:

    Epiphany is one of my favorite times.

    We never put the tree up until Dec 1 or later otherwise it would be a dry stick in a stand by then!

  4. Laurie says:

    So tell us more about what you do during the 12 days of Christmas. I love to extend the holiday and would love to have some more ideas. :)

    Oh and to those who feel the tree is naked without presents - put some empty gift bags under there (I even put mine down there folded up) and just the lights shining off the bags stops it from looking naked. ;)

  5. zookeeper says:

    YES! I get the strangest looks wishing people a Merry Christmas after the 25th! Christmas is not just a day…I totally agree. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping our tree lasts until epiphany.

  6. sweethomealagirl says:

    I think that last bit about celebrating Christmas til Epiphany is a very good bit indeed. I’ve felt like it was all a whirlwind so far, and that it shouldn’t be all over yet. The 6th sounds like a better cut off to me, too!

  7. steph says:

    huh. we do the 12 days of xmas starting on the 13th of December. I didn’t know there was an actual event or history other than the song. How very cultured we are…

    our tree and paraphanalia came down yesterday. outdoor lights come down today. I am positively giddy. The New Year is all about fresh starts to me.

  8. TW says:

    But it is bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up after New Year’s. Decorations go up after Thanksgiving or son’s birthday whichever is later…often not until the first weekend in December, sometimes second. Decorations come down by New Year’s eve.

  9. Cheryl says:

    Our decorations stay up until Jan. 6, The Feast of the Epiphany. Happy New Year, Chris!

  10. The Wooden Porch says:

    You big turd! You made me laugh out loud and I’m at the public library where I’m supposed to have some self control.

    Half of my decorations are already down. I suddenly snapped yesterday and went bonkers ripping it all down. I couldn’t take any more of the clutter. I think I thought it would magically make the kid’s new toys leave the floor of the living room and find new places to reside. I also thought it would do the same for all the hunting crap and 2 tree stands I gave my husband.

    So far, no such luck. I just have a massive pile of garland and tree lights laying with the rest of the junk.

  11. Daisy says:

    Our tree and decorations don’t go up until after the two December birthdays (Dec. 10 & 11), and they go down around New Year’s Day. The bunnies nibble on the tree the whole time, so by the time it goes down, there are small branches all over the den.

  12. Shelly says:

    This is funny.

    I do take my tree and inside decorations down after Christmas, but I leave up the Nativity Set and the outside lights until the 6th or thereafter. We have a small house and the flow is seriously hampered by the addition of our tree - plus add all of those new toys and well - I need my order….

    Happy New Year Chris!

  13. Lorraine says:

    I took my stuff down already.. but normal tradition has us leaving it up until Jan 2. Truth is I’m in a tiny miilaty-issued house, and and the big tree in the corner of my tiny room just sucked all light out of the room… Especially since there is no lights in the ceiling, so we provided our own standing lights, and the only corner in the room for the lights to stand in was also the only place the tree could go….

    Plus, we’re going out of town next weekend… house-hunting further down the east coast for our move, coming in February. I really didn’t want to deal with packing for a week-long trip for 5 people, and trying to put the Christmas stuff away.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Erika says:

    happy new year!!

  15. rachel says:

    my husband’s mother’s family used to celebrate Epiphany, rather than Christmas. I think it was because of post-Christmas sales, but whatever.

    Sounds like a wonderful holiday for most everyone!

    Love the idea of a gingerbread house, but we’re sticking with foam ones here for the time being.

  16. Mocha says:

    Ok, m’dear. I’ll confess: we take down our tree soon after Christmas because I want to have one week, just ONE WEEK of doing nothing before the madness begins again. I want Kennimus home helping to take down the tree. Putting the ornaments away. Boxing up everything and hiking it up to the attic so I don’t have to do it. He always takes off work the week of Christmas and then I have a week with just me and the boys… and it needs to be a QUIET week where no one is bothering momma as she sleeps off the bourbon.

    Because the rest of the year will be sane if momma can have this ONE. WEEK. Just the one.

    Am I forgiven?

    p.s. Where are my deep-fried cookies. I want them. I’ll be right over.

  17. Scout's Honor says:

    After Christmas and it’s flurry of dinners, family, friends, and presents–it’s my time to finally enjoy our trees and decorations. Yes, I said trees. This year we filled two trees with ornaments. So for sure, I am going to enjoy them as long as possible. Last year the xmas decor was up until mid-January. Yup, call me procratinator or holiday glutton. Hey, why not extend the most wonderful time of the year?

    P.S. The house lights come down this week though becaues of #$% home owners’ association rules. Luckily, our street jointly rents a cherry pickker to put up and take down trees so it takes less than an hour. Anymore, and it would be me and not my dear husband who would be doing it. He’s the biggest procrastinator in the world!

  18. maddy says:

    In our family, we take the tree down immediately after New Year’s. By then it’s dried out and I am ready for a fresh start to the year. I enjoy the holidays but am always ready to get back to normal. Whatever “normal” is…

  19. Elizabeth says:

    My birthday is December 13 and I remember the sore disappointment I felt when I realized the 12 days of Christmas were supposed to START on Christmas Day! Growing up we always set up after my birthday and went through Epiphany, but despite my best efforts my children get me to put them up before my birthday, and yes, I’m sick of them by now. I also allowed myself to be swayed by the “don’t start the new year with them up” camp. We have some Persian friends who celebrate Persian New Year by completely cleaning every inch of the house and then everyone dresses in completely new clothes from the skin out on New Year’s day. I’m not sure the cleaning effort is well balanced by the new clothes.

  20. Michelle says:

    *BLUSH* I took down our Christmas Tree 2 days after Christmas. Our tree went up November 16th this year due to the twins dancing in the Nutcracker. I had planned on leaving the tree up until 1/6, but I had 4 kids and 1 mommy with the tummy flu (for 2 weeks) and I wanted to disinfect the house so they would stop sharing the darn virus. I still have our gingerbread house (kids were too sick to put it up) so maybe I will do that tonight. Great Tradition. :)

  21. nabbalicious says:

    Happy New Year!

  22. Brigitte says:

    I’m not religious, but if I remember correctly from Catholic church when I was a kid, New Year’s was still something to do with baby Jesus, so really you should stay decorated until at least then . .

    Then again, the decorations (except for Nativity sets) are secretly Pagan Mid-Winter celebration stuff in disguise, so I guess there is no hard and fast rule!

  23. Meg says:

    Happy New Year! Give hugs to the whole gang from me…

  24. Jonathon says:

    Don’t be afraid. Eat the cookies. Frozen or not.

    Happy New Year!!!

  25. alicia says:

    i think if i walked a thousand miles, i still wouldn’t have burned off the calories from the cookies i ate this holiday. but isn’t it funny that most of our lives seem to revolve around the kitchen?

  26. Elizabeth says:

    You had 280 cookies LEFT OVER? Dude. And I haven’t taken a single decoration down yet, because I hate when Christmas is over :)

  27. Lorraine says:

    OK, leaving the tree up til St. Patrick’s Day was a big mistake (in 1989), but I’ve learned so much since then. Now the tree must be up and in lights by oldest child’s birthday on 12/12. This year, since Daddy was in Germany with the Air Force, we used only lights and are saving ornaments til next year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a reason to leave our beautiful tree up for another week! And in Minnesota, we finally received the wonderous gift of a beautiful snowfall for the New Year! (Spoken by a mom who doesn’t really need to drive much until next week…)

  28. Denise Spangenberger says:

    So glad to know of a kindred spirit in leaving up the Christmas decorations. I’m never ready for the season to end and hang on for as long as possible (or until I just vacuum the entire tree up from the carpet, since by mid January all the needles have fallen off!!)

  29. Annalise says:

    Happy Christmas and happy new year too!

    We always take our decorations down on 12th night too, though it usually all seems a bit anticlimactic after Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been and gone … I really like your idea of celebrating Christmas for the whole 12 days.

    Oh, and I think we may have the same vacuum cleaner - unless there are lots of different types of yellow Dysons. :-)

  30. Miss Peach says:

    Wait. We should pick a spot directly in the middle of both our homes, walk there to work off the holiday eating (sweet jesus I’m terrified to step on the scale) and then promptly have a few glasses of wine. That’s way more fun then getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym!