I had a Holiday Party over Christmas and it was fun, but the pre-party prep is always stressful. There are a million things
to do and not enough time. Between basketball games and running through the holiday traffic, it is tense.
The Tension Is On
Usually, my husband and I fight a lot when we are putting on a party. We are both pressed to get things done. Therefore, somebody gets all crabby and freaks out. After 20 years, we are better in sync, but we have our moments.
Here are a few of the stress-inducing shenanigans from the pre-party prep:
- I asked my husband to replace the lightbulbs for the living room, and he got these glowy bulb things that made the living room look like a European discotheque. Not cool.
- My husband ate the cookies I had carefully bagged into separate containers for the cookie exchange I was headed to right before the party. (The head cookie countess counts them veeerryyy carefully to make sure we all pull our share, so showing up minus the eight-dozen I had promised was a definite no-no.) So, when I caught him digging into one of the counted out and closed containers I had left by the door, I yelled, “Stop, right there, mister!”
- Then, right before the guests arrive he dragged a ladder through my living room to add some lights to the outside. Ahhhh!!!
Despite these little stressors, I kept my cool. “Let it go, Cherilynn,” I kept telling myself. But the quintessential red balloon stress popping moment had to be when my son called from the bedroom. “Mom, why is there a real, live, white mouse in a gift bag?!”
A Live Mouse In The House?!!!
I froze. Just then I realized what he must be talking about. My husband and I had had a quick conversation a few weeks prior about what gift he was getting for our white elephant/grab bag exchange. The idea is that several couples come over and each couple brings either a nice, useful and “normal” gift, or they bring something funny. Each year the couples try to top each other. Sometimes it is funny. Sometimes it is just plain weird.
This year, my husband said he wanted to buy a little mouse for the gift exchange. A live mouse?! I was against it and thought it was creepy. I was also worried people wouldn’t want it and would get rid of it. I worried what would happen if the mouse got into the wrong hands. “No way, man. No way am I for you getting a mouse. 1 million things could go wrong with that. I am against it 100%!”
Finding out my husband went ahead and bought the mouse: My first instinct was to flip out. But right before I lost my sh*&, I saw my 12-year-old’s face. He was watching me closely to see what would happen. He could tell I was pissed. So, instead of flipping out I decided to make a better choice for myself and him. I decided to just let it go.
I thought, if my husband wants to deal with a mouse/friend catastrophe, then so be it. It is better for me to model for my son that I am a wife that can allow his father to do what he wants and be his own person. Is it really any of my business what he gives as a holiday gift? Kinda’ and kinda’ not. Sometimes, just letting people deal with their own decisions is the best way to handle things. Who am I to decide that a mouse is a bad call? (Even though I FOR SURE KNEW that gift giving a mouse it was a bad call).
The Party Begins…
Finally, everybody comes and the party is going well. We get to the opening the gifts part and I am a little nervous. Then, Jerry (good ole’ Jerry) picks up that crackling red bag and opens it up. He gently pulls open the lid and he screams “No! It can’t be! No!” But it was.
The girl to the left of me is horrified. Some people are laughing. Some people are in shock. But then, a Christmas miracle happens. My friend, Betheny, picks her number and walks right up to that gift and takes it away. “I want the mouse, ” she says and she walks off. “Does she have a snake?” I whisper to the girl next to me.
Betheny decided to take the mouse, give it a home, and surprise her kids with it the next day, as a gift from The Elf on The Shelf.
The Christmas Miracle
In hindsight, I am glad I didn’t make a big deal over the mouse.
A lot of times in life we think we know what is best, and we are quick to try to tell another person what decisions they should or shouldn’t make. It’s easy to see all kinds of catastrophes, instead of seeing happier outcomes. (I wish I knew why that was.)
Most of the time, all you really have to do is let it go. Someone smarter and better is always in charge anyway. He watches over all living things.
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”