It's 12:28 am on Thursday, December 17th. I just finished wrapping and boxing up Christmas presents. By 'finished' I mean finished for tonight. I still have lots to do. I had a plan to have all of the Christmas shopping done and everything shipped off before I went back home for Burt's wedding. That didn't even come close to happening. I really thought today was going to be the day. Nope. I don't think it's going to happen tomorrow either. I cringe when I glance over at the stack of boxes waiting to be mailed. I'm estimating about $150 for shipping, and that's not even including the heaviest box, which I have yet to pack. Perhaps, next year, I will send gift cards in envelopes that only require stamps. I hate going into the post office, giving them a bunch of stuff and a bunch of money, then leaving empty handed. I know that I am paying for a valuable service, but 200 bucks is a lot to spend and have nothing tangible to show for it. The thing that is horrible about Hawaii (which I thought I was done with once I left Japan) is that packages have to be mailed priority. There is no 'ground' or 'parcel post' shipping that costs 1/3 of the price. Nope. Even if the package doesn't have to reach a destination for a month or two, priority shipping is a must. Boo.
Anyway, despite my hatred for the post office, and my sleepiness as I'm writing this, I am still full of Christmas spirit! The house is decorated, there are wrapped presents beneath the tree (which smell happens to smell wonderful) and, as I typed up the Team Hayes Christmas letter last night, I was reminded of how much I have been blessed this year. I love this time of year, even though it comes with so much stress. It is so worth all the trouble of parking, getting the kids in and out of the car, waiting in lines while shopping, trips to the post office and trying to stay organized. It makes me so happy to walk outside after dark and see all of the lights. Christmas is expensive, but I can't think of many things on which I'd rather spend my money.
I feel the beginnings of a Things-I'm-Thankful-For blog stirring in my head. However, my head is ready for sleep right now. I am headed to bed with a heart full of joy and hopefully I will be blessed with some serious Christmas energy in the morning!