Wednesday, December 19, 2018

That Time Santa Almost Didn't Have A Gift To Bring

We'll get this out in the open now: I'm a procrastinator. Like a "let's stop by the store on the way to the party, grab a gift, and I'll wrap it in my lap" type person. So it should come to no one's surprise that I wait until Christmas Eve to wrap presents. It's a tradition now (as we have friends come over to help us wrap, read about that here) and one of my favorites at that. However, there's been plenty of moments where I didn't think we'd make it. Santa has had so many 'oh shit!' moments over the last ten years that I completely forgot about them until I caught this SNL clip: 

The scene with the playhouse perfectly depicts our Christmas Eve's. We've had many moments like that, two involving playhouses specifically.

One year I made a last minute trip to Target the day before Christmas Eve. I grabbed a bunch of toys that I didn't look closely at. I'm pretty good about making sure all toys and items I get for presents come with all accessories needed (batteries, apps for electronics, etc.). One toy that I grabbed was a blow up log cabin play house. It was advertised as the perfect indoor playhouse for winter. At only $20 I was willing to give it a try.

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I grabbed it, but I definitely did not think about how it would get blown up. Cut to 11:30 p.m. Christmas Eve. We take it out of the box and Hubs innocently asks, "where's the pump?"

Me: "Huh?"

Hubs: "The pump to blow it up with. It comes separately. Did you buy it?"

Me: "Ooooohhh....don't we have a pump we could use?" I acted as though this had been my plan all along. It didn't take him long to figure out that I had no plan.

Hubs: "No, you broke that last month."

Me: "Oops."

Hubs: "I'll try our bike pump."

Now, that would have been an excellent solution minus the fact that I broke that one too. Our friends finally arrived after Christmas mass and we all took turns blowing this thing up. We were red faced, from both drinking wine and blowing up a freaking playhouse, and laughed hysterically most of the night, in between snapping at each other because we still had three other toys to put together before we could go to bed. 

Our saving grace came after 1 a.m. when my in-laws lent us their old bike pump (ironically, I broke this pump as well trying to blow up another toy several months later). We made it to bed by 4 a.m. only to be woken up just after 5 a.m. by our two boys. We were exhausted that day.....and that playhouse lasted only one week.

The next year I wised up and bought a large Little Tikes playhouse. I bought it months prior to the holiday season and stored it in our shed in the backyard. It was impossible for the kids to get into the shed by themselves so I knew they wouldn't be seeing it. Perfect hiding place (in my mind at least)!

Cut to Christmas Eve. It's cold and we had gotten plenty of snow already that year. The minis were soundly sleeping in bed and we were nearly done with our wrapping before 10 p.m. That's impressive for us. I was excited to actually get some sleep on Christmas Eve. When the last small gift was wrapped I sent Hubs out to the shed to grab the playhouse so we could put it together.

He came in wide eyed moments later.

"Where is it?" I questioned.

"I need some hot water."

"Huh?" I responded, very confused.

"The playhouse is stuck."

"Again, huh?"

"The shed is frozen shut and I get even get the doors open."

The big Christmas present was locked in the shed because the doors were FROZEN SHUT. The next hour and a half was spent running hot bowls of water out and pouring it all around the shed doors. Hubs had to run to the one store that was open on Christmas Eve and grab more ice melt. That finally did the trick. It took the two of us pulling at the doors and kicking ice off the hinges to finally open the shed doors.

The next 2+ hours was a blur of cursing, whiskey pouring, laughing with friends as we took turns beating the screws into the house, moments of panic when the pounding woke up two kids, and tears when we saw our friends off at 2:30 a.m. and we still had a house to clean (aka-get rid of the packaging evidence).

I was almost certain that Santa wouldn't be bringing her gift those years. There's been some close calls wondering if we'd get everything put together in time. But all of those close calls not having the Santa gift ready to go was so worth the frustration and sleepless night after seeing this:

The past couple of years the big huge gifts, like playhouses and kitchens, have lessened as the minis age. Now we really focus on experience gifts.....and also because Santa has been banned from buying those big ticket items that require hours of assembly.