Thursday, December 9, 2010

All I Want for Christmas

If you were to ask any of my boys what their mom wants for Christmas, they would always tell you the same thing.

 Actually, they'd probably shrug and say "I dunno", but if I were to ask them what they think I want for Christmas, they would know the answer:

A clean house.

They know the answer because I usually ask this when I'm handing out chores that need to be done, of course.

Don't get me wrong. I want presents. Come December 25th, if I have a gleaming house and nothing wrapped for me under the tree, I will not be a happy camper. But surely I'm not the only housewife that enjoys the holiday a little more if her surroundings are clean. I mean, seriously. Isn't it a little easier to enjoy opening your gifts if you know all the toilets are scrubbed and the floors are mopped? How much better to relax knowing that no one can write their name in the dust on the coffee table? I don't think that's too much for any hardworking mother to ask.

So with the holiday season in mind, I end up doing some fall cleaning every year. Some years it's in depth. Some years I feel good if I manage to keep the condemned sign off the front of the house. This year for some reason I became obsessed with air vents and baseboards. They've been neglected for quite some time, and it shows. And that has bothered me for--well, for quite some time.

About five or six years ago, I got one of these for Christmas, and it is absolutely my favorite tool of all time. But you know how it is--once you take care of one dustball or cobweb, you see six more. And once one area got cleaned, another area just looked too dirty, so I had to clean there as well. Before I knew it, I was spending every spare minute (there were surprisingly few of them) this fall scrubbing my house.

The problem is, by the time I cleaned one area, the first area was dirty again. I considered roping rooms off as I cleaned them, but that wasn't always practical. Sure, I could get everyone to stay out of the guest room, but I couldn't convince anyone that we should stay out of the kitchen until Christmas. Especially when Thanksgiving hadn't even come yet.

Don't get me wrong--I would have let them eat. I'm not completely heartless. But no one was enthusiastic about menus that consisted of cold cereal and sandwiches. I don't know what their problem was. I was still letting them use dishes and silverware. Well--plasticware anyway. And don't judge me. I had a very nice set of Oneida flatware--32 place settings to be exact. I was going to loan it to the church for a ladies' luncheon, but I could only find seven forks. Seven. No one seems to know what happened to the other twenty-five. So I think I'm perfectly within my bounds to relegate the boys to the plasticware at the back of the drawer.

When the guys tired of the Cheerios menu, I agreed to occasional hot meals--easy meals--with the stipulation that they clean up after themselves. Clearly I live in a dream world. I have one word for you.


Apparently they could live with cereal and sandwiches if I would only allow them three to four pounds of bacon a day. I'm not willing for the trade off because they're not holding up their end of the bargain. I pulled a knife out of my knife block the other day only to discover the handle was coated with grease. Closer inspection showed grease splatters on the entire block, plus the counter, the cabinets, the microwave and the dog. Harsh words and a demand for cleanliness produced smeared grease on the counter, the cabinets the microwave and the dog.

I've now banned fried foods for the duration of the holidays. And if all that grease isn't cleaned up before I get home from work tonight, they're going to be eating their peanut butter and jelly straight from the jar. With a straw.

Ho. Ho. Ho.


  1. I suppose I should be vacuuming today but instead am going to a little gathering at a friends house. Way more fun than vacuuming don't you think?

  2. I need to vaccuum. And sweep. And generally clean everything.
    But first I must send out Christmas cards.
    Ho. Ho. Ho. :)

  3. "Clearly I live in a dream world." No truer words were ever spoken.

  4. Were you serious about the FB bet thing? :)

  5. I have a tip for you, or maybe it's for your kids. Tell them to put their bacon strips on an old cookie sheet and throw them in the oven. No mess. Well, except for the inside of the oven, but hopefully you have a self-clean cycle. Works!

    I am envious of your Dyson. I want the handheld Dyson for Christmas, but Santa never seems to have enough money left over for the adults in my house. I'll dream. ;-)


  6. :) hey there... So glad I stopped ;)

  7. Where DOES the silverware go? Where? I really want to know. At our house it's the spoons that disappear.

    Because you live where it's warm and can grill year round, here is my Christmas present to you: You'll never clean bacon grease again.


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