Bill has been known to cheerfully announce that drinking caffeinated coffee before bed doesn’t keep him awake. In fact, it makes me sleep better, he has been heard to say. Night before last, I wasn’t surprised to see him make himself a cup of coffee using our Keurig somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 o’clock. I was, however, surprised to see him fix himself a second cup around 9 o’clock, just before he went up to bed.
He learned a valuable lesson. While the caffeine doesn’t seem to keep him awake, the side effects of drinking a diuretic or two before bed resulted in him not getting the best night sleep he’s ever experienced. And I won’t give you details.
The good news is that he is able to go back to sleep almost immediately. All four or five times. The bad news — for me, at least — is that I didn’t. The fact of the matter is that when he awoke the first time at about 2:30, I awoke as well, and immediately went into Christmas Gift Psychotic Mode. True Story: It’s November 28, and I spent the entire last third of the previous night worrying about what I’m going to get everyone for Christmas.
I love most everything about Christmas. I love the lights all around my house. I have been enjoying listening to Christmas music as I have been doing my holiday baking. I bought tickets to the Messiah performance by the Colorado Bach Ensemble that I so enjoyed last year.
It’s the damn gifts that make me crazy. I know people who shop all year long for Christmas presents. They’re the ones sitting in front of the fireplace drinking hot buttered rums and looking lovingly at their already-wrapped presents. One of my Facebook friends posted prior to Halloween that they had their shopping done. I wanted to egg their house on Halloween, but they live too far away.
I like giving gifts. I truly do. I even like buying gifts for those I love. What I don’t like is trying to figure out what to give everyone. When I’ve asked my grandkids what they want for Christmas, some of them suggested toys with about a million pieces that I know will drive their parents crazy. A few took their lead from Lucy of Peanuts’ fame and asked for cash. Tens and twenties will do. Kaiya’s ask was simple. Nana, I need more glue for slime. Nothing like opening up a colorfully wrapped gift to find a bottle of Elmers’ Glue. It may come to that…..
Bill always tells the story of the year that his mother gave him cash for Christmas. She gave it to him a few days early. Being a bratty teenager, he went out Christmas Eve and used the cash to buy himself clothes, which he then wrapped. On Christmas Day, he made a show of opening the gifts and oo-ing and ah-ing about each item. I’m sure his mother was greatly amused. I’d have given him coal the next year.
But I will tell you that I understand why Wilma did what she did. Sometimes it seems easier to just hand them some cash and call it a day.
But despite my tossing and turning the other night, I am certain that I will have presents for my loved ones by Christmas Day. Santa Claus has a way of figuring these things out.
Bill’s gift is easy — a couple of pounds of coffee that he can drink before bed.