It’s almost here! My schedule this week

With Christmas less than a week away, Jeff and I are both just a little tired. Hence, the lack of posts for about a week (so much for NaBloPoMo this month!). The last two weeks have been filed with Christmas parties and get togethers. I think we are pretty much past that part of the season. Now, on to what I call clean up week.

Generally, I take off the week between Christmas and New Years because I can catch up on a bunch of things I need to get done around the house before tax season starts. My birthday is also that week so I generally do something fun with Jeff. Before I get to that though, I need to make it through this week.

Today’s schedule includes running to school for an interview and attempting to get some grading done. Then I am running to a friend’s house to make Apple Pie Liqueur. I had some of this at a party a few weeks ago and it is amazing. It really does taste like apple pie. I’ll post the recipe. Tonight, I need to take a diagnostic GMAT exam so I can get my study plan together for the next month. More on that soon.

Tomorrow, I have to go to school for a class on a piece of software I am beta testing next semester (why do I sign up for these things?). Then, hopefully, I can finish my grading for the semester. Tomorrow night is my first meeting back on the Board of Education. Need to be there at 6:30. Those meetings can go really late so I don’t think I’ll get any studying in.

Wednesday, I need to make sure grades are done and posted. I also need to get some studying time in. Hopefully, by Wednesday the last of the Christmas gifts will have arrived and I can get wrapping finished. Did I mention that we still haven’t finished decorating the tree? We’ll have to fit that in somewhere, too. A bunch of the lights we had aren’t working so Jeff is off to get some today. Need to ship some things last minute as well.

Thursday, I’ll decide what Jeff and I are going to have for Christmas dinner and I will go shopping. I got a little hint about one of my presents thanks to Jeff using my Amazon account to do some of his shopping. Who knew that they sent out emails with the item name in the subject when the item is shipped? Oops! Therefore, I think we are having an Italian Christmas dinner. In the afternoon, I need to pick up my niece in Massachusetts and bring her to the train station in New Haven. I’ll do my shopping on the way home.

Friday is my final wrap up day. I have to make sure all the gifts are wrapped and ready to go for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I also want to make some toffee for last minute gifts, plus I promised to get my recipe together for an old friend from high school. This will be the day I realize that I have forgotten to get a gift for someone and I’ll run around like a lunatic.

Saturday is family and friend day. We’ll drop off gifts and visit loved ones on Saturday morning, then to mom’s house in the afternoon and my aunt and uncle’s house for a big party in the evening. If we can make it through all that, Sunday will be a breeze.

Christmas Day is the easy day. When Jeff and I first got together, we ran around like lunatics on Christmas Day. Jeff’s parents gave us some excellent advice when we got married: start your own traditions now! So that’s what we did. We were so tired of running around to half a dozen places on Christmas Day so we decided that Christmas Eve we would do our running around and Christmas Day would be our day. We open up the house for visitors and always have tons of food but we don’t go anywhere. We have really enjoyed Christmas since we started this tradition and we will continue it this year as well.

I can’t wait for Christmas. How does your week look this week? What do you have planned? Are you ready for Christmas?

Your pets and the Christmas tree

Yesterday we brought home the Christmas tree. As you can see, the boys were very interested. Laura asked about keeping the tree and your pets safe from one another on the Facebook page. I thought it might be a good idea to explain how we deal with this in our house. Since we have four cats, each one has his or her own pet peeve with the tree. We’ve had to figure out what this is and plan accordingly.

As I stated in yesterday’s post, we opted for a real tree since one of the cats liked to climb into the fake tree and bump all the branches down. It’s very hard for the cats to climb a real tree because it is so dense. When purchasing a real tree, make sure to get one that is very full.

If you are worried about your ornaments, make sure that any breakable ones are higher up on the tree and out of reach of your pets. Opt for shatter proof balls, which we found work very well. We had a number of them knocked off the tree and they did not break. We also keep soft ornaments near the bottom of the tree. Keep the shiny stuff on the top half.

We have found that garland works better with our cats than tinsel. They don’t eat the garland, but they might try to knock it off the tree. You might want to try beads or ribbon on the tree since it’s not so shiny. Tuck ends of the garland into the center of the tree to make it harder for pets to loosen it. They also don’t see the dangling ends and try to play with it.

Finally, if you are worried about pets eating the tree, there are spray products you can buy at the pet store that are supposed to deter them. The one that we purchased was a garlic/chili based spray. It doesn’t smell like either but it is supposed to deter pets because they won’t like the taste. The problem is our cats like garlic and chili. One of our cats loves BBQ chips, so we woke up one morning to find the cats licking the stuff off the tree. Our cats are strange so it might work for your pet.

For cats, make sure you have a water bottle handy to spray them if they don’t behave. After a few days, your pet will most likely lose interest in the tree and you’ll be ok. Our cats have already lost interest. After the first hour, the boys had enough of trying to get into the tree and haven’t touched it since.

Just remember that you love your pets and this is a very exciting time for them as well. Christmas trees are shiny and have fun things to play with. Don’t get frustrated when they act like pets should. Keep a good spirit and enjoy them.