Crazy Busy

Busiest Day of the Year

It’s that day. You know the one. The last day on which first-class postage will get your mail where it needs to go for Christmas.

I began the day with big plans, and they all hinged on getting to the Post Office downtown before going to the church. I needed 2 cent stamps to add to last year’s Christmas stamps, but more importantly I needed to express mail a letter to the national office of the denomination. It is a special letter that needed to be written in a particular format, and I was not aware of it, and someone else’s professional endorsement rides on getting it where it needs to go right away, before the national offices close for the holidays.

Just before I left the house I heard the little "ding" that indicates e-mail. Will I never learn not to answer the phone or check the e-mail when I am otherwise ready to leave the house?
Of course there was a crisis to which to respond, and I began by phone while sitting at the gas station and getting the tank filled. (Also 3 quarts of oil, which should probably be a sign unto me of some kind.) Then I went quickly to the bank, after which I had to stop at home again to leave a Christmas card/bonus for the Domestic Goddess.

By this time, I decided I had better go to church and get to the post office later.

At the office, there was more crisis management related to the earlier e-mail, phone calls, thinking, even praying about (amazing!) what might be the right way to respond.

Did I mention the reason it’s a busy day is that it’s almost Christmas? The average pastor has a few things to do in the week before Christmas. I have two services coming up on Sunday, for instance, and messages to write for each. The early service needs a bulletin; the second, which I’m doing with my friend RevFun, doesn’t need a printed program, but he has to finalize the Power Point, and as of this morning, I wasn’t quite sure what would be the specific theme of my brief message, much less what image(s) might accompany it. Ideas were dancing in the back of my mind, but the front of my mind was over-occupied. 

Have I also mentioned that I have only 20 days left at Small Church? (Some of which will be spent on a trip to Mississippi?)

We’re starting to feel sad, some of us, and a bit of time had to be spent on that.

Okay, hankie back in pocket.

At the end of the morning, I finally got some thoughts together for Christmas Eve
afternoon. I had a REALLY hard time deciding what passage to use (we are
already reading Luke 2:1-something), but eventually settled on Psalm 80:1-3,
which I wrote about for the RevGalBlogPal’s Advent book last year (although this will
be new material).

From there I went to lunch with the chair of our Outreach Ministry; some saying of goodbye, some strategizing for the future that will not include me.

Next I saw my dermatologist, who gave me a prescription for my stinging scalp, which I
never had time to fill today. She says the key is
to knock out the eczema and avoid more antibiotics, for which I am
grateful.

Since I was going right by there, I was forced to stop at Starbucks for an eggnog latte. Yum!

There is no post office on that side of town.

Back at church, I met with RevFun for almost two hours to wrestle out the order of
worship for  Christmas Eve. He had a plan that
basically involved my doing stuff in the first half while he did the
second half. I wrangled with him until it was more boy/girl/boy/girl,
etc.

Me: "See? I’m flexible!"

RevFun: "Yeah, you’re flexible when you get your way."

I mentioned my express mail needs, and he pointed out that there is a new (to me) postal substation down the street, on my way home. I called ahead to ask how late I could send an express letter and have it picked up TODAY. The gal answered with assurance, "5:30 p.m." I left church at 5 and went straight to the substation in the video store, only to discover
the pick-up deadline was 4.

Now, my early evening plan was to do some Christmas shopping with Pure Luck while the kids had dinner with their dad. But clearly our first stop needed to be the downtown Post Office.

I went home and picked up Pure Luck, and off we went. I had to park across the street, then take my life into my hands despite crossing with the Walk signal. I then proceeded to stand in line. And stand. And stand. And stand. I chatted with the friendly man behind me while we both tried to avoid
TV cameras taking pictures of people standing in line.

I am happy to say the letter is guaranteed delivery by 12 noon tomorrow.

I think the Postal Service ought to have a 2 cent holiday stamp, although the Navajo jewelry stamps are pretty.

<!–
D(["mb","Visit Old Navy to shop for Don's young cousin (scarf and generous gift card, only person on his side to whom he gives actual present, making up for what he describes as years of neglect; I chose scarf).n
Really, should I be blogging this? Or would it make people faint?
Game store to get one last present for Edward.
Drive to Mall proper. Ask Don if he feels like eating dinner at "Pizza Hut Italian Bistro?" He nearly faints, as I do not like Pizza Hut. n
Eat dinner, which is not bad at all.
Then, Borders. My goal: gifts for my brother’s three children.
Choose one last present for Edward. (Sensing a theme here? He gets home tomorrow and e-mailed his wish list today.)n
Find book for 7th grade niece easily.
Find book for 3rd grade niece fairly easily.
Wander around store miserably looking for gift for 9th grade nephew.
Keep wandering.
Get to calendar section.
Have no idea what he likes or doesn’t like, other than sports, or whether he has a sense of humor.n
Buy Far Side page-a-day calendar.
Victory!!!
Pay for things.
Drive home.
That’s my day.
Yours?”,1]
);
//–>Cards in the mail, we headed to Old Navy, to shop for Pure Luck’s young cousin. I chose a scarf to go along with a generous gift card. She is the
only person on his side to whom he gives an actual present, making up for
what he describes as years of neglect.

Other shopping ensued that cannot be blogged for fear of ruining Christmas for various children of mine who might read my blog.

Next we drove to the Mall proper. I asked Pure Luck if he felt like eating dinner at "Pizza Hut
Italian Bistro?" He nearly fainted, as I do not like Pizza Hut. The dinner was not bad at all.

Last stop, Borders. My goal: gifts for my brother’s three children.

Let’s be clear. Today was the LAST DAY that a first class package could be guaranteed for Christmas delivery. I’ll be paying for this when I ship gifts tomorrow.

To make a long story short, I–
Find book for 7th grade niece easily.
Find book for 3rd grade niece fairly easily.
Wander around store miserably looking for gift for 9th grade nephew.
Keep wandering.
Get to calendar section.
Have no idea what he likes or doesn’t like, other than sports, or whether he has a sense of humor.

Buy Far Side page-a-day calendar.
Victory!!!
Pay for things.
Drive home.

And that, friends, is the busiest day of the year. I hope.

14 thoughts on “Busiest Day of the Year”

  1. What a busy day. I hope the rest of the week is not as busy and you can prepare for Christmas less hectically (sp?) – I’m with Linda – shudder!

  2. Whew. Busiest day is right. And, just sose ya know — I too bought the Far-Side calendar, although for an 8th grade nephew. We’ve got to inculcate an whole new generation with that world view, right?

  3. I’m impressed that you managed to store holiday stamps somewhere for an entire year, then still remember where they were. And be on the ball enough to buy 2 cent stamps!
    Alas, my recipients will receive the boring generic first-class stamps this year.

  4. Well, in fact they were tucked away with the cards we received last year, completely forgotten. And if I hadn’t mislaid my address book, I would never have gone looking for last year’s cards. So I take no credit.

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