We’re only five days into December, and my sanity is already slipping.
I’m tired of seeing posts about how we should just “say no” to all of the Christmas chaos, in order to enjoy the month and not collapse into a weeping ball of stress and tinsel.
Because it’s not that easy.
You can’t say no to Christmas concerts. You can’t say no to buying gifts. You can’t say no to wrapping the aforementioned gifts. You can’t stop putting together gifts for your neighbours when you do it every single year, because then they’ll be all “Hey, what’s up? Did we spit on your lawn or something?”
You probably *could* say no to making cookies, but who wants to say no to that?
Some people are saying no to writing and mailing a zillion Christmas cards (I totally wanted to say no to that), but I think of it as the only communication I have with some people over the year (family friends, relatives across the country/in other countries) so I stick with it.
This is the time of year when none of us really have it together, even if people think we do.
We have had company for the last six nights, and do you know what I have been looking forward to — a lot — since last week? Spending tonight on the couch with my husband, watching Homeland, and eating sour cream and onion chips. Seriously. I. CAN’T. WAIT.
You would *think* my December wouldn’t be as nutty, since I did all of my gift-shopping in October and November (ow! stop looking at me all pointy-like), but it doesn’t feel that way.
(My closet looks like a bomb went off. Shopping bags and shipping boxes are everywhere, and gifts are half-buried in mountains of clean (dirty? …) clothes. My closet won’t be decent until gifts are wrapped and clothes are picked up, but I can’t seem to figure out which to do first … so I’ve done neither.)
Yes, my Christmas tree is up, the outside lights are up, and we’ve checked the Santa visit off, but now my mind is running through all of the other “special” and “magical” holiday traditions that need to come next.
Annual sugar cookie-baking and decorating (lot of work + lot of mess). Annual hand-print decoration making to see how the kids’ hand-prints have grown (lot of mess). Annual viewing of Christmas specials X, Y, and Z. Buying a toy for one of those kids-in-need trees, which I CAN’T EVEN FIND THIS YEAR. Gift tree, what gives?!
The thing is, real life doesn’t slow down — or get easier — just because Christmas obligations are piling up. I have two weeks left to cram in four weeks’ worth of work. Darling Husband and I are working opposite schedules, as always, and I’m starting to forget what the guy looks like. Clients aren’t paying me. The weather is frigid but not at all snowy, so it’s hard to feel in the spirit.
I think the trick isn’t saying no to a bunch of things in an attempt to make the Christmas rush easier. I think the trick is acknowledging that December is INSANELY BUSY for EVERYONE, and trying to find tiny pockets of time to relax a little.
Throw yourself into December — the parties, the baking, and yes, the once-a-year obligations — but don’t forget to scheduled the odd “free” evening with the potato chip of your choice. You will need it.