I quit! It’s a few days before Christmas and I just can’t take anymore. I quit. I quit the shopping, the wrapping, the shipping, the traffic, and the crowds. I quit all of the extra shipping boxes, gift boxes, shopping bags, and pine needles strewn throughout the house. Yup, the overwhelm is enough to send any Mom over the edge.
We are superwomen. We have been known to do it all. September rolled around and the kids returned to school. We juggled buying school supplies, making lunches, filling out forms, homework, back-to-school nights, parent-teacher meetings, picture day, and evening sports schedules for multiple children simultaneously. Piece of cake compared to this December holiday madness!
It started off ok. Thanksgiving rolled around and I spent the weekend putting up the decorations. The tree was even up the day before Thanksgiving. The garland got hung on the staircase railing, the wreaths were hung in the windows, the stockings were placed on the fireplace, and the nutcrackers were stood at attention on the mantle.
The outdoor lights were wrapped around the trees and woven back and forth around the bushes. Do bushes multiply? Somehow every year we always run out of lights and have to run back to the store for more. Why haven’t Christmas light manufacturers figured out that they need to make strands of lights in lengths longer than 100 lights to a strand? And forget those 50-light strands. They barely cover a bonzai tree. Seriously.
I was determined to enjoy this season so on Black Friday I jumped online and got the majority of my shopping done. A few quick clicks and packages would be delivered to my door. No rushing around, no battling crowds, and no fighting for parking spots. Not for me. Nope. I was going to sing Christmas carols, bake cookies, take my kids on night drives to see the lights, and sip apple cinnamon tea and watch Hallmark movies every day for the next month. Ya… right! Little did I recognize that Thanksgiving was simply the calm before the storm.
The week following Thanksgiving my packages arrived and the wrapping got done. The chocolate Advent calendars purchased the week before were handed out to the kids on December first. I was ready. I could handle this. It was the perfect time to buy the gingerbread houses, right? And we did. In less than one hour, my three kids had sugar-frosted my kitchen. I’m still finding gumdrops and pepermint sticks.
Somehow though, like childbirth, the pain is forgotten and one week later, we baked cinnamon salt dough ornaments to hang on the tree. How many cookie sheets have I washed in the past two weeks?
And enough with the emails. Dear Store Promotions Departments… you do not need to send me a new coupon every day! I get it, you’re having a sale. Send me just one coupon that expires on December 31st!
On the upside, I escaped the school holiday concert; but I remember those elementary school days and sympathize with those moms still there. Ah… yes. Arriving at the school 15 minutes before the concert begins, only to have to stand at the very back of the gym – like sitting in the nosebleed seats at a concert where the performers are teeny-tiny. I guess I missed the memo that said I need to arrive an hour before showtime and save an entire row of seats for grandparents, aunts, and great-aunts-once-removed so they could clearly see little Sally from the front row. Really… my son…. I really was there in the very back corner. Trust me, I have the sore feet and sweat marks to prove it.
Oh, and the frigin’ Elf! I’m ready to push him off his shelf!
At two weeks before Christmas, I carefully reviewed my list. The few little items left to purchase would be easy to get done I thought. I’ll just grab those quickly one day next week. Ahhhhh huh.
That’s where it all goes wrong. Every year. It’s those little things. Those odds and ends. The paperboy, the mailman, the teacher gifts, the coaches, and the religion teachers. And those stocking stuffers! Little did I realize that I really had fifty more gifts to buy!
Now here it is, two days before Christmas and I’ve spent the past two days driving all over town… TWICE. While at the same time, foraging for food at the grocery store and storing it like the Blizzard of ’78 is coming back for a second round. It’s amazing how the grocery stores being closed just one day can send people into a frenzy doing the biggest food shopping of their life!
Welll Christmas, I’m still here. I survived another one. I may be so tired I can’t pry myself off the couch to make another dinner – but that’s ok, my kids will eat a big meal two days from now on Christmas Eve. They can wait.
I’m already having happy thoughts of January. Dragging the buckets of decorations back up to the attic – easy peasy. Freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and shoveling until I can’t lift my arms – bring it on!
Until then, I’ve sprinkled all the Christmas magic I can handle. And, like childbirth, in a day or two I’ll forget all the pain and look forward to doing it all again next year.