They are referring, of course, to the preparations. For the longest time I’d play along, like our holiday was so overwhelmingly fantastic that it would be out of the realm of reason to think I could possibly be done at this early date. Or that my role in the holiday was so centrally important that all of Christmas hinged on the state of my preparedness. Perhaps, at the time, I actually felt that way.
I guess it was sort of an ego boost thinking that this little group of people was looking to me to make the holiday happen.
After awhile, though, I realized what I considered important was vastly different from the rest of the family. No one remembered the fifteen varieties of cookies I baked one year. No one remembered the painstakingly wrapped gifts from another. No one really remembered how or what gifts were presented when. While a tree is mandatory and I do miss the crèche being up this year, no one cares that I didn’t spend the three hours required to twine greenery, ornaments and lights up the banister and set up the snow globe presentation complete with lights and garland.
When he was eight years old, Heir 1 pointed out to me that one of his memories is that the days before Christmas I was “very mad.”
I feel a Mommy Dearest book coming on…
And so I began toning down my Christmas extravaganzas. For those of you burned out or feeling guilty this week before Christmas, here are some of my hints to come through this without having a nervous breakdown:
- Gather up the mats of dog hair in the corner and wipe up the coffee drips in the kitchen and call it clean. We’re four people in a tiny house with four dogs. This is never going to be a Better Homes kind of place.
- Your Christmas lights should not blow a fuse. Even in this house where you can’t run the washer and vacuum at the same time. If you can see your house glow from the Interstate, it’s time to cut back on the icicle lights.
- Target bag are red and white, as good a Christmas wrapping as any you can buy.
- O-R-E-Os. They come in red and green at Christmas!
- Save the braised stuffed Cornish hens in orange glaze for a day that your galley kitchen is not wall to wall with people. A spiral-cut ham is a beautiful thing (even if your brother has a thing about pork) that requires hardly any effort and you can slap it on a roll and call it a “buffet.”
Yeah. I’m ready for Christmas!