Every year it’s the same story, so much so that I actually feel a little sorry for my husband who patiently weathers this storm each Christmas. It goes something like this:
Dec 26-Nov 30: no presents this year! yard sales only! No retail!
Dec 1-Dec 20: Small things only! Etsy Only! Barter! Two presents! Five things concept! (something to eat, something to play with, something to read, etc etc) Stocking stuffers only! I don’t want anything! Wait, I want small things. Wait, but only if they come from etsy. Never mind, there’s nothing I could possibly want. Let’s go to Ross!
Dec 21-Dec 24: I want THINGS! Let’s go shopping! Let’s COOK! Where at the DECORATIONS! Why don’t we have a wreath! Our holiday music sucks! Don’t put away my sewing machine, I’m WORKING ON SOMETHING!
I wasn’t always this way. In years past, specifically before I had two small children induce a type of ADD that I’ve become accustomed to referring to as “motherhood” (and only recently entertained the idea that maybe it really IS ADD but that’s a story for another post) I would begin to bake around the end of November and would not stop until Christmas Eve. I enjoyed the shopping, the decorating, the wrapping, the enticing spicy aromas of holiday cooking, the sappy movies (except It’s a Wonderful Life, which will forever be ruined for me after that one year when Pa H, the father of two of my good friends, grabbed my boob while we were watching it) and the hustle and bustle of the season.
One year for six Saturdays in a row my friend Dayna and I got together and produced homemade gifts: apple butter, fleece scarves, candles, bath salts, and CD’s. On the sixth weekend we built baskets. Don’t be alarmed; it was so easy.
Not so easy anymore, and yet here I find myself on December 22nd, writing out a HUGE grocery list, lamenting the lack of bulk citric acid in my town (that’s what makes bath bombs fizzy! you might be wondering when the everloving hell am I planning to make bath bombs. so am I.) and trying to realistically envision what tomorrow would look like if instead of cleaning the house in preparation for company, I parked myself in the kitchen for a marathon session of baking, canning, jarring holiday cheer. Well and in between projects in the kitchen I suppose I should finish up the project that’s SITTING HALF STITCHED IN MY SEWING MACHINE.
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not….upSET about it. It’s just different, and the part that I USED to enjoy-the deadline of “company’s coming” or “time to get on the road”- is not enjoyable so much anymore because the deadlines don’t help me FOCUS. And because of that lack of focus, I’m missing out on some of what usually makes the holidays fun for me; the part where I DO, and CREATE, and GIVE is now monumentally difficult. And by difficult I mean not possible.
That’s the part that sucks.
So my exercise tonight is to accept what’s not happening. I’m not engaged in other people’s expectations, so that’s one obstacle licked. What I’d like to do next is reframe the way I look at this holiday, and what enjoying the holiday should mean in my new world.