Tuesday, December 11, 2007

'tis the season

Can someone tell me when Christmas started being a month long? Don't get me wrong - Christmas is my favorite time of year, but I don't remember it always being so stressful. I guess as you get older, you allow yourself to get caught up in the trivial obligations of Christmas.

First, there's the Christmas card debacle. The first step is actually remembering to send them out. (This may sound like a no-brainer, but last year I didn't remember until the 22nd.) Then you have to pore over your Christmas card list to make sure you don't leave anyone out. Finally, you'll inevitably receive a Christmas card from someone you either forgot or didn't think you were good enough friends with to send one to in the first place, so you have to scramble to send one back to them so that they won't realize you forgot them.

Then, there are the parties. I don't want to sound ungrateful for being invited to so many, but with each Christmas party invite comes another compulsion to cook or bake something. And with so many of those parties starting around 6:30 or 7:00, and me not getting off work until 5:30, bringing something that didn't come from Kroger's bakery gets to be more and more difficult. That's when bringing a bottle of wine comes in handy. Everyone likes the person who brings a good bottle of wine.

Finally, there are the gifts. When the people on your gift list are as generous as the people on mine -- and as hard to shop for -- trying to keep up is a challenge. I have always been good at saying exactly what I want; however the people on my gift list prefer to use the "I don't want anything" line on me. So I have to rack my brain to come up with good gifts they will enjoy. I don't always succeed. I can't tell you how many times mom has received toiletries, dad has received books, and hubby has received clothes he never wears.

It usually isn't until Christmas Eve that I sit down and reflect on what this holiday is actually about. So maybe it's a good thing Christmas lasts a month long after all. I get all of the trivial crap out of the way early so I can think about what's important.

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