Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Stress

Recently I read an anonymous blog post in which the writer said it bugs her that people get stressed about the holidays. She felt that a lot of the cause of the stress is that people don't acknowledge that the holidays are coming until they are right on top of them. She said that she had mentioned to someone the other day that it was 34 days until Christmas. The other woman looked like she was about to smack the blogger. The blogger seemed to feel that this was an unreasonable response to her (unasked-for) countdown to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Well, it may be unreasonable, but I shared the feelings of her acquaintance. I wanted to reach into the computer and smack her, myself. Especially since she announced she had already planned her menus and decorated her house. I think that if you are blessed enough to be an excellent planner who gets all her shopping and decorating done early, good manners dictate that you keep it to yourself. Just like if you are lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night at one month, for heaven's sake, don't rub it in to the rest of us suffering souls. Or at least don't be surprised if people talk about you behind your back.

Part of my stress comes from Miss Pink's birthday being in mid-December. I can't give all my attention to Christmas until her birthday has been celebrated. And I refuse to put up any decorations or listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I want to enjoy it, not skip ahead to Christmas. It's fine with me if you are ready for Christmas in July, but I'm not. I really don't get in the spirit until December 15 or so.

At least I don't host the family here (our house isn't big enough, and our families like to have us come to them) or cook the whole dinner by myself, or have a Christmas party, or--what the heck do I even DO for Christmas? All of a sudden it sounds like I have an easy time, and I'm just a big whiner.

I've actually gone ahead and bought a few things, which is more than I usually have done by this time. I have a list of what everyone is (probably) getting. Except for the teachers and that one see how my brain works. I want to have it all figured out in advance, including how to pay for everything--aaaarrrgggghhhh, it's driving me crazy.

Deep breath. All I have to do in the next few days is: a) go buy that tool set for Mr. Blue unless it's already been sold (there was only one and he was with me when I saw it); b) order the birthday party decorations for Miss Pink's party; and c) eat lots of lovely Thanksgiving food and refuse to think about how many days there are until Christmas.

That is, if any anonymous bloggers out there don't insist on reminding me.



  1. I read that same blog and had the same reaction. :-) Thanksgiving's also one of my favorite holidays, and as much as I love Christmas music, I refuse to listen to it until the 1st of December. Nevermind decorating.

    Actually, it really kinda bugs me when people start getting ready for Christmas this early. Aside from the logistical planning part of it (as in, we're overseas and have to take shipping deadlines into account for sending gifts and cards back to the states), I can't get into it until further into the month than a lot of other people.

    I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way when reading that!

  2. HA HA HA HA HA!

    I also think that I a LEETLE bit...ENJOY the slight panicky feeling of "getting ready." If I were all set right NOW, I'd feel kind of depressed about it.

  3. I covet your Thanksgiving. It's the gateway holiday, isn't it? I can't imagine why anyone would want to skip it. Shouldn't there still be corn and leaves and turkeys handprints up?

    I hold off 'til Dec 1st and then slow but steady wins the race. I don't want to get all tired out in the first lap.

  4. I'm with you on this. I like to celebrate each holiday as they come and enjoy the moment of each one, not make Thanksgiving feel like the middle child that we all can't wait to get out of the way so we can get to Christmas. For me the stress of the holidays comes from not what my house will look like or what I may prepare, but from the stresses my family puts on the holidays. Impossible to meet expectations, requirements of minimum dollar amounts to be spent on each family member even though some refuse to speak to me, even as I'm handing them a gift. The whole thing makes me want to hide some years. Since my parents live 15 miles away, NOT spending the holiday with them doesn't feel like an option unless I want Mom on the phone to the extended family crowing about "what a bad mother she is" since I can't even be bothered to come see them for the holiday. Ok, I'll stop here. But please, can we just make the craziness stop?

  5. I'm usually right there with you, but for some reason this year I'm pumped about Christmas. I would have already decorated if my husband wouldn't have put his foot down. But strangely, this year I have much less bought than I usually do by this time. So, to sum up, this year is totally out of whack!!

  6. Hm. I'm a big Christmas planner, but I don't make Christmas terribly complicated, so it's easy to do, you know? Here's Christmas, the same as it was last year!
    I do get all of our Christmas shopping done by the end of November - mostly because we have to do all of it online, so if anything needs to be returned, there's time.
    But I'm Canadian. Thanksgiving has been over for MONTHS. The only other thing to do in November is get bronchitis....

  7. Sorry to have offended you with my early planning and decorating. I meant to be funny, guess it didn't come across.

  8. BTW, I am Canadian, so like Beck said our Thanksgiving has beenover for AGES. Nothing else to do besides get going on Christmas :-)