Well, the weekend will be over by the time I finish and post this latest entry to my website (sniff…). I will go to bed and wake around 5:45 to get ready to go to work. It will be the last day for me, and I will officially be on Christmas break at 3:35!! I have duty before and after school, and then it is on!!
Yesterday, I got up and shopped until 9 or 10 o’clock last night. Then, I preceeded to stay up until 4:00 a.m. this morning to wrap every gift I had purchased, which was pretty much for everyone . I did so much shopping yesterday, that my credit card was declined when I went to buy more gift boxes, so I could finish the wrapping marathon I had started after the shopping marathon. I’m sure it appeared my card had been stolen and someone was doing some major damage with it. It was quickly resolved, and I am now aware that my credit card company has “got my back” should anyone steal my purse! After the gift boxes were purchased, I came home and began baking 8 pecan pies for my husband to give to the administrators at his school, as well as a few co-workers. I have 2 more gifts for my son that I have to sneak out of the car and wrap before he gets in it for our ride to school. Everyone has clothes hanging on the door to get dressed quick in the morning. I have checked off every item on my Christmas “To DO” list, and now I am in my “Armchair Sanctuary” writing this while glancing at the glowing Christmas tree from time to time, and smiling at my dog Sasha‘s very unladylike snoring. I have cleared the deck to make this year’s holiday break as unstressed as possible. I have purchased, wrapped, and baked all in the course of less than 48 hours. I wrapped gifts last night while listening to favorite Christmas tunes playing in the background. I still have some things that I will do over the next week to have the Christmas I want for my friends, family, and loved ones, but I plunged headfirst into putting most of the work behind me, so I can enjoy the upcoming days and savor each new day instead of going to bed each night and thinking of it as a blur because of the rushing, hectic pace of trying to keep my head above water.
This was a busy weekend for me, and I couldn’t have done it without my husband’s help. This was a big present for myself. I did a lot in a short amount of time, so I can actually enjoy the season. I will still have a gift or two to wrap while the carols play. I will still bake more pecan pies for neighbors and my family. But the “gift” will be that it is in my own sweet time. I always feel like I arrive at my mother’s house on Christmas Eve looking less than festive as I collapse on the sofa and catch my breath. And yes, I have found myself in a drugstore on Christmas Eve trying to find one more thing for someone so they don’t feel like the others got more, or buying stocking stuffers so the kids will have a little more when they open them Christmas morning. I must face it: I am a second guesser. I am hoping that the marathon strategy this year will work for me. I still have to find that elusive gift to give my father. He is lending no help this year, except to say he doesn’t need any clothes. I want to get something that makes him smile and feel like it was a real gift, and not something he would get himself. I wonder if I dip my hand and a foot in paint and make a wreath painting for him, if it would have the same effect as when I was in First Grade. Nah….nothing too cute about a size 9 foot and a hand that, to me, looks less than dainty. I’ll think of something.
How does any of this rambling relate to you? I think what my sleep-deprived brain is wanting to share with you is this: Try to pace yourself this week. The marathon method is extreme, but hopefully will work for me. Make a master list for each day if necessary, mapping out things to do ahead of time , so that you feel fresh and relaxed Christmas Eve and Day, as well as every day between now and then. Try not to live in your car. Delegate some tasks to others. Let all stakeholders take ownership of some part of bringing about one of the most memorable Christmases ever. Smile a lot (and not through gritted teeth), hug a lot (and not just so you can squeeze the life out of someone), say “I love you” a lot. I’m getting older, and I hope wiser. It isn’t the “things” of Christmas, but the “people” of Christmas that matter most. Lead by example. Now, I must close so I can wrap those 2 presents and go to bed. Stay positive. Somehow it has a way of making every situation doable. I’ll check in with you tomorrow and apologize for these 880+ words of nothingness!!