Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's the Most Craziest Time of the Year

It would seem that I have a case of the Christmas crazies.

This year, as December approached, my husband sat me down for a little talk. 

He shared his opinion that, seeing as I was 8-months-pregnant, had spent November traveling approximately 10,000 miles, have (as a result) been battling a month-long cold, and have two toddlers who are both currently attempting to destroy our house on a full-time basis, that perhaps we might want to dial back a bit on the Christmas happenings this year.

I had to admit the guy had a point. 

Maybe it was time to dial down the Christmas insanity, thus sparing ourselves an entire month of relentless activity that made exactly no one jolly. Rather than spending the weeks leading up to Christmas feeling deeply overwhelmed, perhaps this year we could really cut back on some of the prep and (gasp) actually RELAX and enjoy the holiday.

I sat down at the kitchen table and made a careful list of Christmas-related activities in hopes of identifying those which might be negotiable.

Here's what I came up with:
  • Purchase adorable outfits for Christmas Card photos
  • Bake 8 dozen Christmas cookies
  • Calculate and prepare Christmas envelopes for Christmas envelope recipients
  • Take Christmas Card photos
  • Decorate 8 dozen Christmas cookies
  • Put up Christmas tree
  • Take children to have portrait taken with Santa
  • Order Christmas Card photos
  • Remove Christmas decorations from storeroom without being killed in avalanche of stored debris
  • Host Christmas Open House for neighbors
  • Attend Messiah Sing-a-Long (arrange babysitting)
  • Decorate Christmas tree
  • Attend office Christmas party (arrange babysitting)
  • Gather addresses for Christmas Cards
  • Attend assorted Christmas parties and events (arrange babysitting)
  • Place Christmas decorations attractively throughout home
  • Create year-end calendar featuring adorable photos of offspring.
  • Purchase Christmas gifts for my relatives
  • Wrap Christmas gifts for my relatives
  • Mail Christmas Cards
  • Convey Santa photo to friends and relatives in print or electronic form
  • Purchase Christmas gifts for husband's relatives
  • Wrap Christmas gifts for husband's relatives
  • Ship Christmas gifts to my relatives
  • Ship Christmas gifts to husband's relatives
  • Purchase gifts for offspring
  • Purchase gift for husband
  • Wrap gifts for offspring
  • Wrap gift for husband
  • Write thank-you notes in response to gifts received
  • Deliver Christmas cookies to Christmas cookie recipients
  • Assemble hundred-plus piece "under the tree" gift for children
  • Clean house in advance of arriving relatives
  • Prepare Christmas dinner for family
  • Prepare day-after-Christmas dinner for visiting relatives
  • Clean house in wake of departing relatives
Not appearing on the above list, of course, are any of the day-to-day activities relating to keeping two children fed, clean, and alive throughout the month of December. 

OK, so negotiable items.

I thought maybe we could do without the Christmas cookies, but then I got sad thinking about how much Snoodie loves them and how nice it is to have something to bring the neighbors.

I decided that maybe we could skip doing a Christmas card this time around but then I realized how annoyed I would be if I was subjected all month to adorable photos of friends' children without the opportunity to inflict my own children's cuteness upon them in return.

I considered scaling back on the decorating but, as this will be our first Christmas in California, I considered how important it was to me to have the house look as merry as humanly possible.

And I realized that I was powerless against the list. 

While I'm sure I could make some small tweaks -- a few edits here and there -- nothing is going to change the fact that this month is going to be an all-time ass-kicker wrapped in a green and red bow of exhaustion.

So I've accepted my fate. I'm cranking out cookies, I'm shopping in every spare moment, and I'm wrapping packages. I'm weeping from the pain of paper cuts and gagging from the taste of envelope glue. 

Actual Christmas Card outtake

And while I may not be particularly merry, I will say this for myself -- I'm getting it done. And that's something.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got several dozen tins of nuts to glaze.