And so it begins. Again. The stress/anxiety of playing catch-up during the holiday season. Not sure how I got so behind this time. I mean it’s not like I haven’t had ample time to prepare, since retailers started the holiday season a tad earlier this year — July 5. In fact, I think they’ve even changed the name of that popular holiday Christmas preparation song – The 120 Days of Christmas.
This was going to be it – my YOP (Year of Preparation). I was even going to accomplish something I haven’t done since my girls were young – a holiday Christmas card. I would shoot it on Thanksgiving, when my oldest was home from college. How hard could that be? Clearly not as difficult as it was when my girls were little and wouldn’t stay put, right?
At least that’s what I thought, until I realized they don’t exactly get along.
“That’s great girls, but now let’s take a photo of you two without your hands on each other’s throats.”
What’s worse is that I didn’t even have my parents to help me this year. My mother passed away two years ago and my father “retired” from holiday photos when my kids were young.
“Gina, don’t ask me to come with you to take holiday pictures again. I don’t need that heavy stress at my age.”
Truthfully, I can’t really rule out that my mother’s heart condition was not caused by my kids’ holiday photo stress. (Sorry, Heavenly Mother.)
On to Another Imperfect Plan…
Well, if I couldn’t do the card, at least I could accomplish something else on my holiday preparation list – putting up holiday decorations early. Of course, I should have known that my busy schedule would foil that plan.
“Mom, can we put up the decorations tonight?”
“I can’t, Honey. Tonight the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are on.”
“How about tomorrow night?”
“Nope. Can’t do it. I’ve got two episodes of Shah’s of Sunset to catch up on.”
Of course, my “helpful” kids (at least when there’s something in it for them) offered to pitch in.
“If you give me a $100 bucks, Mom. I’ll do it.”
Honestly, I prefer to decorate without them. Let’s just say our decorating styles are not in sync, especially when it comes to Christmas tree lights.
“Girls no offense, but I don’t like my Christmas tree to look like the Palms casino. I like white lights. They’re very elegant on the tree.”
“But Mom, that’s so boring.”
One year, I compromised and bought a fake tree that came with a remote control. With the click of a button, I could change the lights from tacky to elegant. I had quite the system down.
“Mommy, why did you change the colored lights when I went potty?
Well, at least until my husband seized control of that clicker, too.
“Awww, come on Gene, we like the flashing lights.”
While I may be a holiday procrastinator, my 14-year-old daughter doesn’t take after me. I was quite impressed when on August 30, she handed me her Christmas list, stating quite proudly, “Mom, I only have two things on my list.”
“Em, I am so touched; you’ve finally realized the true meaning of Christmas,” I proudly responded, before I realized that one of the items on her list was a Lexus. (Kudos to Lexus on an effective advertising campaign, since my daughter doesn’t even know how to drive.)
But despite my slow start again, I know that on December 24, I’ll have my elegant white-lighted tree up with ample presents underneath. I also know that I’ll take it down… eventually… sometime…when I get around to it.