(Originally Written December 27, 2014)
Christmas is, for me, like how my mother described labour to me all those years ago when I foolishly asked. It hurts like hell, is stressful as all get-out, and in the middle of it you swear you’ll never do it again. But then you see the sparkling tree – er, baby – and all the shitty stuff fades into the background noise.
This is how Christmas is for me, and has been for many years. And I imagine for you or at least someone you know, too. Every year, colourful and warm memories float in my brain of Christmas: bright lights, a beautiful tree, days off from work, tasty meals, delicious baking, the joy of giving and receiving. Even as late as November, I make ambitious lists of gifts to buy or make, holiday cards to send out, the various recipes of baking I want to do, and the packages to assemble to mail out to far-away family.
And every year, by the end of November, it all comes crashing down and my pre-holiday case of stress winds me up. I have this problem where I seem to think I am more efficient and focused than I actually am. I’m not sure where I got this idea from; I have never been strong with time-management or motivating myself. So why I continually, every year, create to-do lists of zillions of things to do, get, make, package, and ship in time for Christmas is beyond me. There is always an inevitable melt-down when I realize one (or several) of my Christmas plans or goals is unrealistic, and yet when it is all said and done, whatever did not get accomplished was never really missed. I always vow never to over-plan again.