That is what I’m working on at this exact moment (as I scramble to get this post up at 5:00 AM on the morning it’s due). I’m not trying to be a big Scrooge or anything, but I realized last week as I stressed about meeting all the December demands that I was really resenting the expectations that were placed on me to make the holiday perfect for everyone else.
Okay, so maybe I don’t resent Christmas itself. However, I do think the burden of ensuring a great season for my kids and family falls completely on me. Let’s face it, as women and all the titles that fall under that—mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, daughters-in-law—the pressure of executing not just the day but the entire season, falls on us. How in the hell did that happen?
Shall we list Ten Rings of Christmas Hell just to make us (me) feel better?
- Shopping. First we have to define who’s on the gift list this year, then come up with ideas for what to get them, then find and buy said gift(s) for everyone at the best price we can hunt down. This way too often includes enduring the madness of the holiday crush on the roads, parking lots and stores themselves.
- Decorating. Like shopping, this is a multi-step item. First is the general house decorations. Then it’s the tree and since we use a real tree, this involves scheduling the day when everyone is free and it’s not raining to go to the tree farm and cut it down then getting it in the stand and in the house before the decorating can begin. Oh, and don’t forget the outside lights too.
- Recitals. If you have children, it’s inevitable that at least one of them will have a holiday show of some kind that will take up one of the precious few weekends in December. This year mine was a beautiful dance performance that sucked up three nights. Yes, I loved seeing my daughter perform, but the time drain was agonizing.
- Baking. Treats, cookies, candy—whatever tradition you foolishly started making before you had kids and are now expected to continue. Again, it’s a define and gather the many special ingredients before you can execute process, and then get them done in time to include in the packages that have to be mailed.
- Mailing. For me at least, this is a special ring of hell. My entire family lives out of state which means I have to have all the gift buying and baking done a week early to meet the postal deadlines. Then I get to wait in the rush of postal lines to get the many boxes shipped. Oh yay!
- Wrapping. This one I can usually get the Mr to help. But it still requires my organization and boils down to me directing what to wrap and who it goes to.
- Crafts. Yes, I know this is optional, but budget restraints led me making gifts in my past. This year it extended to the many gifts my daughter wanted to give her friends on her dance team.
- Parties. These are usually fun once I get to them, but the stress of coordinating them into the schedule often turns them into something I have to do more than want to do.
- Christmas Dinner. Whether you’re the host or an attendee, there is usually cooking of some kind involved on the day which must be planned and executed at some point.
- That thing called normal life. Did I mention the everyday things like jobs and deadlines and kid’s activities such as swim meets that consume two mornings of another precisions weekend? Oh yeah, we’re expected to keep those up too.
Which brings me to what I’m physically working on in the writing world and I would be remiss not to at least mention the hot hockey studs I’ve been immersed in for the last seven months. Aren’t the covers fab?
The Power Play series releases in 2015 and I have line edits due on book 2 tomorrow. Sigh.
So it’s another cup of coffee for me and I’m off to get numerous things on that list of hell done. I hope you all manage to enjoy a bit of the holiday season and have a glass (or two) of egg nog along the way.