I really am a creature of habits and rituals. Take my morning writing routine. I wouldn’t even think of sitting down without my double shot latte, nonfat milk and two teaspoons of raw sugar. Not only a routine sort of person, but a high maintenance one at that. No other time in the year do I feel the pull of rituals and routine than I do in December. The holidays bring out the worst in me.
The “to-do” list becomes the “must-do” list. Must get the house decorated. Must bake enough cookies to give everyone a plateful. Must make the Kringle. Must get the shopping done. Must make a pile of gifts. Must wrap all those gifts. Must get the tree. Must decorate the tree. Last year the tree went up and then sat there for a week undecorated until one of the little heroes shamed us into decorating. Well, it had lights on it.
Every year I swear I am going to do this Christmas different, and every year another “must do” bites the dust and I feel immensely guilty that I am not like all the other mothers who seem to have it all together–the perfectly decorated house, the gifts all wrapped before midnight on Christmas Eve, the house party that comes off like something out of the pages of Martha Stewart. The last house party we had, the cat got into one of the meat trays and ate half the ham off it before I caught her. Then she ever so politely waited until the party was in full swing to come into the living room and “share” her ham by urping it up on the carpet. Oh, and there was the little kid who stood by the cookie tray and very carefully licked all the sugar and frosting off all the cookies. I said a silent, thoughtful prayer that he waited until he and his family were halfway home before he “shared.”
I’m really not a Grinch. I love Christmas. But right now, with all the “must dos” hanging over my head, I must admit to feeling a little “bah, humbug.”
What gets you out of the holiday crazies? What is on your “must do” list that is driving you to drink . . . eggnog? Any suggestions?