Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas.

In case you missed it (and I don't know how you could, considering the commercials started in August), it's the holiday season again. Which has me feeling...conflicted.

Part of me loves the holidays - everything about them. Decorating the house, putting up the Christmas tree, baking all those cookies - it all makes me want to jump up and down and clap my hands like a little kid. Once the time changes and the night gets long and dark, I start pestering my  husband to put the lights up outside -  those twinkling, colored lights make my heart sing.

I even love Christmas shopping. At the mall. Yes, really. My mom and I  used to make an event of it - the day after Thanksgiving was Serious Shopping Day, and we'd spend hours combing the mall for the best deals on the softest, shiniest, glittery-est presents to stuff under the tree.

Now that I'm seven hours away, I kinda miss that.

There's also a part of me that dreads the holidays. I feel guilty admitting that, but it's true. Especially since we moved away and our trip home became an Event. There's always so much pressure. Everybody wants a piece of us (usually at the same time), and there's absolutely no way to make everyone happy.

Someone always ends up disappointed. Sometimes lots of someones.

And I? Spend the week with knotted up shoulders, a tension  headache and a sour stomach. Because, you see, I really want to make everyone happy. Especially during the holiday season. But I haven't figured out how to clone myself, so it's impossible.

Plus, I'm not naturally a very social person, so all that visiting starts to get to me after a while. I start longing for a quiet corner to hide in, or at least a bag I could put over my head.

By the time we head for home, I'm usually so exhausted that I spend the next three days sleeping.

But this year is different. This year there's Tori. She's not old enough to really appreciate all the hubbub around the holidays, but I'm looking forward to sharing it with her anyway.

I can't wait to put up the tree, so I can watch her face shine when she sees it glowing  for the first time. I want to buy her a stocking, and let her get her hands in the cookie dough (don't worry, I know she can't eat it yet).

I want to dress her up in pretty, absolutely useless frilly dresses. Take her to visit Santa. I even want to get one of those cheesy family portraits done (we may even wear matching clothes).

I want her to join in the chaos when her cousins rip into the Christmas presents under the tree. I want to see her face when she tastes turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie for the first time.

Above all, I want to share the joy of her first Christmas with everyone I love. Even if it kills me.

So, I'm going to try to leave my inner pessimist home this year. I'm going to do my best to get through it all with my smile intact and my shoulders loose. I'm going to try to enjoy myself.

Because you know what's really great about having a baby at Christmastime? It gives you an automatic excuse (lots of excuses) to get out of doing anything you don't want to do. After all, she has to eat, sleep, get her diaper changed...

I may actually get some quiet time this year.


  1. you are right, holidays can be great but also a huge pain in the ass. i swear i won't be that demanding on my kids when they are adults, it really can be too much. but I love that Tori gives you the outs!!! hope this year is better than ever!

  2. You are right. I like the holidays too but sometimes they are tough to get through. At least you have blogging as an outlet. :)

  3. It really is hard to make everyone happy around this time of year. We just do the best we can.

    Hopefully this year goes for you like you have planned.

  4. Great post!

    Loved seeing Christmas through your eyes. It was an enchanting picture. (minus the stress of course)

    Mine is watching the excited faces of my children. My husband and I will begin filling the family room with musty smelly boxes. Then the magic begins. The sheer delight that comes from beholding the faces of my children and hearing their squeals of joy as they dive into decorations that have been tucked away for a year! We drink egg nog and hear Bing Crosby in the background singing, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Children are the icing on the cake of the holiday season.

    Addressing the later part of your post. You may have already tried to think of ways to make it less stressful but here's another one anyway. Have you thought about having an open house? Letting people know this is the one and only time you will be able to see everyone. Or have one gathering at a local restaurant or clubhouse. That way you could get it all over with at once and be done with it. Just a thought.

    I enjoy your posts, thank you! :)

  5. Your post touched a nerve in me like you wouldn't believe. I KNOW, how you feel. I am working it all out, and hoping that the "happiest time of the year" doesn't turn into a stress-induced-nervous-breakdown.

  6. Holidays in general... we live abotu 2 hours from my parents... this puts a lot of pressure on the holidays... and with a baby? Forget it.

    If you figure out a way to keep everyone happy while keeping yourself sane, let me know!

  7. It is an amazing time of the year, and like you I find it hard to please everyone, and have lots of issues with being with too many people for too long, I NEED some quiet and time to decompress. SO ... I decided I am not going to worry about pleasing anyone but kids and dh ... the rest can suck it. I just can't handle the pressure anymore of being super mom. I wanna enjoy the day too darnnit!

  8. Alcohol. I'm pretty sure alcohol is the key to remaining calm. Unfortunately, I don't drink much, so I'll have to find another way to cope.

    Good luck, everyone. I'm sure we can do this.

  9. The holidays are definitely a mixed bag of bad and good. We're actually not planning to go home for the holidays. Money, weather and vacation time, etc. make it ill-advised. Truth be told, I'm a tiny bit relieved. Though I will miss seeing family and showing off the baby, I'm looking forward to a smaller, more intimate holiday and I'm planning a lot of skype chats with friends and family.

  10. yup, you got it right!! welcome to the many many exuses you can use in this crazy world called motherhood. :) it's fabulous.

  11. LOL, this Christmas will be the first time the hubs and I drive home to visit our family. It's gonna be a crazy adventure, I'm sure!


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