It’s almost December, less than a month until Christmas. The kids will get their advent calendars tomorrow – with each piece of chocolate they will count down the days. But I don’t want to count down my days. I want to enjoy them. Here is a list of ways I think I might succeed.
- Don’t set an impossible goal for the end of the year, like: “Lindsay, you must finish that book and send out thirty query letters.” In other words, don’t spend the last month of 2010 trying to redeem an entire decade.
- Don’t make unrealistic plans, like sneaking in a trip to NYC the weekend before Christmas. I’ve done it, it was super fun, but I ended up deathly ill and with a credit card bill that made me feel even worse.
- Do get a flu shot.
- Don’t wait till the last minute to do all of my shopping. The gifts are always lame and over priced by then.
- Don’t wait till the last minute to make Christmas cards. (Too late, it’s already the last minute. I’m sure cards from more efficient mothers will start arriving today and we don’t even have a picture yet.)
- Do make time for baking Christmas cookies. (Not trying to sell a book in the last three weeks of the year will help with this.) The kids love making Christmas cookies. I don’t want to hear myself say: “I can’t do it this year — I don’t have time.”
- Do take kids to a few corny Christmas venues like the tree at The Grove. They love it and it’s free.
- Do learn a few Christmas carols on the piano. Tess wants to sing along and I’m not good at reading music on the spot, especially with her belting out the lyrics before I’ve even figured out the key.
- Do wrap gifts as soon as I get them. There is nothing worse that wrapping on Christmas Eve after drinking champagne (or tequila) and celebrating all night. I don’t want to find myself on the floor surrounded by wrapping paper and toys saying, “Where the fuck is the fucking tape?” Or even better, “Joe! Where the fuck is the fucking tape.”
- Get tree and decorate house early. Might as well make the most out of this. It takes me hours to hang the lights and hours to take them back down. The tree smells wonderful and makes my whole house cozy. I plan on enjoying it for an entire month.
I have always loved Christmas. My mother had to work every year until the last minute making jewelry for gifts. Some Christmases she would literally stay up all night Christmas Eve wrapping and baking those cookies and sneaking our stockings into our rooms. (We each had a mantelpiece, so Santa delivered like room service.) I loved waking up (too early) and finding my hand-sewn stocking overflowing on the floor. The radiators were just starting to rattle, steaming up the windows in my room. I would carry my loot into my brother’s room and we would tear open soap and chocolate, one time a Swatch watch, decks of cards, and always an orange in the toe.
When you have kids, one of the best things is that you get to re-live some of those holidays, experience them again, like when you were young. Trick-or-treating on Halloween, Easter Egg hunts, and stockings filled with treats. I don’t want to waste one minute of this time. I want to embrace it. I don’t want to say even once, “I can’t wait ‘till the holidays are over.” This is my chance to see my kids faces filled with excitement. I don’t want to ruin it by stressing myself out.
From me to me: Good luck!