I’ve tried to be a very good and kind little kitten recently, remembering what the holidays are really all about. But I need to put that aside for a moment and rant about how I am so BAD AT CHRISTMAS, it is not even funny. Tomorrow I will go back to being a good and rational person. Today, I am losing my schmidt. This time of year is awesome but it’s also like I now have a seasonal, part time, unpaid job that I don’t have time for. It turns my normally barely managed existence into a little something I like to call The Holiday Death Spiral.
Because this is the time of year that:
There is no such thing as down time. For three solid weeks, there is no sitting on the couch snuggling my kids or playing on my phone. NO no no. Are you insane? The items on my to do list are reproducing like Duggars and if I take a couple of hours off just to chill with my family, it will all spin violently out of control.
There is always something good on TV. And I have way too much to do and no will power at all. So I stay up way too late watching The Holiday, drinking wine and addressing cards and then do pretty much the same thing the next night when something else good is on, and then I wonder I feel like a turd sandwich all the time.
My attempts to organize all that needs to be done are hilarious failures. At least half of my best laid plans are blown up because someone gets sick or has to go out of town or someone comes to visit. So I try to make a general plan, where one week is about knocking out deadlines at work and one is about getting stuff done at home and then… Crap. Someone gets Influenza A and my entire world stops for 4 days and when I emerge from the episode in a haze of Tamiflu and chicken soup, the week I was supposed buy gifts while there was still free shipping is over and I’m totally screwed.
Someone in my house is either getting sick, being sick, or about to relapse. Often there are several people in my house at different stages of the cycle at the same time. Oh, mommy, are you the one who is sick? You have strep throat and and diarrhea at the same time? And you haven’t slept more than three continuous hours in over a week? TFB. Take your antibiotics and get back to work. That dishwasher is not going to unload itself.
There is at least a 50% chance that if you make plans with me, it will not happen. I will either forget (because I forgot to write it down), show up at the wrong time (because I’m a moron), or have to cancel (because I’m guessing you don’t want the flu). Happy Holidays, dear friend!
I never say no. Well, that’s not entirely true (just ask my husband). But if someone asks me to help them with something like an Angel Tree, a food bank, meals for the homeless or anything to do with kids being sick, cold, sad, lonely or whatever — I always say yes. Which means that I volunteer to take on far too much and then freak out when I realize how much time it will take me to do it. It’s entirely self-inflicted — I get that. For example, I need to have 4 dozen sugar cookies baked by 3:00 and OH DEAR GOD IS THAT REALLY THE TIME?!
There is never enough scotch tape. I buy it constantly. And once it enters my house, it immediately disappears into the death spiral and is not rediscovered until January when I find it behind my daughter’s desk.
There is always a party and I’m always supposed to bring something and I always screw it up. On a good day, I mess it up due to the forget/show up at the wrong time/someone is sick triumverate of bullshit.
I always bring the wrong thing. If I actually do show up to the class party, I’ll make the same mistake over and over. Because I have to bring something to about 400 different kid and school-related shindigs this month, and I always sign up for drinks because yes, I am THAT mom. And I always end up at Target 15 minutes before I have to be at the event and I end up grabbing this particular brand of juice pouch-thingees because they are organic and cheap. I dare not show up with Capri Suns, you guys. Because there will be a mom who gives me the righteous sniff for bringing fruit punch. So I buy the organic kind except that I’ve forgotten that they’re actually MADE BY THE DEVIL because you can never get the straw through without poking weird holes in the pouch which then ooze 100% organic, all fruit juice all over everything. So I get the righteous sniff anyway because I’m an idiot.
I let myself get all wrapped up in the stress. Every year, I swear that I will not succumb to Griswold Syndrome… And every year I get crazy and I snap at the people I love the most and act in an insufferably assholish manner. CRAP. I have to go Walmart right now because I forgot to buy a present for the Piano teacher. And I need one of those mini-photo album thingees and…
Stop. Just stop, self. BREATHE. Slow down. It will all be fine. Or it won’t. But either way, I’m here. My kids are here and safe and are (mostly) healthy. My husband is finally home. The house is warm and there’s food in the fridge. That is all that matters. Now take another deep breathe, self, and go to Walmart. Wait — put on a bra first, no one wants to see that. Don’t forget your wallet. OK — off you go.
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