Have you noticed I haven’t gone on one of my holiday-induced rants this season? Normally by this point I’m up in arms about the endless concerts and recitals, stupid holiday parties, and gifts for various people that I’d rather not give.
I’m angry a lot at Christmas.
So stupid of me.
This year I decided to be zen about a lot of things.
I decided to just enjoy my daughter’s concert without composing a mean letter in my mind to the choir director asking that we not have to hear a solo by every member of the choir.
This is just not a year when outside lights are going to happen. Around here, if we want lights, it’s up to me. And I made peace with not having lights. Plus it was rainy and cold most of December. And there is no way I’m braving bad weather for something as pointless as Christmas lights.
I made teacher gifts a week in advance. I took the time to do a nice peppermint soap and didn’t rush through it as I usually do.
I said no to every party except the school parties and the ward party. I felt slightly grinchy, but one must do extreme things to survive. So, sorry friends who always have the super lame Caroling party. We didn’t really have plans already (and I hope you don’t read my blog!). Also, sorry Bunco and bookclub girls!
I spent much of the month crafting gifts. While I will probably never knit and crochet several gifts again (it was a lot of work! And there’s no way those little kids will appreciate it), it was definitely a big stress release. All that anxiety just drifts away when I make stuff. And, oh my, I had a lot of stuff to make. The little deer was the cutest. Well, so was the elephant.
I have been wrapping several presents a day. As much as I love wrapping paper, you’d think that doing presents would be my favorite. Which it is if I don’t have a stack of fifty presents staring at me on Christmas Eve. Nothing like procrastinating until the last minute to make something not enjoyable. You’d think it wouldn’t have taken me 40 years to figure this out. (You like my gift-wrapping center? It’s right in the middle of my bedroom floor. I remain, as always, the pinnacle of organization).
No neighbor gifts. This may seem like the height of rudeness but neighbor gifts are really not done here. The first year we moved in I did my usual over-the-top production (sugar cookies done all in white and silver and personalized with the names of each family member we’d be taking them to). Boy, was I surprised when nobody gave us anything back. I learned my lesson fast and it has taken a tremendous burden off of me. Plus, it’s good for dieting.
I have really stripped the Christmas season down to its barest essentials. While this seems positively unAmerican, I get overwhelmed quickly. I don’t know why we all knock ourselves out to make this perfect Christmas experience for our children. Here is the truth: whatever you do for Christmas, your kids will love. The end. It is as simple as that. So my family can all be happy with the bare minimum, or my kids can do way more stuff and be just as happy but I will be miserable and practically homicidal by December 25th. Hmmm, that’s a hard choice.