With each passing holiday season I’ve felt this increasing anxiety plant itself right in my chest and grow, untamed from about early November to just after Christmas. I know I put this pressure on myself to “do-do-do” throughout the holidays since they’re over too quickly and I want us to enjoy them to the fullest with everyone we love, but this year I had to just call it quits.
In a matter of 12-hours I managed to slice open both my thumbs, our oven stopped working just as I started massive food prep for our annual Christmas party, and I caught an awful stomach bug the morning of the party. (Exhaustion, nausea, dizziness..blegh. If I didn’t know I wasn’t pregnant I’d swear I was based on these symptoms!) After pushing myself all morning thinking I was just tired, I felt this sweeping wave of utter exhaustion wash over me and suddenly had this incredible urge to start weeping. (See what I mean about the pregnancy symptoms?) I mean, I couldn’t even wrap gifts because both thumbs were out of commission. Do you even realize how much you use just one thumb for?? Mind blown, I’m telling you.
Reluctantly, we re-scheduled our party and I crawled into bed, defeated. It was so disappointing to not see family and friends before the holiday, but it also forced me to slow down think about what really matters at the holidays so I can better prioritize for next year.
So far, here are a few ideas I’ve come up with:
1. Start decorating earlier
Last year, I made a note to myself in my planner to be all decorated for Christmas by December 1. Hah! — this didn’t even come close to happening. Thanksgiving fell very late this year and we went big with Halloween decor for once which really mucked things up. Next year we’ll go small there and start thinking Christmas decor closer to early November. I like to decorate over the course of a few weeks too, which isn’t something I’ll always be able to indulge in, so the sooner I start in late fall, the better.
2. Block the family stuff first
Since getting engaged we’ve pretty much stumbled through the delicate territory of family holidays. No matter how we split them, some of our family gets slighted and we’re exhausted logging miles back and forth on highways. It’s is a good problem to have and if it means less time enjoying our home together at the holidays, we’re lucky to be so blessed. I think if we can just nail down when all the family parties are early enough in the fall, it should cut down on any last-minute party-overlap and we can plan for shopping and baking without being up until 1 and 2 am getting it all done.
3. Call a cleaning lady
I feel like the turnover from Thanksgiving to Christmas happens so quickly that whether we host the former or not, our place is typically in shambles come December 1. Since I’m also an appallingly messy baker, this would be a nice “gift” for my poor husband — freshly made baked goods, a clean house, and a sane wife just in time for the start of the Christmas season.
So those are just a few of the ideas I’ve been brainstorming so far. Fingers crossed next year goes more smoothly with a little more forethought!