There is some sort of holiday frenzy feeling that I get around Thanksgiving and it stays with me right up until Christmas. While this excitement for the season is always a wonderful feeling, it has, in the past, often left me feeling like Christmas Eve and Day are a bit, well, anti-climatic.
Part of it I think is the pressure to get the perfect gift or to have the house decorated in record time. Every year I try so hard to get a gift for my family and friends that encapsulates in one thing how much they mean to me and a huge thanks for all they have done in that year. It’s totally a self-imposed pressure to ooh and awe them. I can barely keep in my super awesome gifts to myself because since I’m a planner, I’ve usually decided by mid November what everyone will get. It really takes all I have to not blurt it out on Thanksgiving ( this by the way, is not limited to just Christmas- one year when I was little, I spilled the beans to my mom on her Mother’s Day surprise of a lobster dinner way before the day came around).
I’ve often wondered if this rush and frenzy to decorate, shop, etc. is something that is more a female problem than men. My dad and brother frequently do all their shopping in one day like a week or so before Christmas. My dad actually says he enjoys doing some shopping on Christmas Eve day ( PS that phrase has always made me chuckle since it’s sort of an oxymoron). The thought of waiting until the last minute makes me heart rate quicken ( control freak much!?!?)
I have a very small list to buy for this year and because I planned ahead, almost all of my shopping is done or will be before December 1st comes around. I haven’t decorated the house yet since I’ve wanted to enjoy some post Thanksgiving down time, but I anticipate doing it one night this week after work while watching a favorite Christmas movie. I want to have all my wrapping done early. This year I’m trying to simplify- the wrapping, the buying, the dozens of cookies my mother and I make. The frenzy may be part of the season, but I don’t want to partake this year. I want to savor the season and do a lot of the Christmas activities I haven’t done in years. Drive around to see Christmas lights. Go see a Christmas concert or find a group to go caroling with. Adopt a needy family so they have a better Christmas. Meet friends for drinks or coffee. Maybe go take a picture with Santa. I want to enjoy the excitement, not wish it all away by crossing things off lists and freaking out that I haven’t bought the best gifts. I’m hoping this pre planning will help me relax and enjoy the joys of the season instead of worrying that I don’t have enough wrapping paper.
I’m determined to make this holiday season different & that this relaxed Kristen will help me ring in the New Year. Who’s with me?