Why, hello there, December! Fancy meeting you again so soon!
There are some things you can do to ease the stress of the holiday season. At least, I’m pretty sure there are… I, myself, am not good at these things. I have a history of taking on more in December than I do the rest of year, even when those things don’t have anything to do with Christmas. I’m not talking about cantatas with the choir or children’s class parties — I’m referring to things like this:
- December 1994 — packing up things for my husband to use in his first month or two at a new duty assignment in Germany. We were in the process of getting paperwork approved so the rest of us could travel with him, but this had not yet gone through, so we only packed his things. (The boys at the time were aged 3-1/2 and 2 years, respectively.) We also managed to visit both sides of the family for Christmas. And then flew to Germany 2 weeks later, sans toys for the boys.
- December 1995 — had a new baby, still managed to decorate the house and get all gifts under the tree after midnight Christmas Eve to surprise the boys in the morning. Somehow that seemed important at the time!
- December 1997 — making plans to move back to the USA and still squeezing in a big German Christmas with a 2yo and two preschoolers.
- December 1999 — with 4 boys (oldest was 8.5 years old, youngest was 4.5 months old), we decide to get a new minivan… because life isn’t busy enough already! (Granted, the old one had gone over 100,000 miles was becoming unreliable; it was buy a new minivan or get a cell phone and a AAA package for safety.) Let’s go shopping for a new ride! She’s green, but we don’t name her Holly or Green Pikachu (the boys’ chosen name). She becomes “Olive [the other minivan].”
- December 2001 — instead of staying home post-9/11, we pack up the six of us for cross-country flights to visit both sides of the extended family. Because nothing says sanity like spending the holidays with both sides of the extended family! (And nothing says “threat to national security” like a military spouse and a first grader traveling with the rest of the family… our first experience with removing our
hiking bootsshoes in an airport.)
- December 2005 — SuperDad was deployed. I’m at home with 4 young boys who think the house should be decorated for Christmas. I got out the 20-foot ladder to hang lights along the garage roof-line, and a family friend took pity on me, came over and got the artificial tree out of the attic for us. And then we spent a couple of days at my mom’s house, which was more stressful than my own.
- December 2006 — SuperDad returned from the mid-East and took us to find a tree at an approved Christmas Tree Hunting Ground. Successful hunt, but the minivan made an awful sound when being put into gear. It wasn’t the first time Olive had made that noise, but it was the first time SuperDad had ever heard it. Now he understood what I’d been describing for a few weeks. He worried about breaking down with a fresh-cut tree on our roof. Minivan shopping in December commenced;”Betty” was purchased prior to Christmas.
- December 2012 — After several years of relative peacefulness in December, and despite my desire to wait until after the holidays, the podiatrist scheduled my foot surgery for the Wednesday following Thanksgiving. While I admit to needing the surgery sooner than later, I am now thoroughly ensconced in a boot for a full six weeks, until early January. We’ll be hosting Christmas for 10 of us (or maybe 14… not sure) this year, all while hobbling about in one raised boot and one sock… that I can’t get wet or remove.
Fighting The Stress with Mandatory Rest
Not much is getting done around here. Decorating for Christmas? Making Cookies? Cleaning? Sewing? Shopping? Gift wrapping? Putting away the Autumn decorations? 😀 Bwahahahahaha…. definitely not!
It’s a good thing I like this little leaf garland, because it is still up tonight, on this first Sunday of Advent!