“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” <<<sarcasm>>> as one Kohl’s associate said to another at the Returns counter. It was as if I wasn’t there. I wasn’t offended or put off by their conversation, but more, empathetic. I would HATE working retail this time of year. Customers can be so demanding and angry when the right size Tony Hawk shirt isn’t in stock, or when the bathroom doesn’t have paper towels, or when the lines go longer than 2 person in length. I pretty much avoid serious shopping in store during the holidays because I just can’t handle the pressure. Black Friday? Fuggettaboutit. I’m a Cyber Monday Girl.
So, I’m taking some time to look at some of these traditions we have with a bit more clarity and hopefully some humor.
Every year, just after Thanksgiving, the cards start arriving. You’ve got the uber-early- over-achieving-Christmas-card-givers, whose cards arrive the weekend after Thanksgiving. These card-givers exist so you can feel like the Christmas alarm went off. I press the snooze button and give myself until I open the next Christmas card to be reminded that yes, indeed, Christmas is coming. Then you’ve got the angelic-family-photo-Christmas-card-givers, with that perfectly designed photo backdrop, hairs curled just right and matchy-matchy outfits that compliment the Shutterfly matte-finished card stock. Next, the world- traveler-Christmas-card-givers, those that take a ton of to-die-for trips and make the rest of us drip with envy at the fantastic backdrop that is not a green screen, it’s the real deal, the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon. (Yeah, my backdrop will be the side of my house.) The fun-loving-“our-family-never-argues”-Christmas-card-givers, you know the ones, where the family just looks like they absolutely love being together, and bless their hearts, they’ve never said an unkind word to each other. Are families really like this? Ugh, press the Christmas snooze button again. Then there are the old-schooler-Christmas-card-givers, who JUST send a card.
What? Just a card? I know, sounds ridiculous, JUST a card, I mean, that’s how the tradition started until Costco got involved and screwed it up for everyone. I blame Costco. Then there’s me, the slacker-wanna-be-like-all-of-the-above-Christmas-card-givers. Actually, I kinda don’t want to be like any of the previous Christmas-card-givers, I want my card to be different, original, memorable, but I’m so paralyzed by the previous descriptors, that I just decide to press the snooze button on the whole Christmas card idea. So, you may or may not get a Christmas card from me, but I still like you and wish you a Merry Christmas. If you need permission NOT to make a Christmas card this year, press the snooze button on the whole idea, it’s okay. Really.
I love love love going for my evening walks right now because the Christmas lights are amazing. I see how much work all the San Dimas neighborhood friends put into their decorations. Blow-up snowmen, Mickey Mouses, presents, candy canes, Santas, reindeer, and the lights, so many light variations- icicle lights, colored bulbs, white bulbs, flashy bulbs, lights around all the frames of the windows and awnings of the home, lights on every bush and tree in the yard. I look at all of it and adore it, and press the snooze button. Actually though, I admired this light pattern that shone on the wall of a house that did a mesmerizing light extravaganza. I went home and researched this type of light show, and instead of searching, ‘Christmas lights for lazy people’ I searched for ‘laser christmas lights’ and lo, and behold, there it was, The As Seen on TV Star Shower Laser Light
Projector. (Can you shorten that name for me As Seen on TV people, it’s a mouthful.) I think Christmas Lights for Lazy People is a better name. What about you? Chant with me, “If only I had thought of that, I’d be a millionaire.” *Sigh.*
Oh my, I am an overachiever. Gift giving is my love language. Any of you who know me well know I LOVE to shop for that special item that fits you perfectly. However, excluding Christmas time, I’m buying a gift for 1 person at at time, which means I can think about that person extensively and hone in on the details of the gift. During Christmas, it’s like, uh, “Dammit, I forgot to add ____ to the list.” So, I’ve learned to have several backup gift cards, just in case I need one in a pinch. I can always use that spare Starbucks card later. And I want to give EVERYONE a gift, because I don’t want anyone to feel overlooked or left out, but that gets a bit expensive, so I have to pare down my list. This year, I’m going to make a batch of lip balms, because its handmade, but finding the time is the tricky part. It looks like I’m going to be burning the midnight oil several nights over the next few weeks.
Christmas Parties, Events & Gatherings
I can stress out easily when I get overcommitted and these next few weeks are packed with social events. I love getting together with friends and family, but I just wish it wasn’t all packed in to a 3 week period. (Couldn’t we extend the month of December for the introverts? I mean, just askin’. That would make it a little easier for me.) I’m prepared with my festive “Joy” ugly sweatshirt and bulbalicious red earrings for the staff holiday party.
I’ve purchased a few red items of clothing so I don’t feel totally unfestive (so not-a-word, but I don’t care.) I’ve purchased the tickets for the choir show and volunTold the family that we will all be helping at the Journey to Bethlehem event all weekend. (The people need to be fed, kababs, rice, lentil stew, and Bethlehem brownies. Because you know Jesus’ family ate brownies. We laugh about this every year.)
So there are just a few of my reflections on the traditions we observe. It’s okay if you don’t feel spirited about Christmas hustle and bustle. There’s someone else who feels the same way.
Until next Friday. Love you loves.
Gastric Bypass Update:
Just keep on walkin’, that’s what I’m doing. I’m down 80 pounds. 80 is a good number. I’m feelin’ good. I have had my blood work doctor’s order sitting on my desk for about…2 months. I just can’t make the time to fast and get over there early in the morning. I’ll wait until after Christmas, for obvious reasons.