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A Creature of Habits

I really am a creature of habits and rituals. Take my morning writing routine. I wouldn’t even think of sitting down without my double shot latte, nonfat milk and two teaspoons of raw sugar. Not only a routine sort of person, but a high maintenance one at that. No other time in the year do I feel the pull of rituals and routine than I do in December. The holidays bring out the worst in me.

The “to-do” list becomes the “must-do” list. Must get the house decorated. Must bake enough cookies to give everyone a plateful. Must make the Kringle. Must get the shopping done. Must make a pile of gifts. Must wrap all those gifts. Must get the tree. Must decorate the tree. Last year the tree went up and then sat there for a week undecorated until one of the little heroes shamed us into decorating. Well, it had lights on it.

Every year I swear I am going to do this Christmas different, and every year another “must do” bites the dust and I feel immensely guilty that I am not like all the other mothers who seem to have it all together–the perfectly decorated house, the gifts all wrapped before midnight on Christmas Eve, the house party that comes off like something out of the pages of Martha Stewart. The last house party we had, the cat got into one of the meat trays and ate half the ham off it before I caught her. Then she ever so politely waited until the party was in full swing to come into the living room and “share” her ham by urping it up on the carpet. Oh, and there was the little kid who stood by the cookie tray and very carefully licked all the sugar and frosting off all the cookies. I said a silent, thoughtful prayer that he waited until he and his family were halfway home before he “shared.”

I’m really not a Grinch. I love Christmas. But right now, with all the “must dos” hanging over my head, I must admit to feeling a little “bah, humbug.”

What gets you out of the holiday crazies? What is on your “must do” list that is driving you to drink . . . eggnog? Any suggestions?

3 comments to “A Creature of Habits”

  1. Christina Arbini
    December 10th, 2007 at 8:19 am · Link

    I attempt each year to get my shopping done as soon as possible…typically starting the week of Thanksgiving (though NOT black Friday!). I do most of my shopping online, to save me from as few trips to a mall as possible. I also make my own cards every year, as well as my parents’ Christmas cards, so that is time-consuming enough of al project, without throwing in more layers of stress between the usual hectic pace at work and all the other holiday things like wrapping said gifts, decorating (although I do this the first weekend of December and don’t typically go very overboard (no tree as I spend Christmas at my parents’ house). I am proud to say that I haven’t yet had to break into the holiday “medicine” or peppermint schnapps, as most people call it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ All in all, I’m doing pretty good and have two weeks to slow down now and actually try to enjoy the rest of the holiday season. However, I’m definitely going to be starting to make my cards in September next year. That will definitely help my sanity. Maybe I’ll start drinking my peppermint schnapps in September, too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Haven Rich
    December 10th, 2007 at 2:21 pm · Link

    Elizabeth, I seriously think an assistant at the holiday time would help you so much :D.

    I stress over gifts. I’m one of those that likes all the gifts to have matching paper, ribbon and bows. Umm, that happens to match the tree lol. I’m an obsessive nut like that.

    This year though is my “break out” year. I haven’t put up a tree and I have left over wrapping from last year that I’m using. No bows, only name tags.

    I think a large part of my lack of interest in doing my normal Christmas stuff is the weather. It’s hard to be all Christmas jolly when you’re still running your a/c because it’s 80 degrees outside.

    Other things I do every year…Card groups and Secret Santas. I love them!! They cheer me up without need for Christmas spirits *wink* hehe.

  3. Keira Soleore
    December 10th, 2007 at 8:48 pm · Link

    Ugh on urp. In a family party, at least someone always ends up doing it. It’s a given. This is the first I’ve read about the cat. While I’m sure at that it was probably rather embarrassing, distance makes it funny doesn’t it? You called it “sharing.”

    My holiday cards are the ones that always drive me crazy. Why oh why did I want to Photoshop them this year? Every year, the project seems to get more complicated.

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