Every year it's the same. The holiday season arrives way too soon and I'm never ready. I spend all of December running like crazy, trying to get the decorations up, the cards sent, the gifts purchased, the house winterized (we don't need that much here in Dallas, but a little). Then it's planning the Christmas dinner, visits from family, MORE shopping.
I always eat too much, don't exercise enough, gain that proverbial five pounds.
Aren't the holidays supposed to be a happy time? They were when I was a kid. I couldn't wait to break out those boxes of shiny Christmas ornaments. I loved the smell of the tree, the eggnog and hot chocolate, the breathless possibility of snow (usually not!), trying to stay awake through the hushed, incense-laden midnight Mass.
Alas, for me the holidays are more about stress than pleasure, and it shouldn't be that way. So this year I have an evil plan. I am leaving town for the entire month of December to live at the beach. I am going to ignore the holidays completely and spend my days lazing on my deck looking out over the ocean with a margarita in one hand and escapist literature (a.k.a. a romance novel) in the other. (I just read TEXAN FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Victoria Chancellor--fun book!)
Well, okay, already the plan has problems. I've started to receive holiday cards, and I realized I have to SEND cards. Then there are those cans of popcorn that just arrived, which I'd planned to give as gifts. Am I going to just let them sit? And what about outdoor lights? My block has won the neighborhood decorating competition two years in a row. I can't let my neighbors down. One final glitch--my family knows where to find me.
Obviously I can't escape after all. But maybe, just maybe, I can reach back to my childhood for those feelings of excitement and anticipation and joy, and ditch the stress. This year it's not all going to get done ... and I'm okay with that. So if you don't get a card from me, rest assured I'm still thinking of you ... while I'm lying on the beach.
P.S. As I write this, I have no running water and plumbers are digging up my back yard. I am leaving for a MONTH in two days and I can't do laundry or wash dishes. Is it Happy Hour yet?