Thursday, November 29, 2007

Grinchy Christmas

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?

Kara Lennox


Ellen said...

Sounds like you need Happy Hour to extend to two or three hours. But just reflect on how much fun you are going to have during the MONTH on the beach.

Jennifer said...

Michele, hang in there. You'll make it through everything. Just keep thinking of relaxing on the deck with a good book.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Eeek! You're receiving Christmas cards already? That would stress me out, too.

Have a margarita on me when you're on that beach.

Estella said...

Christmas cards before December would stress me out, too!

Cherie J said...

LOL! Sounds like how I have been feeling lately. The 4 year old is excited, the one year old has no clue yet what is going on except her brother is excited about something and I am feeling tired and stressed and it is still not even December. I need to work on finding that holiday joy myself. Just hard because my 1 year old is also sick with a fever which makes me feel even more tired and stressed today. Oh well, enough complaining. I just wanted to say "I feel your pain!"

Kara Lennox said...

Okay, finally back online. Thanks, Michele, for posting my blog. I have running water; that's progress, at least. I leave tomorrow no matter what!

Thanks to all for comisserating--I'll have enough drinks on the beach for everyone!


Lily said...

Christmas cards are so horrible... now with the electronic ones... life is much simpler! and less original I guess!