"Really?" I asked. "You have no idea at all?"
Then we just looked at each other and started laughing hysterically.
With Nutcracker performances all weekend for our kiddo, two sets of grandparents in town to see those shows, CCD to teach bright and early on Sunday, and not to be left behind, a sick old dog to care for, who just that morning had woken up the whole house, houseguests included, by sneezing blood all over the the place—the walls, the floor, herself, etc.—requiring a call to the emergency vet, with all that going on, the idea that we weren't tired seemed laughable. The fact that I hadn't taken my thyroid pill that morning while trying to contain the massive canine bloodspray was now starting to take effect, making me even more slow-moving and foggy-headed.
'Tis the season for exhaustion, I suppose, but it is really okay.
I've discovered that some years, I feel like I have this Christmas thing all under control. Gifts are purchased ahead, then wrapped and hidden, the budget makes sense, holiday cards are sent out by the 10th of December, etc. I have it together. Last year I felt like this, and I was overflowing with Christmas spirit and basking in the Advent season.
Other years, though, like this year...well, other years, it just feels tiring and out-of-sorts, as if nothing is going to come together. Our holiday cards were supposed to arrive on Monday, for example, later than usual. They didn't. I called in, and there was a printing snafu, but they fixed it, and they would be overnighted for Wednesday delivery. When I checked in the next day, they were still listed as "printing." Another call relayed another snafu, so tomrorrow is hopefully our golden day. The Christmas presents for EJ seem pretty uninspired this year, and when they arrived via Amazon Prime yesterday (bless you, Amazon Prime), the box was so much smaller and less impressive than I expected. And our budget—well, our budget is so blown from hiring an organizer to help us with our house, and travelling to California last month, Mike and I have agreed not to buy each other any presents.
Ho, Ho, Ho!
You know what, though? Not one bit of this matters. As it turns out, whether I feel prepared or not, whether every item on my checklist comes with a hiccup or flies by without a problem, and whether our budget is tight or stretched to its end, Christmas comes, and everything is great. All the running about and worrying doesn't make a difference, so even though I feel out of sorts, I'm reminding myself that I don't have it have it all together in order for Christmas to be wonderful.
Those holiday cards, so late in being finished, now are coming to me with free shipping via the one carrier who tends to deliver the most reliably, and with a 20% rebate on top of a 30% coupon I used at the time of purchase. That box of stuff for EJ did arrive—that's a blessing in and of itself with our spotty mail delivery—and if it takes up less space (read: CLUTTER), all the better, as it will make all the money we spent on the organizer more worthwhile. And as for Mike and I not buying anything for each other, that is about the nicest thing we have done for each other in years, reducing stress, financial strain, and "unnecessary buying for buying's sake."
So, as I sit here and type this during my 20 spare minutes today, sitting at a Target near EJ's school, waiting to drive over and hope I get parking to see her school holiday concert, I can just enjoy the time to myself, my gingerbread latte, and the knowledge that Christmas comes to the happy and the harried all the same. Namaste.