On a scale of Grinch to Jesus, just how stressed are you about the big event? Hyperventilating yet? I’m not. Why? Because it’s CTFD Christmas baby, and I’m not riding that train this year (or ever again, actually. I retired. No longer eligible for visits to Santa’s Insane Asylum. Bummer.).
Not sure if you qualify for “Rescue Me” status yet? Try these questions on for size:
- Have Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover (wait, does anyone use that anymore?) on speed dial so you can check your available credit?
- Itemizing and listing gifts you have purchased to make sure you’re being FAIR and EQUAL and spending the SAME amount on each kid?
- Ghost of Christmas Present (aka- the super pleasant ding of your iphone task reminder) visiting you to remind you of all the shit you still have yet to purchase for all 150 of your closest friends and relatives?
- Bracing yourself for the righteous hasty judgment you’re about to endure from your pending houseguests regarding the acceptable cleanliness level of your house. That you live in. With real people. . . ?
- Baking and delivering cookies like Martha Stewart is your middle fu*#ing name?
- Knocking down the neatly stacked ornament tubs (spilling that stupid peanut shell “packing” crap everywhere) while frantically grabbing suitcases down from the top shelf of the closet?
- Have your present wrap time down to sub 2, per gift, with coordinating ribbon and tags thankyouverymuch?
- Mailed out 200 Christmas cards then had 50 returned because you forgot to: a) stamp them b) address them or c) both?
- Got a decent ab workout while simultaneously earning more anger/worry lines by smirking at the daily delivery of perfect family photos and accompanying shamelessly self promoting holiday letters describing the idyllic life you don’t have?
- Managing hangovers accrued from holiday parties or coping through family “fun”?
- Stepped on at least three broken glass “special” ornaments that were placed high on the tree that the kids are NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH?
- Running out of reasonable explanations to your children for why your breath smells like chocolate at any given time of day (damn that Godiva chocolate box your former realtor insists on giving you every year despite the fact that you haven’t given her any business for at least a half a decade)?
- Having a slight gag reflex at the sight of anything orange, or, shiver, crimson, because it reminds you of pumpkins and cranberries (of which you have found a ridiculous amount of ways to “experience” in your foods for the last five or so weeks)?
- Spent twelve hours manipulating (pun intended) the seating arrangements for dinner so Uncle Tom isn’t next to Aunt Ida who isn’t near cousin Jane who doesn’t like your sister-in-law who can’t be near a child because she is going through a rough time, and . . .
- Thanking GOD that a long sweater or shirt and leggings and boots qualify as “real clothes” this time of year and ignoring the fact that if you pair that with a vest and boots you look like Hans Solo. . . ?
Have I hit home yet? Guess what. There is a simple solution to all of it. Besides a trip to your local warehouse of choice for some oversized bottles of liquor (Costco, you so get me, thanks for being there), here’s another strategy for how to make the most of your Merry Little Christmas. Ready?
Step 1: Breathe
Step 2: CTFD
Step 3: BREATHE!
Oh, and maybe take some Advil, a B vitamin (or five), drink some tea and lemon water and go sweat it out with some exercise. That helps too.
Remember, when it is the hardest to breathe is when you need your breath the most.
So put down the scissors. Step away from the ribbon. Put your credit card back in your wallet. And just walk away from that scrub brush and the table diagrams. Let the chaos happen sans your management. You have enough. You’ve cleaned enough. You’ve baked enough. Your kids have enough gifts. Your presence is enough of a present for everyone. Christmas is about giving, not getting. Loving, not judging. Spending time, not money. Sharing friendship, not guilt. Spend the next week the way you want to, with the people you want to be with, and with the attitude you want to have. Chill out already. YOU are enough.