Not alone in holiday frustrations
Updated: January 23, 2012 10:02AM
“I completely agree, Maria! I wouldn’t miss the holidays if they only happened every other year.”
“I’m totally with you on the every-other-year holidays idea. Who do we call to immediately postpone 2011?”
Oh, did I get the emails on my last column. And moms stopping me at the grocery store. And strangers pulling me aside at restaurants. Yes, the votes came in. Our Lake Forest and Lake Bluff world at large (or at least the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff mothers world at large) would not miss the holidays if they became bi-annual. In fact, the consensus seemed to be that life would vastly improve if this month’s long to-do list would suddenly be eliminated completely. To tell you the truth, I was really only venting, but I loved the support on this one.
A few funny (as in ironic) things happened to me since I wrote that column. I realized that I wasn’t in this alone. I’m not the only one constantly scrambling through December, lying awake at night thinking about what I didn’t get done that day and how I’m going to possibly fit it in tomorrow.
I also realized that we moms are all equally and completely overwhelmed, to the point of having regular brain freezes. Remember me saying that I got really early Christmas cards this year, as in the week before Thanksgiving, and I was in complete disbelief? Well, three of those friends sent me the same Christmas card two weeks later, and I suddenly felt tons better because that’s something I would do and I got confirmation that Christmas is just too darned much to keep track of for all of us.
In my house, a few of the traditional Christmas tasks just didn’t quite go as planned, but I also realized that I wasn’t alone in my frustrations.
We finally came to the conclusion that our Christmas tree lights this year must have gremlins, because they have had no rhyme or reason to staying lit. We brought the tree up. We lit the lights. They’d go on; they’d go off. We’d get them all on, drag out the boxes of ornaments, and they’d go off again. On day five of this little exercise in futility, we wrapped the tree back up, brought it down to the basement, and happily have a little Charlie Brown tree in its place. When I called friends to gripe, I heard many tales of tabletop trees this year, and even no trees. Oh, the joy of sharing the pain.
Our Christmas photo this year was taken in color, and changed to black and white for the card. When the shipment of cards came in the mail, we weren’t black and white; we were black and neon glow. Our white shirts and white teeth positively glowed on the card. Did they make the black too black and the white too white? I shielded my eyes, laughed, and we sent them out anyway.
So, what’s the moral of these Christmas tales? I believe that we are all just hanging on, doing the best we can, and what did or didn’t go as planned for this year won’t stop Christmas from arriving in two short days and leaving us just as quickly. And the bigger moral of the story? In three days, we’ll be back in our jammies having movie marathons. And that’s when the “happy” part will join the “Happy Holidays!”
Lake Forester columnist Maria Malin can be reached at email@example.com