I love Christmas. I do a lot of Christmassy things in December but rarely as many as I initially intend. Perhaps I could keep up with the expectations of a Martha Stewart-esque holiday if I had her staff and budget, but I don't. Over time my ambitious holiday to do lists must evolve to reflect a busy holiday reality.
Below are 40 moments from my typical holiday shame spirals.
- Great! I have enough Pampers “Gifts to Grow” points (what my husband calls “Camel Cash for Kids”) to get free Shutterfly photo cards.
- I have no idea what pictures to use.
- These pictures with this template look great. I'm a genius of graphic design.
- Cards ordered!
- I'm so excited to send these cards to people.
- [Package arrives a week later] Oh shit. The cards. I need to send these to people.
- Where the hell are the addresses from last year?
- I've addressed enough cards for today. I'll do the rest later.
- If I send the rest of these cards now there's no way they'll arrive before Christmas.
- It will be good to hold on to 20 extra copies of this year's holiday card as keepsakes anyway.
(My early ambivalence toward a Christmas tree is the only tradition execution that becomes more ambitious as Christmas nears.)
- Do I really want to deal with a real tree again?
- Maybe I just won't do a tree at all. I've done that a few years, and it was okay.
- No. I want a tree.
- But this weekend is too busy to get one.
- And the house isn't ready.
- Okay. Let's get a tree.
- No, we can't decorate it yet. You're supposed to wait 24 hours to let a boughs settle or the temperature to regulate or something.
- [3-4 days later] Shit. I need to decorate this tree.
- [Getting repeated poked by needles as I try to put on the lights] I hate real trees. Next year I'm getting one of those pre-lit fake ones.
- [After using hanging less than half of the ornaments] That's enough for now. I'll finish later.
- [After never hanging the other ornaments] It's a good thing I never took the decorations boxes back to the basement because now they are right here so I can pack up the ornaments.
- I hate undecorating the tree. Next year I'll be one of those people who stores a fully decorated tree in the basement.
- It looks so pretty when houses are all decorated with Christmas lights.
- We should decorate our house with Christmas lights.
- Even the four year old keeps asking when we'll decorate our house.
- Where would we plug in lights? How would we hang them? I really hate ladders.
- I'll just wrap some garland around the railings and put a wreath on the door. I don't want people lurking outside my house in the dark anyway.
Elf on the Shelf
- We're not religious, so we don't need an Advent calendar.
- But an Advent Calendar is a fun way to count down to Christmas even if Advent isn't a meaningful concept to my kids.
- I'll make a cool Advent calendar. Some of the ideas on Pinterest look great and are really easy.
- I don't have time to make an Advent calendar, so I'll buy one of the ones with little openings to fill with my own things.
- The supermarket cardboard ones filled with chocolate are fine.
- Hey kids, you get three candies tonight because we keep forgetting to do the Advent calendar!
- I'll make the dough now then roll, cut, and bake the cookies later. The kids can help decorate them. In the meantime, I'll just eat this chunk of dough.
- Having the kids help decorate the cookies will be a mess. I'll do them all myself. In the meantime, I'll just eat this chunk of dough.
- Actually, the cookies are pretty enough on their own. I'll roll, cut and bake them, but leave them au naturel. In the meantime, I'll just eat this chunk of dough.
- My husband went out, and the kids are in bed. I'll just eat this chunk of dough.
- There isn't enough dough to make baking cookies worth it. I might as well just eat the dough.
- I'd better ask Santa for new pants. These ones shrunk.
Be honest. Do all of your holiday "to do" lists always get "to done" entirely? What corners do you cut?