Sometimes I feel so excited about the holidays that I give myself a sore stomach. As a little kid, I used to get horribly sick on any and all holidays. I remember one particular Thanksgiving that need not be described in detail, but I was so sick that my parents ended up calling the emergency room to see if I needed to be brought in. I was simply overjoyed at the thought of celebrating with family and made myself violently ill. A brief history of my life could be titled "I'm So Excited I'm Puking" and it would really only need to be a cover and a title page.
I'm not sure what it is about my dysfunctional emotional brain, but the holidays really set it off for me. I compete with a few different emotions during the November to December months. First, I get so excited that I work myself into a Christmas frenzy on November 1. That means that by November 15th I can hardly hold off decorating and usually get out a sparkly pine cone or six that Ben then makes me put away. Once Thanksgiving dinner is in the oven, I'm over the turkey holiday and ready to wrap gifts. By the time Christmas finally rolls around, I've been planning and fretting and squealing for two months too long. And I suffer crippling defeat and disappointment.
I'm a nightmare. There's no winning. It seems like my painstakingly planned presents always fall short with somebody in the family. The ordered and addressed Christmas cards (Rifle Paper Co this year) are only in my hands for a few minutes before disappearing out the door. The Christmas tree, needles so bright and green at the end of November, are brittle in late December and one strand of lights has gone out already (always in the middle of the tree). And then it's horrible January and we have no space in the house for the new things and about five more months of Northwest winter.
I need to take a chill pill about the holidays, so I've put a few plans into action:
1. Buy the gifts early and slowly (starting now), so that I can enjoy a thoughtful shopping season that lasts!
2. Ben and I are going to give one gift, from the both of us, to family members so that we don't have to fret about buying the perfect thing for someone else's Mom. It also stretches the med school dollar further.
3. Lower my expectations and go with the Christmas planning flow. No need to worry about having the right Prosecco glasses. This year, I'll just focus on getting the right Prosecco.
4. Adhere to Ben's rule - no decor before the turkey leftovers are finished.
5. Plan something awesome for the early months of 2014 to defy the Christmas-come-down.
Do you guys struggle with these issues? Tell me your ways!