Saturday, December 22, 2012

Taming the Ugly Beast

Yesterday, I had an attack of what could be called the Festive Frenzies. The Merry-Christmas-Madness. Holiday Hysteria.

It was ugly.

It all started innocently enough, though, with lots of optimistic plans for a busy and productive day. I got up super-early to do all my usual stuff, work on making a meal to take somewhere, organize a baby shower, plan my day, and help make a big pancake breakfast for the family. Then we rushed out the door to spend an hour delivering cards and Christmas treats to the neighbors. After that my mom and I rushed out the door again to do an hour and a half of shopping for Christmas dinner (in a packed store, which I always find exhausting!).

When we got home, I was tired and hungry and ready to stop. But I couldn't... because when I walked in the door, there was a herd of hungry, cranky people to feed, and a mess in the kitchen that would "turn a Christian's stomach," as the old saying goes (and that saying was usually used to describe particularly gory war wounds!). For the next three hours, I served food, tried to put away an ridiculous amount of groceries, attacked stacks of dishes three feet high, all while trying to finish cooking several items and combat a mess that looked like Sherman's army had just vacated the premises - with several cranky children complicating the situation.

By the time it was all over, I was exhausted, starving, cranky, snappy, and frankly, near tears. I ended up losing my temper - badly - several times with the children, was a stressed-out mess, and was (I hate to admit it) a misery to live with for several hours until I calmed down.

Wait a minute! Hold everything! This is not how I wanted my Christmas season to be! 

My idea of celebrating the Christmas season is one of beauty, joy, and calmness (though the calmness part is hard with kidlets around). Lots of fun activities, but only so many as can be done without stress. Lots of sitting around the fire with hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music and making paper snowflakes with the children. Lots of driving through silent streets looking at Christmas lights and talking about the first Christmas. NOT me making myself and everyone else miserable as I work myself into a frustrated, irritable monster of Christmas-productivity frenzy.

Yes, this would be more of the idea. 
So after the nightmare of yesterday, I sat down and looked at my schedule for the next four days. No doubt about it, there's a lot going on. And most of it has to be done. I can't show up at my Christmas Eve job and say, "Sorry, didn't practice, trying to focus on the important things of life, you know." Presents have to be wrapped, dishes have to be done, etc. etc. etc.

But everything non-essential has gotten the axe. Farmer's market? Gone. Extra errands? Nope. And Christmas cookies? Well, they will get done - but not till after Christmas. It's not worth the killer stress to try to cram them into already over-crowded days and make everyone miserable in the process.

And I have put "sit down, have hot chocolate, and make paper snowflakes" on my to-do list for the day! (Or rather, everyone else can have the chocolate, and I'll stick with the snowflakes!)

And hopefully yesterday will remain an isolated incident, despite the overwhelming amount of STUFF that remains to be done around here.

(*Note to self AGAIN - Make Christmas cookies earlier in the month!)

I hope that each of you has a wonderful and blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our savior. I hope that you are enjoying this time with your families, and that the coming week is a truly lovely and memorable time for you. I probably won't have time to blog for some time, so in the meantime....


Love to you all! 

Return of the dishwasher bandit! 

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