I try to like Christmas, I really do. But, the scandalous truth is that I just don't. (Admitted with furtive glances about in case someone overheard - like some big, fat jolly guy in a red suit).
I think it is about the pressure. I heard a news report this morning saying the "frenzy" begins after Thanksgiving, so clearly I can't be the only one to feel the craziness.
Pressure comes from the deadline to shop, wrap gifts and clean house. When I've traveled other years, the pressure was immense. Pressure mounts when I look at my schedule and try to find spots to bake and decorate amidst the concerts and parties and gatherings. How to handle multiple high-cost purchases at one time? The credit card balance rises and so does my discomfort.
Okay, as a recovering perfectionist, I admit that it's also about the pressure to be perfect. I am nervous about trying to find the "perfect" gift for everyone on my list. I get nervous just thinking about trying to hit the bulls eye every time. I feel compelled to put up the front that I am thoroughly enjoying all the holiday hubbub and strive to remain gracious and focused in the midst of the chaos.
I sound like a mean, old curmudgeon don't I? Don't answer that ... I know I do.
If you ask my parents or my husband, they might tell you that I never was very good at doing what I was told. If someone tells me to do something (i.e.buy copious amounts of expensive gifts and place them under a picture-perfect tree) I get my back up. Can't help it. Like a dog chases cats, I resist taking instructions.
Now, you obviously would say "No one is telling you to do these things. You are creating your own pressure." You would be right in saying so. I admit that I am a wimpy victim of the massive Christmas commercialization and hype machine. I fall prey to the image of beautiful family moments and luscious meals. I yearn for peace and joy in my heart and in my home.
Give my head a shake. 2009 will be different. I declare it here. This year, I will map out a plan for Christmas that makes me happy and fulfilled. I will keep my head about me as I shop and purchase things for those people I love that will be perfect because I chose them with love. I can keep our schedule slow and preparations simple. Really it's just a matter of being centered and grounded in my mission to be aware of what is good and true about Christmas. Decide what matters and stick to it. Simple, peaceful and true. Happy Holiday preparations everyone - and I really mean that!