I'm tired.
Yesterday I wrapped K's gifts (that boat was a tough one), the gifts for all the cousins (and realized I had forgotten one, Oldest came to my rescue), decorated the house, ironed the clothes the boys need for their performances (Middle tonight, Youngest Monday), and stressed the whole day.

Today I will bake half a dozen cranberry-orange breads (the neighbors), make the cookie dough (two or three kinds), and wrap the rest of the gifts. The last few cards need to be posted and I must remember to 'gift' the postman, the newspaper man and the music teacher.

K has finished two editing jobs in town and is, I think, home now, for the holidays. He has his own long list of things to do.

While it's good to have physical things to do (laundry and a wine run) I know that we both have mental strain tearing at us and that is exhausting as well. It's crunch time and we need it to be Christmas already.

Middle is still sick (three weeks) and the kids at school are buzzing around Youngest and unsettling him (he's not the type to get jitzy before the holidays). Thus far, I have been able to keep Youngest away from Middle and, therefore, healthy, but I got a stern warning from the pediatrician about not letting Youngest get sick as the virus Middle and I have battled will wreck havoc on his delicate system. Another worry.

We have the Hanging Of The Greens at church on Sunday and then a feast at K's sister's house.
Church again on Monday and then Christmas breakfast with my family here.
It feels like the roller coaster is inching up the first incline and we are close to teetering at the top.

I feel this way every year.
I'm sure that once I have the baking and wrapping finished I will let my mind rest a bit - but for now all I can do is angst over getting it all right.
I've check the archives. I was in exactly the same place last year.

This year I did remember to watch my favorite movie.


Anonymous said…
Breathe. Christmas is going to come whether you are ready or not. And you seem to be doing way to much WORK to enjoy the actual holiday. I did not do half the decorating this year as in the past and do you think one of my teenagers noticed of commented?? No. I showed up the PO yesterday and sent out of states present a DAY LATE!! OMG. You know what..they will get there. Here is the deal, your family HAS Christmas, you DO Christmas. And most of the pressure is self imposed. I went to the funeral last week of a friends 20 year old son. Life is to short, so stop stressing and kiss the boys and enjoy a bit.
blackbird said…
hmmm, Gabe is a smart fellow...
Eliane said…
I feel enormously privileged that I get to witness your American christmas first hand. Our cultural backgrounds are never as different as this time of year. But do make sure you keep enjoying!
Stephanie said…
I'd like to come and help you bake bread and wrap gifts.

Gabe is right but it will all be better once it starts rolling.)
Anonymous said…
gabe is a smart fellow.

I like him. I like gabe.

I like Gabe too. I think that I'm in your boat (but not K's boat, cause it's wrapped). But I think I'm gonna jump ship and go swimming with gabe (but not nekkid, cause I don't know him).

Love Actually is the most amazing movie. If a man did that scene for me, I would not run back into the house. Or maybe I would. But I would sure as hell give him a better kiss than that.

Merry Christmas baby!
Ditto everything Gabe said. Breathe. Go for a walk or just sit by the fire and think. Relax. Chaos and stress are not what Christmas is about.
alice c said…
You will be FINE.
(do you want me to say it louder?)
Anonymous said…
Hear, hear Gabe! There's no reason to make yourself feel like a hamster on a wheel - I guarantee the family will like you even more if you aren't utterly exhausted and cranky by Christmas Eve. The neighbors will probably be just as happy if you don't gift them, because then they won't feel the need to reciprocate.

Merry Christmas (accent on merry)
Anonymous said…
Oh the joy of run run, shop, bake, clean, cook. Yeah right. Christmas.
I must chime in and side with Gabe.
Love actually is absolutely a divine movie.
Keetha said…
You express so well the strain I think everyone is feeling.

I am giving myself Love Actually for Christmas. I love that movie. I remember your post last year about it.
Poppy B. said…
Oh, GREAT. So now I have a whole 90 minutes long MOVIE that I have to watch.

Just kidding. Here's my take on the whole Christmas situation: between moving back into the house after the renovations and all my musical performances, something had to give.

I have therefore scrapped all baking. I have not bought a single present yet. When I do buy presents, they are likely to be gift cards. There are no lights outside my house. I haven't sent any cards yet. I have bailed out of two parties.

My theory is that it's one Christmas out of many. And the first and most important one, didn't involve stringing lights or baking cookies.

Everyone who comments here is part of a huge heavenly host telling you to enjoy the season. Listen to them!


p.s. The girl in the movie--that was dooce, right?
Amy A. said…
Merry Christmas, bb. Take it easy and enjoy. Good for you, watching your favorite movie.
Unknown said…
Loved the film clip. Maybe i should rent that movie again.
Anonymous said…
Amen, let it go and enjoy the fun stuff. Don't let this wonderful time of year become a chore!
As far as this movie (which is one of the best EVER), your choice of scene? My other favorite classically romantic movie scene involving a boom box. Thanks for posting it.
BabelBabe said…
LOVE that movie, in my top five ever. i think i will watch it tonight.

i ditched the cards, and most parties. the minimal baking is actually fine, as it doubles as gifts to people who deserve them (teachers, etc.) but i am trying to breathe. and you should too. listen to Gabe. stress can make you sick, dear.
tut-tut said…
Gift cards, don't stress. I panicked for years about what to get my sister and her family, wrapping, getting the big box to the post office ON TIME, and the gift card took away all that away, like a magic pill . . .
Dancing Dear Bakery delivers some swell stuff, too, and helps out in their community. Just a thought for next year.
tut-tut said…
That would be Dancing Deer (though they ARE dears, especially on the phone).
Paula said…
Here at my house we have pared down with all the hoopla this year so we can just sit back and enjoy our good fortune and real blessings with Dale being home this year. I have to tell you, I like it so much it may just become our tradition.

But now that you brought it up, I just might be making some cranberry-orange bread or scones tomorrow...
Rae said…
You are writing my very feelings- my oldest son is old enough (5) to start worrying about having Christmas like "other people" and I am trying to not let that spin me out of control. It's supposed to be fun for everyone, right?

Anonymous said…
What the others said. Relax, enjoy. Gift cards, donations "in honor of" to a favorite charity, both can relieve some stress.

You might want to read my bah-humbug post of yesterday.
RW said…
I hear you.
I hear the others too. Finding a balance is the key. One of the things I struggle with is I love the genuine delight at the surprises and the little traditions I have not to continue has a much greater impact than me just deciding not to do this or that.

Just now my children are communicating how they love the little customs we have created.