Trimming the Christmas Have to Do’s

Trimming the Christmas Have to Do’s

I always forget just how exhausting December is. I have had tunnel vision for the last few weeks, working to wrap up important work projects before the holiday break, while still studying for my last set of final exams ever! While the weeks leading up to Christmas are some of my favorite time of the year, in other years it has felt like I’m running a gauntlet trying to get everything done that is normally on my schedule, while finding time to buy, wrap, and mail presents and greeting cards to friends and family, attend holiday get-togethers, pick and decorate our family Christmas tree, and coordinate the maze-like logistics of family travel plans. This year probably because of how utterly focused I have been on work and school I have been somewhat buffered from the sheer intensity of holiday planning and it has been great! It is exactly mid-December, and I am actually feeling somewhat rejuvenated now that my exams are past. It is practically a pre-Christmas miracle. By this time of the month in previous years, I would have dutifully sent out our family holiday cards, shipped presents, trimmed the tree, and made copious batches of sugar cookies for friends and neighbors. Notice the letter “I” popping up a lot in this missive? As the self-appointed head elf of my family’s holiday planning committee, I have always taken on the majority of the duties of transforming the weeks leading up to Christmas into a wonder filled time. While everyone in my family is grateful (usually), it is still exhausting to take on so many small projects in order to make the holiday feel as special as possible. So with the exhausted memories of Christmas past, here is what I will and won’t be doing with the nine days left between this post, and the tearing of wrapping paper beneath the Christmas tree:

  1. Speaking of Christmas tree. I’m officially saying no thanks to the usual conifer monstrosity that ends up shedding needles conveniently all over my carpet and instead going for the absolute smallest tree that will not need to be tied precariously to the top of my car while we take on the highway at 25 MPH. A miniature Christmas bush (is that a thing?). Heck, an overly large poinsettia will probably do at this point. We just need an anchor point in the living room for the presents. Speaking of presents…
  2. Keeping it simple (you fill in the blank). What two to three things would each person in my life that I truly care about want? Trolling through Target just looking for a few more small items so that it can look like there are more presents underneath the Christmas bush, is a horrendous waste of my time, when there are many hours of WestWorld that need to be binge-watched between now and New Year’s. Speaking of selectively pruning…
  3. Trimming the Holiday commitments. A few weeks ago, when Christmas planning was a mere sugar plum whisper in my mind, I told my husband I wanted to keep it real simple this year when it came to get-togethers. We live closer to his side of the family, and while I enjoy spending quality time with extended family, hosting folks over for the holidays is downright exhausting. We are now planning to spend New Year’s Eve and the following day at his mother’s house for a more intimate family experience, which means Christmas and the days following can be spent lounging around in my pajamas without a care in the world.

Even with a carefully curated Christmas activity wish list, there are always traditions that regardless of how tired I am, are worth doing to make the holidays truly feel like the holidays. Taking in my towns’ annual production of the Nutcracker. Picking out the just perfect set of holiday greeting cards from Barnes and Noble, and hanging up our beautiful LED icicle light garland on our front porch. Are you going all out this holiday or selectively trimming the have to do’s to leave room for the truly want to do’s (hot chocolate anyone)?

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