So, we're here. It's upon us. Christmas is here. It's Christmas Eve Eve, which to my children means that Christmas is here. And I am not ready. Not even close. Not even close to being close. My house is a mess. Better than that, it's a disaster. I need to clean and tidy and vacuum and mop. I have hours of cleaning ahead of me. I have bags in the back of my car. I've started purchasing for my kids but I have no idea what I've gotten. It's all been a crazy chaotic blurr. The traffic, the insane drivers, the crowds, the lines, the mass disorganization has my head spinning. I have clothes in the back of the car. Lots and lots of clothes. My kids need clothes desperately and I've scored some amazing sales. I need fillers and they need clothes. Seems like a win-win situation for me!
Of course I can just see the enthusiasm as my 11 year old son opens boxes of clothes. Clothes are so not his thing. But I needed filler and he needs clothes. And that's how I'm operating this year, dammit! Gift cards are the hot ticket item this season. My older two want gift cards. Boring gift cards. I understand them wanting to shop and being able to pick out the things that they want. Rebecca will spend hours in the mall (Lord help me!) and I am not all entirely sure what Christopher will do with his. Alexander is easy. He still likes toys. Toys make everything easier. Why do kids have to grow up?
So you see, I find Christmas quite painful. Rebecca will get her gift cards and she will be over the moon delighted. She'll start plotting out her trip to this store and that store. This is a case of this hurts me more than it hurts you
. I'm not a big shopper. In fact, truth be said, I really hate
shopping. If I need something I go in for what I want. I don't have any desire to walk around aimlessly in and out of stores. My legs get sore. My feet ache. My back hurts. Can we go home yet? Are we there yet? Ok, that looks good, now let's get out of here!
If I could I would groan. Rebecca got shortchanged. She got a mother who does not like to shop. She got a mother who hates to shop. Joy will be the day when she can wander the mall alone, without me. Ugh, no that won't be joyous at all. I won't have a Mall Rat for a daughter! There's still time. Maybe those gift cards can still be returned... They certainly haven't been wrapped.
I will try to hide in the playroom and wrap this afternoon. I'm really hoping the kids will let me. I'll set everything up on the craft table and I'll turn on the television to entertain me. I'll organize the gifts in to piles and then I will panic if one child gets more than the other because you know
they're counting and comparing! Boy did my parents have it easy with my being an only child! I'll look at the boxes I bought, glance at the gifts, the rolls of wrapping paper and stick-on bows... I have the tape and the scissors and am ready to go. I start to panic. I can feel it. My heart rate speeds up. I start to feel warm. I take off my sweater. My chest tightens up.The wrapping is overwhelming. I'm overwhelmed. I can't do it. I have to. I can't back down! I'll go downstairs, pad across the family room where the kids will be watching TV, open up a cabinet, grab a glass, grab the bottle of red on the counter-top, and pad back across the family room and back up to the playroom. I'll pour myself a little glass of hope, take a sip, and get to work.
I used to love
to wrap bk... (before kids.) Back then I would painstakingly dress up packages in beautiful papers and elegant ribbons. In those days each package looked like something that could adorn the cover of Martha Stewart's Living magazine. With each and every kid I had, my patience grew less and less. Soon, a love for wrapping became pure hatred. I've developed sort of a fear of it lately, maybe even a phobia. Is it Toomuchtowrapaphopia? Fearofbrightlycoloredpaperaphobia?
I ask myself why do we wrap? Where did this tradition come from? (Note to self: Google history of wrapping!) Why can't we just leave everything under the tree as is and have a free for all?
Each gift takes about 3-5 minutes to wrap and 15 seconds to unwrap. Do the math. The numbers just don't add up. This seems like both a waste of time and energy. Seems like this is neither good for our trees or landfills. Sorry Hallmark.
Don't even get me started on the mess the torn wrapping paper makes! This is another phobia of mine, torn shreds of paper, and wadded up paper balls strewn across my floors. Bits of ribbon here... bits of cardboard there... It drives me mad! I can't sit idly and let the colorful papers cover my floor like confetti after some grand celebration... I can't. I start to itch and twitch. STOP!
I shout to the kids. I make whoever is unwrapping take a timeout. I run to the kitchen in full blown panic attack mode and open the cabinet beneath the sink. I've got the Glad bag in my hand, my breathing slows, my pulse slows... soon all will be OK with the world again! My family knows this about me. One of my little foibles.
Now I'm sitting on my bed (that needs to be stripped) in my pink and green Lilly Pulitzer pajamas (Christmas present to myself last year) and I am tuning out everything around me. I'm experiencing typical ADHD avoidance. I need to change 4 beds. I need to shower. I need to make breakfast. I need to pick up a few presents and I need to wrap and I wonder just how much longer I can put that off. Is it too early to pour myself a cup of cheer?
Next year I vow to have everything taken care of by Thanksgiving!