Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stress and Christmas

It's like Peanut Butter and Jelly or maybe more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I don't understand people who at least don't have a little bit of stress around the holidays, it's un-American.  I know for certain that come December 26th ish (maybe the 29th because this year we are doing a post Christmas gift exchange with Jeff's family), regardless, somewhere after Christmas in January perhaps I will sleep much better than I am sleeping right now.  I believe that even Santa, in all of his cookie eating and list checking is probably not getting to sleep immediately at night either thinking of all the things that must be done the next day. 

Last night I wrapped most, not all, of the presents.  I don't, obviously, wrap my own gifts that Jeff has bought for me.   But I wrap pretty much the rest of the gifts that are to be given by The Carey's.  I was so proud of myself for doing it early, not waiting until Christmas Eve.  I didn't want to wait this year, because I knew I would have other things to do on Christmas Eve.  The staging for the kids had to be done, the cameras charged, breakfast premade in the fridge ready to pop in the oven, Christmas lunch to at least have been prepped, Chrismas Eve Mass to be attended and obviously Christmas Eve festivities. 

There would be no wrapping on Christmas Eve. 

Jeff came into the room, probably to sneak a peak at his gifts, and said - "wow, you are wrapping on the 19th, not the 24th".  He said it with sarcasm and didn't look altogether too complimentary.  Well, my response was reserved, I could have said all manner of things that would have ended with "coal in your stocking!" but instead I said in a very mature tone, "I am trying to minimize my stress".  Which is exactly what I was trying to do!

This is the response I got.  "Stress?  Stress!   Why would Christmas make you stress?  It is my time to de-stress!"  

Well, the first thing I have to say to that is Bah Humbug.  I am trying to do less, shop less, worry less, clean less, cook less, eat less, everything less in order to make sure there is time to worship more, play more, sing more, love more - you get the drift.  But, I admit, there will still be a bit of stress.  I am not on a desert island with palm tress blowing in the wind and yes, my name is Dawn Carey - there will be stress.  Does this man not know me?  Have we not been married for almost 10 years?  So, instead of helping me wrap a few gifts, buy a few presents, plan a few meals, I get harangued for stressing out about what I still have to do in five days time.  Bah Humbug to that. 

I reminded him, my tone had changed a bit, that 90% of his and the rest of the houses Christmas was being accomplished by MOI!  I realize that he works and I do not.  And it has not been pleasant of late and that he really looks forward to taking to some time off and spending quality time with the family.  But still, if he has so much free time on his hands that he isn't even thinking about something to do with Christmas, do I have a list for you! 

Not for sympathy, more for evidence here is a bit of a list for next week.
First of all, we will have guests.  That means a toilet or two must be cleaned (or the whole house, however you want to look at it.)
Guests mean more food, even if it is hotdogs and chips (which it most assuredly will not) you still have to go shopping for said food.)
Christmas Eve, Christmas Breakfast and Christmas Dinner must all be planned  (they are all but planned, just finishing touchs and I need to think about the shopping and prepping).
Cookies, candy, desserts, etc must be baked and delivered to friends.
The rest of the packages must first be received from UPS (at least all are purcashed) and wrapped.
Christmas cards must be addressed (admittedly this could have been done a long time ago and is simple procrastination) and mailed.
Children must be entertained, fed, bathed, rested, clothed, wiped (both ends) and cuddled.
Children must be taught the real meaning of Christmas.
Christmas specials that only come on once a year, must be watched!
I absolutely have to get to the gym a couple of times otherwise this extra five pounds will consider taking up permanent residence.

I am not sure what your list looks like, but this is what I recommend.  First of all, ask your dear, dear spouse who seems to have been born with no stress in his DNA, if he could alleviate one or two of these items.  Second, look at this list sternly and decide what is not a priority and eliminate something if not two somethings.  Third, say a little prayer and have a drink of wine and maybe just maybe this lovely blessed Christmas will be a little less stressful and a lot more Christ like. 

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