Those who know me well know that I do not approve of stress over Christmas. Any given Christmas I do only those things that make sense for that year. If the thought of finding the time to get and decorate a tree makes my jaw clench, then I don’t have one. If I don’t have time to make the lovely handmade cards I usually make, I send e-cards instead. None of this makes me sad or unhappy. I can be perfectly content to have Christmas with a hot toddy and some knitting just as much as I love to spend it with lots of people and food and chaos.
Because we aren’t guaranteed a perfect Christmas every time and trying to create one frequently doesn’t. Letting it just be whatever it turns out to be is more likely to get me a little peace on earth and if it doesn’t then I’ll have a great story to tell.
I like to pretend my non attachment to Christmas Perfection keeps me saner than my fellows who are busy searching the crowded mall for this year’s in toy and trying to get their 2 yr old interested in building a gingerbread house.
What I do like to do is plan. That’s because I’m a planner. I love to make lists. Plus it helps me avoid the mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I even have an Excel program set up to track my Christmas projects. I carefully assess my situation in early Fall and make my decisions then. How much can I spend? Who is getting the handmade scarf and who will get a purchased trinket? Do I want to redo my door wreath this year? When do I need to mail gifts? Am I mailing gifts?
So this year it looked like I was going to be unemployed from mid December to the beginning of January. In spite of the budgetary concerns, I was actually pleased about this. I made plans to have a craft day with my granddaughter. I would do some of the projects piling up on my worktable. I would also have time to begin editing my novel and write a short story for my alumni literary publication. I would have time to do all the fun parts of Christmas at a relaxed pace.
Guess what? I’ve been offered work I can’t afford to turn down. What with work, holiday parties, and other Christmas stuff, suddenly every day, evening and weekend is full. My low key, low stress version has been replaced with the Santa’s wild ride version.
I can’t really pride myself on my non attachment this year either. Because it turns out my attachment isn’t to the perfect Christmas; it’s to not stressing over the perfect Christmas. Might as well let go of that one right now ’cause Santa’s taking a hard turn to the left and there’s deep snow below. Hang On!