Believe it or not Halloween has come and gone. I say that because we still have enough candy to feed an entire neighborhood of eager trick-or-treaters. And do you know what that means? Have you been to a mall lately? A Hallmark store? It's the holiday season folks. Christmas is coming, get your jingle bells on .
I used to be a Christmas freak. I couldn't wait to pull out all the decorations and transform our ordinary home into a festive holiday wonderland. I insisted on a tree the day after Thanksgiving. I decorated with candles, poinsettias and ribbon. I hosted cocktail parties, and bought the latest Christmas CD. I was a bonafide Christmas Jew.
Over the last several years however, it as if someone was slowly letting the air out of my big jolly balloon, and this year, I am afraid I may fall entirely flat. As the holiday approaches I feel less merry and more stressed out. Perhaps this explains why every "Woman's" magazine features countless articles on simplifying the holidays from October to January.
I can't seem to help myself. When I think about the season I envision dragging out all of the clutter from storage-I have no space for my every day belongings, where am I suppose to put my fine collection of Christmas tree candles? I think about the pine needles endlessly falling from the tree. I think of all the shopping, so much shopping, so much money, money, money. Trust me, I love shopping, I adore giving gifts, and perhaps that is the problem. I always overspend, leaving me feeling guilty and guaranteeing that my husband and I will be caught in an endless battle of the budget each December. And please, no comments about crafty gifts for less, I am no Martha Stewart. I don't sew, I don't can, I don't preserve and don't use a glue gun, thank you very much.
Finally, I know children are suppose to bring the magic to the holidays, but to be honest, I found that since I have had kids I have felt a tremendous pressure to make Christmas special. To create amazing traditions and memories. Somehow my lame attempts at cookie baking never seem to measure up.
I know I am getting away from the true reason for the season. At the risk of offending my more religious readers, to me the true meaning of the holidays is family. Celebrations where you get everyone together, grandparents, cousins, sisters and brothers. Which is great. Except we live miles and miles and miles away from our families, so being together entails a lot of work and stress. It means packing, shipping gifts, finding pet sitters, and flying with small children at the busiest time of the year, (and did I mention flu season?) All of which quite frankly put me in a rather foul mood.
So here I am at the begining of November already full of dread for what used to be one of my favorite times of the year. So tell me, what's a girl to do? How can I learn to love Christmas again?