Christmas Looms

At 2 am this morning I was convinced that I’d ruined Christmas, as if Christmas was my job to get right for my entire family instead of a mutual creation. But 2 am is not a rational hour and the illogical thoughts capered through my brain refusing to calm down or cooperate. I knew that if I could only sleep, things would look better in the morning. I would then be able to sort the tasks which needed to be done and actually do them. Step one was to fall asleep and that was proving tricky.

I did it to myself really. I spent from 10 am to 2 pm out with Howard, visiting the doctor, a restaurant and three different stores. We returned home with our selections for Christmas morning surprises, carefully chosen. As I tweeted during lunch: The fate of Christmas morning rested upon those purchasing decisions. It doesn’t of course. Christmas isn’t in the gifts, packages, boxes, or tags. The Grinch reminds me of this every year and I always manage to forget it at some point during the next year. We arrived home tired. I napped a bit, but then my youngest needed help cleaning his room because he was inclined to just clear the middle by shoving things to the edges. We cleaned, I caught a brief nap, friends stopped by, I realized I had not yet run to the grocery store despite the fact that it had been high on the priority list for two days. The grocery run brought me home just in time to cook a fish stick dinner for the kids and then dash out into the night for a social evening with friends. Hours of talking (and laughing) later I drove home–too tired to even make conversation on the drive. It was a day with no time for stopping or relaxing, no time for my brain to sort the day or settle it. So I found myself in the darkest hour of night with capering thoughts that I knew were irrational, but could not stop.

I’m not sure when sleep managed to arrive, one of my tactics was to refuse to check the clock. Eventually I woke up this morning able to finally do things to feel that Christmas will be fine. Most of what I need to do is take kids shopping. Four kids. Four shopping trips. All on the Saturday before Christmas. I’m going to be tired by the end of today. Hopefully I’ll be able to cultivate a holiday shopping zen rather than having the entire experience be miserable. Or perhaps I should let it be miserable in the hope that next year the kids will think about Christmas options earlier in the month.

For now, I need to change out of pajamas and let the shopping begin.That, and hope that having had my Christmas is ruined panic last night, I can maybe skip that part of Christmas eve.