I have been meaning to write this post for at least week and kept getting side tracked. Work turned out to be busier than i expected and then i got sick. Reading Carmen’s This is Not a Test finally spurred me to action. It was refreshing to read that someone shares some of my feelings about the holidays. It was also the perfect reminder to just sit down and put the proverbial “pen to paper”
I am not a “holiday” person and i do find Christmas to be a test. If not a test, it is an intense exercise in keeping up with the Joneses. I have four nieces and a nephew. Every year i fight a battle with myself about how much money is enough and appropriate to spend on gifts. I save in advance, i plan and then the requests come flooding in: iPods, American Girl Dolls, video games and the like. No matter how prepared i think i am, it’s just plain overwhelming when the letters and emails start coming in.
Add to that, friends who like to live it up and think its acceptable to spend $500.00 on dinner. And the other friends who throw parties and expect a hostess gift not just your presence. Of course i have family that makes me feel like they want the title of “most likely to make you feel guilty while claiming they are not trying to make you feel guilty.” It is enough to make me cry. Literally. How is it that some people are so demanding and selfish especially at a time of year when it’s about giving and helping?
Despite my stress over the holidays and distaste for them, there are two things i truly enjoy doing: writing New Year’s cards and making cookies.
Since i am an adult now, i am slowing learning that what i love needs to be incorporated into the insanity if i want to stay sane. That’s not a novel thought, i know.
I skipped baking last year at the request of my partner. He was right but i still missed it. So i jumped at the opportunity for an impromptu cookie day at the office this year. Again, it soothed my soul to spend time in the kitchen baking. As the last 10 days of 2012 stare me down, i’m feeling the need to make some more cookies. Not necessarily for me to eat. People who love me know the love i put into baking. And of course, they cookies are a great hostess gift for those last second get togethers.
Thank you Carmen for the motivation! Here’s to staying sane and crossing the finish line.