It's not that I lack the holiday spirit, most years I just don't have the time.
Last year was a stressful time around the holidays.
My tree was barely up, and if not for the snowy day that kept me indoors it would probably have been naked through Christmas. I spent the day preparing the house and all, so it was spiffy and festive. Then the whole business came down New Year's Eve day.
We had been doing the necessary prep for putting our house on the market right after the new year. Oh, yeah, we moved. Downsized. To our dream house in our dream neighborhood. I just wasn't into the added burden of making the house show ready.
My friend (you know who you are) has her holiday home set up just after Thanksgiving. She is a decorating genius, and although that is not what she does for a living she definitely should. Gorgeous. She puts a lot of thought, time and effort into her decorations and changes them up a lot from year to year. Her house is a wonderland, something beautiful in every corner. Nothing too big or too small, everything is perfect. Really, it's so good you have to just say "YES, this is it, this is exactly how I want my house to look at the holidays", and then you just give up because it's just too much pressure. But you're ok with just your own inexpert attempt at decorating. She amazes me, really, good at everything she does. And I don't say that just because I know she will read it. Anyway, her house was still beautifully festive at Little Christmas.
I did all my shopping online 2 weeks before Christmas and not one minute before. Including a kitchen table and chairs for one of my kids, why the hell not, free delivery. No need to go to the mall, I made that mistake on a Wednesday about one week after Thanksgiving. A week day. It took me a long time to find a parking spot, and there were too many people inside anyway. I can't stand crowds and have no patience. I just left and found a spot to eat my lunch before heading to work at 3PM. I can't even remember what I wanted there so I must not have needed it too badly. I spent one day running around for odds an ends I needed 4 days before Christmas and went to all local stores. I wrapped and was ready 2 days before, never have I ever.
And I had a week off. That was nice, not working Christmas. So I said to myself,
"Self, you have worked it for over 40 years, saying no from here on out. Deal with it, bitches".
So this year I said no to working Thanksgiving and took another Christmas week off. And I don't feel one bit guilty.
Tomorrow I will get my tree up. I have some stuff left from my old house but have some ideas for decorating around the new one. Snowy day today, after walking the dog I spent the afternoon gluing sparkly embellishments on some mantle decorations and futzing with the twinkly lights. Very Hallmark.
My wacky ex neighbor always has his ridiculous lawn display up in time for Thanksgiving. Last year he barely managed to get his light-up menagerie set up about a week before, and only did about 1/2 of the lights. I still couldn't figure out if there was any uniformity or theme. And I did kind of miss the one-eared moose. Oh, sorry that was his wife. I passed by last night to discover that his menagerie is now one hundred percent dogs. I had no idea there were that many decorative light up dog displays to be had, but he managed. Fascinating.
There will be no display my new neighborhood. Just quiet, tasteful window lights (white), mine are on order. Door wreath, of course. Some have a little tree or festive greenery in an urn on the front porch. Very low key. Yesterday I came home from work at 1 AM to discover that someone had placed identical red bows on each of the 18 identical light posts in the neighborhood. Today I discovered that one of them was blue. One. I wonder if it is an acknowledgment of a non-christian belief system, or a random act of rebellion. Don't ask, don't tell. It is a condo association, they are mostly older than I am except for the Asian family across the street who have the only child on the street. They have a red bow. Not that it matters. The phantom bow-er knows, which is important information for clandestine midnight bowings.
I worked a few hours at the Medde Center this past week, and the Christmas Madness Project continues. It's just as out of control, only now with fewer contributors. They are still asking people to give more while providing less to staff. I was handed a hospital "Christmas Gift". A $15.00 gift card to a local supermarket. In past years they gave out free turkeys, a $25 gift card, and a $50 cash gift from the physicians. It's a sign of the times for this hospital. At my main job at Pseudocity, I was handed bonus check for several hundred dollars and a gift card for a free anytime meal at the cafe since I'm not working Christmas. I'm so excited I might even make the cookie exchange this year.