December 18, 2010

The Christmas Crunch

How on earth did Christmas sneak up so quietly? Apparently this year no amount of jingle bells or horribly overplayed songs about a hippopotomus were successful in alerting me to this holiday's rapid approach. The tree is lit but not decorated, a few presents have been ordered but not delivered, and I have more baking to do before Christmas eve than Keebler. When I was little, this season was filled with adorable art projects, chocolate advent calendars, sticky gingerbread houses, and class parties. My biggest worries were whether the tree was evenly ornamented and making sure we had a big enough carrot to leave out for Rudolph (yes, my poor father was forced to gnaw on a huge carrot every Christmas eve to keep the magic alive) Now, the days leading up to Christmas are filled with stress instead of excitement, as I struggle to pick, afford, acquire, and then wrap the perfect gift for everyone on my (rather long) list. To me, the best part of this whole holiday is making it wonderful for those around me, which means that all this effort more than pays off in the end, but it also means that I often get a little lost in the pressure. This, combined with my finely honed procrastination techniques and my inexplicable impairment when it comes to wrapping even the squarest of things, always results in a sleepless Christmas eve. I'm surprised I've never run into Mr. Claus himself as I stumble blearily to bed each year in the wee hours of the morning. This year, though, I feel more behind than ever, and now with a week to go the marathon begins. Luckily I have Monday off to get things done, but I don't doubt that come midnight on Christmas eve you will find me spread out on the living room floor, clutching my cup of coffee like a life raft in a sea of bows and wrapping paper.



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