Posted by: thewoobdog | December 19, 2012


(in the sense of a personal revelation, not the religious holiday [since it’s a bit early yet for that one]).  I finally figured out (thank you, Yarn Harlot) why I struggle so much during Christmas – well, during the Christmas season, to be more accurate. 

In my mind there are all these things I want to accomplish or do or experience, like putting up the tree and knitting gifts and decorating the house and baking cookies and basking in the joy of the season and reflecting on the reason we celebrate Christmas, and then I wake up one morning and realize Christmas is in six days and I’ve missed it all.  All of it.  My cards aren’t sent (heck, they aren’t even out of the box yet), my yard is still incongruously decorated with pumpkins and hay bales and scare crows (although TBear did put up the Christmas lights, which are beautiful, albeit a bit of an odd contrast against the extant harvest theme),  I’m still pretty sure there are people we don’t have gifts for, my knitting is so far behind the only way to deal with it is to ignore it, and nary a cookie has been baked.  I’m near tears in expectation of a family controversy over Christmas scheduling, my schedule is completely full for the next three nights so I have absolutely no way of checking off anything on my mental list, and Christmas is looming. 

Christmas shouldn’t loom, it should beckon, preferably in an enticing fashion, but it’s approaching and all I feel is a sense of panic and failure and a desperate urge to scramble about madly seeing if I can salvage my inner expectation of bringing it all perfectly into line.  I finally realized (cue Hallelujah Chorus and bright light) that it can’t be done.  Or maybe it can be done, but I can’t do it.  I work full time, I’ve had no lull this year at work in which to catch up on anything because I’ve been slammed with special projects that desperately need my particular skillset, I’ve been hit with family issues and even death, and I’ve made a commitment to myself to spend time exercising to positively impact my health and stress (my cholesterol has dropped over 30 points from exercise alone, no dietary changes and no medication). 

There’s a sense of relief in just realizing things won’t be perfect and nothing I can do will change that.  In fact, the more I try to accomplish, the further I will get from my perfect Christmas ideal – if I spend all my time doing I won’t have any time to just be, here and now, and I really will miss out on everything.  I’m not a kid anymore.  I don’t have unlimited time and minor responsibilities.  I have to choose what’s important to me – is it giving the perfect gifts and decorating the perfect home and sending the perfect cards, or is it being with the people I care about and giving them the gift of my time and sanity?  So some knitted gifts might be promises.  Some cards may remain unsent.  There might be scarecrows and pumpkins in the yard til January.  None of it matters – my family would rather have the unstressed, joyful me sitting amongst the gifts and wrappings than have the me that’s wild-eyed, sleepless, and snapping with stress and frustration, and if that means less pomp and circumstance on Christmas I’m sure they’ll consider it a well-made trade.  Besides, getting presents late is like having Christmas all over again, right?

There will be cookie-baking, though.  That is not an option.



  1. Great post. I’ve been stressing out over Christmas too (it really does loom, doesn’t it?) and it’s great to let ourselves realize that we can still have a great holiday even if we don’t get everything done that we wanted to.

    • So true. Now the problem is constantly reminding myself of that fact every time the mental panic loop starts again!

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