Well here we are again. The last week before the holidays. In Los Angeles, the weather has finally turned to sweaters and boots which means 65 degrees and sunny. But it’s cold enough that we had to turn on the heat and I’m thinking about putting the down comforter back on the bed. It’s time to get cozy. And it’s time to brace for the holidays.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year. When the desire to be snuggled up in a blanket somehow translates to human interaction and everyone is just a smidge nostalgic and sentimental. But where there are holidays there is stress. And on this, the last week before the holidays descend, I feel like I’m taking a giant breath before I dive under the water to look for the buried treasure.
How are we supposed to get it all done? The shopping for the perfect gift (why does it have to be perfect again?), the shopping for the bacon wrapped water chestnuts for our annual holiday party, the shopping for the perfect outfit to wear to all those holiday parties we have to go to. So much shopping!!!
But the thing that really gets me is that now is the time when calendars start filling up. When paperless posts for holiday parties and phone calls from family start to come in, all asking the same thing: do you have time for us?
And I want to. I want to have time for everyone. But in this week before the holidays attack, there’s a big part of me that just wants to curl up in that duvet and hibernate. Like if I snuggle hard enough, I can maintain my sanity and escape the feeling of being pulled in 80 directions.
Every year in the fall I feel this new surge of motivation (it’s that whole back to school thing, remember?) and my life becomes full and busy. The holidays always seem to pounce at the height of this busy motivation when all I want to do is dig deep into my writing and projects and classes. And every year, the week before Thanksgiving I have this same desire to plug my ears with my fingers and say “Lalalala I can’t hear you.”
But then I remember that I’m going to laugh a lot at Thanksgiving and be overcome with gratitude. And I remember that I know all the words to all the Christmas songs they play 24/7 on the radio which makes for good driving sing-a-longs. And I remember how much more cozy it gets when we put the Christmas tree up with its twinkly lights and fresh pine smell that fills the house. And I start to feel ok about it all.
It doesn’t help to fight it. The holidays are coming whether we’ re ready or not. So this week I’m going to try to breathe and enjoy the calm before the storm so that I can actually enjoy the turkey-filled, cracked out candy cane, elbowing my way through the mall craziness of the holidays.
Breathe. And also do 7 loads of laundry, take the dry cleaning in, send out our holiday party invite, order Thanksgiving wine, book all my holiday travel and try eat something besides french fries and bourbon. By Friday.