I was wrapping my first wave of Christmas gifts yesterday when it dawned on me how much I truly dislike wrapping presents and how much time it takes away from my other responsibilities. Not just the wrapping part. The whole getting ready for the holidays shebang. Bah humbug, right? And it’s only mid-November. Some of you may have already finished your shopping, while others may be wondering why I started so early. I’m getting more of a head start than usual this year in order to meet a writing deadline on December 31. I’ve yet to determine whether early is a good thing or not. My hope is that spreading out my holiday responsibilities will relieve some of the pressure in December.
Doesn’t it seem like we just had Christmas? and Wouldn’t it be more special if we celebrated every other year? are questions I frequently ask myself. I’m all for making every day Thanksgiving. What’s not to like about a holiday where our friends and family share a meal together to celebrate our love for one another and be thankful for our blessings. Shouldn’t Christmas be the same? I understand the gift giving is part of the religious celebration of Christmas, but it complicates the holiday. Throw in Santa Claus and you have a whole different level of chaos.
Aside from the shopping for and wrapping of the presents, we have Christmas cards to mail, and parties and special meals to plan. We have to decorate and bake and attend all the various programs at our Children’s schools. Not to mention the time we spend combing through the thousands of emails that flood our inboxes—advertisements for discounted prices and Cyber Monday deals. As mothers and wives, we’re faced with finding a way to fit all these additional responsibilities into our already hectic schedules. And, we’re expected to do it with a smile. And, if you’re like me, just getting it done isn’t good enough. Every December, I rev up my engines in pursuit of the perfect Christmas.
It’s not an easy thing to admit, but I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced the true meaning of Christmas. If I have, it’s been a long time. In recent years, I’ve allowed my quest for the quintessential holiday to get in my way of what is truly important to me. Which is to spend quality time with my friends and family, express my appreciation to the people who help me throughout the year, and remember those less fortunate then me.
After the first round of Thanksgiving and Christmas chores over the weekend, I was exhausted last night, and short with my husband during dinner. I don’t want to be a mean wife and mother for the next six weeks. With the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the hate crimes that continue to plague our nation, finding the true meaning of Christmas seems more important than ever this year.
So I’ve made the decision to do things differently this year. I’m starting a campaign to find the real meaning of Christmas. And I’ll hope you’ll come along for the ride.