Monday, January 3, 2011
The holidays are hard.
I'v heard it said time and time again these past few weeks.
My voice included.
Why is that?
First of all - there is absolutely nothing holidayish about the holidays.
They are a gargantuan amount of work, with teeny tiny bits of relaxation in between.
I did very little hosting or cooking this year and I was still completely overwhelmed.
I found myself wishing it was over by about December 23rd.
Then I fell into a deep guilt pit as I remembered that this is my children's childhood and it is REALLY important that I try my best not to muck it up.
We visited Santa on the 23rd so that I could ask him to lecture the girls about getting up at 5am every day in anticipation of his visit.
I actually had the nerve to spoon feed Santa my words so he could indoctrinate my children on my behalf.
Is that as bad as it sounds or just really clever use of the big guy in red?
I remember being so excited I couldn't sleep. I remember watching the clock crawl at a snail's pace as I willed it to be time to get up and see if Santa came.
I remember - but it doesn't make me any more sympathetic now that it's my kid's turn to be frantic with excitement.
I just want them to sleep until it's daylight outside.
My head feels full. So many things to remember, plan out, do.
Every day the list seems insurmountable.
Then in a flash the presents are open and the food is eaten.
I have a deep dislike of anti-climax.
It makes the weeks of preparation and work seem futile.
This year I had a grand idea.
(There should be an uh-oh in your head about now.)
"Let's take a vacation!" I say.
"Great." says the husband.
Now the smart thing to do would have been to go to Hawaii with the rest of the Western United States.
Nothing kills post Christmas stress disorder faster than some Aloha! spirit.
Here's where the uh-oh comes in.
I elected to take us to Yosemite Valley in an RV.
A 22ft long, eight foot wide, tin can with an engine.
Two adults, two children, four feet of snow and -17 degree temperatures.
I put the vast majority of the contents of our house in it.
I cooked all week.
I emptied it and cleaned it when we got back.
Then I had to do the laundry - two full days worth of snow gear, warm clothes, linens and towels.
Yes, the husband helped but this is my story.
I have a special talent for jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
For choosing nature and adventure over spa and pampering.
When my body, mind and soul are screaming out for rest - I choose sledding.
All in the name of getting it right for the kids.
The holidays are hard and one day I will stop making them harder.