Dec. 13, 2011 — My, oh my, how time flies when I finally start thinking about Christmas in earnest.
It’s a wonderful time of year, I know, but by the time you read this that festive celebration will only be 12 days away.
Twelve days until Christmas? Where does the time go?
I guess I’m a little slow and more than a little dense, because it always takes me a bit longer than everyone else to get in the swing of things — even though I feel as if I’m tumbling head over heels inside a giant snowball that’s hurtling faster and faster downhill toward a spectacular, colorful, tinsel-tearing collision with Christmas morning, and I’m powerless to stop it.
Sure, I’m friendly enough and happy enough to say Merry Christmas to everyone I meet, and I’m even silly enough to giggle out loud at those who think they somehow look cute wearing a crumply red Santa Claus hat with a dangly white ball on the end to go shopping to buy another jug of egg nog, although I must admit I’ve been guilty of that offense myself in the past.
And I’m smart enough to know the elves, the reindeer and that big, old guy in the red suit only help those who help themselves, so until I get off my duff and take my personal Christmas responsibilities seriously, I know I’m a lost cause.
It’s all my fault.
My entire dilemma started sooner than usual this year when I discovered an early Christmas warning alert bomb in the mailbox to give me even more anxious days of regret and yuletide remorse.
Yes, the pressure started building a couple of days after Thanksgiving when a happy, sparkly Christmas card arrived from my sister Karma in Los Angeles.
Even my girlfriend Cindie, who’s the absolute queen of Christmas every year, commented this had to be the earliest-arriving Christmas card in recent memory.
A couple of days after Thanksgiving. Really?
Couldn’t my sister have at least waited until we were done with the leftover turkey and ham sandwiches and those lumpy mashed potato pancakes stained ever so slightly by the slippery, red debris of homemade cranberry sauce and mixed with the remnants of someone’s well-intentioned crunchy, green bean casserole?
I mean, we get a Christmas card in the mail and we haven’t even finished scraping up ever-thickening gravy slicks with hardening rolls, and the Tupperware containers aren’t even close to empty yet?
Suddenly I’m trippin’. Hard. The lights are up on the two spruce trees outside, but we still haven’t taken photos for this year’s Christmas cards.
What if the store sells out of the blank photo cards before I get there again this year?
What about that lovely Christmas poem I’m supposed to write?
We’ve got a big fir soaking in a bucket of water in the garage, but we haven’t brought it into the house, yet.
And when we do, someone has to decorate it. Whoa.
When’s the last day to send presents to out of town family members?
When do the Christmas cards have to be in the mail?
And what did we decide we were going to get for Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Suzie? I can’t remember.
Oh, I just get so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to start! It’s all too much.
When do I have time to get any of this stuff done?
Luckily, I have Cindie to help me and come to the rescue. She navigates through the bubbling, crisis waters of Christmas duties much better than I do.
She’ll never forget to order the prime rib I’m going to cook so our guests will have a fabulous Christmas dinner or forget to get a gift for someone who’s stopping by on Christmas morning.
Thanks, sweetheart. I know you’ve got your own Christmas stuff to attend to, but you always find time to lend me a hand when I really need it.
And that’s just about the greatest Christmas present of all.
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