If you somehow restrained yourself from hanging your blinking Christmas lights and plastic Rudolphs before the Turkey was even stuffed, I applaud your self-control. Some people can’t quite manage it. Many, in fact, feel compelled to leave their holiday table, rush off to their local super-store and join a long line of people. Very cold people, standing in line on Thanksgiving night. So they can procure some must-have bargain crap.
Leave the dinner table? Within twenty-four hours we will have to begin entertaining thoughts of the upcoming holiday season, like how we will possibly get our holiday card out in time, or how we will keep the kids entertained for an entire three-week break. Surely this can wait until after dinner, and a few more glasses of wine.
I barely had a chance to put up my feet and recover from a delicious and highly entertaining Thanksgiving weekend before I realized -- with a sharp intake of breath -- Christmas is not even three weeks away. By the time you read this, probably less. And the more time I sit here, in utter denial, the less time I will have to get the aforementioned holiday card in the can, or my yearly illustrated cocktail recipe…not to mention all those wonderful homemade presents I fully intended to make all my friends and family. The ones I fully intend to make every year around this time. And this is when I start getting numb around the fingertips as the dread slowly creeps in.
I really, really love this whole holiday season, but couldn’t they just move the whole thing up to February or something? The thing is, I always have these really great ideas for homemade gifts. Simple! Personal! Easy on the pocketbook! Perfect idea, if I didn’t have deadlines, and books to write and work to do. Still, I imagine myself, a long empty day stretched out before me. Me, spreading out my paints and little canvases, some nice clean Bristol , decoupage or what have you. An organized list of recipients and corresponding gift ideas. However, I cannot remember the last time a long, empty day stretched out before me. Maybe when my husband took the boys to visit their grandpa, that was pretty sweet. And yet, did I spread out my supplies and start my assembly line of handmade holiday gifts? Er, no, aside from work, I vaguely remember renting a lot of movies, making a big mess building some shelves, and dancing around the house in my underwear to Archie Bell and the Drells.
So here I am, and it seems that yet another holiday season of good intentions will go by. But honestly, no one really cares about getting more stuff, do they? Invite friends over, make some good food and a batch of cold martinis and they’ll be full of holiday cheer. Give the kids some good books and a few board games, so they’ll have something to do over the long school break. In the meantime, I’ll try to squeeze in some time to do my yearly illustrated cocktail recipe that I’ve managed to do every year only in my dreams. Wish me luck. And happy holidays. Hey, isn’t Hanukkah really early this year? Ha! No pressure or anything.