Here we are. Entering into the holiday madness. Thanksgiving is this week. Then we have St. Nick’s Day … which, by the way, I had never heard about until my daughter’s babysitter introduced her to it. I was doomed from that year forward to continue the tradition of hanging a stocking and finding little gifts to fill it with. Then, of course, we have Christmas.
I think that’s when the real madness begins. It seems like there’s a mad dash to get everything done before the 25th of December. Cards have to be addressed and sent. Cookies baked. The fir tree is located and hauled home. Decorating in our household turns into a four or five day marathon. The perfect gifts are located and purchased. Dinners are prepared. Family and friends begin dropping in. It feels like it’s a constant rush to get everything done. To get everything perfect.
This can be a difficult time for a lot of people. I work a day job, tend to my family when I get home, try to handle difficult health issues and still try to get my writing done. Not an easy task during the best of times. Particularly for authors. For many of us, you can also include deadlines that have to be met. Edits, revisions, sometimes total re-writes. Throw in the holiday bustle, and you have utter chaos.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the holiday season. I’m totally into it. In this age of cyber Christmas cards, I still insist on sending out real cards with a short, but special message for each family member or friend. Our decorations have been collected and treasured over the years. I could probably tell you where each ornament came from and the story behind it. In fact, I go through the stories every year with my daughter to the point where I’m sure she’s sick of hearing them. But I want to instill those memories in her. So that one day she can tell her kids where grandma received a certain ornamental treasure and what it meant to her. I love driving home and looking at all the lights in the neighborhoods. Seeing Santa in the mall with the long line of children waiting to tell him what they want for Christmas. Gotta say, though. I’m glad I’m beyond that stage. I cannot tell you how many times I stood in those lines with my daughter. It was grueling.
No matter how you celebrate the holiday season … whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Islamic — whatever … it just seems like people tend to come together in some manner or form. We tend to be a little kinder to one another. We make time for those family members and friends we don’t see often enough during the rest of the year. We have a smile for a stranger. And we do little kindnesses for others. Too bad that warm and fuzzy attitude rarely continues throughout the year.
How ‘bout you? How do you handle the holiday madness? Do you throw yourself into it with a joyful zeal? Or do you allow the chaos to make you crazy?