I knew it was coming. All over the Internet there are posts from women freaking out about their "To-Do" lists for the holidays. I wonder why I don't see anything out there from men about their holiday stress? I wouldn't want to be sexist or anything, but could it be because the vast majority of holiday tasks fall to women?
I know of two women who say their husbands help with gift shopping. Two. Out of all the women I've ever met in my entire life. Two.
After a few centuries of being married, Briefcase has exactly three holiday responsibilities I've managed to coax him into. They are:
1. Put the outdoor lights on the house.
2. Put the lights on our Christmas tree.
3. Show up on Christmas.
We used to have a huge indoor-outdoor holiday party every year. By huge, I mean we'd have around 150 guests. For one or two years we went small, but it wasn't as much fun. The big parties were a blast. We stopped completely after my car accident. The party was a lot of work and I was the one who had to do it all. The good thing about throwing a big party was it forced me to be very, very organized. One year guests brought us these as a housewarming gift:
Every year we pull them out of our teeny, tiny attic and put them by our front door. (And yes, I do have a brick floor in my house. And yes, it's real brick … brick is kid proof.
Last Friday I walked into our local Target store to buy a gift for a 14 year old boy. PR had a birthday party to attend. As I walked through the store I thought I might have the very first panic attack of my life. I'd spent the week feverish on the couch. The rest of the world was out accomplishing holiday tasks. Target screamed, "Christmas!" every where I turned. I had visions of my kids waking up Christmas morning without a single present. That still might happen.
What holiday tasks have I accomplished?
Um, Santa and Reindeer are by the front door – does that count?
See this bag?
There are Christmas cards in that bag. (And generic "Happy Holiday" cards for our friends who don't celebrate Christmas.) There are probably 200 cards waiting to be addressed. I don't think I'm going to get a single one sent out this year. So, for all my friends who read Twenty Four Heart … hey, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, okay?
Now take a look at these boxes:
These boxes hold the decorations just for our tree. I have a zillion more boxes. I have boxes of indoor and outdoor decorations. I have garland for our stairs and fireplace, candles, and all sorts of other pretty stuff. That big party we used to have? It meant I would decorate to the hilt. I have a lot of holiday decorations. I stare at those boxes every time I walk in or out of our house. I'm thinking they make pretty nice decorations just as they are. What do you think? I could put a candle on top of each box and just go with it.
Last Friday night our tree got delivered. We have a high vaulted ceiling in our living room so we like to get a tall tree. They aren't very easy to find around here (they don't grow at the beach!) and they're next to impossible to transport. Our trees are usually about 12-13 feet tall. Here's a picture of the nice delivery men who came last Friday:
If we ever get the tree decorated I'll show you an "after" picture, okay? I'm thinking it looks pretty good just as it is with the plastic picnic tablecloth underneath it. Maybe I could just ask these two guys to stand by the tree every day? The guy on the right is kind of cute even if I'm not partial to beards.
I'd tell you about all the shopping I did last weekend, but I didn't do any. Most of our relatives are out of state which means we have to mail gifts. That is, if I ever get around to buying those gifts, wrapping them, packaging them to be mailed, and making a trip to the post office.
So, um, yeah …. I've got some things to do over the next two and a half weeks. Did I just say two and a half weeks?