It’s December 4th, and I haven’t decorated for Christmas yet. This is unlike me. Usually, at least the tree is up by now. It’s not the end of the world, and actually, I told myself last year that I was going to wait a little into December before I decorated because I didn’t want to get burned out. So, you could say that I’m following through with a healthy objective rather than just being lazy.
I haven’t written the highly anticipated Christmas letter to go with the Christmas cards, either. Come to think of it, I haven’t addressed Christmas cards. And I need stamps. I might actually need cards, too.
I need inspiration.
I decided to go to K-mart. OK, so maybe that’s not holiday Mecca, but I thought I might need a little Martha Stewart infusion. Maybe if I could channel Martha, I’d get in the decorating spirit. Besides, Al is open to the idea of getting another tree, one that’s pre-lit, and I have to strike before he changes his mind. Martha has trees, too, so maybe it could be one-stop shopping.
And do you know what I bought? *drum roll please* Nothing. Not a blessed thing. They’re going to kick me out of shopaholics anonymous. Besides the fact that everything was picked over and strewn all over the floor, making it impossible to find anything, it was all ugly. Well, not all of it, but nothing inspirational.
And you know, our little tree isn’t so bad. I mean, I’m pretty attached to it now. Sure, a couple of branches are missing, and one branch isn’t really supposed to be with this tree, but that’s why you put a tree by a wall or a window and not in the middle of the room.
Plus, I just had bad shopping karma today, so I decided not to piss off the gods any more by staying in that store. No matter where I turned, someone was parked in front of me, stopping me from going forward and someone was careening around the corner, almost running me over. And this store was practically empty. The lack of humanity, however, didn’t stop there from being a screaming child always one aisle over from me. But this is my curse. Practically every store I go to has a screaming child one aisle over from me.
I think I’ll just start decorating and fill in the holes. I’ve pared down the Christmas tasks quite a bit. As I said before, I have realized that it’s not my responsibility to make a perfect Christmas. Most people are just happy to be with family and friends, with maybe a Christmas cookie here and there.
A few years ago, I decided not to go overboard for Christmas. Minimal decorating, minimal baking, no letter with the Christmas cards, no itinerary to follow. And do you know what happened? Christmas came any way. It came just the same. And no one noticed that I didn’t do all those other things. And what did I learn from this? I’m completely unappreciated, that’s what I learned. But I also learned that there can be joy in the smaller things. And that it doesn’t have to be a Martha Stewart Christmas.
So, I think I’ll get some egg nog, put some Kahlua in it, turn on the Christmas carols and prepare for a Merry Christmas. Maybe I’ll bake some cookies and watch A Muppet Christmas Carol, that should put me in the right spirit. Forget channeling Martha, I’ll channel the ghosts of Christmas past and present instead.