Tuesday, December 06, 2011

'Tis the Season - Karin Tabke

The season of stress, over-eating and liberal libations!  Every year I tell myself I’m going to chill out and just enjoy the reason for the season. Every year I tell myself, I’m going to get all of my shopping out of the way before Thanksgiving, and every year I tell my husband, “NO! No Christmas party this year!”
This year, like every year, I am not chillin’. I have not purchased one gift, and we are throwing not one but two Christmas parties plus I’m hosting Bunko and a dinner party!!  How did that happen?  When did I allow my boundaries to be trampled?

Sigh.  Since I don’t have a deadline staring me in the face, that’s how.  Oh, I have deadlines, but no contracted book that has to be in the day before Christmas.  No copy edits due Christmas Eve (those were due the week of Thanksgiving) and no galley pages due on New Year’s Day.

It’s the first time in six years that I haven’t had a deadline during the holidays.  And it feels freakin’ wonderful!  I may not be chillin’ because of all of the events on my calendar, but I am having fun.  I’m not even worrying about Christmas shopping this year.  My kids are overindulged as it is, and frankly, I feel no need to go out and indulge them more. My granddaughter? Hell, yes, she’s two and deserves the world! But my four kids and their spouses/significant others? Forgetaboutit.  I told them I just wasn’t going to do it this year. And they were all very ok with it.  I think it’s because they know how extra special this Christmas is going to be.  My youngest son is deploying to Afghanistan in April for a year. But he’ll be home for Christmas! Ten wonderful days! He’ll even be here for his 23rd birthday. I’m thrilled to death but trying not to think that this will be the last Christmas for a while when all of my kids will be home.

I think the deadline fairies were working overtime to make sure I didn’t have a deadline this holiday season.  They knew I’d want the time to spend with my son.  They knew his siblings and niece would want the extra special time with him this Christmas.  It’s funny how things work out.  This year has been one of crazy highs and crash-and-burn lows, but at the end of it, I will be with the people who matter the most to me.  I can’t think of better happily-ever-after for 2011.

How about you?  Do you go crazy stressing during this time of year or are you zen? 
I’ll give away a signed copy of Have Yourself a Naughty Little Santa to one commenter - just in time for the holidays ;0) 



Laurie G said...

Due to the slow economy, we are having trouble collecting rent from our tenants, which makes buying presents, paying bills and taxes a challenge and a headache.
So, the last two years have been very, very stressful. We've had to go to Court to evict one tenant( Took over 10 months) and we are currently trying to recover past due rent via Small Claims. This all takes a lot of time and worry(6 months so far).

I love getting together with our family. We live in several different states so this is the one time of year we really really try to get together.

We buy the tree, decorate the tree and make the main part of the dinner. I don't mind that aspect but I really do hate to shop.

I wish everyone a wonderful time with their family and friends!

Tamara Hoffa said...

Along with the typical Holiday angst, of shopping and decorating etc. I am a hairdresser, so the holidays are a really busy time at work, This year we are also putting a float in the Christmas parade and I already have people asking me for my requisite Christmas cookies (last year I made 52 dozen!) Plus I made 10 Christmas stockings and have requests for still 2 more.
I got a new kitten and she wrecked our tree (we had to take it down, the base broke) so now I also need to get and put up anther tree.
Add to that I have 2 biological grandsons 1 and 3 and 4 others I claim that are 6,2,1,and 4 months

alinaduffer said...

I am like you, I always say I'm going to do low key and not stress, but it never happens. So far this year I haven't done any shopping yet. I have sigened up to make cupcake cakes for all three of my kids classes. I am making Christmas Cakepops for all my kids teachers, over 180 I have to make. I am making homemade ornaments to send to family. And I am doing Christmas dinner at our house. But I am trying not to stress and just enjoy it all. We will see how it goes, lol!

It's wonderful that your son gets to be home for the holidays. We will keep him and his unit in our prayers when they deploy in April. My nephew is headed to Iraq right now. We need to keep all of our Marines and other military in our thoughts and prayers!

Have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Karin* Tabke aka Harlow! said...

Laurie, it's s hard for so many families on both sides of the fence right now. Going to court is never fun either. For everyone's sake, I hope this damn economy turns around soon!

I'm with you 100% on the shopping part of Christmas. Bah humbug!

I wish you and your family a wonderful, safe gathering. Cheers!

Karin* Tabke aka Harlow! said...

Tamara, my head just exploded! Holy, cow that is a lot of stuff to do!

My hat is off to you, girl, Merry Christmas, and here's to a relaxing aftermath!

Karin* Tabke aka Harlow! said...

Alina, the kids and teachers will love you for your efforts. I loved Christmas time at school when I was a kid, because of all the goodies we got to eat. Hell, it's still a favorite part of the holidays for me.
My prayers are with your nephew. Families of deployed military should be given a bottle of xanex or something. I know I'm going to worry like crazy. I did when my nephew was in Iraq last year. I was so happy when he came home.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Di said...

I get all wound up & stressed out, then I have to unwind (often by reading). The I start the vicious cycle all over again. Every year there seems to be one person that I just can't figure out what to get, or I can't find what I want to get. In someways online shopping has made finding things easier, but on the other had there just seems to be so much to wade thru. I am always very glad when the season is over! I wish we could just do away with the gift giving & just be together!
sallans d at yahoo dot com
ps - have a wonderful holiday & don't let the stressors get to you

ev said...

I refuse to stress this year. It will be the first holiday season I haven't spent with my daughter and I am keeping busy so I don't get depressed. Construction will do that.

For my present, I got something I have wanted for years- the washer and dryer are out of my kitchen!! May not seem like much, but with space constraints, it was. I just spent tonight putting up a shelving unit and emptying the pantry cupboards onto them. Now I can see the food. And if my hubby says we need to go shopping, I will have ammunition close at hand to throw at him! The kitchen isn't ideal yet, but sooner or later it will get where I want it.

Are they still deploying to Iraq? I thought they had most units on stand down or deployed elsewhere. I know our local ones were told they weren't going now. That was good news to hear. We will keep him in our thoughts.

marybelle said...

I'm super organised, so I'm not stressed. I love Christmas & love preparing for it. I shop all year for gifts. Makes life so much easier.

Virginia said...

I do get stressed out this time of the year. To much to do and so little time to do it in. I stress over everything, what gifts to buy and it doesn't help that money is tight due to the economy!


Rhonda V. said...

I used to get very stressed around this time of the year. As I've gotten older I've calmed quite a bit. I see others really struggling just to keep their utilities on, other worried about losing their house, etc. I've found myself being a lot more thankful for what I have and enjoying family so much more instead of stressing about presents, decorations, weather, and everything that I used to stress about.

Karin* said...

Di, I just told my gf, I'm getting wasted at my Christmas party! I probably won't bc I'll be too worried about my guests, but maybe...
I have one or two of those people every year that I don't know what the heck to buy them. It just adds to my stress. grrr.

Karin* said...

Ev, you sound like you have everything under control. You're my kind of girl! I love my kitchen but have been thinking new appliances would be nice...
I'm not sure if they are still deploying to Iraq, my son, as of his current orders, is headed to Afghanistan in April. :(

Karin* said...

Marybelle, my problem is I am not organized. At all. It goes against my nature, just like getting up early. I think I'm allergic to both, which is sad, bc when I'm forced to be organized and get up early, I rather enjoy it!

Karin* said...

Virginia, this economy is really adding to the stress of the season for a lot of us. One thing that I have discovered I enjoy doing is hunting for bargains. I've never been a bargain shopper, but am now. I cringe when I think of all of the money I have thrown away out of laziness.

Karin* said...

Rhonda, I'm right there with you! It's hard to watch people loose their homes and struggle to make ends meet. It makes me all the more thankful for the little things and very thankful for my family. :)

Virginia C said...

Happy Holidays, everyone : )

I love to put together goodie bags and gift baskets for people--it's fun and lets me be creative. Years ago, I started collecting little things throughout the year that I knew each person would like. When the holiday or birthday comes, then I usually add one or two larger items. When I put it all together, it turns out to be one very nice, customized gift that always puts a big smile on someone's face! It makes them feel like a kid, having so much to explore. The thing is, I sometimes spend less this way, but I accomplish more, and it's done with much less pressure. It makes me feel great when I see those smiles : )

Laney4 said...

I guess I'm a little of both. I buy gifts all year round and plop them into the same container (so I don't forget I bought them). Sometimes I use those items for birthday gifts, etc. before Christmas gets here, mind you, but the majority is often done by November. That being said, I still go out in December and buy "last-minute" things because people's needs are still changing right up until Christmas Day. (That sounds like a valid reason, right?) This year, I bought an expensive gift for two of my immediate family, so most of the things I had already bought will just sit there until their birthdays. I can live with that!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night ... er ... month!

Sheree said...

I really haven't gone all out for Christmas in years, mostly because the family members living closest to me who have children (because it's way more fun with kids) are Jewish. Hanukkah just doesn't have the selection of songs that Christmas has.

Happy Holidays!!