Now, Colin and I usually have a friendly rule about Christmas tunes and tinsel. Given that his birthday is November 30th, we made a pact to start Christmas on the 1st of December. And not until said date, would we make with the trimmings and the ringings and the donnings.
This year however, I knew that I would not have a decorating day as in years past. There would be no circling the 1st or 3rd or even the 10th and claiming it as day to decorate, day of decor, deck the halls day.
I decided, with my husband’s blessing (have I waxed poetic about this man lately?), to festoon our home one surface at a time, one day at a time. I did the mantle for an hour on a Monday, the table for a half hour on a Tuesday, the stairs garland for twenty minutes on Wednesday ... you get the picture.
And now, as I write this, our home is done. It’s early, yes, even too early for me. But it sure is lovely. And it’s so nice to come home after a long day with nary a twinkle in your eye, to find your entire home twinkling for you.
I have also been signing ten or twenty Christmas cards a night so that I will not find myself two weeks from now screeching, “The CARDS, I’ve got to do the CARDS!”
So here I am, as a result of the Sanity Clause, able to focus on Mom’s transition home instead of fretting about surfaces un-festooned.
Usually I am 80% finished with my Christmas shopping by now, but this year I am 2% done. However, the beauty is that when December hits, I will leave my perfectly decorated home each day and hit the stores. And I will employ the Sanity Clause once more by doing my shopping just one hour a day. This will grant me the grace and patience with my parents I might otherwise be lacking, if I was feeling overwhelmed. It will also give me the gift of enjoying the hell out of buying the gifts. Or as it’s known in Section Four, Article Two of the Clause: Gift Squared.
And when Christmas parties start to lift their lively toasts, my glass will be raised among the reveling throngs and I will be thinking, “I’m having fun. I’m feeling festive. Peace on Deb”.
Yep, that’s what I am giving myself this Christmas. Peace. And the best part? It’s free.
To borrow from The Trouble with Angels’ Mary Clancy, the Sanity Claus has been “my most scathingly brilliant idea ever!”
Barbara: Let it be said here that Deb has Christmas times 10 compared to me. She has literally 10 times the family (and probably friends!), and 10 times the familial obligations, buying gifts on behalf of many members of her family as well as her own. I’m telling you this because I want you to know just how much work she faces each holiday season. Enough to stress the catatonic. And yet, she welcomes and celebrates the festivities better than any little elf I know.
I, on the other hand, have noticed how much less stressed I am this year thanks to 2 rather significant reasons: 1) my kids are big (and home) enough to help, and 2) with age comes experience. I have nailed the holiday season down to a ritual I can almost—not quite, but almost—do with my eyes closed. That said, I also think Deb’s idea is genius: one detail at a time, steady as she goes!