finding the happee in holidaze

Something about December makes me want to wrap a festive string of lights around my torso and huddle under a feather duvet with a handle of whiskey and a bowl of melted cheese, and not get up again until I can walk around the house with no socks on and still feel my feet.

But you can’t do that. Not in December, you can’t. For one, if you stopped showing up to work your job would stop paying you, and then you’d have no money to buy more of your comfort food of choice. Let alone the replacement bulbs for that string of lights. For two, there’s just not enough time. In my house, particularly, we have so little time that we seem to believe it’s still October:

Two weeks before Christmas, and we are currently in the midst of celebrating our bountiful autumn harvest.

What can I say? The beau’s been traveling, things have been insane at my work, and we’ve just been… busy. Too busy to decorate, too busy to watch holiday movies, too busy to buy ALL THE GIFTS, to busy to wrap the nonexistent gifts, too busy to log into Pandora and choose a Christmas music station, too busy to light a “Home for the Holidays” candle, too busy even to pour peppermint Schnapps into my mug of hot cocoa. Hell, no. I just toss the packet of chocolate powder over my shoulder and pour the Schnapps directly into my mouth.

I feel like Thanksgiving was the holiday precipice off of which we unwittingly stepped, cheerfully hurtling into chaos, apprehension, and utter lunacy. Last weekend I had a baby shower and a birthday party to attend. This weekend we have two holiday parties AND an event put on by the beau’s rugby team in which we all dress up like Santa Claus and go on a pub crawl. You were probably nodding along sympathetically until I reached that part, weren’t you? Right. Aww, poor little baby is so preoccupied with putting on a silly costume and running up and down the street drinking booze that she just doesn’t have time for anything else!

You may email me your condolences.

This time of year makes me deeply nervous, because I always believe I am missing out on the good time everyone else is clearly having. The more pictures of lights and bedecked trees that people post in my social media streams, the more I fear that I’m missing the joy of shared experience. I privately refer to this as Farmers’ Market Syndrome, because farmers’ markets stress me the hell out.

Oh, it all starts out perfectly lovely, right? You show up with a list tucked neatly in your back pocket and begin browsing the rows, a cup of coffee in your hand and a self-satisfied look on your face. You even brought reusable bags, didn’t you, you little eco-minx! Look at you go. Maybe you should write a blog post about how cunning and prepared and environmentally aware you are. But wait, this stand has apples for a full $0.50/lb less than the other stand you already bought apples from. Blast! You hate overpaying. And you also hate how people keep jostling you with their elbows. A giant red wagon? Really, lady? She’s gonna clog up the walkways with a giant… oh, look at those bouquets of flowers for sale. Wouldn’t those look nice on the kitchen table? So colorful. So festive. Think of the compliments you’d get if anyone ever bothered to come to your house! You’ll take two. And look at those beautiful stacks of winter squashes over there! Should you buy some? Oh, and look at those snow peas. You should have dug up some recipes before you left the house, you twit. God, these bags are heavy. And you should have eaten breakfast before you came. And that man should really learn to actually play the trumpet before busking in the middle of the damn market. And you haven’t even been able to find a damn onion yet, why — wait — WHAT? Only three fucking dollars left!? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE $60 YOU GOT OUT OF THE ATM THIS MORNING!?

And so you finally retreat in an angry huff, your arms sore and numb from the dead weight of your stupid reusable bags. You somehow managed to miss half the stuff on your list, but you made a lot of impulse purchases based entirely on how pretty the vegetables looked instead of any genuine intention to prepare and eat them. You are nearly penniless, emotionally drained, and utterly unfulfilled. You have been… TO THE FARMER’S MARKET.

This. This is what the holiday season is like, for me. Lots of hand-wringing, lots of annoyance, lots frantic checking on the rapidly vanishing money in my bank account, lots of generalized anxiety about how I must be DOIN IT ALL RONG, BECAUSE THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPEEEEEEEEEE.

Actually, wait. That’s exactly what having a wedding was like, too. Right down to the “emotionally drained and utterly unfulfilled” part.


No wonder I just want to stay under the feather duvet.

It’s okay. I’ll get it sorted out. I’m certain everything will fall into place and we’ll get the place decorated and the gifts secured just in time for December 25. Then we can sit back and soak it all in. Make a mug of hot chocolate. Reheat our bowls of cheese. Spike our whiskey with… well, whiskey.

Relax. Unwind. Cherish. Appreciate.

Then immediately rip everything down again.

On to the next, on to the next.

13 Responses to “finding the happee in holidaze”

  1. Just focus on the Santa Claus pub crawl. I’m so jealous of that.

    Our tree is only lighted. And I’m starting to have panic attacks over needing to finish two or three adult PJ pairs by the 24th. We turn everything down, that’s how we cope. And set $ limits on gifts. And just don’t get gifts.

    In case you can’t tell, I married someone who is stubborn about not doing things unless he WANTS to. It’s a blessing and a curse.

    • “I married someone who is stubborn about not doing things unless he WANTS to. It’s a blessing and a curse.”

      Haha, this the way BOTH of us are… it’s why holidays are pretty stress-free around here, but it’s also why we sometimes end up wanting to do *something* (e.g. we have zero NYE plans so far), with nothing on the calendar. 😛

    • I’m getting to that point . . . I don’t get stressed because I don’t let myself. If I don’t want to do it, then I don’t. And I’ve started only getting gifts for the kids and my dad. On himself’s side, the family does Secret Santa. easy peasy. Oh, but the baking. I am starting to enjoy the baking for people because I can do it in my own space with the music blaring and the flour flying. Wam.

  2. I love every part of this post.

    Christmas+Farmer’s Market+Wedding=HAPPPPEEEE

    I agree whole-heartedly. Wrapping myself in lights and duvet as I write.

  3. Your description of the Farmer’s Market Experience. To a T. And Christmas? It’s been raining. In the Northeast. I just. Can’t. Find. The. Spirit. But I will… Soon :)

  4. Ugh. This is so… spot on. Every year, I take down the decorations first thing in the morning on January 1 because I. Just. Can’t. Stand. Them. Anymore.

    And I’m not so sure that happy, happy days are supposed to make you hate them so much? I feel the same way about our wedding. I loved our wedding, and I completely absolutely hated it. Maybe this is just how introverts react to days that are supposed to be about FAMILYFRIENDSTOGETHERNESSHAPPYHAPPYJOYJOY? Because mostly, I just want to snuggle with my three favorite people and hide.

  5. “I just toss the packet of chocolate powder over my shoulder and pour the Schnapps directly into my mouth.”

    This. Oh, yes, THIS.

  6. Here’s what I’m going for:
    1) I assume my house isn’t as festive as I remember my parents house being because I just haven’t figured it out yet.
    2) I sing Jingle Bells and say ho-ho-ho and hope for presents for this pretty girl (And apparently watch Charlie Brown Christmas ad nauseum)
    3) And then go to the cabin for NYE and wear a sparkly dress. And sit under a blanket. And drink my peppermint schnapps however I want it.

  7. The really sad part is I now want to go to a farmers’ market.

  8. Dressing up like Santa? Awesome. Also awesome: The 12 pubs of Christmas. The idea is the same, the outfit is slightly different. Grab a bunch of people, tell them to wear their most garish Christmas sweaters (ties, hats, antlers, etc. are all acceptable — bonus points if they light up or play music), start at 1 p.m. at pub #1, and see who’s standing by midnight at pub #12. Recover the next day. Repeat next year.

  9. The Santa bar crawl sounds ridiculously fun.

    For me the holidays always feel like I’m missing out. We have been invited to no holiday parties. We have no birthday parties, no showers, no anything. That’s probably because we don’t have friends here. Ugh.

    All I have is buying presents and writing Christmas cards, all while the darker, shorter days is draining me of energy. And the dwindling bank account stresses me out.

  10. So glad I’m not the only one who can’t seem to get farmers markets right!! (or weddings for that matter)

    On paper I should love them – and I keep telling myself I do, I must, because they contain everything I love: yummy healthy food, crafty things, supporting local farmers, warm cozy drinks, and enviro-cred. But despite the serene smile I plaster on my face, because this is supposed to be fun, I’m always mildly stressed by the whole thing. Is this a good price? What do I actually need and what am I buying just because it looks pretty? If I go check out those soaps are they going to try to immerse me in conversation until I feel too awkward to leave without buying something? So HAPPEEEEEEEEE

  11. “Two weeks before Christmas, and we are currently in the midst of celebrating our bountiful autumn harvest.”

    I still have every butternut squash/pumpkin/some-squash-I-can’t-name sitting around waiting to be dealt with. I think I bought them because they looked fun and autumnal, but I don’t really know how to cook them and they look a bit funny with the Christmas-themed decor that I finally got up Sunday night. (I almost didn’t and wanted to stop half-way, but I made myself push through to get it all up….because then it would be all done.) Sigh. Now I just have homemade Christmas gifts to do… And some shopping. And like Jo and others, “I married someone who is stubborn about not doing things unless he WANTS to. It’s a blessing and a curse.” Not always the biggest plus when trying to get things done before the last minute. :)

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