One of my holiday traditions is to watch the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation while wrapping gifts. My favorite scene is when Chevy Chase gets locked in the attic. The number of mishaps that man experiences in the movie is mind boggling.
But I can relate.
From midnight on Thanksgiving onward I am all Christmas all the time. This is my favorite time of year.
But I have to tell you - it. just. may. kill. me.
I have found myself standing in a quiet spot of the house or office and giving myself a little pep talk.
"You can do this!", I say.
Over and over, quietly to myself.
I swear to god, the joy of the holiday has been eclipsed by one big f'ing list of things I need to do.
Because we spend every other year of Christmas in Alaska (this being that year), we celebrate two Christmases - the Alaska family Christmas and the East Coast family Christmas.
I even decorate our house even though we won't inhabit it for most of the Christmas season.
Because not only do I love Christmas, this is my job. There isn't anyone else to pick up the reins. The Angry Elf is not a myth.
So far my holiday season has gone thusly --
Right now half the basic Christmas decorations are still in boxes in the livingroom.
The nanny decorated our Christmas tree with my child while I was at work. Yep, no mother failure guilt there...not at all...
I think I've bought or found and pointed out more gifts for my in-laws than the love of my life (to whom they are related by blood).
I have bought a total of two Christmas presents for my family (East Coast Christmas).
I am logging 5 hours of sleep a night.
The love of my life has logged untold hours changing our flights three times over four weeks.
I have a spreadsheet of La C gifts broken down by which Christmas they will appear - Alaska or East Coast - and have thoroughly confused myself.
I have arrived at the office twice unshowered but with make-up on.
I just took a yoga meditation class and spent the whole hour cycling through my list of to do's freaking out.
There are two events between now and departure for Alaska that require a babysitter for which I have yet to procure said babysitter.
The thing that keeps me going?
It is worth it.
It really is.
When the lists get done or finally abandoned and I just let go and embrace the season, it will all come back to me. I will remember that Christmas is about faith. The faith that we get up every day for a purpose. It isn't about the lists. The destination. The pressure to wrap the right gift.
It is a season to celebrate that no matter what our faith, we are in this together, so let us make the best of it. We are more than our politics. More than our respective religions. We are family. And friends. And shoulders we lean on. And loves we draw strength from.
For one sparkling moment we are at our bright and shiny best. Reminding us that we can believe in whatever we want.
And that is a very good thing indeed.