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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Sometimes I feel like it’s my job to manage everything.

I manage the schedule.  I manage the grocery list.  I manage the laundry and the closets and the hangers and the buttons.  I manage the boots and the mittens and the hats and the scarves.  I manage washing the hair and cutting the nails and fixing all the ouches that come our way.  I manage the who’s and the why’s and the what if’s and the so what’s and the who did what to whom’s.

And somehow, on top of all of this, I have to somehow manage not to go crazy.

This time of year, with all of the added things that need to happen, I feel like my list of things to manage just keeps on growing and growing and growing.  Except I’ve started to realize that I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to managing because I’ve started to manage things that aren’t any of my business.  I try to stick my nose into things that have nothing to do with me, and in between people who have a relationship completely separate from me.  And then, for some reason, I am surprised when it doesn’t go well.

I’ve also realized that I try to manage memories.  I try to manufacture and create situations which I think will make good memories.  I take my kids to see Santa when really, they have no interest in going.  However, I think it’s something we should do because it’s something they should have a memory of.  I make ten dozen cookies so I can cross that off the list of things we’re supposed to do before the holidays, even though my kids would actually be happier if I just bought the cookies at the store and took those four hours and spent them sitting on the couch with them.

I’m also realizing that I have no control over which memories are really going to stick with my kids.  When I think back on the holidays from my childhood, I’m sure the things I remember aren’t necessarily the things my mother would expect, or necessarily want me to remember.  But they are what they are, and they are the things that have stuck with me through the years.

So this year, leading up to the holidays I made a conscious effort to try to step back and let some of it go; to take my hands out of every piece of what was going on, and instead to try and stand back and watch.

And you know what?

It’s worked out pretty well.

We didn’t go see Santa this year, instead just relying on the letters we wrote to let him know what we were wishing for under the tree.  Did I miss out on having the picture for the album?  Sure, maybe a little, but I didn’t miss the two hours of standing in line waiting to get it.

We baked some cookies, but only a few, and once we got tired of it, we stopped.  And later that night I told the kids to put on their jackets and boots on top of their pj’s and we hopped in the car for a spontaneous tour of the Christmas lights in our area, stopping first to pick up some hot chocolate from a drive-through on our way.  If I would have spent my afternoon baking all of the cookies I thought I was supposed to bake, and managing the memory I thought my kids should have, I would have been to tired for the light tour.  And I would have missed out on hearing my son say, from the back seat of the van, “Mom, this is the best day ever.”

This year there were some pretty great gifts under the tree but I think the best one was the gift I gave myself.  The gift of realizing memories can’t be managed, and sometimes you just have to sit back and let them happen all by themselves.

I hope all of you are having a holiday season filled with your own amazing memories.

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Is it just me or has the retail industry gotten a little ahead of themselves lately? I mean obviously they need to have certain items in stores ahead of when they are actually needed but seriously, have the people who look after these things decided that the calendar is now completely irrelevant?

This year the Halloween costumes were in my local store at pretty much the same time as the school supplies. The first time I saw them I panicked – is it that time already? Man, I better pick up the kids’ costumes before they all get picked over! Picked over? It was barely September for goodness sakes!

I used to pat myself on the back whenever I was (surprisingly) organized enough to have clothes purchased and ready in advance of the changing seasons. Now, however, it seems that I’m now expected to be two seasons ahead and have the super hero ability to be able to predict what clothing and shoe sizes my kids are going to be six months from now.

Looking for a winter jacket in November? Too late, all that’s left in stores are extra small or extra large – and both in colours that the kids won’t go anywhere near. Forget that it’s still Fall outside – don’t even bother asking the cashier if they have any more sizes in the back, he’ll look at you as if you just asked him to sew you one from scratch. Apparently the time to buy winter clothes is four months before you’re actually going to wear them.

Looking for a bathing suit in June? Nope, they’re pretty much all gone by mid-April. I live north of the Great Lakes – no one here is wearing a bathing suit in April!!

My local home decor store was fully decked out for Christmas more than two weeks ago; complete with four themed trees and miles and miles of little twinkly lights. What ever happened to waiting until December? Or forget December, what ever happened to waiting until Halloween was done?

I had to send my husband to Costco at the beginning of September to buy new Christmas garlands because I knew they would be gone in less than a week. When he arrived back from his errand he informed me he got the last two. For real. Then I had to find room to stash them in the garage for two and a half months, waiting for it to actually be Christmas time.

I get stressed every time I go shopping now, feeling horribly behind before I even get started. What an awful mother I must be if I left buying winter boots until October. What ever made me think that was an okay thing to do?

It’s November and I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping yet? I’ll never get it done in time now! Is it any wonder that I’m usually tired of the holidays long before they even arrive? Am I the only one who thinks it’s wrong to drink eggnog while wearing shorts and a tank top? How special are the decorations, music and cookies, when you have them for two months instead of just a couple of weeks? By the time December 25 finally rolls around I just want to pack it all away and be rid of the whole thing.

And when I finally get the last box of decorations packed away I will (mistakenly) think I can relax for a month or so.

That is until my next trip to the store reveals that the Easter baskets, patio sets and flip flops are now on clearance.

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