December 15, 2007

Christmas! It's such a chore!

Basically Christmas is the one holiday of the year with the most urgent deadline. Just what the busy freelancer needs... one more deadline!

It all starts with the guilt and the procrastination... which feed off one another for weeks of pre-holiday brooding. Then when denial won't work anymore, the actual shopping must begin.

This is, of course, a nearly impossible task of searching for that one missing link that will fulfill the recipient's life. Can't be done... even after weeks of brain wracking. The perfect gift remains elusive. But we compromise. Often just buying the first thing you see is the best strategy.

Then come the letters... the standard Christmas Letter. And then the individual letters...

And finally we arrive at the Herculean task of wrapping and addressing. That's an all day job right there... sorting out the wrapped presents. Trying to find the boxes they'll fit in. And then wrapping and addressing them... takes forever.

One is soon on the floor, surrounded by bits of brown wrapping paper that aren't quite long enough to wrap all the way around. And tape that sticks to itself more quickly than sticking to anything else. A frustrating sticky mess! Did I remember to put everything inside? Which box goes to which person? Ugh!

Now comes the mailing... hoping you've met the ticking deadline clock of the countdown to the big day.

My little holiday mailing secret is FedEx ground. Usually there's no line at all and it gets there in 3 days or so and you can track it's every step along the way. And it doesn't cost that much extra. Needless to say the post office line at this time of year will drive a person Postal!

Then comes the Holiday itself.

It's all those family relationships that make the Holidays such a trying time. Each year that same glaring emotional spotlight of the holidays shines all too brightly, probing the hidden places that I'm happy to just leave out of sight.

Next comes the trial of the gift exchange. I think the best metaphor for that is an intercontinental ballistic missle exchange! One answers each received volley with matching armament, and hope the desired effect is achieved!

I can offer up thanks to Amazon and online shopping for the push button ease of long distance Holiday gift exchange... I don't know how anyone could survive without it.

Ho Ho Ho... Bah Humbug!

I can't wait till the Xmas chore is all done so I can relax and watch the lights blink on the tree and enjoy a quiet eggnog & brandy.

Honestly I don't know why I keep doing it year after year. Most of my family doesn't bother sending me letters and wrapped gifts and all. Maybe just a phone call will be the perfect gift next year. But I'll probably go through the whole thing again all over.



Paula Pertile said...

I feel your pain John.
FedEx Ground! Thanks.

Paige Keiser said...

Yes yes yes, this couldn't be more spot-on! Nice write up, John :-)

Sam said...

I love your Christmas card - Lovely!!!
I think e-cards are a good idea - and I try not to ship overseas. I usually order from stores next to my family in the US and have them deliver the gifts. (Sort of cheating, but I feel better about the ecology)

Doug said...

I am there with you... it feels better to whine about things a little, doesn't it? :0)

June said...

Ho Ho Ho... Bah Humbug indeed!

Maybe next year at about November time you should consider hibernating till spring?
Sounds like a tempting option to me...

But I am sure all your efforts are actually appreciated by the recipients. They would miss you.

John Nez said...

My new big discovery is that you can actually schedule the day in advance that your present will arrive on the Costco website!

Next year I'll just get all the clicking done in November and relax!

It's always been the 'timing' of the gift mailing that's been the hardest for me.


Anonymous said...

a Merry Humbug to you John! (LOL!)

Merisi said...

I feel wrecked with guilt!
Haven't mailed a single parcel (but received a surprise one from the Seattle area - there seem to live very kind people!) this year and added my new Christmas cards (expensive ones, for those special persons in my life! stamps included) to the collection of unmailed ones of Christmasses past.
I admire people like yourself who actually to what they are supposedly supposed to do.
Merry Christmas! :-)