Last weekend, on the seasonal front, I somehow managed to:
- Put up a tree
- Trim a tree
- Wrap all the presents that have heretofore arrived
- Make sable dough (for baking next weekend)
- Make salted caramels (5 gifts worth)
- Make a freakin' banana bread (the kid guilted me into something she could eat "now")
- Knit 20 per cent of a sweater (gift)
- Hang a portrait wall of paintings (posters really, that must be replaced by something realer) in my newly-painted bedroom
As you can imagine, those intermittent throat ulcers are back. And I really have no one to blame but myself. I mean, seriously, do I have to plan boeuf Bourguignon for pre-Xmas-Xmas dinner? What ever happened to ordering Indian??
My other secret, however, is that - in many ways - I am actually coasting. The packaging for my handmade baked-goods is the exact same as that of last year (I didn't even reprint labels). For that matter, so is the roster of baked goods. I have enough wrapping to last till Armageddon, so I didn't buy anything new. Fuck complementary colours under the tree. As you know, I purchased almost nothing in-store. So there you go, tons of gifts without even having to put on a coat or outwit a crowd. People, I shopped while watching TV (shhhhh).
Here's what I hope for us all (and, for me, this may involve a Christmas miracle): May we be love-bitten by the true spirit of the holidays, whichever ones we feel like. Take that in whatever way it works for you: Want egg nog? Drink it. Love lunching with friends? Make a reservation. Hate decorating? Then don't do it. Tired? Hang out and coast. 'Tis the season, after all.
On a related note: Go to an open house, even if you're unconvinced. Eat a bite of gingerbread cuz your colleague made it specially and it's from a family recipe, even if you don't much like it. Enjoy the pleasure of others as they expend effort to motivate yours.
And definitely smack anyone (wink) who whines about being overcome by perfectionism. Christmas is not an excuse to indulge in that compulsion. :-)
PS: On a TOTALLY unrelated note - unless we put this under the heading of Presents I Got for Myself: Today I wore my new boots and my new coat and I am utterly convinced (like I wasn't before?!) of the value of buying quality. I walked to and from work (more than 7km) in those boots with nary a twinge of ouchiness. They are so comfortable - and gorgeous! And my coat was as warm as could be (it recently got chilly here) outside but, so light that it didn't threaten overwhelm me while I waited for my coffee in the crowded shop. In fact, it was as comfortable inside as outside. Not to mention that I got numerous compliments. Of course, I'm not suggesting that we buy what we cannot afford but I do think a stretch, now and again, especially if one eschews volume for quality, is a very good idea. The Rosedale ladies call it an investment.