Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


‘Twas the Week Before Christmas and My Hair Was On Fire

Going nuts yet?

🙂 I am. Absolutely, top of the mark, never been anyone nuttier, nuts.

I always do this time of year. After all, it’s only 9 days before Christmas.

It’s the time of year when everyone looks forward to receiving gifts and I’m worried I won’t get them right thing.

It’s the time of year when I want my house to look fabulous. It’s still crowded with boxes of decoration. (Maybe I’ll toss a little tinsel at them and declare it’s supposed to look like that.)

It’s the time of year when food’s supposed to be the b-e-s-t. The most flavorful. When just looking at it makes you smile. And I don’t know what to fix. (sigh)

Can you define pressure?

So far this year, everything is normal. If they’re honest, most women are feeling at least a touch of this pressure about now. Oh, I know a woman or two who might be as behind as me and aren’t pressured, and while I’d love to be that laid back, I doubt I ever will be.

And I know a woman or two who are totally finished shopping and wrapping and baking and gifting, but I don’t think they’re human. How do they buy their children’s Christmas gifts in January, as some women tell me they do? If they buy it in January, how do they know it’s something they’re going to want by December? How do they know what’s going to come on the market by the next Christmas season? Impossible!

And I know a woman or two who just won’t bother to shop. They’ve discovered the beautiful truth that loved ones will continue to love them, even if they never send a gift. I’m just not sure my loved ones like me that much. 😛

My mom spent the month of December shopping for her six kiddos (and later their spouses and her grandchildren) decorating, cooking, baking, practicing for everyone’s Church plays and cantatas, and pretty much rushing around as if her hair was on fire.

That’s normal, isn’t it? Well, it was normal for mom (although most people didn’t see it) so it seems normal for me.

Every year I plan to start decorating as soon as November hits. I plan to get my menus all lined out. And gifts bought and wrapped THE MINUTE THEY COME IN THE DOOR.

Usually, though, I’m still putting away decoration boxes on Christmas Eve morning, running to the store for food, buying gift bags to cram presents into and hiding a stash of cash just in case I screwed somebody’s list up or left someone out.

(Nightmare: I wake up on Christmas morning and realize I’ve forgotten I have a fourth son, so I start furiously knitting a stocking to sneak onto the fireplace mantle and robbing the other boys’ presents to give the forgotten one something so he won’t know just how completely I’ve forgotten him.)

Happily, that hasn’t happened. 😉

So, I’m rushing off to do my hair and head out to work and a party with food and (probably) the wrong gift so I can play Dirty Santa.

Dirty Santa. Every play? Ever notice the players fight over the rules and/or the rules change as you play the game?

Now where’s that hair-fire extinguisher?