List 21: Christmas to do list shame spirals

I love Christmas. I do a lot of Christmassy things in December but rarely as many as I initially intend. Perhaps I could keep up with the expectations of a Martha Stewart-esque holiday if I had her staff and budget, but I don’t. Over time my ambitious holiday to do lists must evolve to reflect a busy holiday reality.

Below are 40 moments from my typical holiday shame spirals.

Christmas Cards

  1. Great! I have enough Pampers “Gifts to Grow” points (what my husband calls “Camel Cash for Kids”) to get free Shutterfly photo cards.
  2. I have no idea what pictures to use.
  3. These pictures with this template look great. I’m a genius of graphic design.
  4. Cards ordered!
  5. I’m so excited to send these cards to people.
  6. [Package arrives a week later] Oh shit. The cards. I need to send these to people.
  7. Where the hell are the addresses from last year?
  8. I’ve addressed enough cards for today. I’ll do the rest later.
  9. If I send the rest of these cards now there’s no way they’ll arrive before Christmas.
  10. It will be good to hold on to 20 extra copies of this year’s holiday card as keepsakes anyway.

Christmas Tree

(My early ambivalence toward a Christmas tree is the only tradition execution that becomes more ambitious as Christmas nears.)

  1. Do I really want to deal with a real tree again?
  2. Maybe I just won’t do a tree at all. I’ve done that a few years, and it was okay.
  3. No. I want a tree.
  4. But this weekend is too busy to get one.
  5. And the house isn’t ready.
  6. Okay. Let’s get a tree.
  7. No, we can’t decorate it yet. You’re supposed to wait 24 hours to let a boughs settle or the temperature to regulate or something.
  8. [3-4 days later] Shit. I need to decorate this tree.
  9. [Getting repeated poked by needles as I try to put on the lights] I hate real trees. Next year I’m getting one of those pre-lit fake ones.
  10. [After using hanging less than half of the ornaments] That’s enough for now. I’ll finish later.
  11. [After never hanging the other ornaments] It’s a good thing I never took the decorations boxes back to the basement because now they are right here so I can pack up the ornaments.
  12. I hate undecorating the tree. Next year I’ll be one of those people who stores a fully decorated tree in the basement.

Outside Decor

  1. It looks so pretty when houses are all decorated with Christmas lights.
  2. We should decorate our house with Christmas lights.
  3. Even the four year old keeps asking when we’ll decorate our house.
  4. Where would we plug in lights? How would we hang them? I really hate ladders.
  5. I’ll just wrap some garland around the railings and put a wreath on the door. I don’t want people lurking outside my house in the dark anyway.

Elf on the Shelf

  1. No.

Advent Calendar

  1. We’re not religious, so we don’t need an Advent calendar.
  2. But an Advent Calendar is a fun way to count down to Christmas even if Advent isn’t a meaningful concept to my kids.
  3. I’ll make a cool Advent calendar. Some of the ideas on Pinterest look great and are really easy.
  4. I don’t have time to make an Advent calendar, so I’ll buy one of the ones with little openings to fill with my own things.
  5. The supermarket cardboard ones filled with chocolate are fine.
  6. Hey kids, you get three candies tonight because we keep forgetting to do the Advent calendar!

Sugar Cookies

  1. I’ll make the dough now then roll, cut, and bake the cookies later. The kids can help decorate them. In the meantime, I’ll just eat this chunk of dough.
  2. Having the kids help decorate the cookies will be a mess. I’ll do them all myself. In the meantime, I’ll just eat this chunk of dough.
  3. Actually, the cookies are pretty enough on their own. I’ll roll, cut and bake them, but leave them au naturel. In the meantime, I’ll just eat this chunk of dough.
  4. My husband went out, and the kids are in bed. I’ll just eat this chunk of dough.
  5. There isn’t enough dough to make baking cookies worth it. I might as well just eat the dough.
  6. I’d better ask Santa for new pants. These ones shrunk.

Be honest. Do all of your holiday “to do” lists always get “to done” entirely? What corners do you cut?

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