December 23rd historically has not been one of my finer days.
I have been known to fall apart on December 23rd. It is something about the holly jollidays, the anticipation and preparation and frankly the perfectionist tendency to try to make it a perfect holiday for everyone. Kind souls have been trying to tell me to relax about it for years — No gifts! No fuss! Kind souls have practically whacked me over the head with good advice, but I had on Santa blinders and did not see the wisdom of their words and good examples.
I did not want to let go of all the hoopla and merriment and magic, especially the last couple years when some of the “magic” had fizzled away into the world of logic and what’s real. Ironically, the harder I fought to keep the Happy in the Holidays, the more overwhelmed I became. Which is, of course, quite silly and counterproductive.
Now December 23rd is synonymous with me having an episode, as in “Now don’t go all December 23rd on me” or “Stop it! Mom will go December 23rd!” But finally, last year I believe I learned my lesson. Hello, universe? I get it now. Do not need to go through the exercise again, thanks for the nice lesson.
Last year, I made a serious tactical error and took two young boys shopping for suit coats and dress slacks, belts, ties and dress shoes. On December 23rd. I was delusional with pre-holiday manic preparation syndrome (PHMPS).
And you already know how it probably turned out, but I am going to tell you anyway: the sizes were picked over, nothing fit, small people were squirrelly in front of full-length mirrors… and then my head fell off in the dressing room. All because a couple of boys were being boys. My head rolled down a couple stalls, and I would have sent the oldest down to retrieve it for me, but he had just accidentally locked himself into a changing stall.
Ho, ho, ho.
Okay, so I have six months to change the situation. No more conniptions, melt-downs, head-rolling, or running away from home.
Make December 23rd a joyful day, with no perfectionistic PHMPS grinchiness sneaking back in…
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
After reading this post a few days ago, the following popped into my head today:
Christmas. Past, present, and perfect. Verb tense.
Somehow, they all seem related.
Cheryl — brilliant! And so true.
Wow, I’ve been going December 23rd for years now, and I just didn’t know the name for it!
I try to plan ahead. Honest I do. I generally make a few early purchases for people starting in about October. “Oh – that would be perfect for my oldest! Let me just buy it now and put it aside for later!”
And then either the oldest finds my hiding place sometime within the next 2-3 months, or else I FORGET the location of the hiding place until January. Thus amplifying the seasonal stress of the shopping season as I hunt everywhere for my secret stashes.
Good luck at preventing the holiday blues!
I’ve been waiting for this story, and am still chuckling. I think you could turn this around, and use it as a threat if you should get desperate…
Hope you are having fun on the trip!
Dude….looks like you’re getting an hour a day on the vaca (-: Good deal!
As for December 23…It’s 6 months away. Maybe there will be a new fad by then and we can just get everyone the same thing (you know, the thing that ‘s the new fad). Perhaps a Plan B is in order, also.
Safe travels in the Western Hinterlands!
karen from mentor said:
I love that expression. “Don’t go all December 23rd on me” will now replace “have a conniption fit,” “lose it,” “have a cow” and “became a total space cadet” in my personal lexicon of such phrases.
Karen (aren’t you supposed to be relaxing somewhere fancy?)
And your post gives all new meaning to the phrase….hold onto your hat, boys….santa’s coming….(see cuz your hat would have rolled away with your head….and …*sigh* nevermind)
You know December 23rd is bad when your preparing for (dreading) it six months in advance!
Every time I want to change my core personality, my wise friend Missy tells me “a leopard can’t change it’s spots”. I say let’s get if Supermodels can get air-brushed, then we should be able to replace heads and Photoshop out our spots!!!!