Thursday, December 13, 2012

Over-Achieving Elves among Us

I exist to make holiday-happy, put-a-wreath-on-it folks (you know who you are) feel superior. My name's Pat, and I'm a Christmas slacker.

Today is December 13, a lucky date for those of you who finished shopping for gifts, wrapped them beautifully (no gift bags for you!), and placed them under a decked-out tree.

You achievers, though, tend to doubt yourselves. Quit it! You're making me and the elves crazy.  Stop kicking yourself for forgetting someone on your list. You made a list. High five! 

Do you wish you'd put up multi-color light strands instead of white or white instead of multi-color? Dude, you put up lights.

Are you second guessing the Starbucks card you bought for your child's teacher? Stop angsting. You know how you chug coffee before you wake up your kid for school? Multiply one kid times thirty and you'll understand how much a latte or cappuccino means to a teacher. Parent of the Year! Parent of the Year!

Wish you'd retouched the paint on the wooden reindeers prancing across your front lawn? Know I drive by your house to admire them every day. Who notices faded paint when the reindeer hold their heads at such a jaunty angle? You rock!

What? You baked tried-and-true sugar cookies instead of making Martha Stewart's Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies? You made cookies! They'll be no lumps of coal in your stocking.

By this time next week, I may have a decorated tree. If so, it's because of the shining example y'all have set.
That said, would it have killed you to set the bar a little lower?

Your turn: Do you prepare for the holidays weeks in advance or prefer the adrenaline rush of last-minute shopping?


Jennette Marie Powell said...

I only do it ahead of time because I order as much online as possible, and I hate crowds. The only reason the tree is decorated is because my daughter kept asking. Other decorations are minimal, and baking? LOL yeah right. :)

Lark Howard said...

A tree, Pat? You're making me look REALLY bad.

Steve strung one string of icicle lights over the garage doors on existing hooks from the last homeowner. He also bought a red poinsettia yesterday and put it on his desk in a porcelain container in the living room. That does it for us. I haven't even started Christmas shopping yet and baking cookies? NOT in my reality! If it was up to me, I'd skip the holidays all together!!!

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Oh, you're killing me! Just last night I insisted that my husband adorn the house with lights. He got one strand up before declaring it was too cold to stay outside!

I have gifts, but they remain unwrapped. They very well might stay that way.

I do have a tree and it is decorated. I did make one batch of cookies that were devoured in less than 2 days. I'm not making anything else. That was it. Baking done.

I am not an overachieving elf this year, although I have been in the past. This year, I'm thankful to be upright at this point.

Thanks for a very fun post! Here's to the underachieving, no-bar setting rest of us!

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Sarah Andre said...

It's taken years of intense psychotherapy to ALMOST douse my Martha Stewart obsessive-compulsive holiday perfection gene.

I used to hire my interior designer friends to help me decorate the outside and inside in color coordinating, showcase-worthy, themed ornaments. (Angels one year, jesters another.)Fresh cedar garlands, snaked with lights and lush ribbons and plump homemade bows.

Ahhh, the stress, the perfection, the I-can-do-better-than-this lectures to myself!

Now I spend a couple of hours total to decorate the front yard in a simple, whimsical Toyland theme. Very little or nothing is put up inside if no parties or guests are scheduled. (Like this year!)

I also space the tasks out much more. Order Christmas cards right after Halloween, address them and write 2 sentences inside after Thanksgiving and all are in the mail the first week of Dec.

Presents are mostly bought online, so much so that the UPS man is on my must-give-homemade-cookies gift list!

Wrapping: here's where I haven't changed! This task fills me with pleasure and it is where I take my time. Lovely Christmas music playing, dining room table covered with paper, ribbons, tags, tape, scissors, gifts and I go to work-- a little each day to prolong it!

An artist once told me that a gift should look so lovely the recipient doesn't want to unwrap it. It shows the care and love you have for them. And when I saw her spectacularly wrapped gifts I was speechless! They could have been in an art gallery.

So now I invest in beautiful holiday wrap and unique (wired) ribbons. No sticky bows or gift bags for me!

So I'm half-grinch, half MS perfect. Off to make cookies!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

"LOL, yeah right" is my new holiday mantra, Jennette. Thanks!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I have a PICTURE of a tree, Lark, not the real thing. I, too, would like to skip the holidays this year, especially since we seem to have misplaced November. Doesn't it seem as though we fast-forwarded from Halloween to Thanksgiving? Three whole weeks went AWOL.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

You have a tree, Patricia? You made cookies? Your elf status may be on stand-by this year, but your cap is festooned with jingle bells.

I'm glad you're still standing.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Half Grinch, half Martha Stewart, Sarah? I like that combination.

One of my sisters and my older daughter are excellent gift wrappers. I'm not, but I appreciate the care you take with the task and understand it helps you relax.

I'm glad you've stopped aiming for holiday perfection because you have more writing time and I love your description of cedar garlands snaked with lights.

Louise Behiel said...

well, i have a few gifts bought, but not many. but I made it easy by giving my son and his family cash...which they need. so actually I'm half done. LOL

tree is up. Much to the chagrin of my friend, I leave my lights up all year (all 3 strands of them) so that's also done. grandkids put up the tree with me, so that's done too. hmmm, I guess I'm closer than i thought. LOL

Sheila Seabrook said...

I'm definitely a last minute girl, Pat. My house is half decorated, my cards half written, and my baking list is still just a half baked plan (pun intended). Whatever gets done, gets done, and as to the rest ... well, there's always hope for next year. :)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Louise,
You've got lights up and the tree decorated? Show off!

(Love your idea of leaving Christmas lights up year-round. )

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Sheila, you are not last-minute, you're halfway there. A half-baked baking plan sounds blessedly low-cal--much appreciated at this time of year.

Coleen Patrick said...

I like to start early mostly because I lose steam fast. I'm a BIG IDEA kind of person. Over the years I've seen a lot of those big ideas turn into big messes. I still have those ideas, but I'm a little more realistic. Mostly. :) And paint retouching? Would never happen. Unless . . . hey, I could knit cute sweaters for those reindeers to hide the peeling paint . .