There’s a reason you might have seen cob webs on my blog lately. Aside from the fact that I need a new Swiffer, I’ve been caught up with a few things over the past few months. Like… oh I don’t know…moving to a new house (without professional movers). Unpacking everything with my husband and kids (and trying to understand how we have accumulated so much stuff over the years). Trying to organize and fill the house. Then repacking everything we originally unpacked on the second floor and moving it to the first floor while we have the hardwoods redone. Celebrating our new home with friends and family. Celebrating our anniversary. Finalizing a dream publishing agreement with Robyn Lane Books of Texas (woot-woot!). And…well…the obvious. The *&^%$###@ holidays.

Joy to my weekly Yahoo! calendar, the holidays are coming. How can it be the second week in December already??!

I can almost hear my parents on their way from Florida. (Which is a good thing….and a not-so-fabulous thing.)

I love them dearly, but, as my husband reminds me, I tend to get a little stressed prior to their visit, ESPECIALLY when they come during the holidays.

Why?

Because, like I said…I tend to get a little stressed this time of year.

Why?

Because no matter how hard I try, I have to admit I’m not Martha. Or Rachel. Or even my adorable 4-ft.-11 Italian mother-in-law who often finishes her Christmas shopping before Labor Day weekend. (Or my talented cousin who decorates five themed trees throughout her house that look like they belong in a New York City storefront.)

Rather than live in the present and all that other blah-blah-woof-woof I read in magazines and blogs this time of year, I tend to turn into a Gremlin. I start out all wide-eyed from rainbows-and-unicorns-expectations and morning jogs and then I gradually sneak a Lindt truffle every hour and skip enough workouts that I turn into someone who growls at the thought of another holiday deadline.

Oh yes, through the years, I have a tendency to turn into a Holiday-zilla. 

(I even have frizzy hair and stress zits from past Christmas photos to prove it.)

The days I forget to blow dry my hair, I actually LOOK like a gremlin that gets wet and snacks after midnight. It’s not a pretty sight.

Now I do appreciate the holidays. But…as soon as Black Friday arrives, I’m a goner.

After baking cookies and meat pies throughout November, rather than sing Christmas Carols, I actually feel myself tensing up just glancing at the Advent Calendar.

Now, I WANT to start Christmas shopping early.

But I never do.

I didn’t even START my list until a few days ago.

I want to order my holiday cards in November, thinking I will find that “picture perfect” picture where the four of us are captured together, smiling, without red eyes.

But I never do.

Even our dog is squinting in this year’s photo card, which I have ordered…but will probably receive two days before Christmas even though I paid extra for expedited shipping.

Through the years, my expectations tend to get so crazed, I end up screwing up something. Not everything, but something.

I also STINK when it comes to giving gifts. I do try…

I once gave a black patent leather purse for a family Yankee gift swap. I thought the “rule” was girls swap girly gifts with the women and boys swap boy-ish gifts with the men. I was born in Texas, I should have Googled Yankee swap before I participated. I ended up getting my own gift back because no one wanted it!

But my mother taught me to give gifts that YOU WOULD want to receive. (And I’m sorry, but who wouldn’t want a cute black patent leather clutch that goes with virtually every holiday ensemble?)

Last year, I gave something safe and non-gender-specific from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was so safe and boring, I can’t even remember what it was. But I crossed it off my list, right? 😉

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?

Why can’t we just enjoy this time of year? THEY’RE THE HOLIDAYS. I’M SORRY, BUT THEY SHOULD BE JOLLY, NOT STRESSFUL!

Why do so many women have to be so good at it, they make the rest of us look bad??! 🙂

This year, Christmas is going to be different.

I’m determined to NOT turn into a Holiday-zilla.

I KNOW I can do it!

I just took an Advil. I drank some green tea. 

That’s a good start, right?

The glass is half full, not drained to a puddle.

The tree is decorated. The wreaths are up.

ALMOST all the gift have been ordered. (Except the yawn-Yankee-non-gender-specific ones.)

I have a feeling everything is going to be OK… (even if you can’t really see the tree because it’s buried in a room with everything we own from the second floor).  

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

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