humour lifestyle

Talk Is Cheap: I Wrote A Feature About Avoiding Holiday Stress But Then This Happened…

'Pace yourself' I said. 'Get organised' I said. 'Write lists, shop early, budget'...and what did I do?

I have a confession to make. A couple of weeks ago I posted 10 tips for a stress free holiday season. It had all the right ideas, and I truly believed they would indeed result in a less stressful run up to Christmas. It was just what I needed to hear too and as I hit ‘Publish’ I was full of organised holiday cheer…thing is, less than a week out from the big day and I have completely failed to take my own bloody advice! ‘Turn down invitations to some parties and give yourself space’, I said. ‘Pace yourself with the drinks’, I said. ‘Get organised, write lists, start shopping sales early and shop locally, have a budget and stick to it and do it all while immersing yourself in an enlightening podcast’, all great ideas…in theory! Let’s see how that went shall we?

So the weekend after that post I attended a ‘work-do’. Though my friends dutifully tried to balance my water-to-wine ratio, the volume of each became apparently irrelevant after the 4th or 5th glass. Cut to Saturday morning and me getting closer to my toilet bowl than I have with a scrubbing brush in a while and a day supposed to be spent ‘getting organised’ and hitting the shops sans hangover, preparing for the kid’s Christmas party I had rather rashly decided to throw on the first day of the holidays and preparing cards and gifts for teachers and colleagues etc, was consequently spent horizontal, on Instagram messenger with my head resting on a heat pack. *Side note: I discovered recently, as a migraine sufferer where headaches are my kryptonite – the heat pack has become the sidekick to my painkillers and it works an absolute treat! I always thought cool packs were the way to go, but the heat pack has been a game changer!

But, I digress. So, that’s about half of my previous post completely ignored within the first few days. How about the budgeting? Do I have a little spreadsheet going on my smartphone to keep me abreast of every Smiggle pencil case and roll of ribbon I have purchased thus far? No, I bloody don’t. I don’t actually know where the ribbon even is, let alone how much it cost, and no doubt I will end up going out to buy some more at twice the price at the last minute, before discovering the original roll come Easter time! I also don’t have a list. I started well, but after the first few items were ticked off I have been flying solo, spontaneously purchasing cat headphones and ‘masculine scents’ every time I go near the shops…none of which as yet have been local shops btw, another sage bit of advice I will no doubt rely on in the last minute dash on Christmas eve!

The one thing I did suggest and have stuck to, is shopping online…but…I did it yesterday and paid express to ensure it made it to my family in the UK in time. I must say though, hats off to Amazon…within 36 hours the packages were delivered by Vladimir within a 1 hour window! I’m still waiting for a gift that was sent from the UK to me in mid-November!

‘Have a crafternoon’…bwahaha…ok, so at which point did I think I would have enough room on my dining room table or energy in my bones to host such creativity? The oversized table is currently piled with the school report, ballet certificates, receipts, a year’s worth of artworks, a nativity scene, camera, laptop, more receipts (if my accountant was reading this it would make so much sense of my tax returns), cards, tissue paper (no ribbon though), books and magazines etc. We have to dig down and carve out spaces to eat, never mind laying out brown paper and watercolours…which reminds me, I probably need to buy more brown paper as I found two darling little guests at my aforementioned Christmas party using my original rolls as bloody lightsabers…perhaps crinkled is chic, non?

Suffice to say dear friends, while in theory it would have been a far less stressful lead up to the big day had I followed my own sound advice, yet again life happened and another year passes where I blinked and the first two weeks of December vanished (I blame that elf, she’s sly that one), I have seriously consider shopping at 11pm – because the hangover should be gone by then shouldn’t it? – I’m sending ‘digital Christmas cards’, my liver is disowning me, perhaps my own family too…especially when the credit card bill comes in with all the last minute panic buys and the only thing on my list is to make a bloody list…and to buy ribbon.

My other half has the right idea at least, he followed suggestion number 4 and has ‘carved out some me time’ by escaping the madness and going out to watch Star Wars – while I’m searching Amazon blindly, researching Nordic Christmas interiors on Pinterest although our house has been decorated since November 29th and leafing through Donna Hay’s Christmas magazine – even though as he’s the vegan he will be in charge of Christmas lunch and there won’t be a roast ham or meringue in sight! But it’s ok, because there’s still 6 (micro)sleeps left and we’re experts at this by now – we’ve got this, right?

How are you going with your Christmas prep? Have you been the epitome of organised cool or is it more a case of organised chaos? Let us know in the comments below and may the force truly be with you friends – I look forward to seeing some of you in the ribbon aisle at 11pm!

Happy Holidays!





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