As if on a loop, my brain lopes from this to that: Finishshopping; greeting cards (haven't even addressed an envelope); andbaking! Do I have enough flour, sugar, chocolate, festive holidaysprinkles? And wrapping ... OMG, gotta wrap gifts, get them underthe Christmas tree ... which, YIKES, still isn't decorated!
On it goes. Soon this brain loop infiltrates everything. Drivingin my car it ceaselessly spins its way in and out of my mind. Andisn't it always this time of year when EVERY driver out there isjust stunningly slow? The light has turned green already, and theguy in front of you simply sits there.
No, I am not one of those rude drivers who honks at the driverin front to get them moving. Well, not unless they obviouslyhaven't observed that the light changed perhaps two seconds ago,and then come on! You owe it to them to give them a little tap withyour horn.
This time of year, if I am out and about and really runninglate, I may opt for the drive-through dinner. I hate myself fordoing this because at home is the nice piece of fish thawing, butreally, who has time to be healthy during the holidays? So I pullinto the drive-through lane behind a minivan with approximately 74kids inside and the driver, who seems genuinely surprised to beasked for her order, has to canvass each and every kid about whatthey want to eat.
Of course she gives only a rough draft of her order to the fastfood person manning the speaker. It will take at least sevenrevisions before the driver gets it right, and there will be evenfurther discussions at the payment window. Good thing I'm savingall this time on dinner.
At home, nothing goes right. The dog becomes needy. He needsout. And then in. And then out. I seriously need doggie diapers. IfI could simply take him out, say, on Saturdays instead of thisincessant in-and-out business maybe I could actually finish myholiday decorating, baking, wrapping and greeting card mailing.
Every so often what seems like a rational query knocks on thedoor of my over-burdened brain. Why do I do this to myself? Eachyear I swear I'll be more organized so I can ENJOY the holidayseason rather than ramming through it like I'm possessed. But thatthought is pushed away because my Christmas village, which hastaken on suburbs, needs re-arranging. The city planner in merelocates the pine forest at the edge of town to the area whereSanta is visiting, maybe ... oh, good grief! I need to calm downand get a grip here!
Perhaps what's getting me down is there needs to be more holiday"giving" in my holiday "living." I'm too wrapped up in things thatdon't matter. Yes, I do my annual dropping off of food, toys andthe like for those less fortunate because I am truly grateful forall of my blessings. But in the meantime, I simply must – MUST! –locate that hard-to-find item my spouse requested for Christmas.I'll just check online and see if ...
"LIGHTNING DEAL?" What the ...? OK, if I order thisburping-doll-in-pink-tights-and-tutu in the next 14 minutes and 9seconds I will save more than 40 percent. Wow! This doll would beperfect for Gracie so I'll hurry up and – STOP IT! Flashing on myscreen a message says I now have less than 8 minutes to make mypurchase and checkout or I'll lose this breathtaking bargain –except what about my spouse's gift? Can I still do it? Is theretime? YES!!!! Scored on that one, but I need to lie down. Or take apill. Or both.
So I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed the other day when Idecided to drop by my daughter's house where my three grandbabieswere playing together. And what do you know ... here's 3-year-oldblonde-headed Gracie nuzzling my neck as her year-and-a-half oldsister, Emily, clambers onto my lap, and toddling toward me as fastas his chubby legs will carry him comes almost 1-year-old Charlie,his big snaggly-toothed grin lighting up the room. And I got it ...I finally got it. The holiday magic. It was right here allalong.
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