FAIL, help, holidays, shopping, stress, whine

Fighting my bah-humbug

I have complained about the “Christmas chore list” before, and while I could certainly do so again, I won’t because I’m trying to fight my bah-humbug. Trying counts for something, right?

Last year, it was the Great Christmas FAIL of 2009. This year, it’s the Great Shipping Debacle of 2010. In my excitement of finally finding gifts for those ever difficult people to shop for, I kind-of-sort-of totally (but accidentally) shipped a third of our gifts to our old house in PA. You know, the one we don’t live in anymore. After much profanity banging my head against the desk and vowing to give up my role as Santa next year, I begged our friend who lives a few streets down to collect our packages and forward them to us. Thanks to her good naturedness, said packages are on their way to us as I type. You read it here: the true story of how one person is saving Christmas. It’s difficult to bah-humbug after that.

And really, that is the secret to fighting my bah-humbug: asking for help. Did you hear that? That was Hubby exclaiming, “Whaaat?!” with an exaggerated sarcasm that few can rival.

It’s true: I hate to ask for help. Part of that stems from serious control issues. Yes, I admitted it. The other part of it started in my teens when I inexplicably developed this need to do it all. Hubby frequently reminds me that nobody expects me to do it all but me. Old habits are hard to break, though, aren’t they? But I’m trying.

As previously mentioned, I spend much of our holiday preparation time racking my brain for elusive gift ideas for almost half our family members. This usually leads to several freak-outs before buying last-minute (and thus over-budget) gifts that I wind up second guessing until the moment they’re opened by the recipients. Last weekend, I felt the panic start to rise and our credit cards shiver with fear, so I sent SOS emails to family members who I thought might be able to point me in the right direction. I have always been afraid to admit that there is a portion of our family we don’t know super well, but when I take into consideration that we have only seen/talked to them once a year for less than a decade, I have to let us off the hook a little and ask the people who know them better to assist. Doing so meant finishing my pre-shopping planning in record time, and now I’m excited about the gifts we’re giving. Take that, Scrooge!

Then there are the holiday cards. And don’t even get me started on the laundry and other household chores that always seem to get away from me at this time of year. But with the help of Hubby, who graciously started his role today as one of my elves, the to-do list is starting to shrink. Seeing a few things finally checked off and having a plan to get the rest of my tasks accomplished, I’m actually beginning to feel more relaxed – and dare I say, in the holiday spirit – and less like shouting, “Bah-humbug!” at the kids waiting in line to see Santa …or maybe it’s just the salted caramel hot chocolate talking. Ask me again how I’m feeling this time next week.

2 thoughts on “Fighting my bah-humbug”

  1. I gave up years ago and went to gift cards for the extended family that we still buy for (his parents, my parents). We usually go with the “Have a dinner and movies on us” theme and get gift cards for chain restaurants that exist in their neck of the woods. Easier to mail too!


  2. We only buy presents for the kids and then have special nights out for the adults (with a babysitter fund that everyone chips in on).

    Also, I, too, have that control issue. However, I have noticed that if I do myself, it gets done and done right. Is that a control issue or just the way things are?


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