What I’m Doing Differently This Holiday Season

December 7, 2019

I’ve noticed lately that the older I get, the more consistent my lists become. There’s shockingly little variation these days in my shopping lists, my wish lists, my to-do lists, etc. I know myself pretty darn well at this stage of the game, and deviation doesn’t often factor into my lifestyle.

But I’m mixing things up this year, vowing to finally learn from past mistakes when it comes to the holiday season. Here’s my official list of Things I’ll Do Differently This Year, or Die Trying:

  • I’ll spring for the pricier wrapping paper to minimize tears. (The word can be pronounced either TARES or TEERS; both apply.)
  • I’ll lay the tape and scissors in the same spot after every use when wrapping presents. (This may be the most important life lesson I’ve ever learned or conveyed. You’re welcome.)
  • I’ll enjoy the holiday cards I receive without feeling guilty that I no longer send my own.
  • I’ll single-task. If I’m baking cookies, I’ll refrain from simultaneously overseeing the construction of a gingerbread house. If I’m taking my grandkids to the mall to enjoy kid-friendly sights and activities, I’ll resist the urge to grab just a few purchases while I’m there. If I’m enjoying a glass of wine, I’ll physically restrain myself if necessary from scrolling on Facebook and weighing in on the Peloton or “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” controversies. Speaking of which. . . 
  • I’ll flee from political conversations. I’ll be a blur, leaving a cloud of dust in my wake. Fair warning: Those who chase me down insisting on my opinion may spark a holiday felony, and that’s no fun for anybody, amma right?
  • I’ll stick with the decorations that bring me true joy. These, in my case, are almost exclusively sentimental. I’ll no longer drag stuff out of storage just because it exists, unless it’s to cart that stuff to Goodwill.
  • I’ll be loud and proud with my devotion to traditional carols, performed the traditional way. I hear them only once a year and beg a yuletide indulgence of my lack of tolerance for Mariah’s endless runs.
  • I’ll spend more than I intended. Wait — I do that every year, but this year, I’ll acknowledge it up front and cut myself some slack. I haven’t landed in Debtors’ Prison yet and trust that this year will be no different.
  • I’ll spend more on some people than others, because the gifts I buy will be specific to my loved ones’ individual preferences and our unique relationships, and I’ll remember I’m no good at math when tempted to even it out.
  • In the most still hours of the holiday season, I’ll play on the guitar the exquisitely beautiful Christmas song my recently deceased dad wrote and shed a river of cathartic tears in the process. (“Mary had a little boy today. Would you like to hear his name?” Geez, I’m crying already.)
  • As I click off my list of holiday activities, I’ll just drop by to see what condition my condition is in. In other words, I’ll touch base with myself periodically to ensure I’m having fun. If I’m not, I’ll stop what I’m doing and regroup immediately.

Wishing you the most peaceful and joyous holiday season ever.

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© 2020 Christine Hurley Deriso