I’m not entirely sure why Christmas absolutely wears me out every year. This year was worse than ever that way. I was driving back from the airport after dropping off my sister and her husband last night and I could barely stay awake – at !!! I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of a bunch of things (in no particular order):
1. Hyper-intense shopping – No matter how much “early shopping” you’ve done, admit it, you continue spending enormous amounts of time/money being a consumer – right up ‘til you wrap the last gift @ on the 24th. This is a major reason why I delay any Christmas purchasing until 3-5 days before the 25th. Yeah, I get that ups the stress level a little, but it seems more efficient. Next year I’m looking into handing my friends and family dollar bills until they seem satisfied instead of going shopping.
2. “Holiday Food” – (this one may not apply to you, but it does to me) This includes candy/junk food that you would never allow yourself to eat during any other time of the year. What is it about holidays that makes it right to eat like this? Why do we feel compelled to give each other more and more of this stuff as if we’re gonna starve without consuming 1.5 pounds of pure chocolate and an equal amount of ham? Can it be any surprise that this is why the #1 New Years resolution is – Lose Weight? If we’d just eat in December like we did in July . . . anyway, you get the point. Oh yeah, and this type of eating isn’t exactly energy-creating after the first couple minutes.
3. Coordinating time with relatives and friends – (as if you’ll certainly never see any of them again) I chuckle at the phrase “herding cats,” but I think getting a large group of relatives to generally “head the same direction” is way harder than the cat thing. We dealt with folks from 15 month olds in diapers to senior citizens (in diapers). While we genuinely love ‘em all, I’d rather eat our artificial Christmas tree than try to keep everyone constantly happy. I will say that this part of Christmas went better than I expected (much thanks to my wife), but it’s still pretty tiring.
4. Christmas without cable – You can typically seek rest and solace by staring for a few hours at the tube, but without cable, there’s very little to stare at during the Navidad. You got re-runs on the Networks, “Christmas Specials” which combine the considerable talents of Clay Aiken and Barry Manilow on the same stage, and TV News updating us hourly on how much we’re spending at the malls. (how exactly are we supposed to use that information?!) This will be my last cable-less Christmas.
5. Daddy stays home with the kids – I’m not kidding when I say this was the most tiring part of Christmas “vacation” this year. On several occasions my wife left in the morning to run “errands” while I took care of the three kids. Sounds simple enough. But by the time she returned. (sometime after I’m sure) I was a walking zombie. All the neighborhood kids (numbering roughly 1,348) chose to grace us with their sugar-enhanced presence (augmented by natural kid-Christmas-giddiness), also my 3-year old chose twice to um . . . #2 right there on the kitchen floor – and walk in it! I’m an ok dad, and I take care of the little-ones a lot, with no problem for hours & hours, but for some reason on the “daddy days” the last couple weeks, by about I pretty much shut down. I tried to talk my 5 year-old into getting me a warm glass of milk and tucking me in. (He just laughed and took his 37 closest friends up to my room for wrestling practice)
Yeah, I could absolutely list a lot more, but I can tell you I had a little hop in my step as I strolled into work this morning. We had a ton of fun this Christmas, we really did, but I’m glad we only have this brand of fun once a year. Cuz I need a nap!