Holiday pressure

Steamrolled by the whirlwind that has become Christmas 2008, I’m in a funk, I’m panicked, I’m trying to keep up.

The tribe of in-laws is in town, and we’ve been at family activities nearly every night. The mainland contingent returns for the holidays every two years, and it’s great to get together to talk, eat guacamole, drink sparkling wine, and take our turns at entertaining the whole gang. Last night it was a pool party and barbecue at Honolulu Tower. Tonight it’s a showing of “Peter Pan” at Diamond Head Theatre. Tomorrow? Their place or ours? The pressure is on! I’m as happy to cook and entertain as the next person, but I’m also working, writing free-lance stories, and covering the Mom and Wife details, too!

DH suggested a return to yoga, which is a good idea, but probably not until January. I regularly participated in a weekly session at work. The Friday noon class was best for me, but as the year drew to a close, there was an increase in lunches and meetings that bled into the time slot. Wednesdays are dedicated to Weight Watchers meetings, which will resume sometime in January. Telecommuting usually occurs on Monday and Thursday, unless meetings are scheduled, or I’m feeling the need to put in some reassuring face time. 

Then there are the free-lance writing assignments. I almost never turn them down. I love working on the stories, but if they take too much time, or they go back and forth too often through the editing process, there is a decided diminishment of returns. I need to write once and be through with it. None of this twice or thrice stuff! Time is money, folks!

So what holiday ball have I dropped? We bought Madonna and child postage stamps, but didn’t send out holiday greeting cards. Our tree is still in its box. DH and the girls promised me they’d put it up today. I used to be pretty anal about how the decorations go on, but I’m letting my 9- and 7-year-old girls loose, promising myself not to change a thing, even if one side is more decorated than the other. I expect the faint memory of yogic breathing to kick in when I see the windsurfing Santa, which is predominantly red, next to a strawberry or an apple, instead of a white snowflake or ice cycle.

UPDATE! My gang put up AND decorated the tree this morning. They probably did it before breakfast! They love me so!

What’s going under the tree? I think we’ve got that covered, but again, DH has stepped up and organized quite a bit of this year’s leaner and meaner mission. Not that we’re stuffing their stockings with oranges, and we have made several threats of canceling the day altogether, but, we carefully scrutinized ideas and discarded those that would probably end up sitting on a shelf in a couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll bring out the “Toy Story” movies to remind the girls of how lonely a forgotten toy becomes.

I need to slow down and enjoy this life, my family, my home, and my friends near and far. There’s a cure for this. It’s called forgiveness, something I too often deny myself.

UPDATE: I like this column that is running in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Steve Hendrix of the Washington Post called “Being Father Christmas, part 1: The year Daddy ran Christmas.”

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. Hey girlfriend! I feel your pain. During the holidays, it’s hard to tame our inner Martha so do what you can and don’t worry about the rest. It all works out in the end anyway. Have a wonderful Christmas and try and get some “me” time. You deserve it!

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