There was shopping on Black Friday for the first time in years. (It was online. But the money was out of my account by dusk, so I'm counting it.) There was a Saturday post-Thanksgiving trip to see the jolly man in red for list delivery and thanks for last year's presents. This weekend there was the Illumination downtown followed by the Ukrops parade followed by tree decoration and Hanukkah preparation.
And this morning I continued the decades long holiday tradition of sewing at some crazy time to finish a project in the 13th hour. This year it was the Advent Calendar I promised my son.
Yes, I am perfectly aware that this is December 2. The child brought that up both yesterday and today. He was quickly appeased when I pointed out that he gets twice as many treats today.
But here's the weird thing. Today is December 2 and I have 95% of my holiday shopping finished. The cards are ready. The house is 2/3 decorated. The rush is averted and the hip satellite radio holiday station plays in the car. We may put up a second tree just because we can...
And this really doesn't feel like the holidays.
Holidays to me are exhausted gatherings where the glitter is still stuck to various body parts from an all-night craft extravaganza. Holidays are the simultaneous delivery of the card, the present, and last year's thank you note. The holidays are about giving up and getting a gift certificate. The holidays are about being so stressed out for weeks of frenzy that "all I want for Christmas" becomes a nap.
Wait a minute. I have six services to do, then I drive a 2 and a 5 year old 13 hours to Florida for a "vacation" to do four more services at church camp, then drive the 13 hours back to throw a 40th birthday party for my husband. That feels EXACTLY like the holidays.