Calm down, you say?  It’s only October, you say?  I can’t calm down!  THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!

Halloween is not even over yet and I’m like CVS the day after Columbus Day: In full-on holiday mode! Grab the hand print turkeys and the animatronic Santa–I have things to do.

Did you realize that there are ONLY 30 days until Thanksgiving?  Now that might seem like an eternity to you, but I have 40 people coming for dinner.  And I don’t know about you, but being a working mom, I am too tired to do anything around the house after work before bedtime, other than throw out the paper plates we just used at dinner.  So that really means I only have four weekends to get my shit together, I mean get organized!  If you read last year’s post about our Thanksgiving tradition (check it out here) you’ll know that we have a huge gathering in our garage.  Right now, said garage is full of our summer memories: Cardboard that needs to be recycled, bikes that need to be stored, various sets of golf clubs, not to mention garbage leftover from last year’s celebration! Yeah I know, gross.  Gah! Why-oh-why do I let it get so out of hand!?  Then there’s the inside the house cleaning.  Thank goodness for new carpets, the place may have cobwebs in the corners, but at least it has that “new car” smell.  I dread the oh-so-many runs to Sam’s Club and Christmas Tree Shops for party goods and don’t even get me started on the cooking!  Oh wait, I don’t cook—I assign.  That means I have to get on the phone and invite the people and give them their potluck assignments!  “You want to bring a can of cranberry sauce? Oh hell no. How about 20 pounds of mashed potatoes?”

Once all the pie is eaten and the decorations are taken down, I don’t miss a beat.  I get right on to panicking about Christmas!  Now’s the time for planning and shopping!  I have to make lists!  Who’s been naughty?  Who’s been nice?  Don’t forget to save the money for the shopping! (OMG I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention!)  How am I going to get it all done?

Luckily, I start my Christmas craziness off with my annual Girls Shopping Day, where I get together with four of my best friends from college.  I think this is our 15th year doing this.  We eat a leisurely lunch (read: lots of wine) and get on with filling the stockings and all that.  My goal is to get everyone done in that one day, not only the gifts but the wrapping paper too.  It feels a little like Supermarket Sweep, but with more meaningful Christmas gifts (Sure…).  The wine helps.

By loading up all my holiday anxiety early, I can get it out of the way.  After the first weekend in December I am free to enjoy all the beauty of the season at my own pace.  I can actually enjoy the 24-hour Christmas music on the radio instead of feeling like it’s the beating of a war drum, urging me onward.  It makes for a quite a lovely holiday season.  Until I remember on Christmas Eve that I haven’t wrapped a single present.

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