Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas: The Ultimate Endurance Event

When I check out this site's traffic statistics for the past three years I've notice a unique drop this last week before Christmas.

Unless you are a teacher or student and are on Christmas break, chances are, you are busy...and probably too busy to read StrangeCulture.

No offense taken. It's not just "a" busy time of year, it really has to be the busiest time of year.

Other than a wedding, and a few other unique occasions, I cannot think of a time where so much energy is poured into one day.

Of course, it really seems to begin the day after Thanksgiving.

It begins with black Friday a day that kicks off the shopping, the great deal of shopping you will do over this next month...of course, you're shopping for gifts to give to your great Uncle Joe from Toledo, but those great discounts and clearance racks mean that many people go home with a few bags of new clothes and that flat screen TV that they've been waiting for to go on sale.

Of course, on Thanksgiving weekend, you are doing all you can to spend time with your family, you try to catch one of the big Holiday movies that has just come out, as if you had hours of free time to spend at the movie theater, when you need to hanging the lights on the house and putting up the Christmas tree. Some of the more adventurous go chop down their own tree or tie one to the roof of their car, while you save time by trying to build a tree that's been stored in a box for a year, and suddenly you realize, you can't quiet remember how all the pieces go in place, and where did you put that Christmas tree skirt last year?

And of course, there's always the task of untangling the lights you thought you carefully put away last year.

There's also the Christmas cards to prepare, and perhaps to save time you decided to skip the Christmas letter this year, but when you send off that card to your former work associate, you can't imagine not putting in an update on how your children are doing because he always took such a keen interest in them.

There's cookies to be made, and updated decorations to be bought, there's sales to scour, and menus to plan.

But this...oh no, this is not enough. Before you can even think about wrapping up those gifts in time to mail off to your niece and nephew you realize that the calender is filling up with Christmas events that somehow fall outside of the realm of Christmas day. There's the work shin-dig and the friend shin-dig and you think, really it would be a nice time to volunteer, being that it really should be a season of giving.

Suddenly, you realize that the day before your work's cookie exchange you are performing in the church's evening Cantata, so after singing your favorite holiday songs in the church choir, you rush to the store to pick up a tin to display your cookies, and you really wish you made one more cookie, so you work on that until 2 a.m.

It's at that moment you begin to second guess your Christmas gift list and realize that you probably should have spent more time shopping by now, and you begin to figure out which people left on your list are going to get gift cards instead of boxed sweaters. You figure they'd rather a gift card anyway.

With less than a week left of Christmas, there's the last minute can hardly believe your friends who say they haven't even started, wondering how they could ever be carefree. You're fortunate that you're not traveling this year because you still have so much left to do, but the vice of not traveling is the people who are coming over to your house Christmas eve, after the evening service, and you have hardly prepared a menu, let alone begun preparing any of the food...and it's then you second guess when the last time you did a full bathroom cleaning.

Your sister-in-law has invited herself over and you need to prepare the guest room now, too.

And by the time Christmas day comes your hard work is shown and it always turns out to be a great success -- and only because you have done it every year do you not even realize how crazy it's been. With all the effort and time, you've become so resilient to this endurance event you go shopping the day after though, you haven't already been to mall ten times over the past month. You send out thank you notes to the people you sent Christmas cards to three months prior, and if you're lucky you'll figure out a way to take the lights off the house and wrap them up so they won't be so tangled next year.

So of course, in the midst of the ultimate endurance event I understand if you don't visit StrangeCulture as frequently, and instead take advantage of the chance to spend time with family and prepare for such an exciting day. I hope you have a blessed Christmas season in every way.


Darrell said...

Hey, just a quick OT comment to wish a merry Christmas week to you and your family!

Attila the Mom said...

I got worn out just reading that! LOL

Hope you and yours have a fabulous holiday.


Schoenstars said...

First, I wanted to let you know that I just happened upon Strange Culture about a week ago. I'm in love!! I enjoy your writing and your sense of humor. Second, try lugging around a 9 month old whilst attending to the Christmas busyness. I honestly don't know how we don't just drop dead in the middle of it all!!

Anonymous said...

Its funny cuz its true! Great post. And I too have noticed a dip in my blogs activity in recent months. I can't believe someone would rather Christmas shop for loved ones than read about the cookies my dog ate last week.

Anonymous said...

You are pretty funny!