It’s the day before the day before the day before Christmas, and all is not quiet in the house of Steff — except for the mice.
The stockings ARE hung with care. There are no children nestled in beds, but Quatchi’s snug in his hangout place.
Menus are compiling and nerves are a-rilin’. Christmas eve will soon be nigh, and I’ll be the hostess with the mostess for some good folkses.
I’m tired. Antsy. Panicky. But this is me pre-big-entertaining week. I panic my way through and then I kill it. Next week I play Santa Steff in a breakfast I’m hosting for kids. I giggle every time I think of having four little toddlers running around here. I’ve never had more than 2 at once, and one was just this lame baby that did nothing (snicker).
Toddlers? I’ll be drinking ALL day. So, yup: Giggle!
Ahh, but that’s next week.
And if I wasn’t strung out enough this week, there’s been a full moon. Plus I’ve just been visited by my monthly friend.
I’m basically the pharmaceutical industry’s wet dream today — twitchy and anxious. Medicating works for me. Thanks, anatomy! Yer a pal!
And despite all that kerfuffleness, there’s a smile on my face. It’s Christmas! We’re less than 72 hours! Know what that means? Coffee, good effort, and whatever the fuck happens, happens!
If you don’t knock it out of the park, who cares? It’s almost out of our hands, so hang the hell on and have fun, kids!
And that’s the thing people always forget. No matter how panicky and nutty we get before it all comes down, usually it just doesn’t matter.
You get your mulled wine or whatever the hell you drink, have good folks around, get the heat turned up, lights twinklin’, laughter echoing, and NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. That’s what alcohol’s for!
Somewhere around 6:30 on Christmas Eve, that starts to sink in, so skip all this crap and get into that mode. Que sera sera, as the man sings.
I was right, you know: Making gifts? Hard work! But so rewarding! I’m still not done and that’s fine, it’s still awesome. It’s been entertaining.
Christmas feels fun this year. How many malls have I gone into? Um, none since November 18th, except for walking through one to catch a train yesterday. Take THAT, malls!
I’ve even gotten to pay my bills. Post-pneumonia catch-up: Done, 3 days before Christmas. Big sigh. Happy sigh. And working again some.
Oh, I know, this domestic-happy Steff is a bit JARRING, I’m sure.
I’m not some Martha Stewart-like YAY-CRAFTS! person, but I’m telling you: Finding a way to simplify Christmas next year, if you didn’t manage to do so this year, might be the smartest thing you ever do.
And THIS Christmas is the perfect time to set that stage. When you exchange your gifts this year, bring up the idea of simplifying. Pledge to Make Christmas Simple. Then you can look forward to next year, not dread the finances. It makes December so much more fun when you have a plan.
Personally, I’m profoundly happy I’ve gone this way. Even my Christmas dinner will be different. A new friend is joining my best friend and I. And I’m finally taking Best Friend’s advice after all these years and Simplifying. It’s a meat pie that’s about 1/4 the price of a turkey. Making all traditional fixin’s and Quebecois “poor man’s pudding” (pouding chomeur) for dessert. It’ll be soul food, Quebec-style. (I have French heritage.)
My hope is that I’m not alone in having fun THIS week, that others are running on a little more gas as the finish line nears, and that we all make merry and feel delight.
If you are alone this year, make sure you cook yourself some beautiful food, or pick some up, pour some wine, and celebrate the fact that you fucking rock.
In case I’m too busy to write again — very likely — I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I am thankful for all the strange and often difficult experiences I’ve had this year, the growth I’ve enjoyed, the bucket-list items I’ve checked off (public speaking and ziplining!), the awesome new people in my life, the odd doors that appear to be opening for my future, and everything else that has come my way.
Gratitude. Learning. Growth. All good.
Nothing has been what I expected of my year, but it’s been a hell of an interesting ride.
Thank you for coming along. Ho, ho, ho.