Dear Holiday Diary, The concept of time escapes me…

Dear Holiday Diary,

I sat down this morning for the first time in weeks. My butt was like, “What are we doing? We’re not sitting in a car driving to town to Christmas shop. FOR GOD’S SAKE. WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO SIT, DO WE?” Switching gears after pushing myself for weeks is harder than you think. My brain still isn’t wrapping itself around the fact that it’s Christmas Eve and I may actually be ready and can enjoy it this year. That would be a first. Although, I’m not there yet. There’s lots of time for human error. I’m more human than most.

One thing I would LOVE for Christmas is the ability to know how long each task will take leading up to Christmas day. Wouldn’t that be a great app? It would calculate the time it takes for transportation, shopping, sending personalized greeting cards, decorating, and preparing meals, to name a few of the tasks on my list. It always takes me twice as long, so I end up stressed and behind schedule. Why is that? I feel like I give myself plenty of time. I must be super slow when I do things. I do get distracted easily by sparkly things. There are lots of sparkly things around these days. Like yesterday, when I walked to a shop on the Pearl Street Mall, I just had to take in the Boulder Court House light display and then window shop down the block a ways until I realized I should drive to my next destination a mile away to save time.

Twice, I spent hours hoofing around in stores to purchase gifts I couldn’t find online only to find them on super sale the next day. GAH! At least returning those items didn’t take very long. I’m not sure an app could predict that.

Being an optimist has its drawbacks and can be very hazardous to time management during the holidays. When illustrating my Christmas cards, I only remembered the times when the ideas and likenesses came easily. I didn’t create popup cards this year. That eliminated days of cutting and pasting. I planned on two hours a drawing. I thought I’d get the cards done in two days. Ha! They took so much longer than expected.

It would have helped if I had an idea in mind. Instead, I used a technique for writers’ block. I started sketching without an idea and hoped for a burst of light in the darkness of my cavelike cranium. After a few drawings, the lightbulb blew up in my head. You know that sound that makes you jump when it pops right above you?

Being a slow learner can be frustrating too. Printing them became a nightmare with my antique printer for a lot of reasons. The drawings were too big and the printer’s plantain was super small. After redrawing them to barely fit, I placed my left hand on top to raise the lid with my right and shut it off, EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME!

Baking and cooking recipes include the amount of time it should take, but for some reason, it always takes me longer. Maybe it’s because I tend to double or triple recipes. I don’t adjust for the time it will take to bake six dozen cookies instead of two. Other times, I don’t wear my reading glasses, add too much of an ingredient, and then have to adjust the entire recipe. Starting over would take less time.

Someone recently asked me if I recreate all of my swags and decorations every year. Nope. When I carefully take them down, I label them so they easily go back up the exact same way. Not this year. I must have been extremely sleep-deprived and angry-faced. Nothing was labeled. It was as if I stuffed them in a box to be donated. I had to redo everything! I would enter my own category to the app. Time for decorating: Four hours to two full weeks.

No concept of time Christmas decorations

I would definitely turn off the app on Christmas day. Being adults, our family rises much later than those who Santa visits. We start with coffee and cinnamon rolls. By the time the last sleepy strangler arrives in the kitchen for their first cup of Joe, it’s after 9:00. For some reason time slows. My quiche always seems to take two hours in the oven. The full court press to get the brunch out stretches through the morning while we work in slow motion. We finally peek in our stockings at noon!

But there’s a time for the frantic frenzy spent racing against time and there’s the time for cocooning. I should have been a set designer. My hope is to create a warm place where everyone relaxes in a twinkling Christmas atmosphere from your wildest dreams. The house is decorated to the nines. (Nine what? Ninth floor? Nine gates of hell? Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall? I never understood that expression.) The shopping will be done and the presents will be wrapped, even if stuffed in a gift bag at the last minute with the wrong name on it. We will go to church on Christmas Eve. Christmas will arrive. We will enjoy every minute of our holiday, no matter what we went through to prepare for it. Okay, so nothing is perfect and we can’t be happy for hours on end, but I will count my blessings and try to live in the moment..

Merry Christmas! May the time with your family and friends be more memorable than the crazy month preparing for it.

Are you planning on enjoying the holidays or are you still in a last-minute frenzy?

47 thoughts on “Dear Holiday Diary, The concept of time escapes me…

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  1. My holiday planning is done… time to relax!
    (I hope.)
    I’m taking a week off and hopefully this staycation will be pain-free!
    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, Susie Lindau. Your friendship is a blessing I feel all year long.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right. We invest so much time into Christmas, look forward to it for so long (it seems to start earlier every year) . Then if you are not careful Christmas is over in a blink. It hit me this morning, This Is Christmas Eve! (right?) This is it! Game time! Do everything you want to do these next two days (right) hug all the ones you want to hug, thank God for this day He has given us. It’s Time! Merry Christmas Susie! And a happy and healthy New Year!


  3. I don’t decorate anymore..The last time was the hospital charity tour and as you know I did the whole house. Wrapping done.. meals organized.. beans simmering.. just need to vacuum as you know dusting is the last thing on a writers list. LOL Merry Christmas to you and yours my love..


    1. Merry Christmas to you, Linda! I hope it was the merriest yet! I just now had time to sit down. I’m really looking forward to mellowing out this week. I bet you’re eating leftover beans and your house is sparkling!


    1. Thanks Anneli! It really sparkled this year. Yesterday, I was sad when I looked around and anticipated taking it all down. Today, I almost got out all the boxes. Ha!
      Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I’m not a race car or a driver, but I am driven! It’s all done and the memories are still glimmering. Now I’m concentrating on some well-deserved down time which should include a few dinners out and some skiing. YEESSSS!!!!
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That shot of your decorations looks like something out of a designer magazine. Perhaps you should have been a set designer.
    Merry Christmas, Susie. Thanks for all that you gave us during 2016. I am looking forward to what you have in store for us in 2017.


    1. Thanks so much for being a part of my life, Silk Woman! I would have shelved my blog long ago if it weren’t for friends like you.
      Merry Christmas and Happy 2017! I have a few ideas up my sleeve….. Now for that long winter’s nap.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Set designer would have been a fabulpous choice! One thing I leaned working sets/backstage was the phrase “Good enough for summer stock”. Summer stock theater shows have a very short run, thus the sets do not have to be totally wonderful and permanent…words to remember…but bet evn though, like me, they’d have to pry the tools out of your hands as you weep…a few more minute – it’s almost… HA HA
    Waiting for sunset on Christmas Eve is like standing toes-over-the-edge on a high diving board.
    Every year we’d cruise casually by the window to keep an eye on the sun’s progress until it was officially evening.
    Then the shout “Christmas Eve Gift!” would ring out.
    You see, the traditions says that the first person to voice that phrase on Christmas Eve to another would be graced with good fortune and joy all the next year.
    (And of course, whomever was first won. Everything was a contest…)
    It’s more difficult to be first now with caller ID.
    As all those who have become my friends in blogland are spread widely across time zones, I’d like to wish you all “Christmas Eve Gift” now.
    And as I already feel so fortunate to have such wonderful readers and writers in this neighborhood, I wish to share any phrase acquired good fortune and joy with you in thanks.
    No matter where you are or what you are guided by, hope you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of adventure and joy.
    Peace on earth and goodwill towards all creatures great and small.


    1. Awww! That was beautiful, Phil! I wish the very same for you even though the sun set on Christmas Eve two nights ago. I wish you all kinds of wild adventures and amazing surprises in the New Year! It’s just around the corner! Any competitions in your house for New Years?


      1. Always a race for the last egg roll at New Year’s Eve dinner. We’ve done early Chinese dinner forever…probably soem sort of muscle/tummy memory of “A Christmas Story”?
        Wishing you miles of smiles, intriguing wanderings, and lots of wonder in the New Year! Cheers and onward – ride high and wild, Susie!


  6. Glad you were able to find all of your stuff and figure out how you wanted it to look. It’s lovely. Can’t wait to read the post about putting it away again! No holiday frenzy here for us this year. Just a red poinsettia on the kitchen table and a scented candle to make things festive. Will be making all sorts of family favorite recipes during the coming week. Then we’ll call it a holiday. Some years we go big, other years we go small. Happy Christmas & Merry New Year to you and yours.


    1. Thanks so much, Ally! It all came together and most of the lights lasted through the holidays. Ha! Happy Christmas to you! I just now had time to sit down at my computer. Whew! I’m already planning on a much simpler Christmas in 2017. It’s enough for me to plan and bake for all the birthdays We are celebrating Courtney’s tomorrow!!
      Happy 2017 to you and your family! (((hugs))))


      1. I was very productive all last wk, starting with caroling at a nursing home I organized for our homeschool community, which turned out very sweet. And on Cmas Sunday I played the keyboard at church and led the kids in Joy to the World. The next two days, I recuperated. =)


  7. Hi Susie, Sounds like you have some lovely traditions and were able to relax a bit once Christmas arrived. The frenzy is one of the traditions, right? The best tip I got from a co-worker is “I stopped making cut-out cookies. They take too long.” I had no idea there are cookies with Santa designs, etc. that you cut and bake–there are even pre-cut cookies! (that’s a bit much, but hey, to each his own.)
    Anyway, Happy Holidays and have a fabulous 2017!


    1. It’s so great to “see” you, Ermigal! Happy Holidays to you! I gave up on those cookies a few years ago. I’m sitting in my kitchen staring at all the sweets. I’m definitely cutting back next year! On top of the usual, it’s my daughter’s twenty-fifth birthday, so we have cake too. Note to self: go skiing tomorrow. Have a Happy New Year!


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