I never decorate for Christmas. I don't even put up a Christmas tree.
Why would I? We go "home" for Christmas. We wouldn't be here to enjoy it. We don't have room for a tree anyway. I have to side-step random piles of toys, laundry, and other crap on any given day in my house, so putting up a tree where we would pile wrapped up new toys or clothes seems a little ridiculous. Also, our kids get ONE present from Santa and ONE present from their dad and I because they also get presents from Grandma, Grandmother, Aunt Betty, Aunt Martha, Aunt Willa and Uncle Jon, etc. And OUR Santa doesn't wrap his presents because he is too busy -- he has to get to every single kid on the planet within 24 hours. Santa comes to Grandmother's house where he puts the toys and gifts unwrapped on the hearth right next to the stockings.
A wonderful blog that I follow, Snarky In The Suburbs, has dubbed this maniacal early decorating and boasting, er, I mean POSTING about it on Facebook "Competitive Christmas." I am not saying that all of my friends are in competition -- I happen to know quite a few who truly just love Christmas and would probably put their tree(s) up in September if they thought that they could get away with it. But there are some who I KNOW put up their trees right after Halloween, have all of their shopping finished before the Black Friday ads are even printed, and begin their Christmas cookies as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey comes out of the oven and then post pictures of all of their wrapped presents along with statuses about how THEY get to relax and enjoy the holidays because THEY planned ahead. Here is what I hear when I see that crap "I am better than you."
Well, no you're not. What you are is slightly insane. You are the same people who would poll all of your friends in school to see what they made on the test and then tell them that you did better. You are the same people who have to drive the better car, have the better TV, wear the better clothes, etc. You don't try to "keep up with the Joneses" -- you try to BE the Joneses.
Here's what you should know -- I do not plan my life around what you do at Christmas or on any other day of the year. I do not participate in "Competitive Christmas" nor do I try to live my life in an attempt to keep up with anyone. How exhausting! I cannot imagine how disappointed I might be in myself if I was always trying to be as organized or as neat or as rich or as frugal or as ANYTHING as all of my friends. I do admire a lot of those things and mimic them at times, but to focus on trying to be the best at everything is impossible. I have enough crazy in my life without actively participating in your brand of "nuts."
So, you win.
You are better at Christmas than I am. I will no doubt realize on Christmas Eve as I huddle in the bathroom at my mom's house wrapping the presents to my kids from their dad and me to avoid being discovered, that I forgot someone, or that one kid has been shortchanged in the stocking department, or that I don't have enough bows. And this will result in me sending the husband out at midnight on Christmas Eve to go to the CVS or Walgreens, or down to the corner convenience store to pick up something to make it all work. Next February, when I finally get around to cleaning out that closet under the stairs, I will find the toy that I bought on clearance 3 years ago for my child who has since outgrown it. I will probably not get Christmas cards done at all, but if I do they will never compare to the full on North Pole scene that you set up in your front yard in August with your shiny happy family all decked out in matching Christmas sweaters for the professional photographer that you hired. And I will most likely top off the kid's stockings with left over Halloween candy, if I remember to pack it.
But I will probably enjoy Christmas every bit as if not more than you because I forfeit. I am not competing. See, you can't really "win" at Christmas.
|If I ever have neighbors who decorate like that house, I am sooooo doing this.|