522591_379600385471432_307731171_nHere is the secret to staying calm around Christmas: plan a cocktail party five days before and invite 75 of your nearest and dearest. By the time it’s over — provided you have not had a heart attack at the prospect of all of those people standing in your usually messy kitchen — everything else will seem like a piece of cake.

So even though, as of this writing Sunday morning, I still have numerous gifts to wrap, eight dozen cookies to bake (that is literally the truth) and still no gift for a very important person on my list, I’m feeling pretty freaking calm.

Naturally, I’m concerned.

But I am trying to apply the same philosophy to Christmas that I used for Friday night’s party — courtesy of Jennifer the Therapist who throws so many valuable nuggets my way that I figure I might as well apply some of them since I am paying for them anyway — that things just don’t have to be perfect.

And that’s pretty new concept for me because in my previous life as a wife, I needed everything to look just so. And on the outside, it was all shiny and perfect.

But the inside, not so good.

So on Friday, as I stood amidst all the people who have lifted me up over the last five years, I didn’t focus on the coating of dust on the lights in my kitchen or the way one of the kids arranged crackers all crazy on a tray. I opened wine bottles, poured drinks, passed crab cakes and smiled a lot at seeing all of the people I really like standing in my kitchen at the same time.

In a few days, I’m hoping to apply the same strategy. On Christmas, some gifts will be hits while others will fall flat. Inevitably, one of the kids will feel shortchanged. But that’s okay, because I’ll know that I did the best that I could and that, really, it’s just one day.

And there’s always next year.

Take a break from your wrapping, baking and online shopping and check out some of the stuff I was thinking about last week when I wasn’t making lists or sitting in holiday traffic:

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1454767_10151775256011868_1775585094_n 100 Down: Celebrating a Year of Blogging

For many years while my children were going through our local elementary school, the highlight of the long winter months would be the celebration of the 100th day of school.

To commemorate that special day, inevitably the kids would need to bring in 100 of an item to be counted or added or divided or something math-related. Over time, I got pretty good at hot gluing things like pennies and buttons onto old baseball caps or poster board without burning my fingers or dripping globs of the sticky stuff onto the kitchen table. (READ MORE … )

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photo(84)Twas 6 Days Before Christmas: An Ode to Stress

Twas six days before Christmas and all through my house,

I’ve got so much shit to do I almost wished I had a spouse.

The stockings are stuffed in my mudroom without care

In hopes that come Christmas Eve they get pulled out of there. (READ MORE … )

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Just fill your email address in the “Subscribe to blog via email” box, which is to the right of this post if you’re on your laptop or if you scroll way to the bottom if you’re reading this on your phone. Just keep scrolling, it’s there. Fill in your email address and then go to your inbox where an email will be waiting that you need to open to confirm your subscription.

 

 

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