If It's June, It Must Be Christmas

People tease me about being organized.

Okay, so I'm a little beyond your run-of-the-mill "organized."

Truth be told, I have OCD tendencies. It's typical for someone with GAD. I've always been like this. My mother has the same thing - which is why we can't be in a room together for more than 30 minutes. It is our genetic cross to bear.

Anyhoodle, Christmas has always been a bit of an issue for both of us.

My mother starts Christmas shopping in January for the next year. Her Christmas cards are addressed at Halloween.

Me? Long about, oh, NOW, I start obsessing over Christmas: Christmas shopping, Christmas cards (the fact that I blew off Christmas cards last year was HUGE), Christmas baking, Christmas decorating. Baaahhhh!!! Too much to do!

Note to Hobby Lobby: the fact that you start dragging out Christmas trees on July freaking Fifth does not help people like me.

The responsibilities and - dare I say it? - chores associated with a traditional American Christmas celebration are enough to drive even the least obsessive person past the brink of fresh-baked, twinkle-lighted, Rockwell-esque insanity.

Mid-June marks the beginning of, "Oh SHIT, Christmas is right around the corner! Wasn't it JUST Christmas? What happened to St. Valentine's Day? And Easter? Did I miss them? Ohshitohshitohshit...I need to start working on Christmas projects NOW!"

I kid you not, I had that EXACT thought/panic attack yesterday.

This year's stress is partially self-induced. Not just because this is my own little problem in my own little head. No. I've compounded the already touchy issue by deciding that I am going to give hand-made gifts this year, whenever possible. (The guys won't get sewn/knit goodies, because I am not yet talented enough to crochet Home Depot gift cards - but I'll get there).

Last year, thanks in small part to the fact that I spent Christmas Eve with my (only) two cousins, and I bought small gifts for them - but due in LARGE part to Hubster's rapidly breeding family - I spent Two Thousand Dollars on Christmas.

Remember that we have no kids, and Hub and I didn't buy for each other last year. I spent TWO GRAND on immediate family and all their children. My MIL refuses to draw names for adult gifts, so we have to buy for every sister and BIL, and their children, and now their spouses and children. And the "Steps" - don't forget the step-parents.

I swore in January that Christmas 2009 would be either 1) Handmade 2) Hard Candy or 3) spent on the lam in Mexico...but that was before H1N1.

So, I've spent the last several months collecting sewing patterns for aprons and market bags to make for the family womenfolk. You don't want an apron? Tough shit. Regift it.

According to The Plan, I'm going to use up a large chunk of my fabric stash - in which I've invested thousands of dollars over the years - thereby freeing up room in the spare bedroom for an actual bed, AND avoiding the spending of fresh cash on store-bought gifts nobody really wants or needs anyway. How the hell many candles can you give a person?

The Plan is perfect. It's nearly ev-il in its perfection.

Except for one, small, detail: I have no free time.

Because I tend to obsess, every minute of every day is consumed with the Big Job, helping Hub with our business, blogging ::grin::, housework, yardwork, cooking/canning/freezing and errand-running. I don't "do" free time.

So let's review: I now have patterns, fabric, a plan and six months in which to execute Operation Handmade Holiday from Hell.

I should sell squares to you all, so you can guess the date on which I'll SNAP and run blindly, wildly, through Stein Mart, snatching up random tchotchkies to throw at people on Christmas Day. I could take a percentage of the winnings and apply it toward Xmas 2010: The Holiday From a Padded Cell. In which I do all of my shopping online....

PS - If any ONE of you comments that I'm missing The Reason for the Season, I will hunt you down and beat you to death with a Yule Log.


Pricilla said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ok. You are fucking crazy. Just thought I'd get that out of the way.

Not sure how to help you here, except that maybe you could use the "economy" and "we're starting our own business" as an excuse for no gifts. Or you could do what I do and just give out cookies.
Pricilla said…
Heh heh.

You need to hire a helper.

A doe is a female of the smaller ruminant family, ie: deer, goat,antelope. A ewe is a female sheep and the like.Larger ruminants, ie: elk, moose are cows and bulls

Thanks for coming to visit my blog. Curiously female rabbits are also called does.
I don't know what to say. I start worrying about Christmas around, oh, December 1st.
Tom said…
Let me get this straight... I could get you to visit here simply by mentioning "the reason for the season" and enduring a mild case of death by beating... hmmmmm. I think I'll chance it.

You know, giving gifts isn't the real reason for the season of Christmas.
::evil grin::
Country Girl said…
ACTUALLY...Put on your Big Girl Panties and see if anyone listens. OF COURSE the mom has to buy everyone gifts, but I'm with you on the drawing names thing...I have two siblings, with accompanying in-laws and older children and you better believe...drawing names puts the fun back into Xmas! I can AFFORD it, and I can buy things they like (which in this family translates into food and beverage.) You do too much as it is...get those people OFF YOUR BACK. Easy for me to say ;)
City Girl said…
Y'all don't know how close I came - the last time the "drawing names" conversation took place - to saying, "Fine. I'll buy for every single adult if that's the way you want it - I just won't buy for the kids. Saves me money." And walking away. Maybe I'd get out of Christmas altogether if I pulled that.

This [] close....

MY sister and I aren't doing adult gifts this year.
Mejis said…
I start worrying if we'll have the money for Christmas presents right around now. lol When you have a big family there's a lot to stress about.
MVD said…
Instead of the $2,000/year for which it seems you’re destined (save the crocheted apron here and there), perhaps you could buy every male a vasectomy operation. Sure, it's a large upfront cost, but think of the savings down the line. I'd use 13 years old as the cut-off (pun intended) point, and work up from there.
Mrs. Gamgee said…
OMG, it would be ridiculously funny if I couldn't relate... I'm sitting here laughing only to hide my own panic.

My added stress is that I work in retail and we start thinking about Holiday (aka Christmas) at around the end of July.

In my family, official Christmas prep starts sometime around Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving... the second monday of October). That marks the beginning of the Christmas baking season, and it doesn't stop until we finish the homemade almond roca in the first week of December.

City Girl said…

You, sir, are freaking BRILLIANT!
alejna said…
You're freakin' me out, man. I'm just trying to deal with planning for things coming up in the next few weeks, and I consider myself ahead of the game.

Christmas without last-minute panic just wouldn't be tradition for me. And I'm all about Christmas tradition.
I normally don't start shopping for Christmas until November. Mainly because there aren't many hiding places in this house and the kids would surely find everything if I shopped earlier than that..
hswilkinson said…
I start think about Christmas in August. Thankfully, since my extended family is EVIL, I only have to think about the Boy, my parents, my in-laws, and close friends. Mom is already taken care of. I've recently gotten into making jam, so that's going to my close coworkers. Dad gets the gift card of his choice. The Boy is insanely difficult.

I want to do my own cards this year, from my photography. I did the Colorado theme last year, so I think this year might be a little more wintery.
Mrs Zeee said…
Homemade is a nice touch bc 2k on christmas is OUTTA CONTROL, girl!

I say, make the presents and then scoot off to Mexico anyway!
Baby Boy said…
It seems that City Girl has missed the most obvious solution. i am quite certain any kid in her family would love to unwrap left over trade show goodies. you allocate the cash from th eBig Job to pay for Christmas, why not the swag? Just a thought from the dark side of the family.
Ginee Scabrough said…
you could do what we do. I am the wife of the oldest and I have decided what I say goes amoung the siblings- it helps that I am the oldest in my family. I said we will draw names and I made it happen. I drew names in Septemeber and told them all who they were getting. I mentioned that I was only buying for the one I drew. I told them the gifts were to be homemade not necessarily a craft. I stood my ground and told my MIL that she wasn't part of the kids so she couldn't tell us what we were doing.