“The approach of Christmas brings harassment and dread to many excellent people,” writes Mark Twain in ‘Following the Equator’, “They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never know what to buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard and anxious work, and when Christmas morning comes they are so dissatisfied with the result, and so disappointed that they want to sit down and cry. Then they give thanks that Christmas comes but once a year.”
Times have changed a bit since he wrote this non-fiction travelogue in 1897, but – as with a great deal of other things – his observation is largely as spot-on today as it was in his time.
Mind you, I wonder what he would say about online shopping and last-minute craze on December, 24th, about the exchange frenzy in shops straight after Christmas and the Boxing Day Sales. Very few people bother writing cards or letters at Christmas any more. Even less seem to do any baking or special cooking preparations that needs to take place weeks and days before. So I do really wonder why we seem to have less time and more chaos than ever before in the weeks leading up to this one day of the year.
Well, I am generally a organized person, and with our families and many friends largely on the other side of the world I don’t have a choice but being done with presents relatively early, so they can go on their postal trip around the globe. Our family Christmas card is usually done early in October, for the same reason. Being summer in Australia, and us only a small family, there is not much going on with endless hours in the kitchen, and large dinners and Christmas Day lunches, so I’m off the hook for that, too.
Yet, the last two weeks leading up to Christmas seem to go a bit more mad every year. I have odd relapses in my organization, I seem to forget a lot, run around a lot, am a little breathless and frantic.
Nevertheless, I didn’t sit down on Christmas morning and cry, so I suppose that’s a good thing.
And the last week was spent in calm and happiness with lots of laughter and love. I hope your Christmas was spent the same way, don’t forget to laugh a lot, especially about yourself 🙂