My Presents Never Look Like This

I think I like Christmas. There are moments that I love it, and those moments are on Christmas Eve evening and Christmas morning. Up until that point, I have times of liking it, but mostly I just go along and get along.

I want to love it. I want to have a beautiful house filled with warm lights and smells of baking. I want to have all my gifts bought early enough that I’m not standing in the line at Dollar Tree on Christmas Eve buying stocking stuffers. I want to have perfect presentations of a lovely meal on a beautifully set table.

But don’t even get me started on wrapping. As I frantically wrap presents at the last minute each year, I swear the next year will be different. I know how to do all kinds of crafty things that would lend themselves to beautifully wrapped presents, but somehow this is never a reality. And not only do I end up with presents that don’t look pretty, I have the added stress of hurrying and sneaking and running out of tape at the last minute and frantically looking for a bag to use to get things ready to be opened in the next hour and then apologizing about the wrapping.

Not this year. I swear! This year will be different and I’m starting now. No, the house won’t be decorated like a magazine. And no, I won’t make all the lovely Christmas cookies and candies that will make my house smell like the holiday. But I will have beautifully warpped presents, and they will be done by the 22nd. (The 23rd is Richard’s birthday, so I want no wrapping stress on that day).

To make this happen, I am getting out my planner, writing out my shopping list, mapping out the days I’m going shopping, picking the days I’m getting wrapping supplies and marking, in pen, the day all wrapping gets done. I’m going to do it all on one day and not make it a drawn out ordeal.

So what is the bane of your Christmas existence? What part of the holiday preparations keeps you from enjoying the season? What expectation do you put on yourself that adds stress to the month of December? I challenge you to make a plan to conquer that task and break the hold it has on you. Find your way to slay that holiday beast. Get the part that gets in your way of enjoyment out of your way. Mark it off your list early so it’s not waiting for you on Christmas Eve.

Now, let’s be honest, my presents will not look like this picture, but I promise they’re going to be a lot better than in years past. Everything will be boxed, wrapped and complete by the 22nd.

And I will know on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning that I like and love Christmas.