One of my closest and dearest friends told me something yesterday that gave me food for thought. She said this year they\’re having a “light” instead of “white” Christmas. In other words, less is more. I thought to myself, “Now there\’s a plan! This is a woman after my own, disorganized heart.” Then again, I had to admit that this same woman is one of the most organized people alive. She knows all of her children\’s names, birthdates, and even her hubby\’s golf handicap. I didn\’t even know he was disabled. When someone asked my children\’s ages nowadays, I usually stop and think, “I have children?”

Although I\’ve never seen her Christmas “stash,” I would bet a weeks worth of Oreo\’s her white lights are neatly placed back in their respective boxes, untangled, and not held together with duct tape. Mine resemble a ball of yarn. She asked me why I kept them and even said, “Why not buy new ones and simply keep them straight?” Uh huh, sure girlfriend … Easy for her to say; she knows her children\’s names. I replied, “Are you kidding me? This is one of my favorite things to do when I\’m low on stress. I just pull out the ball of lights and try to untangle them.” She just rolled her eyes and said, “Rightttt. I forgot who I\’m talking to.”

After more thought, I realized that another good holiday stressor of mine is to try and revive every single, solitary ornament my kids have ever made and give it tape-to-ornament resuscitation. Why in the name of all that\’s green do we think that between a hot-glue gun and staples, we can get one more year out of them; especially when our children are in their 30s? Can you say “let it go?” I bet every Zen organizer reading this is shaking their head desperately wanting to sign me up for a Zen-A-Tree workshop.

I continued thinking on what she said, and finally came to this conclusion. I\’m solely responsible for freaking my own self out during the holiday season. For instance, I sign up to bake cookies for charities, and I can\’t boil water … I also try and “out light” my neighbors, (The Griswald\’s in Training), and I endeavor to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. I literally become Mrs. Claus with an attitude. I go wayyyyyy beyond “deck the halls” to “Son, could you sleep on the couch? Your bed is a manger now.”

Year after year, I top my “Best Stressed List.” I always end up burning at least a dozen cookies and then make a run to the grocery store hoping their homemade ones are still fresh. I\’m always very careful to put them in my OWN containers. Last year at our local charity event my girlfriend pointed at my table and said, “Hey, they\’ve got cookies just like those at the grocery store!” I said, “I know, they got their recipe from me.” Can you believe it? I lied at a CHARITY bake sale? I\’m going to burn in Hell. I just know it.

That\’s not all. Would you believe the Airport Authority\’s office called me (I\’m pretty sure it was my neighbor) and wanted to know if I had a missing 747 on my roof. Har Dee Har Har…evvvvverybody\’s a comedian nowadays. If you ask me, it\’s a case of “light-envy.”

So this year I\’m changing things. Store-bought cookies (put in my own container; What? I have an ego, sue me) and I\’m giving my children their ornaments to hang on their own trees. As far as finding the perfect gift … Well, let\’s just say if a man in a sequined suit shows up at your door singing, “I\’ll-a ha-ve-a Bluuuue Christmas without youuuuuu…” He ain\’t dead, and he ain\’t pumping gas in Arizona. I\’ll expect a call from you saying, “Ah…thank ya, thank ya very much!”

Merry Christmas!

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