Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Comes But Once A Year. Thank God! - Part 1

Why does the most "wonderful time of the year" make me so incredibly irritable? Seriously, I nearly screamed at a cashier in Michaels yesterday. Granted, I would have been justified, but still. And it's not even Black Friday yet. Although, since retailers have seen fit to move the holiday shopping season, with all it's coupons and discounts and door-buster deals, to the day after Halloween instead of Thanksgiving, all they've really done is given us a running start at being miserable.

Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas! I love the gift shopping, and the decorating, and the baking, and the music, and the gathering of family and friends which always crescendos with laughter, and the quiet moments snuggling in the light of the tree with my daughter and dog, while my husband tends to the roaring fire and we read Christmas stories. I love it all! I even love the craziness... the writing and sending of over a hundred cards, the calendar full of parties and children's concerts and Christmas pageants, the last minute forgotten gift (which, let's be honest, doesn't really happen to someone as list oriented as I, but I suppose it could happen ;-)), and even the traveling back to New Jersey on Christmas day. I LOVE IT ALL!

That's why, I hate (I'm nothing if not black and white about things) the, let's call it "crap", that goes with it. Let's start with the shopping... and remember, I reserve all my patience for my daughter so there is none left for the rest of the world (not even my husband, you hasn't spoken to me in a week without it ending in a fight; sorry babe, it's Christmastime, deal with it).

Why must there be crowds of people everywhere I go? And why is it a requirement that those people not know how to park a car, use a credit card, or talk on their cell phones at the same time as moving up two paces in a line? Why do they consistently store their coupons in the bottom of their bags, bring their sniffly-nosed need-a-nap toddlers with them (I don't blame the kids), or never sense my impending implosion as they "rethink" their purchases at the checkout.

I park at the end of the row so I don't have to search (or get my new car dinged), but sometimes, to get to the end you have to sit behind the person waiting endlessly for someone to back out by the front door. MOVE OVER! I enter a store with a list (either in hand or head), and get in and get out; I've got other things to do today people. PICK UP THE PACE! But my favorite - and my regular readers are familiar with my rant against bad parenting - has got to be the mother on the cellphone making lunch plans laughing with her girlfriend about this amazing dress she bought on sale that she didn't need and how her husband is going to go through the roof when he finds out how much she spent but how she's worth it because she hasn't been to the gym in a week because she's had to deal with her sick kid, who by the way is crying for a nap on the floor in a puddle of his own snot next to her. [Whew! That was a long one.] GO HOME & TAKE CARE OF YOUR KID!

The sales staff is just as bad. How desperate are these managers that in order to be hired as holiday staff, your only requirement is a pulse? - and I'm not even sure that's a requirement. No one knows where anything is but worse is that blank gaze you get when you ask a question that stumps them. "Ahhh, I'm not sure." "Why don't you go ask someone instead of standing here slack jawed, texting your buddy about how your job sucks?" Oh, if only I would actually say it - I might not take as much out on my husband. Then there's the cashier who never looks up to greet you, just puts your breakables, unwrapped, next to each other in the bag while she's talking to the other cashier about how her feet hurt. She mumbles the total, to which you reply that she's forgotten your coupon, she huffs, and calls a manager. The manager is always so clearly frazzled, desperately trying to get his staff to work harder, knowing the whole time it's a losing battle; you have to feel sorry for him. But then you remind yourself that he hired these people in the first place so he deserves none of your pity. PLANT A SMILE ON, DO YOUR JOB, & MOAN ABOUT IT WHEN YOU GET HOME!

Clearly, too many years in retail have left me jaded!

Next post: Coordinating the pageantry of Christmas is like staging a huge glitzy Broadway musical, but harder... because after every minute detail has been tended to, Christmas has to look completely effortless. Will she do it all and still have time to run to her stylist for a cut and color to cover the greys that popped up during her parking lot brawls? Stay tuned...

Oh, and I'll try to get back to that post I promised with that mid-20s photo. Not much to report on the exercise front since I haven't been feeling well - I have another sinus infection and this time it feels like someone punched me square in the nose. I already gave my husband grief about it, but he swears it wasn't him, getting me back in my sleep for yelling at him earlier ;-).

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Sharing the best of ourselves is what this holiday is all about. Thank you for the privilege of letting me share a bit of myself with all of you.
My Best,


  1. I totally agree with this. Especially this..."Why must there be crowds of people everywhere I go?" I loathe crowded anything so that's why I stay inside and away from people as much as possible around the holidays.

    I hope you have great Thanksgiving though. (:

  2. Have a great thanksgiving :) Store clerks who don't lol :)

  3. We used to put ourselves through all that hassle, but we don't anymore. Not in a loooooong time. For starters, my hubby and me don't get each other gifts. We take care of ourselves throughout the year. We only buy for our parents: his mom, and my mom and dad, and of course our boys. Their stuff is on layaway. We do that cause there are NO hiding spots they don't know of in our home,LOL. We also don't stress on food. We make nice snacks and relax while playing games after opening the gifts. Or play with the boys gifts ;) And we only put up a tree which never gets the decorations taken off. We cover our tree and then store it away til next year when the festivities end. That's all the decor we put up. My oldest son doesn't mind at all. He sees other people freaking out about Christmas and laughs! Thanksgiving is the same. We had our meal catered by a local woman last year and it was soooo yummy! And only $20 per person. Same people as above. With two desserts to boot! There was so much food that we had leftovers for quite some time. This year my parents are staying at their home and my hubby's mom is going to her extended family to eat. So we aren't doing anything. And that is a WONDERFUL stress free way to have my one and only day off work. I feel for you woman. But I wouldn't trade my laid back style for nothin, LOL. Good Luck =)

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my blogosphere family!
    This year we aren't traveling (thank goodness) and I'm looking forward to getting back to our own tradition of staying home and enjoying each other's company. I cook but I don't go crazy. I do lay a nice table because I don't often get to use my fine china and because tablescaping is something I really enjoy.

    As for Christmas, well, I complain about the crowds but it's because they are interrupting my day to day, not because I need to do holiday shopping. I'm done; have been for some time. Black Friday is my little sick joke... I like to watch the carnage at 4am. Years of retail (buying and selling); it's in my blood. This year, I do have to buy... I'll be at Sears at 4am meeting with the manager of the appliance department. We're redoing the kitchen in January and I need all new appliances - I'd rather buy them at 25% off ;-). We have an immediate family of 36 NOT counting myself, my husband, and my daughter so gift giving is a big deal, no matter how inexpensively I try to do it ;-).
    Wendy, you have to understand that "stressing" is how I speak so even if I'm on a rant, think of it more as standup comedy built on honest observations. It has less to do with actually being stressed out. I'm a Jersey girl; it's part of my culture ;-).

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. You GO woman! I am wishing you non-stressful situations for the Holidays. And you are funny ;) If blogging helps you de-stress then keep it up. How's Gilad treating you thus far? He also makes me laugh. Not bad on the eyes either *laughing* Let's hope those 36 family members appreciate all the hard work you put into your tablescaping. That's a new word for me. Probably cause I have never, and can't say I ever will, done it. Take pics and post them so we can ooo and ahhh. Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired by you ;)

  6. Wendy, you are wonderful. Thank you for wishing me non-stressful situations for the holidays. That may be the best gift I ever got. So far so good. I was in line at Sear at 3:40am and back in bed at 5am having purchased all my new appliances, plus a few add-ons - I was in a spending mood.
    For tablescaping on a whole new level, check out my new blogosphere friends Bill at or Susan at I can only dream of being that good. Talk about ooos and ahhs.
    I am enjoying Gilad's company but I find myself for the first time, having to take breaks during a workout. What is your suggestion... take the breaks (not more than a minute) or work at a lower level so I can keep going? It may be the illness too. I'm not getting the full lung capacity yet.
    Hope your Thanksgiving was exactly what you were hoping for. Speak with you soon.

  7. Yes you can take a break, but keep moving a bit like low marching in place or march and stretch your arms at the same time til you're ready to go all out again. Are you trying to do too much at once? If you can't say your address while working out, if you're gasping, bring the intensity down and do a lower modified version of whatever you're doing. Gilad can't see you,lol. And I won't tell =) Or you could do interval training. That's a few minutes of weights then a few minutes of cardio. When you do your weight interval keep moving a bit but always keep good form. There are good dvd's at Prices are good, too. Still marveling at all the Christmas stuff you do. And, no offense, still glad it's YOU who's doing it all and not me,LOL. Wishing you the best all the same!

  8. I did Gilad straight yesterday - a full hour, even marched through the commercial breaks. I didn't do the abs because, well, I'll blame it on the fact that I hadn't vacuumed and I didn't want to lie in dog hair, but I just hate floor work. I'm doing well, but I made an error in judgement today...
    I had some time before meeting a friend for lunch and a quickly ran into a shop to look for something to wear to a party coming up. Full length mirror, fluorescent lights, and too tight clothes aren't exactly good for the ego. My immediate reaction was to throw in the towel and say forget it, I'm fat, get used to it. But I still had a light sensible lunch and came home inspired to workout. I haven't yet, but I was inspired... that's got to count for something, right?! ;-)
    I think it was still being sick that prevented me from not being able to do the full workout. Now that I'm better, I'm hoping to spend every morning with my good friend Gilad!
    Thanks so much, Wendy. You have been such a huge help. I'll keep you posted.
    - Bonnie