Sweating small stuff

Ho Ho NOOOO!!!!!!!

Holiday's off to their usual start

Tired feet from a day in the kitchen
I love a good holiday tradition. But why is my most faithful tradition to stress? Thanksgiving always includes "a difference of opinion." Some years it is something someone said at my cousin's beautiful table (discussed on the ride home, not at the table), or what time we should arrive/leave, or what I could possibly contribute to such a perfect dinner? This year we were just us with Dad in 08807. We nearly made it the whole day squabble-free, but alas Thanksgiving traditions are safely in tact. C can't text during thanksgiving dinner, and I should ask for help, not bark commands. 

When will I ever learn?

Sit! Stay! Focus? Look here!
Another key to a successful holiday? Sending "the perfect" holiday card. Since the kids were infants, it's been the same "joy". Maybe this sounds familiar? I take 2000 pictures hoping that one image focuses with 2 smiles and the dog facing forward.  Then I make the same decision: save money and print them downstairs, or spend more and get them done "offsite"? Lately, I've done the latter.

The problem is, I'm never happy. When I self-print, they look crafty. When I trust someone else - in recent years this included Costco, RiteAid and Target - I'm disappointed by the quality.  For the second year in a row, I have been tricked by seemingly better online printers. Last night I spent several hours picking just the right images, only to notice a small detail that I missed:  the cards were "estimated" to arrive to me on December 10th. Then I remembered why I didn't use them in 2012 --- the exact same reason. Snapfish and Minted have much cooler cards, but their turnaround time means no one will see anything before Christmas (and Minted prices themselves outside of my budget). When do they think people take Christmas pictures? June??? When 40% of our 100 cards go to non-US addresses, I must take time and budget into account.
Calendar from a few years ago

Finally, another advent tradition... the calendar

When do kids get to be too old for childhood traditions? I would have said last year. But alas, I can't admit my kids are too old because that would mean I have to let go of something that I'm not ready to give up. That doesn't mean I've learned from experience. Today is 11/30. I'm up against a BIG deadline. 

Advent - an event

For the next 24 days each of my kids will get a package to open. Some days will be gifts. Some days will be activities. (Getting ice cream or hot cocoa, sleepovers, etc.). The hardest part - wrapping 48 gifts. In a way I'm ahead of the game. I've bought half of the days and already wrapped them. Some years I've really waited until the last minute and only started wrapping and organizing on the last day of November. 

Joy of the season

In the end, it's important to take a little time to reflect. Embrace the traditions and not make myself crazy by focusing on my unreasonably high standards.

But now it's time to embrace small business Saturday. Somerville is our main street. See you there? 

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