Every year it turns December and I get really excited.
Excited to put up the tree. Slightly less excited about putting up the outdoor lights because it's always buttfreezingcold by December and putting up the outdoor lights takes FOREVER. But I do like it when they're done and my house looks so cheery all lit up.
Excited about making and receiving holiday treats for/from my neighbors.
Excited when the first Christmas card arrives in the mail. It's the only time of year I actually look forward to getting the mail.
Excited about doing holiday traditions with my kids, like breaking out the Christmas cookie cutters and decorating sugar cookies, opening a window of their Advent's Calendar so they can eat the chocolate each morning, lighting the candles on my German candle pyramid so the characters turn and dance while we watch, and waiting for a good snow so we can build a snowman or make snow angels.
But THEN I get hit with panic.
Panic that I haven't made/ordered/bought my own Christmas cards yet. Panic that I don't know if I want to make them or buy them in a store or order them online or make my husband design me some. Panic that I don't know if I want them to be edgy or cute or religious or if I want the picture to be separate or preprinted. Panic that I won't get them done and mailed by Christmas. Panic that I have no idea where I put my address book so I can address my nonexistent Christmas cards. Panic that I won't have enough stamps and I'll have to wait in line at the post office DURING DECEMBER to get more stamps or that I'll have to break down and get those horrible, generic, non-holiday ones from the automated machine that are of antique cars or famous librarians.
And then even worse panic hits when I realize I haven't bought a single, solitary Christmas present yet and NOW IT'S DECEMBER and the stores will be packed with people and I'll have to park way at the back of the parking lot and walk through arctic weather with a gigantic down jacket and gloves on so I don't freeze solid between my car and the store and then I'll have to tote that huge jacket around the burning hot stores with me because I was too wussie to leave it in the car and sprint through the snow and then I'll have to battle my way through crowded aisles to try to find presents for people that I have no idea how to shop for and I'll end up getting the wrong thing, or worse, gift cards that make me feel like I'm a total slacker and have walked so far and carried my coat around the store for nothing and then I wonder will I even be able to get the presents and gift cards in the mail in time for them to get there before Christmas because I'm pretty sure I have no shipping boxes and no wrapping paper and definitely no tape or sharp scissors and I'll end up having to wrap them in bubble wrap and newspaper and tape them with duct tape and hope they make it in one piece.
IS IT JANUARY YET???