Have you ever felt so much stress that you had two thoughts collide in your mind and then spill out of your mouth causing you to sputter something totally ridiculous? Last week I told Chief Money Maker, “Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook G-Bear after basketball practice.” He gave me a puzzled look and asked if I would like him to boil Wolfy as a side dish.
We all deal with a certain level of stress from day to day, but the holidays amp those stress levels up to the degree of a nuclear reactor plant. It’s a lot of pressure to scour the mall searching for that last Chia Hippo that you know Uncle Bertie will love. I’m not exactly sure why we think Uncle Bertie will love a clay pot that grows what appears to be fungus, but since it’s December 24th and you saw it on a late-night infomercial it just seems like a good idea.
As parents, we also feel the pressure to make sure we provide our crumb snatchers with that “just perfect” Christmas season. Now that I work from home, I have time to make homemade hot cocoa and hot-from- the-oven chocolate chip cookies for the crumb snatchers to enjoy after school. Then because of the stress of writing deadlines and Christmas cards that need to be sent, I eat the batch of cookies and down the hot chocolate. The crumb snatchers come home to the wafting scent of the holidays and excitedly exclaim, “Did you make cookies and cocoa?”
I sputter, “No, it’s a holiday scented candle.” Then I have to bake a whole ‘nother batch, just adding to the stress I already feel.
Gift-giving is also stressful. With five crumb snatchers to please, Chief Money Maker and I made our lists and checked it twice and then checked it again. We have the same budget for each crumb snatcher, but there was a disparity in the desires of each one. The number of gifts purchased was unbalanced. We knew they would scour the gifts under the tree and count how many their siblings received and complain, “That’s not fair…he got more.” Teenagers are so whiny!
So we came up with a plan to solve that problem. We wrapped all the gifts and tagged them as gifts for Mama Bread Baker or Chief Money Maker. We left one gift tagged for each of the crumb snatchers. Then we explained that the true meaning of Christmas is giving and not receiving and they better get a job so they can start giving. When they started crying we just started singing, “You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout—”
If you find yourself struggling to manage the holiday stress, I suggest you sit back and take a little time to relax in the peace and quiet of your home. Obviously, you’ll have to get rid of everyone so here’s one of my secret tips. Send everyone in your household out to find a “22 karat gold plated unicorn lamp with three-way lighting with a brown shade.” Emphatically stress that you don’t want them to get the one with a purple shade. I searched the internet and this product doesn’t exist so this should buy you hours to watch a Lifetime holiday movie without interruption. If they want to know who the gift is for, just tell them it’s for Uncle Bertie. When they ask about his Chia Pet collection, just say, “Are you sassing me? You know Santa is watching!”
Whatever this holiday season brings, Mama Bread Baker and the crumb snatchers wish you peace and joy…and hope you find that perfect Chia pet.
© 2011 CThacker