So It Begins: Gearing Up For The Hardcore Holidays

Once Halloween passes, you know it's time. Time to prepare for the serious run of gift-giving, long-distance-traveling holidays now facing you: the Holiday Gauntlet. For me, that means contributing to Thanksgiving and Hanukkah feasts, making and wrapping gifts, traveling cross-country for Christmas, and three family birthdays — but this is nothing compared to those of you with kids, hosting duties, and who knows what else. We can definitely do it. But we might want to stretch first…If you celebrate any of the upcoming fall and winter holidays, how prepared are you? And how panicked are you? I'm sure nobody will be shocked to learn that despite all my "I'm doing my holiday shopping in August" enthusiasm, I am woefully unprepared for the festivities ahead. On the gift-giving front, I have way too many gifts for the two kids in my life, and very few for the adults. I haven't found, designed, or made my gift wrap, and I definitely haven't started thinking about cards (but that's no problem because extraordinarily late holiday cards are kind of my signature). Despite the fact that I read cookbooks on my lunch break every day, I have no idea what I'll be bringing to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, or what treats I'll be shipping to far-off loved ones. Or how I'll package them. Or… okay, it's only November 5th- I can't be panicking already.

But I can't believe it's already November 5th! That's practically December. I really should have been better about saving up for these two very expensive months. How do you all do it? Just buying wine and the ingredients to make a dish (or a few) to contribute is expensive — I can't imagine what it must cost to host holiday feasts. Luckily, I bought plane tickets months ago, so that financial hit has worn off a bit, but none of my jobs provide holiday or vacation pay, so any days I miss to be with family mean a lot less $$$. Breathe

But you know, I'm only freaking out because I really love the holidays. I love giving gifts, and baking endless amounts of cookies, and cozying up with loved ones. I love it all, so I want to do a really good job, and make this time special for the people who make my life special year-round. But I'm fortunate because my loved ones don't care if I do it all perfectly: they just want to be together, and have a nice time, and you can't have a nice time if you're panicking. So: it will all be fine. We can do this. Best of luck to us all.

(Image: DIY Advent Calendar from A Million Ideas on Etsy)

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