Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It was the day I had to pick my mom up at the airport, for our families' early Christmas celebration, that I decided to clean the interior of my car. It looked like a hamster cage. I wouldn't have been surprised to find a chewed up toilet paper roll in the clutter. Heck, even a hamster wouldn't have been all too alarming. What was wrong with me? Why had I let my car fill up with soda cans, pay stubs, books, shoes,and goodness knows what else? It was when I was vacuuming the pea gravel out of the trunk that I decided,"Enough!" I gave the car a final spray of Trapp's Mediterranean Fig air freshener and slammed the hatch down. Phewww. My car was the last of a laundry list of chores that I had assigned myself AND my husband for our holiday festivities, and I was ready to be DONE!
Doesn't cleaning just bring out the best in our personalities? Or rather the need to clean? My husband and I had begun the pre-holiday muttering at one another.
I couldn't TELL you what he was muttering about, but I started down this road,
"If you don't use the crevice tool, it means you haven't vacuumed." I called my sister on the phone as I loaded the dishwasher. "It's like they don't see the same stuff that needs to be done." She chuckled in recognition.
Her annual Christmas letter hadn't gone out yet, and that was a bull that her husband usually took by the horns. "He spent the evening loading music on to the computer," she commisserated. "Then he wanted to go to bed-at 8:30!" The thing is that our husbands are great guys, but the holiday stress had my sister and I lining them up against car thieves and people that dot their i's with little smiley faces, both of which are highly disturbing.
When my family eventually arrived, I made great attempts to keep my stress at a level managable by Advil and a few glasses of wine. I decorated the Christmas tree with my mom and my aunt, and only a few times replaced their ornaments to "safer" branches;cat-resistant branches. I was filled with so much warmth from the holidays and a 2004 Syrah that I hardly noticed the smudges from cat noses on the dining room windows. I didn't even flinch as a hair ball rolled by me like a Tumble Weed in Death Valley. Oh no. I was merry, and consequently, everyone else was too! Now there will always be slip ups. Outbursts like, "Yes I need that! That's why I put it on the list!" are bound to occurr. As are the, "I TOLD you-put the potatoes in the BLUE dish.Geeeez."
Christmas comes without Windex, or Tile-x,or sheets for the Swiffer. It comes without emmaculant counters-though some beg to differ. You see, Christmas is something that doesn't come in a sprayer! Christmas, it turns out, is meant to be gayer!
So gather your loved ones and let go of the stress. Besides-I'm sure nobody will notice that spot on your dress!