Don’t freak out when you read this.

Today is December 5th.

That’s right. At the time of this blog entry there are just 20 days until Christmas. Twenty. 2-0. Ten times two. Less than three weeks. Two weeks plus six short-lived days. Two – Period – Zero – Period.

Okay, I’m freaking out now.

Wanna read a list of things I still have to do before Christmas (since this IS the season for list-making, after all)?

1 – Buy presents

2 – Wrap presents

3 – Find better hiding place for said presents since the twins have already located, opened and played with the only two gifts I’ve bought

4 – Decorate the house

5 – Bake some thing at some point

6 – Christmas cards! Oh the mother $#%&ing Christmas cards!

7 – Take the kids to see Santa (but not over a weekend and NOT on December 24th like last year)

8 –  Remember to move Gwen the elf 19 more times

9 – Devise clever explanations for when Gwen decides not to move for the days I forget

10 – Buy alcohol

11 – Keep a steady stream of holiday music playing at home to enhance overall Christmas spirit

12 – Burn recently purchased candles scented as “warm apple pie” and “Christmas cookie” to enhance overall Christmas spirit

13 – Buy alcohol

I could go on. I SO could go on, but I think you get the picture. In short, I have a lot of shit to do. And if you’re anything like me, you have a lot of shit to do, too.

The truth is that I absolutely love Christmas. My one big complaint is that the ramping up period to this magical time of year is too short. You may have noticed that it’s generally frowned upon to start prepping for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Some people get down right angry if you dare to don candles in your window before consuming all that left-over turkey. Frankly, I have always found the acceptable Christmas prep timeframe of Black Friday to December 24th too constraining. I could really use an extra week – or three!

A seven week ramp up to Christmas would be glorious. Oh the things I could do with three extra weeks! I could finally take the boys to the Gaylord hotel! We could go caroling! Snow shoeing! Riding in a one-horse open sleigh! Alas, there simply isn’t enough time (or snow in the Mid Atlantic region) to partake in all of this merriment.

I suppose this is also the case throughout the rest of the year. We often race from appointment to appointment exclaiming “there isn’t enough time!” It’s not a Christmas-specific issue really, it’s a matter of managing one’s time efficiently, being realistic about what can and can’t be accomplished in a certain timeframe, and, most difficult of all, learning how to say no.

  • Say NO to that second invitation to partake in a cookie exchange!
  • Say NO to triple booking the Saturday before Christmas with two office parties and cousin Linda’s Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater shin-dig!
  • Say NO to overbuying for family and friends and instead get one, thoughtful present or make a donation to a charity in that person’s name (unless your family members are in elementary school, in which case buy toys and hide them well)

This Christmas, try to get into the spirit of slooooowing down. I challenge you to take just 10 minutes every day to do the following:

1 – Find a comfortable, quite space

2 – Sit on a yoga mat, rug or blanket

3 – Breathe

As an added bonus, throw in a few rounds of cat/cow and perhaps a sun salutation or two.

This way you’ll feel refreshed before tackling that stack of 100+ Christmas cards currently sitting on your desk, mocking you.

Just like that smug elf.

 

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PS, Don’t forget to move her.

 

Julie Nogueira is a registered yoga teacher, wife, mother, and sporadic blogger living in Annapolis, Maryland. 

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