You know, as I get older it becomes more and more obvious that I am just a guy. I guess I should probably say that I never doubted my masculinity. No, not this dude. What I mean to say is that I still don't get all of the stress around the holidays. Some would tell you it is because us guys don't do anything.
We don't send out the Christmas cards.
Of course, we generally take all of the pictures that end up on the Christmas cards and we do all the necessary formatting. We even format the addresses to be printed on them.
We don't help decorate the house and make it pretty.
Although we do go out and buy all of the lights that go out on the bushes and spend hours stringing them up. We do get out the inflatable snowman and run all the wire. We do run to no less than three stores to find big enough suction cups to hang all of the wreaths on the windows and then hang them. We do cut down the Christmas tree, tie it to the top of the car, and then drive it home. We do trim the tree, put it on the stand, and bring it in the house. Heck, I seem to remember that we also even put on all the lights and then gather the family to put on the ornaments.
We don't do all of the shopping.
Although we do go to 15 furniture stores with our wives to pick the perfect couch that they want for Christmas. We even religiously check the newspaper and the Internet for holiday furniture sales. We schedule delivery and even make arrangements to be home when they deliver the massive Christmas present. We visit all of the stores and scour the Internet to help make sure that Santa's elves find all of the presents that the kiddos are wanting. We even make sure that Santa is prepared with all of the things that he may want to put into the stockings. Heck, it even seems like we go to the grocery store several times per week just to make sure we have the items that we need to get through the rest of the week and the holidays. In fact, when your credit card number is stolen and thieves have emptied your bank account we are there to purchase the groceries.
We don't do all of the laundry on top of all of these other things we don't do.
Hold on, yes we do.
We don't cook during the holidays.
Although we do make breakfast every morning for the family. We do the grilling for dinners several times per week and cook inside when necessary. We don't do salads or vegetables but we are more than happy to bake a potato or french fries. We also pour the milks and set out the plates and utensils. We are always the first gather the twerplets for dinner.
We don't complain.
What is the point?
The fact of the matter is that Christmas is not going to be busy. Every year it is going to be 5 times the work of a normal month. It is going to be jam packed with wall-to-wall stuff to do. That is the way of Christmas. However, if you do not relax and enjoy the process, Christmas will become a nightmare.
The Holidays aren't about the perfect Christmas tree. It is about the family being together and cutting down their very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It is about the time they spent together on their journey to get the tree. It is about the memories and the fun. It is about being together.
It isn't about having the prettiest house on the block (not that we are at risk). It is about Graham being incredibly proud that he had all of the extra bulbs we needed to replace the burnt out ones on the strands of lights outside. After all, those are the bulbs that made the whole string of lights work.
It isn't about plugging in the inflatable snowman. To the girls it is more about the kitty that peed on the snowman as it blew up. For me, it was the memory of the girls being grossed out. Oddly enough, they now dare each other to touch the snowman. Gross, but funny.
Stop, breath, relax, and enjoy.
Remember what the purpose is.
If you aren't enjoying it, you are missing something very important.
That is a lesson in purpose for all of us.