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Family, Marriage, Parenting, Rope-worthy

Help! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

From the early 1970s. Me and my family making ornaments at a Christmas potluck at our church, St. Paul’s Lutheran in Byram. That’s me in the glasses; my dad, Mike Salvatore; mom, Ginger Salvatore; and my sister, Traci. And the ornaments we made that day? Some of them still hang on my tree each year.

Anyone else look at the calendar this past week and realize just how close Christmas is?

I haven’t stopped hyperventilating since I noticed.

Not that it should be a surprise. Christmas comes every year after all.

And it’s not like there weren’t clues: Even before everyone had their power and cable restored following Superstorm Sandy, the stores were quickly changing the merchandise. And as the electricity went back on all over town, suddenly there were Christmas lights blinking and winking at me.

The ads are already running on TV — the precious one with the Hershey kisses like choir bells, that obnoxious series of Target Black Friday sales ads, and several others. It won’t be long before Coca-Cola’s polar bears are gamboling around the small screen and Lexus is exhorting me to have a December to remember (as if one of those cars will actually end up in my driveway tied up in a red bow. Right.)

The Grinch is on tonight.  Right now on the TV crawl, I see “The Nutcracker :The Untold Story” just starting on Showtime Family.

Certainly, I shouldn’t be surprised that Christmas is mere weeks away.

And still, I was.

Blame the workload, the unending household chores, Catherine’s extra-curricular activities.

Blame the mental exhaustion, which seems to be a chronic condition these days.

I started a bit of shopping this weekend, figuring I’d better get cracking. A friend extolls the joys of Amazon Prime, but I really like to take a thoughtful approach to buying presents. I aim to find something new and different, clever and “just right” for every recipient. It doesn’t always work that way, but that’s the goal. So I started to nose around here and there, and found a couple of things, but there’s much, much more to do — decorating, the tree, cards, cookies, presents, wrapping. …

Already, I’m on overload.

My mother is already done shopping and if I know her, everything is already wrapped and beautifully decorated with cascading ribbons and bows.

Every year, I swear I’m going to shop all year through so that one year, I can enjoy the spirit of the season, have both eyeballs open during the parties, have time to take a deep breath and drink in the joy of it all.

Clearly, this is not going to be that year.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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