Sunday, 30 November 2014

on the umph...day of christmas my true love said to me



There are twelve months in a year, after eleven relatively quiet ones we enter the dark month of December. And December always turns into a Very Busy month. Without wanting to, one feels overcome by an overwhelming sense of – let’s be completely truthful here - panic……Christmas Panic. I'm not kidding, let me list a few of the things we have to deal with that spring immediately to mind: Christmas shopping, Christmas presents, Christmas pudding, Christmas hangover(s), Christmas hors d'oeuvres, Christmas leftovers, Christmas outfit(s)(can I get away with wearing the same outfit several times, given that I move in different circles so the likelihood of the same people being at the same venue is infinitesimally small, hence one person noticing I’m indeed wearing same outfit twice is highly unlikely, then again, who actually cares?)*, Christmas guests, Christmas dinners, Christmas parties, Christmas office-do, Christmas decorations, Christmas to-tree-or-not-to-tree, honestly it’s not as if I haven’t been here before, as if I don’t know Christmas is coming and yet each and every year I feel trampled upon by it all; it’s almost as if the season of bewildered merriment and jolly red-nosed stress is ‘suddenly’ upon us.** Shorter days do not help either!


I suggested they could start by tidying and cleaning the kitchen whilst I'm in the office the next couple of days, so far no one has volunteered

This year is no different. To add to my general bafflement, the gang has gathered and declared they too want to celebrate Christmas ‘all together’ in a manner befitting Christmas, hallelujah! This doesn’t necessarily mean I am invited. Which is of course fine and dandy and I wouldn’t have minded or been particularly upset, however, they have asked me for advice – read ‘organise the festivities, and, worst case scenario, maybe even prepare food’ – in short ‘do my bit’, which is why I am becoming more and more tense, f******short tempered and find myself unable to focus on one thing. It involves loads of planning, never very high on my skill-list, starting with what is every being going to eat? There are seed eaters, carnivores, omnivores, vegetarians, worm- and insect devotees (which is rather difficult for the moths, beetles and butterflies to come to terms with, if you're not careful you might end up on a dinner plate) pollen-nibblers, honey-suckers and so forth. (who’s taking notes? Anyone?  Nobody! I am, of course)

Where are they all going to sit? Some don’t sit but prefer to remain perched on a branch, or are hanging on a puppet frame, others are so small they’ld be best served sitting on the table rather than at it. Then there is the question of cutlery and a suitable dinner service: are there enough plates and what sizes do we have, how many knives, forks, sticks, spoons, glasses, cups & saucers……who will be seated next to whom? Drinks anybody, don't mind if you do, no silly not now, I mean for Christmas, oh. Are dinner invitations forthcoming, if yes, who’ll be making them, if no, okay, however will we be sending Christmas cards? And again, who will make those? And who will deliver them, the list seems endless (and for what? I mumble, but nobody’s listening)

argh..............I will keep you posted.........

What I am looking forward to is making a long-Christmas-theme-table-cloth for them, hey ho
This will also give me a valid excuse to retreat from time to time, with a sewing basket at my side, a threaded needle in one hand and a dainty cloth in the other, whilst sitting on the settee in front of the wood burner, luxuriating in my solitude!

* the fact that these kinds of thoughts cross my mind is an indication of the level of despair I’ve reached, hihi=nervous giggle


** do men experience this kind of stress about these kinds of things, no you don’t have to answer, as the evidence ‘round here would suggest: NO, they do not and what’s more, never will do. Good for them.


16 comments:

deanna7trees said...

ha....how grateful you have made me that Christmas is not my holiday. hope you can calm down. nobody will know what doesn't get done.

jude said...

i gave up the Christmas thing. just a few lights. and some small gift giving between family members, sometimes not even that. walking together and a nice quiet dinner. that's mostly what we do. and then sometimes not, because we don't stress about it. it was a habit when mom was alive because she really like the holiday.

Nancy said...

Ahhh...Saskia, this is why I love you! Wear the same darn outfit & hid with your clothwork! Part way through I did question if the wanting, wishing and demanding ones were family or small ones now housed in your studio!!
Take a deep breath and try to enjoy the parts you enjoy. My family is not doing Christmaka this year as some are out of town. Fine by me. Jude's holiday sounds about right by me :)

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

for the Gang, i suggest celebrating
Solstice...all you need is a big
bonfire.

for the People, it's too soon to
excuse yourself from it all, but
you can look forward to the day when
you WILL be able to. To simply say
no.
And then to change your mind?

Liz Ackert said...

Reading the beginning of your post made my blood pressure start to go up ... then I started to laugh ... all better, thank you

marijke Bongers said...

ah! you too???? every year I get a December depression. I HATE St Nicolaas (Like every kid that was bullied I think) I was doing yoga last week (just started that) and in the relaxing end lying down with a warm soft blanket on top of me on a mat on the floor I suddenly had a clear mind. I would say no to all appointments, only bake my own bread with lots of seeds and lite just one candle this year and withdraw myself with my knitting from the world, wachting Christmas movies eith nice knitting in it till the 10th of Januari.....xxx keep it simple dear!

deemallon said...

this is hilarious, and would be even funnier if I couldn't relate to it so well (talk about naked writing!)... I HATE that all this busi-ness kicks up (much of which I LOVE) just as the season is declaring that Silence is Perhaps the Most Nourishing Thing.

This year I will put out the bottle brush trees and the nutcrackers and put up lights and have a tree. But I will NOT bake dozens upon dozens of cookies. That makes things easier!

And, I, too, had the sense of family morphing into fairy tale studio critters... I wonder how your celebrations with THEM will differ from those with family.

Anonymous said...

i laugh beautyfull words " red nose stress " and more .....
write a book abouth " Christmas red nose stress " a good title !!!!
you can do it while you make that Christmas table cloth and sit in the front of the wood burner .... hahaha or hihihi ... stress.... in a time of dark /light
a time of stress/still
a time of outside/inner
it doesn't matter it will blow over
M.

Patty said...

Thanks for the big laugh! I'll tell
you a secret I learned when I took
on too much 'planning' and ended up
with after Xmas flu...let it turn
out ragged and not perfect. Then let
some other person step up to do it
better. Retreating to your studio
also sounds about right!

Mo Crow said...

oh you & your little crew of once lost now found beings are in good form! I love the Silly Season which Australia celebrates with a bipolar wonderment of fake snow, mulled wine, steamed puddings and roast dinners in the middle summer then the whole city goes to the beach for Boxing Day!

Debbie said...

Yes I also questioned who you were talking about part way through but it gave me a good laugh. I also get completely stressed even though we have only a few close family over christmas now.
My other half doesn't know why I get so stressed about it all and he does the christmas lunch but you ought to see the kitchen afterwards

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

Dear All:
aha, I think I struck a nerve; it was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek Christmas rant!
I'm fortunate as the last couple of years we've spent the 25th and 26th eating Christmas dinners at my sister's and my sister-in-law's houses, the latter adores cooking and we don't get to do any; on 'my' side of the family we prepare the meat part of the main course, i.e. my husband does......so whence the stress, it just is, 'cos so much of December is about compulsive partaking of the festivities and we can't arrive empty handed and shabbily dressed, or can we??????
I'm sure all this will improve as I grow older, most things; I'll probably look back on all this with a smile................the beings in the studio are counting on me, so I'll have to make a Big Effort in the studio and in a weird way I'm looking forward to this part of the X-mas ordeal, 'tis after all the season to be merry, lalalala la la lalaaaaaa

Dana said...

I'm looking forward to the Christmas tablecloth.

Julie S said...

Now might be a good time to consider conversion to Judaism.

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

Julie LOL! If I were a christian I might consider conversion, however, I'm sure you have your own festivities involving elaborate preparations as well, so I'm not sure how that would help;-)

that's the spirit Dana, I'm going to check out your blog and see what you're up to

Susan said...

Hi Saskia. I am smiling and oh so familiar with this thinking of everything all at once sort of mental list making. : ) and I agree with Deanna, no one else knows how many things are on your list. Just go ahead and cross a bunch of them off. Lighten the load and the things that remain might shine a little brighter.