Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Pre-Christmas Meltdown and a Post-Meltdown Reflection

This morning I woke up in a terrible mood; it was Christmas Eve day and nothing at all was right.  The T.V. was blaring, bowls of soggy breakfast cereal were strewn across the kitchen counter, the litter box stank, my hair was sticking straight up.  In 48 hours Christmas will be over and damnit where was my mother-fucking-Martha-Stewart holiday?

My problem is that I'm a perfectionist and I have this image in my head of the Holidays.  I want my home to perpetually smell like peppermint, cinnamon, and cloves.  There should be warm, fuzzy, glowing light everywhere.  None of the holiday pictures should have baskets of unfolded clothing heaped in the background.  Despite the baking, my bright red sweater should still fit.  Johnny Mathis Christmas carols are playing and not blaring iCarly commercials on the television.

I had such lofty goals:  handmade gifts for everyone, handmade wrapping paper and tags, handmade ornaments, nothing handmade that looks handmade.  All the warm, perfect, glowiness will be documented on the Blog Jar and then ApartmentTherpay, Desgin*Sponge, and Craft will call and ask to photograph my perfect home and beg me to show them the path to a warm and DIY Christmas.  Anna Maria Horner, Jenny Hart, and Amy Butler will be my best friends.  I'll quit my job and write articles and continue making perfect holidays.  Oh, and Sam and Hope and the cat will sit around discussing how loved, comfortable, and happy they are since I make such beautiful things.

Obviously I have my head up my ass.  I spent the morning angrily cleaning and moping and full of holiday gripe.  Then I started the crying for no reason.  I was having a pre-Christmas meltdown.  Sam took Hope out for the afternoon to do some last minute Christmas deliveries and I put on the Johnny Mathis Christmas carols and decided to do some more baking.  I find that the smell of carbs in the oven tends to sooth ravaged nerves.  Once I had peppermint bark cooling in the fridge and gingerbread in the oven, I began to think about all of the things I have done.  The tree was up by Thanksgiving weekend, the gifts are wrapped, Christmas cards went out along with baked goods, I hosted the library staff party at my house, I handmade a few things, the house was relatively clean, I did a hell of a lot of baking, etc... In other words nothing was perfect, but many things were right.

I decided things needed to change before Sam and Hope were miserable.  I was trying to make everything perfect and happy for them and instead I was barking mad.  Once I accepted that yelling and scrubbing the floor whilst glaring would not a Martha Stewart Christmas make I calmed down and actually began to enjoy Christmas and Sam and Hope decided not to lock me out of the house in the rain.

Baking continued, we attended an awesome Christmas party at Inman Perk, and the house is set for Christmas morning.

And I think this makes for a pretty perfect Christmas:

Right now -- not a creature is stirring:  Sam is snoring blissfully on the couch, Hope is snuggled in bed, the cat is curled up on the floor. I love all three of them -- Sam, Hope, and Beau the Cat -- I'm quite sure my heart is has swelled up at least three sizes too big.   

Merry Christmas! 


Eva said...

The beginning had me laughing so hard! That's my ideal Christmas too! ;) I'm still living w/ my parents, but I'm sure once I'm on my own, I'll have meltdowns too.

We've had to delay Christmas by a day, since my sister's fiancee couldn't get off work and they have a 14-hour drive to get here, so I spent all of today a bit pouty and confused. LOL But then I opened up a couple wonderful gifts from friends, and I made hot chocolate with my niece and added whipped cream and red and green sprinkles to make it more Christmas-y, and now everything's ok again.

That picture is adorable, and have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow!

saveophelia said...

We subscribe to some of the same design blogs. And I've been trying so hard this year to make my own wreaths and ornaments and I've been sucking. Most of my efforts have been put into a box which I will revisit when I have children and tell them alll about how I made them when I was in fourth grade or something. (Wouldn't want them to think I was unskilled!)

I'm glad you and your family made Christmas your own - that is quite a beautiful photo (: definitely something to frame and put up on a wall as a reminder of the good (albeit imperfect) times.

Happy Christmas, Amanda!

Thomas at My Porch said...

Amanda: I always love how open and honest you are in your blog.

Before trying to be Martha Stewart I recommend you watch the show "Whatever, Martha" on FLN. This is the show where Martha's daughther Alexis and her friend make fun of old Martha shows. It not only teaches one that many Martha segments are batshit crazy, but it also shows how much therapy Martha's daughter needs. A cautionary tale perhaps.

I hope are having a fantastic day!

Andi said...

I hear you! I had my pre-Christmas meltdown (several, actually), but things eventually turned around. I'm glad you're feeling better, and I hope you had the merriest Christmas. :)