Posted by: Hannah | 11/08/2013

fa la-la-la-la

I woke up this morning feeling a bizarre, festive impulse.

The Christmas Lego arrived yesterday, triggering my annual descent into madness. I’ve also been getting daily emails from the Canadian Living “60 Day Holiday Countdown” and oh my gods, I never subscribed to that, ever… but I can’t seem to look away. Festive floral arrangements! Make-ahead holiday treats! Ten pies & tarts for any occasion! I see these things and because I never learn, I think yes, I could do all of that! I will give only handmade Christmas gifts made with love! My home will be beautifully decorated in some sort of coordinated fashion! The smells of cookies and spiced wine will permeate the (decked!) halls for the whole month of December! THIS IS GOING TO BE GREAT!

Then time ticks on. I remember that I actually have very little kitchen counter space considering how large my house is. (Note to self: figure out a way to better-design my kitchen space). I remember someone I forgot from my Christmas gift list. I send out the cards and my hand cramps from writing “hoping you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!” thirty-odd times. I receive my first card and it’s from someone I didn’t have on my card list. The weekends fill up fast with parades, craft fairs, the annual overnight trip to Charlottetown for Michael’s company party (long story). Next thing you know it’s December 20th and my house is the usual mish-mash of kids’ drawings of Santa (you know, the ones where Santa looks like an alcoholic or possibly a refugee); oddly-placed mini-lights in windows with extension cords snaking away from them; and an always-too-large-for-the-space Christmas tree. I’ve baked one batch of The Best Christmas Cookies Ever but they’ve already been eaten so I’m under pressure to bake more. I’m still wrapping the last of the stocking stuffers and the dayhome kids are seething balls of anticipation, so the idea that I can do any preparation during the day is laughable.

I usually spend my evenings building my newest “Lego Winter Village” kit and watching holidays movies with a glass of Bailey’s at my elbow. I have lots of ambition, during the first half of November. Just no follow-through.

This is my first Christmas with a Pinterest account, and I can already see that this is going to be problematic. I’ve decided to embrace my essential laziness and am building a board called My Imaginary Christmas. I’m doing this because it satisfies the part of my soul that wants a picture-perfect Christmas, while still giving me time to remember that I, like Clark Griswold, am ultimately going to be satisfied – again – with the holiday where the shitter was full and the tree exploded.

Only 46 days until Christmas!


While I was writing this, Canadian Living sent another email. “Cute monogrammed gifts for your loved ones” it says. It has a picture of a pink turtleneck with a massive letter “L” on it. 



  1. Oh, Lord. I am single and (in theory) have all the time in the world, and even I can’t keep up. I don’t even decorate much (given that I head to Calgary for Christmas, it seems pointless to do anything other then my tree … and I only do that because I **LOVE** my ornaments).

    • But you put up a tree! That’s a good thing! (And I love your ornaments too, or the ones you blogged about last year, anyway.)

  2. Over the years Christmas seems to be a steady devolution into ever more last minute decorating, buying, wrapping, cards. We used to go to the forest and cut down a tree and decorate and get gifts and send handwritten notes on the Christmas cards well in advance. Then we had Oldest and we downgraded to going to a tree farm and writing a quick Happy Holidays on Christmas cards and buying online and shipping directly. Then we had Youngest and we started getting our tree at the tree sale at Oldest’s school and baking went out the window and no personal notes were written on Christmas cards. I hit the nadir two years ago when we didn’t even manage Christmas cards and settled for New Years cards mailed at some point in January. Am hoping now that Youngest is four I might be able to reclaim some part of the organizational spirit with which I used to approach the holidays because if it gets any worse, we’re going to end up decorating a bush in our back yard and sending “holiday” emails sometime in February.

    • Yes. All of this. ALL OF THIS.

      Confession – we get our tree for free every year. We are clients of Investors Group and they do a big hoopla on the first weekend of December where they give each of their clients (plus one!) a free, fresh, local tree. We got a monster of a tree last year (think Clark Griswold) and all it cost us was a little time and some bungee cords to strap it to the roof.

      Not exactly tromping out into the bush with saw though, is it? *blushes*


    I love November for this exact reason, so festive and lots of time to get things done. It’s cozy! And I like your pinterest board.

    • No no, it’s not to BUY. I’m supposed to buy a plain old boring turtleneck and then cut out a letter from felt, and sew it on myself because somehow that will magically transform a crappy turtleneck into a Magical Personalized Gift That Everyone Will Love.

  4. I have been known to send out January cards. Considering the shit show we put on for halloween this year, my hopes are not high.

    • I like getting cards in January. After everything is put away and you realize we’ve got three months of Canadian winter left, it’s nice to get a little unexpected something in the mail.

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