One of my favorite contemporary Christmas carols is Billy Squier (of ‘The Stroke’ fame – holla to all youths of the ’80’s in the hizzle)’s “Christmas Is the Time to Say ‘I Love You’.” Here’s a fun fact to know and tell: that song ‘dropped’ in 1981, during the heyday of MTV, when Martha Quinn, J.J. Jackson and the rest of the original vee-jays showed music videos and nothing but music videos, ’round the clock. The Good Old Days, if you will. In December of 1981, I was twelve years old and in seventh grade. That was thirty years ago. I’ll let you do math.
These days, when I sing (as I often do, to the chagrin of my children, the dog, and anyone within hearing distance) that song, I tend to change the lyrics to whatever I’m feeling or thinking at the moment. For example:
- Christmas Is the Time to Say… I’m Tired
- Christmas Is the Time to Say… Clean Your Room
- Christmas Is the Time to Say… You’re Naughty
- Christmas Is the Time to Say… It’s Bedtime
and so on. For the last couple of days, however, I’ve been observing my actions, gyrations, behaviors and what not. The tune that keeps popping into my head? “Christmas Is the Time to Say… I’m Crazy.”
I don’t know about you, but this time of the year brings out both the best and worst in me. The best because I honestly love the holiday season and truly endeavor to make it merry and bright. I decorate my house to the hilt, I try to select thoughtful gifts each recipient will love, I play Christmas music non-stop, I take in all the Christmas movies and TV specials with my boys (pretty much just my 7 year old, now, because my 15 year old is too cool), and so on. I want to create idyllic holiday memories that my family will cherish forever.
Alas, I must admit: it also brings out the worst. I could go into excruciating detail on this point, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll leave it at this: I try to cram way too much into way too narrow of a time frame. Inevitably, I end up over-extended, exhausted, and disappointed.
Have you ever seen the movie, “Christmas Vacation”? I swear, I am Clark Griswold with a va-jay-jay. Reality can never match those romanticized visions of sugarplums, dancing in our heads.
For those of you who don’t know the gist of this story, there’s a boy and this mouse. The boy gives the mouse a cookie, which makes the mouse thirsty, so the boy must get him a glass of milk. Then, the mouse wants to look in the mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and when he looks in the mirror, he decides his fur needs a trim, so the boy needs to get him a pair of scissors, and so on. In every given moment, the mouse gets distracted and moves on to his next ‘need’ before wrapping up the previous endeavor. (SPOILER ALERT!) It eventually ends where it starts, with the mouse wanting a cookie, and then a glass of milk… And in the mouse’s wake? An utterly torn-up house and an oh-so-exhausted little boy.
In my case, I’m both the boy and the mouse. Let me give you one example:
This past Friday night was basketball homecoming at my son, Truman’s, high school. Truman is a freshman, and through a lot of hard work and dedication, he made the JV and varsity teams. He was also asked to be the male freshman homecoming attendant. My in-laws (mother, father, brother & his wife and kids) decided to come in for the game and spend the night.
My in-laws live several hours away from us and have not come up to our home in well over a year. They haven’t stayed the night in probably 3 years or so. (They think it’s much easier for the four of us to come down and see them. Don’t get me started…)
Anyway, with it being the holidays, I felt like my home needed to be not only immaculate, but beautifully decorated. We were going to be leaving Saturday morning for our Christmas with DH’s extended family, so I also needed to have all of the shopping for that side of the family done, and the gifts needed to be beautifully wrapped, with my signature big-fluffy-bows (each one takes at least 15 minutes to make. Don’t pretend you paper crafters don’t know what I’m talking about).
I had the upstairs interior of the house painted a few months ago (okay, so maybe it was about 24 months ago…), and I’d been a bit of a slacker about getting all of the pictures re-hung, and in the meantime, Truman had changed bedrooms. During that time, the ‘new’ guest room had become a bit of a junk room. Why? Because no one ever comes up to stay with us! So, I had to get the guest room all cleaned up, pictures hung on the walls, etc.
On Thursday afternoon, I went to a department store to find a couple of extra gifts for my Mother- and Sister-in-law (because I hated for them to open just one from us, even though their main gift was nice enough on its own). While there, I spied a couple of lamps that I thought would look great in the guest room (the old ones looked dated and cheap, I’d decided when I had set the room back up the day before). Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear? A chair that would be PERFECT for the guest room! And so on…
I get home and place the lamps and chairs in the guest room, when I notice a couple of stains on the carpet. They’re curiously yellow. I bend down to sniff… and no, no, no!!! The unmistakeable stench of dog urine. Too busy to decide whether it was the work of Gretel (RIP, I had to put her to sleep a couple of weeks ago – that’s a terrible, horrible, no-good story for another time) or Sweet Pea (or should it be ‘Sweet Pee’?), I immediately think, “I’ve got to clean these carpets!” So I go to the local hardware store and rent a carpet cleaner at 6 p.m. at night, hoping and praying the carpet will be dry before the company arrives the next day.
As I’m cleaning the guest bedroom carpet, I think “Well, as long as I have the carpet cleaner, I should clean all of the carpet in the house…” and later, “Well, the upholstery of the living room furniture looks a little dirty, too…” You see where this is going, don’t you?
Now that it’s Sunday, the 18th, here’s what I know: the gifts were plenty as they were, no one but me would have given a second thought to the lamps or the lack of a chair in the guest room, I could have probably done a good enough job on the carpet with a little spray carpet cleaner and a rag, and no one cared about my big-fluffy-bows as they tore into their presents.
One of these days, I’ll learn my lesson. In fact, I think I’m going to start today. Instead of working myself into a lather trying to create a new card or item for today’s CCC post (our 5th!), I’m going to show you a couple of early projects I made with Your Next Stamp images, which helped me fall in love with YNS.
This is the very first card I created with a YNS image. I did it for a JiFFy (Just For Fun) Challenge I do with a few of my stampy girlfriends monthly-ish, and one of them selected the adorable little monkey from the Monkey Gone Bananas set. I decided to make mine a Japanese Snow Monkey, a la
Next is one of my very favorite YNS images, ever. So much so, it’s the image I selected for my YNS watermark: Happy Days Mermaid.
So, talk to me. Are you a Harried Holiday Hannah like me, or a Serene & Simple Sarah? Do you want to be different, or do you have any advice for the rest of us crazies? Leave a comment and let me know. One randomly-selected, lucky commenter will get her choice of either the Monkey Gone Bananas or Happy Days Mermaid. You have between now and midnight on Christmas Day (Dec. 25th) to post your comment, and Karen will announce the winner on the 26th.
Just for old time’s sake…
Did you see all the original MTV vee-jays?! And Billy’s sweater… oy!
I leave you with my best wishes for this season for you and yours, and for a New Year filled with peace, prosperity, and people you love. See you on January 18th, 2012, friends!
XO – Carole
PS – Can you think of another single blog post in which both terms ‘vee-jay’ and ‘va-jay-jay’ have been used?! SCORE!!! 🙂