This afternoon I was sitting at the rink waiting for my son to finish up with his skating lesson when the radio station on the overhead speakers took a commercial break. A breathless woman talked about her Christmas gift giving, and she began by saying, “I get so caught up…”
I’m not sure what she said after that because I had stopped listening. I got “caught up” in her saying “I get so caught up.”
Then I had to laugh at myself — I was caught up in thinking about being caught up.
But it gave me pause to think about all the things I get caught up in, despite my best efforts to do less each year.
Over the last few years our family has made a concerted effort to cut back on our gift giving. Years ago, we stopped gift-giving to our extended family — all the aunts and uncles and the cousins we drew names for.
And now our immediate family of parents and grandparents is in the attrition phase of life with everyone gone except for my mom and dad and my husband’s stepmother.
We still do gifts for our son, but it’s been pared back substantially from the way it was when he was little.
Now we follow the tradition of giving him something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, and something to read. And, a couple of Christmas ornaments that get stuck in the toe of his stocking. Nothing is overly extravagant.
But even with a short gift list, at this time of year it’s so easy to get caught up in All. The. Things. The other things…
- Decorating the house for Christmas and baking the special cookies I only make at Christmas.
- Going to this or that event and making the little maraschino cherry mice that I always bring.
- Sending out cards to family and friends and creating the photo montage card that’s become tradition.
- Cleaning the house and deciding it would be good to start the new year with fully sorted and organized kitchen cabinets.
How ironic — when I’m “caught up” in all the things, all I can think about is how great it will be when I’m finally “caught up.”
Seriously? I think I’ll take this commercial as a sign to make this the holiday season when I don’t get caught up.
When I’m not creating a picture perfect holiday and instead concentrating on creating a holiday that’s perfect, one where I’m free to enjoying the season however feels right.
Come to think of it, not getting caught up sounds like a pretty good way to live a life year round.