I was recently enjoying a lunch with a few fellow work colleagues when the topic of doing a “Secret Santa” exchange surfaced. The plan would be to draw names and purchase small gifts for your selected individual for a week.
A few of the team members started to bubble with excitement. I, on the other hand, felt my inner-Grinch surfacing.
Little surprises for a week sound fun, sure. But my mind was already starting to calculate when I would find the time to shop for one more person, and come up with a cute little theme and presentation. Shit!
I love this time of year. Really, I do! I’ve already started to crank the holiday tunes in the car, and my mailman is keenly aware of my online shopping habits.
Still, any mom knows the holidays add a zillion more things to the very full to-do list we already juggle.
Every year, I tell myself I’ll ease up, but I want to do it all.
A beautiful tree (well actually we totally sport the ultimate kid tree with handmade ornaments, but beautiful to me).
The school performances.
Thoughtful gifts for family, friends and teachers.
Lovely wrapped gifts (my gift wrapping always looks sloppy!).
Driving the streets to see holiday lights.
Pictures with Santa.
Oh, and I get the especially festive task of shopping for four family December birthdays (including my husband and middle child).
Add in the regular to-dos and my work with a relatively new company and I can’t help but feel overwhelmed, overtired and over it.
Each year I try different tactics to manage it all. A day off to shop and wrap. No cards. Break-and-bake cookies. One year the flu wiped us out – I’m not sure if that was a blessing or a curse?
So when someone suggests adding one more task – as fun as it might be – to my holly, jolly hellish long list, I freak.
Many of my colleagues who would be participating in this “Secret Santa” fun are without kids. I’m not saying they don’t have lots to do as well this time of year, but kids certainly add a number unique activities and events to the season. I mean come on – forget about “Secret Santa” – they believe in the real thing, and as parents, we want to make this time of year magical with family traditions.
So my request to the “Secret Santa” squad was to please give us all more than a week or so to plan and shop. The more time, the better.
Because all I want for Christmas is more time to enjoy actually enjoy the season, not get caught up in the to-dos.
Can “Secret Santa” give me an eighth day of the week?
How do you like to celebrate the holidays with office friends?