Holidaze of To-Do’s

By Hilary Berg

As the holidays approach, my mind begins to buzz with all that must be accomplished before the big “25.” 

Purchasing plane tickets for three people during the craziest flying time of the year starts my to-do list. While I fretfully scan flights online — searching for ones fit both for a toddler and my budget — I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to come home and spend time with my family. 

After tickets purchased, the next task should be sending out cards, but, I have yet to grasp its timing. I have boxes and boxes of unused cards from over the years that I completely forgot to mail. This year, I have promised myself to use them up and send them out, pronto.

Decorating the house is also on the annual agenda. For many households, it’s an undertaking with strings of lights stapled to eaves and around window sills, but we don’t bother with that; we concentrate our efforts on the tree. I treasure unwrapping ornaments from the far and not-so-distant past. Each one reminds me of the blessings in my life. 

Buying presents is often the biggest chore for most people, especially for people like me with a tight budget and a huge family. Thankfully, this year, my family will have a white elephant for the adults, including my parents, and a gift exchange for the grandchildren. This leaves a manageable and enjoyable amount of shopping for my husband’s side and friends. 

The final task is planning the food. This has never been my responsibility during the holidays — thanks to my parents and in-laws — but I am fully aware of the work and stress going into serving a small army of people who have set up camp in your house for a week.

Every year, my mom picks at her plate, saying she and my dad have been cooking the food all day — and planning and prepping for weeks beforehand — and doesn’t have an appetite. I completely understand. It’s called aroma overload and, most likely, exhaustion.

This year — and every Christmas hereafter — my parents said they will give us the bird — roast it, I mean — leaving us (myself and siblings) to make the rest. This is something we could have done years ago, but it takes guts — including giblets — to turn over control of such a special dinner to “the kids.” 

I look forward to sitting down with my family and toasting the season. With a glass of wine in hand and a heart full of gratitude, I will take pleasure in having accomplished another holiday. Even though it’s a lot of work, it’s always worth it.

Happy Holidays.

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