Despite the pinch, it’s all good


It’s that time of year again — tinsel hanging, cookie baking, present wrapping — and it seems to have snuck up faster than it usually does.

That is one of the cruelest things about time, I think, is that the older you get, the quicker it seems to move right along, and time seems just fine with leaving me in the dust.

I was reminded of that a morning last week as I went to Walmart to try to pick up a few items before I was caught in that Christmas-week, last-minute rush to get what needs getting.

Late morning on a week day and I was dodging people all over that store. That made me a little frantic feeling, especially since I had to get to work and the unanticipated amount of people in the store certainly, easily, doubled my anticipated shopping time.

As much as I look forward to Christmas each and every year, I can’t help but be a bit more frazzled than usual in the immediate weeks and days preceding it, this year most of all.

It just seems like it is not even time for Christmas, let alone December, and the weather is not helping there at all.

I had the house windows open on Sunday, for Heaven’s sake. That is not a typically enjoyed thing less than two weeks before Santa is slated to slide down the chimney.

So no, it doesn’t feel like Christmas is right around the corner, and I’m sure that I am not alone in that feeling.

But Christmas is coming anyway, whether it feels like it should be or not.

Something I’ve been passing onto the kids this year, also as a bit of a pick-me-up for myself, is that with the warmer weather and no snow possible whatsoever is Santa will be safer this year – no slippery roof hazards, at least not in our part of the world.

And despite getting everything wrapped this past weekend, and I do mean everything during a rare all-by-myself-in-the-house couple of hours, I still feel the pull of the things not yet done.

Which is weird, honestly, because each year I am up into the wee hours of Christmas morning wrapping all the little bits that have been stowed in this closet and that closet for months. This year, it’s all done, and I’m still pinched.

I can’t explain it really, but there is an awful lot that goes into pulling off the holidays for a family. And even though I’m ahead of the eight ball this year, I still feel like I’m under it, frankly.

Maybe I just have yet to wrap my head around the fact that more things are done than I typically have done, and my state of feeling pinched is more out of habit than anything else.

So there is that, and other very good things that I am too close to losing sight of.

It is the time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus, that perfect gift from God. It’s the time of year for family and for giving and for remembering our blessings.

Christmas is next week, and it’s falling on the edge of a week, which is just the right time as that will give us all a little longer weekend to relax.

So I’ll try to breathe a little easier and remember that the bulk of the holiday chores are complete. Tthis weekend, after tackling that last big chore of baking perhaps I’ll pop in “A Christmas Story” and kick back with a kid or a dog or both and just do nothing for 94 minutes.

And I think I’ll take another load off, too, come Christmas Eve when we gather informally, letting the nieces and nephews open their gifts while I lean way back on the couch with a hot chocolate, with or without a candy cane, before the longer, much-needed weekend commences.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

By Angela Shepherd

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