5 Things You Do Not Have to Do the Week Before Christmas

Ok it’s crunch time now.

Last week the panic began. (If you would like a dose of some real angry hysteria you can take a gander at my last Facebook post here.)

In a mere 7 days, all of your money and hard work will lie amid piles of wrapping paper under a dying tree.  There will be a huge sense of relief that the holidays are over, followed by months of SAD and paying bills.

We need to keep this in mind as we are driving ourselves insane over the next week.

There are certain things that we need to let go of in order to maintain our mental health.  I have learned a few things over the past few years, and I have a plan this year to avoid a nervous breakdown. In years past I have worked myself up into an unhealthy hysteria over getting everything done perfectly that found me at the brink of being institutionalized…this is not necessary or advisable.


I have a list in my head of things that must get done in order to signify a happy holidays.  I have learned that nobody’s any happier by accomplishing said list and maybe I can be happier by not completing said list!!


There are a few tasks that I am not going to have time for this week, and it is OK!! I can still enjoy the holidays without doing everything perfectly. You too can avoid a holiday breakdown…


I normally have pretty ribbon that I put on wrapped gifts.  My roommate that I lived with after college taught me how to do quite a nice job with cheap ribbon, so I can do that if I am low on time and funds.

I don't have this kind of time....
I don’t have this kind of time….

If I am really low on time, I buy the “Bag o’ Bows” at CVS and slap those bad boys all over my gifts. They generally don’t stick nicely and they fall off and they get smashed from the other gifts and look like a mangled pile of shit.

So guess what.

I am just not putting any bows this year.   Nobody will notice or care.

I will save myself some time and approximately $20.

I call this a win.


Those days are over.  The fact that these grown ass men-children still think that an object that is clearly a doll from the Barnes and Noble flies to the North Pole at night is just absurd at this point.

I am not worrying myself about putting him into clever poses or having him have a hot tub party with Barbies or making a mess in my kitchen.

The days of pretending that the Elf is a dirty pimp with a motorcycle and a naked girlfriend are over....
The days of pretending that the Elf is a dirty pimp with a motorcycle and a naked girlfriend are over….

That dude is moving from one shelf to the shelf right below it for 30 days.  That’s all the energy I have for this motherfucker.


Even though this is a cinematic production that I insist on watching once a season. I have been so busy and had so many late nights – I haven’t had time to watch it yet.

Normally, this would give me great anxiety and sadness.

But after last year, I am letting this one go too.  If I catch it, I catch it, but it is not indicative of whether or not I will have a good Christmas or not.

I thought that my children were ready to enjoy the movie, so we set aside a night to watch as a family last year.  I told the boys the gist of the movie.

“George gets so upset that he’s about to jump off a bridge and then an angel saves him.” I explained excitedly.

Halfway through the movie – the kids seemed bored. “When does he kill himself?” Michael asked expectantly.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I yelled at him. “Do you want George to die??  You are so mean!”

“No – it’s just boring.” he said with a shrug.

“Yeah Mom – you said this was a Christmas movie, and it’s actually just a really long movie about banking!” Sam said with despair.

I realized with dread that they were missing the entire point of the movie.

At the end of the two hour fiasco I told them that this was the best part of the movie – hopeful that they would finally get it.




At the end of the movie I was crying – because obviously what human on this earth would not burst into tears when George’s brother makes a toast next to a pile of cash….

toast wl

“You’re crying??” Sam asked incredulously peering closely into my eyeballs.

“Why are you crying at a banking movie??”

I wiped my tears and turned off the television.

Maybe I will try again in a few years.  For now, I won’t let it upset me if I miss it. I will happily watch The Christmas Story and Home Alone 30 times and accept my life.


Growing up, we always had Italian cookies and cannoli at every holiday.  I take great pride in recreating some of my favorite Italian cookies each year, even though it takes back-breaking hours of time in the kitchen, and the money I saved on bows, now goes to the $75 worth of baking ingredients.

This year, just ten days from Christmas I looked at my calendar to pick a night that I could dedicate to baking. My two favorites, pecan butter balls and chocolate espresso balls, take the most time and hard work and they are always first on my list.  I give the cookies to people and bring them to parties on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  I also make “filler cookies.” These are what I consider “white trash American cookies,” peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses, sugar cookies, toffee bark made from saltine crackers, and caramel truffles.

I realized that I probably wouldn’t have the time or energy for all of that so I asked my children which cookies they liked the best.

“I like the sugar cookies,” Michael said. “I like the Hershey Kiss ones,” Sam said.

“What about the white balls or the chocolate balls?” I asked, my little Italian heart breaking in two.

“Oh no I hate those.” Sam answered matter-of-factly.

So guess what.

I am not making them this year.

Who am I making them for anyways? My dead Italian grandmother? The mailman?

Forget it.

Hershey kiss and sugar it is.

The Italian recipes are tucked away in my recipe box. I can make them next year or the year after that.

This year we will be American people who eat cookies made from recipes on the side of a Hershey kiss bag. The only Italian anyone will be getting around here will be from the “leg lamp” in The Christmas Story.




I am completely on my own with the shopping thing, while Mr. Gaga does various tasks like sleep, watch football and enjoy his life.

I am alone in my stress to get the perfect gifts from Santa.  This year, Sam mentioned that he wanted “Beats.” “Beats,” for those of you out of the loop, are $300 headphones that Dr. Dre invented.  I was thrilled to find a $100 blue pair on Black Friday and checked it off of my list.  He also mentioned that he wanted a Gotham City Lego set and I got that too.  Done and done!

Fast forward two weeks and we go to visit the mall Santa.  After the visit, I asked Sam what he asked for.

“Well I told him that I wanted “Beats” and Legos, but he said that I should be very specific in my letter to him so that he wouldn’t get confused.” he answered seriously.

I thought nothing of that – until he wrote out his letter requesting “RED AND BLACK BEATS” and “KILLER CROC SEWER SMASH LEGOS.”

“Wait – you never said you wanted those exact things,” I said with panic as I read his letter.

“Yes but Santa said be very specific,” he said gravely.

I wanted to kill this fucking mall working Santa. I had visions of going back to the mall and explaining to him in no uncertain terms that you don’t tell kids to be specific when their parents have already bought all of their gifts.  What is wrong with this guy??



I attempted to find the black and red Beats to no avail and after 3 stores I gave up.

I am going to write a letter from Santa that says there was a mix-up in the workshop.

I will write that Sam’s order got mixed up with some other Sam and as a result he has blue Beats and a different type of Lego. Maybe I will throw in there that Santa is tired and has the beginning stages of dementia.  That is elves are lazy and have very little attention to detail because they are millenial elves with poor work ethic.

Sam will understand.

He is 9 and he will have $100 headphones and a new $60 Lego set to add to the 35 Lego sets that he already has.  All while some children don’t have a winter coat or clean drinking water.

This to-do list at Christmas is too much…..I am just letting at all go like Elsa from Frozen….and you should too.




One thought on “5 Things You Do Not Have to Do the Week Before Christmas

  1. I definitely over did it this year and it’s too late to follow your advice and “let it go”. Sadly, the only thing I took away from this post is the craving and need to make those stupid peanut butter cookies with the Hersey Kisses! XOXO

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