Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Best-Laid Plans . . .

of mice and man often go awry!

Exhibit A: Bee is not a domestic goddess after all!
"Keeping it Real"

Last weekend, as I was cleaning the house for our pre-Christmas bash with the in-laws, I finally motivated to remove the dead poinsettia from my windowsill. A friend had given it to me on Halloween -- I'm sure that was its problem! It was probably cursed! -- and I had somehow managed to kill it. Even though I watered it faithfully, (do you think I watered it too much?), this sad old symbol of Christmas had a failure-to-thrive from the start. It dropped leaves; it shrivelled up; it looked sickly. Rather than removing this eyesore, it was as if I had made a pact to honor its passing by giving witness to each stage of decay. Go figure: Here I am, decorating the rest of my house like some mad Christmas fairy, but I've got a dead plant in the hub of the house. Finally, finally, I dealt with the situation and dumped it on the compost heap.

I'm thinking of the dead poinsettia as a sort of metaphor for Christmas.

Here are three possible readings:
  • You can plan too far in advance.
  • No matter how much you plan, something is going to get away from you and make you feel like a harassed basketcase.
  • Most of it is going to end up in the trash anyway.

This year I was on top of the gift-buying, the gift-wrapping, the Christmas dinner, the house decorating and - unsurprisingly, the festive baking. Once again, it was the Christmas cards that let me down.

Every year, I start thinking about the cards in October. I start taking pictures of the girls in November. And yet! Somehow, I am always racing against the last mailing day . . . and usually losing.

Even though I was a bit behind schedule this year, I had a plan to pick up my finished cards on Monday morning and then -- no procrastinating! -- put in a full afternoon of hard handwritten labor. (Isn't there a saying about the gods laughing at the plan-makers in this life?) Unfortunately, by the time I got to the bottom of our lane, I could hear the tell-tale death rattle of a blown tire. Never mind the tire -- the afternoon was blown, too. By the time I had purchased two exorbitantly expensive Michelin tires, (thank goodness Sigmund's already bought my pressies), and been chewed out by a garage owner for driving on bare tread and a prayer, there was just enough time to get home and start dinner. The cards could wait for another day . . . and somehow they did.

Despite my best efforts to get on top of Christmas this year -- so I could actually enjoy all of the little rites, and not feel them to be a hideously stressful burden -- I ended up doing my Christmas cards in a less than desirable state-of-mind. In a fit of Christmas multi-tasking, I was writing out addresses as I got my hair cut. I was writing cheery messages as I got a pedicure. I was sticking on address labels as I tried to eat soup. Yes, even though I am due to catch a plane early tomorrow morning, I was sliding into the post office at a quarter to five today. The postmistress could only sigh at my Santa sack of letters -- to be posted all over the world. And once again, my wishes for a happy new year are going to be read after that new year has already dawned.

But that's a minor thing, really. What's much, much worse is that my husband is not going to be able to get away from work this Christmas. Our trip to the Bahamas -- the one that my mother has been planning for a year -- is going to be sans Sigmund. Poor Sigmund! Should I leave his lone stocking?

It's not much comfort, but at least the chickens will have company. The four of them (Minstrel, too) will have to scratch out a Christmas together.


marja-leena said...

I think poinsettias are notoriously temperamental so don't feel it's your fault. All the stress and rush of Christmas sounds so familiar. This year I did not make my own cards for the first time in years and am only sending email ones. Unfortunately half of the people on my list don't have email.

How sad that your partner can't get away for Christmas!! Can he join you a little later? Anyway, do try to have a great holiday and a happy Christmas! It's been fun getting to know you.

Anonymous said...

Bee, Can't believe Sig has bailed on the Bahamas.I would take his place if I did not have so many here for Xmas.
Do not fret about the cards, this is the first year I ahve not sent any. I could go on about save the trees, re-use recycle but I would be lying. Truth to tell without Target there is nowhere to purchase pretty but cheap cards in bulk.
Will tlak Black cake another time.
Happy Hols.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oh you poor dear! You have had some challenges these last few days, haven't you? That is so sad about Sigmund :-( I hope you did leave his stocking--a little Christmas cheer for the one left behind?

Have a relaxing holiday, my friend. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

(slaps forehead, makes a martyred sigh and gets up to go check on the poinsettias that are probably dying from neglect)

You've achieved far more than I this season, if that helps you feel better.

Safe trip!

Anne said...

Oh no! So sorry to hear that Sigmund won't be able to join you. How disappointing. Nevertheless, I hope you still have a lovely trip. And don't fret about your xmas preparations--I still haven't gotten to my holiday baking, let alone the cards, and I'm not even done with my shopping, so you've done far better than I have!

Hope you're able to drink up plenty of sun to last you through the rest of the English winter.

Brave Sir Robin said...

The title says it all.

I proud of you for getting them done and in the mail.

Mine, ahem, won't be going out anytime soon. As in, not anytime in 2008.


Have a wondeful holiday.

Audrey said...

Someone gave me a poissettia one year that I swear died just before the next Christmas. And, I felt like I couldn't just chuck it because it was STILL FLOWERING so it hung around for ages. That's not good either.

Bahamas?! When are you leaving? Without Sigmund? Oh NO!

You are blogging and baking with a kind of manic Christmas energy. I've gone the opposite way though I did make the Nigella mincepies from her current book. Sure, it took me THREE days to do it but I did!

Nimble said...

I'm sorry Sigmund can't go -- that sounds very disappointing for everyone. I am guessing that after orchestrating all that holiday cheer you may really enjoy the Bahamian change of pace. Best wishes for lazy beach days.

Bee said...

Marja-leena - Thanks for letting me off the guilt-hook about the poinsettia. I do always feel bad about killing plants!

Thanks for your good wishes, and I look forward to more blogging communion in 2009.

Anon - Yes, the Bahamas bail was a crisis - but a few good things did come out of it.
Sometimes I think it is an emotional necessity to take a break from Xmas cards. I hate for any aspect of Xmas to be obligatory to the point of STRESS.

JAPRA - Well, I did relax in the Bahamas . . . and Sig ended up having fun with his family at Xmas. I hope that we never spend Xmas apart again, though. It was sad.

DCup - You are kind, but any mother who has a child starring in the Nutcracker has achieved all of her Xmas points already!!

Anne - I've just enjoyed reading about your Xmas baking. I hope that we both get some good lazy baking days before the end of the "holidays." (When are you back at work?)

BSR - I can only smile.

Audrey - Three days for mince pies? No problem. I like a recipe that can be broken down.

Your tale of the poinsettia that wouldn't die made me smile. I secretly (well, not a secret now) kind of hate poinsettias.

Anonymous said...

A片,A片,A片,A片,A片,A片情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品.情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,視訊聊天室,情趣,情趣用品,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,遊戲,線上遊戲,cs online,搓麻將,矽谷麻將,明星三缺一, 橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,電玩快打情趣用品,情趣,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,寄情竹園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,色情影片,情趣內衣,情趣睡衣,性感睡衣,情趣商品,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室 ,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080苗栗人聊天室,080聊天室,視訊交友網,視訊借錢,黃金,黃金回收,黃金價格,黃金買賣,當舖,中古車,二手車A片,A片,成人網站,成人影片,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人a片,色情影片,情色電影,a片,色情,情色網,情色,av,av女優,成人影城,成人,色情a片,日本av,免費成人影片,成人影片,情色a片,sex,免費a片,a片下載,免費a片下載,成人網站,做愛,自拍