Last year, I didn't.
I more than didn't. A bunch of things piled up to make it a really tough holiday. Living room clutter. Sleep disturbances. News of a friend's divorce. Kitchen clutter. Five holiday gatherings. The movie Waitress (don't ever watch this if your husband is relaxing. So what if he really deserves a break after working so hard and doing so great and growing his choir program and waking up at 5 in the morning and working so hard. The movie will turn you against him.) Pine needles underfoot. More clutter. Dishes to pass (wait, that part was okay).
Yes, I realize that the True Meaning of Christmas is the birthday of our Lord, but I find it way easier to concentrate on that when I'm not hyperventilating, sobbing, or picking fights with my lounging husband.
So I vowed to get a head start on Christmas this year. But here it is December, the holidays are upon us, and I haven't done a thing. I haven't frozen dozens of homemade meatballs made from Grandpa Bud's secret recipe (you only get the laminated copy of the recipe if you are a male grandchild of his who apprentices him). I haven't used all of our extra candy to make tubs of delicious treats to pass to relatives. I haven't started making the woolen slippers I promised my younger daughter. I haven't even started wishing for things for myself. Honestly I was hoping to go to bed and wake up, oh, around January 5th, when Christmas can legally all be put away, vacuumed up, and held in our little memories till next year.
Then I remembered Trader Joes. And gift cards. Trader Joes and gift cards may save my sanity this year. Not many of the people on my gift list live near a Trader Joes. And this compact, intriguing grocery store has so many fun bottled and/or boxed treats like salsas, chutneys, olive oils, funky spreads, chunky breads. Not to mention the frozen food section. I think I'll just stop in there on the way to every gathering to pick up my dish to pass.
So, if you are on my gift list this year, expect something yummy from Trader Joes. Or a gift card. If you are high on my list, you may actually get a gift card to Trader Joes.