Haul Out Jolly! A Busy, Southern Christmas Tale

Wow, it was back to stone-cold reality after a long Thanksgiving break. You see, I didn’t do much over the much-loved November holiday except stare at the ocean and eat.

I left Emerald Isle, North Carolina, at least five pounds heavier than when I left home.  That’s what happens when you eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.  Yeah, so much for that detox I did last month!  That diet is history. 

I’ve moved on to Christmas cocktails, peanut butter balls, and visits with Santa.

We chatted with Santa in downtown Cary at the Ole Time Winter Festival
My December calendar looks as if my daughter took a blue pen and wrote gibberish all over it.  Here’s the sad part. 

She didn’t do it.  I did it.  Some days I even need to be in two places at the same time. 

That’s just the way it is, this time of year. I bet you need to be in two places at one time, too.

Let’s face it! We get so busy in December that we sometimes truly miss all the fun and joy of the season.

The other night at dinner, I announced to the family that we had to pencil a day on our calendar to trim the tree.

She adored the tree at the Purple Polka Dot. 

Who does that? Who pencils in a date to trim the tree?  That is absurd!

But that is what happened to us this year.  Events are filling up our calendar so quickly that unless we stay up until 10 p.m. on a school night then we need to reserve a Saturday for the tree RIGHT NOW. 

Tree-trimming is an occasion at our house. Each year,  I cook a meal and have my extended family do all the work for me.  It’s a win-win.  They “ooh and ahh” over the ornaments from years past and supervise my children while I have a cocktail in the kitchen, sign a few Christmas cards, and think of new places that the “Elf on the Shelf” can land from the North Pole.

Jolly arrived on Saturday. 

Welcome back to Raleigh, Jolly!

Trust me, that pesky elf doesn’t just stay on a shelf the entire Christmas season.  It’s not that simple. Remember that small detail before you let one into your home. 

I sometimes want to sue the author for false advertising. 

Elf on a Shelf, my a%$.

Creepy-looking plastic elf in 25 wacky positions is more like it.  By day 23, I just want to put him back in his box and tell the kids that Santa needed him.  I’m serious. But, my kids love looking for him every morning.  He's certainly a highlight of the Christmas season, and my daughter is even considering sending her pacifiers back with him to Santa. That's good!  I wonder if the elf can potty train her, too?

So between shopping, wrapping, Christmas card addressing, and posing an elf NOT on a shelf, I’m already missing the calmness of the ocean that I had at Thanksgiving, and it's only December 2. 

Serenity now!  Serenity now! How about you?  How do you remain stress-free during the holiday hustle and bustle?

Emerald Isle, NC

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