Posted by: Mark Nielsen | November 27, 2007

I Am So NOT Ready for Christmas

As if I wasn’t already frozen with self-doubt and fatigue, now begins the annual holiday shopping/planning/card-addressing/worship-planning/cooking/party-planning/guilt-managing/decorating/child-rearing marathon. I’ve barely begun, but I’m already tuckered out.

Graham and I chose and hand-cut our Christmas tree last weekend in Wisconsin (at a tree farm just five minutes from our cottage… a nice perk of location and luck). And even though it was kind of fun, the difficulty I had in just cutting through the four-inch trunk was the most recent reminder of what I’ve privately been whining about for a couple of years now: namely that I’m getting old and out of shape, and therefore feeling less and less capable (despite all this hard-won wisdom) of all the maintenance our lives require these days.

Though I admit the physical fitness piece is somewhat within my control, the aging piece is not. And that’s not the only aspect of my “American Dad”, supposedly idyllic holiday experience that’s not within my control. For example, if I want to be the dutiful and supportive son (am I ever not?), this involves two large and sometimes complicated family gatherings, with aunts and cousins and children of cousins, etc. whom we generally only see but oncw a year. Don’t get me wrong, though. I like my extended family, and the fact that we still try to keep up contact. But add in a “church family”, and work contacts/responsibilities, and old friends, and that’s a whole lot of keeping up to do.

So if you want to reach me, I don’t know where I’ll be or whether I van spare a few minutes for a cup of coffee. But in the spirit of the season, I’ll probably make time, and deal with the consequences later. It wouldn’t be the first time I was running around a day before Christmas buying gifts, all because I wouldn’t get on “the Christmas treadmill” when the culture was pushing me in that direction.



  1. This is the season to look for ways of improving your home and living environment… I believe that balance and harmony at Christmas in the home are the two most important things besides a loving family.



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