Actual conversation that took place last night:
Mark: Are you having fun?
Katie: I’m baking cookies. I didn’t get to bake cookies last year.
Mark: Oh good, I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.
Katie: What? I said I’m baking… not that I enjoy it.
Mark: Um… Why are you doing it if you don’t enjoy it?
Katie: I didn’t say I don’t enjoy it.
Mark: (looking confused) So you DO enjoy it.
Katie: I’m baking cookies. It’s what you do at Christmas.
Confession: I don’t like this holiday.
Call me Scrooge if you like, but I’ve never been a fan of this particular time of year. Since childhood, as each year progressed, I became more and more wary – to the extent that now even the mere mention of the season fills me with dread.
Right now, our holiday plans are still up in the air. We’d been waiting for ages for my passport renewal to come through so that we could decide whether or not to go to Mark’s family in Utah for Christmas/New Year. But when it came through on Friday and we started looking for tickets, we realised JUST how expensive flights are this time of year. It’s a nightmare. And now, with just six days left before the big day, we are no closer to having concrete plans.
Our lovely home sports no decorations. I’ve bought no turkey nor trimmings. I have not wrapped any of Mark’s presents, and I haven’t bought anything for Dexter. (Didn’t see the point, as can’t have wrapped presents in luggage, and also wasn’t sure whether we’d be taking presents overseas or just opening them when we got back.) These are just a few of the eleventy million things that are stressing me out right now.
I am NOT a travel person. In the very best scenarios, I become about 85% bitch when it comes time to go somewhere that isn’t here. And the best scenario includes perfect weather, a short commute, no flying, no dealing with people, and me being in charge of everything. So you can imagine how rarely that happens. And because Mark and I are so far from our homes, any time we want to see family, we have to take into account a SIGNIFICANT cost in flights, hotels, car rentals, food, etc. as well as keeping the commute as short as possible (which is difficult with international travel). Having a baby has exacerbated everything by a factor of 50!
Anyway, now we are down to the wire, and neither situation seems to be allaying my fears and stresses.
Either we are going to have to travel ON CHRISTMAS EVE on THREE airplanes, getting in around 9 PM the night before Christmas, being jetlagged on Christmas Day, having very few presents to give, spending nearly £2k and doing all of this last minute….
We are going to be staying here for Christmas. With no tree, no tinsel, no dinner and no memories for Dex.
So I am spending a lot of time crying, moaning and wondering if I’ll EVER enjoy Christmas again. I thought this year would be different. I thought having a baby would mean a reignition of holiday spirit. But instead it’s just made me feel like even more of a failure.
But at least I baked cookies.