Before The Traditions Come Out

It’s been almost a month now of daily photos and posts following along with gratitude prompts. And perhaps it’s because I feel like the month of gratitude is starting to make me feel like I’m bragging or that my life is full of swimmingly fantastic things when we are just as much of a mess as everyone else. Or maybe, actually, probably, it’s because I didn’t take a single picture until tonight and nothing following the prompt “traditions” seems to want to be photographed. Either way I feel compelled to share this picture.

The cat with the crazy eyes, the dirty underwear, the random school paper, a rock, some garbage – Is that Jane’s missing toothbrush I see? – a belt from a Halloween costume, birthday decorations from the beginning of October and a drum mysteriously draped in a blanket too small to be used on anything but a newborn. I look at this picture and think, ” Ahhh yes. This. This is my life. “

Traditionally (it’s the prompt, it’s a challenge, I can’t help myself) I clean the house before letting the Christmas decorations out of their boxes. Since we are being all honest here tonight, I’ll tell you that means that I’ll for sure take those birthday decorations down because I walked up these stairs just a bit ago and thought “Wow, this is all picked up”.

Okay, fine.

I’ll handle the toothbrush too.

Do you have any “must do’s” before the Christmas decorations go up?

Anxiety Bees Do The Holidays


Tooks and I recently wrote a post on Stigma Fighters about how we all have little anxiety bees that live in our heads. You can read it all about them here: and, of course, those little bee’s don’t ever leave just because it’s the holidays.

We all make grand plans for the holidays. Plans for our celebrations to bring back the magic of childhood. Or plans to just keep it simple – actually, for real, simple- this year. We plan to be kind and to donate and go caroling at the nursing homes, drink hot chocolate, relax and enjoy this time of year and, of course, it’ll all be Instagram worthy. It’s the holidays and we are going to get it right! But those bees of ours, they are ready to celebrate the holidays too and though they have the best of intentions, they don’t always feel so helpful.

Tipitty didn’t mean to eat all the cookies he baked.

This year he was going to bake all his favorite cookies and save them for Christmas to share with his friends. He would snack in moderation and not gain those holiday pounds. But they were all his favorite cookies and he only makes them once a year. So he ate them anyway. Tipitty felt terribly guilty for eating a few cookies.  So he snuck a few more, just to make himself feel better you see… This downward spiral continued until the cookies ran out and Tippity was quite sure his excessive cookie eating had not only ruined Christmas but that he would burst the buttons on his bee suit.

Sam got all dressed and ready for the party but in the end he stayed home with his Christmas tree.

He likes to be invited to parties and he was going to go this year, he really was.  But then Sam remembered the small talk he will inevitably have to make with the people he doesn’t know, and the effort it will take to travel to the party, and what time exactly would it be best to arrive? By the time the party rolled around Sam had exhausted himself just thinking about it and he decided that his Christmas tree would certainly be much too lonely without him and, besides, his gingerbread cookies needed rearranging anyway.

Ernie was going to start early and pick out just the perfect present for everyone.

They were going to be homemade, handmade, eco-friendly, fair trade, local and perfect in every way. But it took so long to choose and decide. Was this really the right choice? What if it wasn’t quite right after all? Was it better to be fair trade or homemade? Then after all his deliberation Ernie ran out of time so he darted into a store full of fluorescent lights with Christmas music blaring and grabbed the first big gift he saw off the shelf. Now he just hopes the big shiny bow will distract from the awkward gift inside.

When the big day arrives remember we all have a few bees causing trouble in our heads and when those crazy bees get involved, despite their best intentions, we just may end up with a hot mess of a celebration.

It might seem bad now but looking back you’ll fondly remember the Charlie Brown tree, laugh about the dinner burned beyond repair and reminisce about the Aunt Mabel’s incredibly inappropriate gifts. So this year when the big day comes, if your gifts catch fire, don’t worry.  You haven’t wrecked the day, just pull out some s’mores and know you are in the midst of a Christmas to remember.