Posted by: morrowsl | November 15, 2014

The Holiday Rush

WinterScene-GraphicsFairyI am, by my very nature, but also because I was raised by a perfectionists, someone who can not let chores sit undone.  I spend more time up than down.  I get antsy if I sit too long and need to be constantly doing something.  It’s why I read in bed – even then I can’t just lay there!  And I am probably suffering from some rare and strange ailment that makes it impossible for me not to clean things.  I’ve cleaned stuff to the point of damage – ask my sister about the vintage Christmas ball she searched for high and low and finally found, only to send it to me and have it “cleaned” so that it is now just a plain clear-glass ball.  I swear by all that’s holy I had no idea that stuff wiped off!!

When I was younger and had small children, all tasks came hard.  No sooner had I finished up the dishes than a glass or bowl, or both, would appear in the sink.  Laundry was never completely done for more than a 12-hour period.  The bathrooms got cleaned every other week, if I was lucky.  And, sometimes, I could walk from the hall to the kitchen and lose both shoes in sticky spots on the floor.

Back then, it was always a goal to have one day, one 24-hour period, with no cleaning or chores or work to be done.  And it seemed to me then that Christmas Day was the day.
I would spend the days leading up to Christmas in a flurry of supernatural activity trying to get everything done so that, come Christmas Day, I could just chill.  And it never happened as I imagined it should.  I would clean like a fiend until the kids were asleep, then drag out bags and bags of things to wrap, in between I’d put the turkey in the oven and do whatever other cooking prep I needed for our holiday dinner.  By midnight I’d be staggering and always fell into bed with a horrid backache and the start of a resounding headache.  And, almost always, wake two hours later to whispers and giggles of children coming down the hall to tell us Santa had been and gone and we needed to GET UP NOW!!!

Thankfully, my kids are grown and have their own homes and families now.  THEY get to be Super Humans who do it all for the kids.  But still I find myself ramping up for The Big Day.  My motivation is much the same – I want to have my day to chill – but the forces behind it are a bit different.  With all the construction going on outside my house, the sprinkling of dirt and dust is ongoing, so there’s always a fine layer on every surface.  If I let it go long enough, dog hair will find it’s way to the fan blades and eventually I have a very hairy fan spinning away overhead and scattering dust like powdered sugar from its dog hair tentacles.  I’d rather not, thanks.  Gives me the icks!!

I had plans to go into this holiday season better prepared than ever.  I started very early with the sewing I wanted to do, bought most of the store-bought gifts I’d planned to get, stocked up on shipping paper for gift wrap, downloaded printable art for tags…  But then, I had a week of what I’ve decided must have been flu and it totally derailed my plans.  That was the week I’d set aside to get rid of all the dust and cobwebs and dirt and such.  All I could do was sleep.  Every inch of me ached and my head felt like a water balloon.  I added germs to the list of things I’d need to rid my house of, if I survived the flu.

The other factor, that was sort of a last-minute add to my game plan, was my Mom.  She would be coming to stay with me for a week and I needed to make the house safe for her.  Move furniture that made spaces tight, bring in a chair she could get in and out of easily, raise the mattress on the guest bed so she could sleep with her head inclined, build a bed-side step (thank God for Mike!) so she could get onto the guest bed.  The more things I added to my list, the sicker I felt.
But, as with all things, the illness passed and I finally felt like putting on my power suit.  I managed a week’s worth of cleaning in three and a half days.  Not bad!

Last night I asked Mike if he remembered the days when I would work to exhaustion to make Christmas Day perfect.  He almost visibly winced at the memory!!  Not this year, I told him.  The marathon of cleaning is done!!  I started, literally, in one corner of the house and vacuumed, wiped, polished, sprayed, arranged, relocated, dusted, and washed my way throughout the rest of the house until I was back to my starting point.  And it’s not even Thanksgiving!!  I am achy and sore, and I’m still having the occasional leg cramp from going up and down the ladder so much.  But, for the first time ever, I have no major cleaning to do for the holidays.
Mom will help me wrap gifts next week.  I may even find a way to have her help make tags.

And I’ve learned a thing about myself.  I’ve finally reached an age where I’m just as excited about being somewhere else for the holidays as I am about being home.  I can see a day coming when we visit the kids for their gatherings and spend our Christmas Day at home alone.  Just the two of us.  I’ll never stop the cleaning marathon.  But something has changed.  Finally.  I think this is how it’s supposed to go.


  1. SOMEday, the four of us will rent a cabana on a beach for Christmas…someday. Until then, now that you’re done with it for this year, can I borrow your power suit?!?

    • I’ll need to send the charging unit with it, Elle. I totally depleted them!!

      And a cabana on the beach for Christmas sounds perfect!!

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