Pressure Busting Tip #6
Back when Rick and I were first married, the country was struggling through the first recession, circa 1981. So, my teaching certificate/degree and I were working as a bank teller from nine to five, and my carpenter husband was selling shoes at the mall, working various retail hours. I, a rosy, dewy-eyed newlywed, however, was hellbent on being The Perfect Wife and having a fine, hot dinner ready for My Man whenever he came home from work. Enter...the crock pot. Like most new couples, we received one as a wedding or shower present, and I put it to Hard Labor immediately. That poor thing almost melted its cord. Chicken Parisienne, Beef Stroganoff, Smothered Pork Chops, Creamed Chicken and Rice, Pot Roast...I practically produced the entire Crock Pot Cookbook in our first month or two of wedded bliss. Then, one evening Rick finished up his Crock Pot Comestible, turned to me and said very, very tiredly but carefully, "Are we ever going to have anything that doesn't come out of the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup?"
(Thus marking, by the way, the first and only time this man has ever come close to complaining about my cooking.)
Every person has a tolerance level--that holding point; the place at which, for now, things are okay, but one more little breach, and IT'S OVER. The dam bursts, the volcano erupts, the pimple pops, whatever image works for you. Every single year, our Collective Tolerance Level For Christmas gets prodded more and more. This year, I saw my first Christmas commercial on 21 August, for heaven's sake. Stores made big headlines when they opened at ungodly early hours on Black Friday. Now, the very Bastions Of Retail are opening on Thanksgiving itself. It's easy to start feeling rushed and hurried and pushed and bossed into Christmas. Is it any wonder that so many of us feel resentful, angry, overwhelmed, and bullied by The Holidays? Well, stop being retail and media's bitch by observing Pressure Busting Tip #6: Refuse to observe the Christmas Season until December 1st. Honestly, how much Christmas do you need? It should be appreciated, savored, and enjoyed. Not resented, dreaded, and cursed. It's not a competition, either. There's no prize for being the first one done.
Trust me, by the time we get done with all these tips, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy a wonderful and full Christmas with family and friends without grinding your teeth at night.