Gray Matters – Procrastination celebration

By Tanya Mitchell | Dec 13, 2012
Source: File image

Belfast — I have a confession to make.

Despite the fact that I have a 7-year-old who hasn’t stopped talking about the pending Christmas season since his birthday (it’s in May), I find myself putting off what can just as easily be done tomorrow. You know, stuff like holiday shopping, a task that as a mom I really should have undertaken weeks ago.

Don’t get me wrong, I have managed to accomplish some of the essentials on the yuletide to-do list — we got the tree over this past weekend, at the boy’s insistence, and I have secured a few items that are destined to grace its base for the next couple of weeks. Overall, though, I think my performance has been pretty pathetic compared to those of my friends and family.

I always say to myself right around August that I will begin my holiday shopping in the fall so as to avoid the rush. So far, that plan hasn’t materialized.

I don’t consider myself completely to blame in this matter, however. I partly blame it on the fact that while I was shopping for last-minute Halloween costume add-ons for my son, I was horrified to see Santa and Frosty grinning at me, almost taunting me, from a neighboring aisle. Really?

I think that’s about the time of year when I start to block the holidays out. As one of my coworkers astutely pointed out during a recent editorial discussion on the matter, Christmas has now officially eaten Thanksgiving. It is the early emergence of the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year paraphernalia, including the music, that I believe causes me to say to myself, “Hey, no worries. You’ve got plenty of time.”

And then, as life so often does, the days fly. Before I know it Christmas is less than two weeks away and I have yet to buy my first sheet of wrapping paper (that is because I am also not looking forward to wrapping the 800 items that I will inevitably purchase all at once within a week of go-time).

But on a recent chilly night as I snuggled in my favorite fuzzy blanket next to the glowing Christmas tree, I remembered that this time of year also signals a time to reflect on the past year and appreciate all that you have. From there, I decided that perhaps it’s time to appreciate, accept and embrace the procrastinator in me.

A bit of a leap, but I've got to say it's working for me so far.

Gone are the days when I lamented about the fact that several of my friends had it together enough to check off their shopping lists by Nov. 1 (showoffs), or was concerned about such matters as Black Friday (I’m all set on long lines to get in the store, dukeing it out for the item of your choice and then waiting hours in the checkout line at 4 a.m.). That’s way more torture than I’m willing to suffer, even if it means I saved $100 on that awesome new laptop. It may not be smart in the traditional sense, but call me crazy, I like to spend Thanksgiving night in my comfortable bed with visions of staying home dancing in my head.

That said, rest assured, I intend to give my son the best Christmas my money (and sanity) can afford. I just plan to do so (eventually) while also appreciating the things that make me, well, me.

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