Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lazymas: A Festival of Lowered Expectations for We the Procrastinators, Underachievers, and Over-anxious Spazzes

Check that title! Now that's a title. No underachieving about that baby. I think I've been hanging around research scientists too long. All of the papers Dyl reads or writes have like 36 word titles. The worst part of this is you get to the end of the title and think, "Phew I must be almost done reading this thing." No, my friend. You've just begun. As usual, I digress.

Anyway, so I love Christmas and the entire holiday season, but somehow I get to the end of the season every year and have only managed to get about 3 things on my "must-do holiday list" done. And usually two of them involve alcohol (i.e. put up tree, make mulled wine, buy Bailey's for Christmas morning coffee...and Christmas afternoon coffee...and hell more Bailey's to drink straight with cookies after dinner).

So, in the grand tradition of Festivus (which is fabulous, obviously, but a bit too pessimistic for me), I propose a new holiday: Lazymas. Lazymas will be celebrated some time around January 20th, because, let's face it, you couldn't get all your Lazymas stuff together any earlier than that because you were too busy procrastinating or having panic attacks about all of the stuff you don't have to do to prepare for Lazymas.

There are only 5 sacred rules of Lazymas:

1. You must lower your expectations. Picture the perfect holiday in your head. Now dial it back and picture what you might actually be able to achieve if you work at it really hard for 2 weeks. Now dial it back and picture what might at least not get you kicked out of your playgroup full of Pinterest Nazis. Now dial it back and picture what might actually not require massive amounts of Xanax or wine to get through. Now you're talking.

2. You must eat a lot of something. You don't have to stand in the kitchen for 8 hours making a beautiful turkey dinner. Pop open a can of cheez wiz and a box of Ritz crackers for all I care. That's totally legit on Lazymas.

3. You must spend time with loved ones. These don't necessarily have to be family members, or even people you know or even people. If your loved ones live in Azeroth or Sim City, rock on. If your cat is the only person you can stand (har har), hang out with Fluffy.

4. You must buy yourself something you really want and you must buy it online. That way you can rock the yoga pants and hang with Fluffy on the couch having a cheez wiz eating contest while you shop. Don't buy your family members anything. They'll understand. They've lowered their expectations as instructed.

5. Instead of the Festivus airing of grievances, you must have a traditional Lazymas making of apologies. Because, let's face it, you're sitting on the couch playing video games after not buying your family any presents. You're going to have a bit to apologize for. Need some examples? Here are my Lazymas apologies for the 2013/2014 holiday season:

To all and sundry: No, we did not get it together to get Christmas cards out this year. Getting all 4 of us to stand next to each other and smile was apparently beyond the Dittrich-Reeds this year. Sorry. Take comfort in the fact that each time I receive one of your lovely cards in which your children are smiling and wearing matching sweater vests and not picking their noses or licking each other, I feel another little barb of guilt shoot through my heart...but then I eat a cookie and it goes away...

To my neighbors: I had such grand plans. I was going to make each one of you a personalized cookie basket (first calling to confirm things like nut allergies and special diets) and deliver it with a smile, an arsenal of pleasant small-talk, and maybe even a Christmas carol. Then I realized how much baking I was going to have to do just to get the bare minimum of teachers, aides, therapists and bus drivers covered. Hope you're cool with the furtive smile I shoot you as I dash indoors from my mailbox hoping you won't follow me to bring me guilt cookies.

To my husband: You way out-Christmased me as usual. If you got me even half the stuff I think you did, you definitely win. What can I say? You are friggin' impossible to buy for. You like funny internet videos and running and you already have a computer and a pair of shoes. Hope you enjoy the random items I scraped from the bottom of my memory (you have a thing for moose, right? I remember you mentioning them once 6 or 7 years ago...) and wrapped very poorly.

To everyone I told that I mailed out their packages last week: I didn't. Sorry.

To my children: Where do I begin? I think I did pretty well with your gifts this year, though Boog, it would be an enormous help if you'd use one of the half dozen methods of communication at your fingertips to let me know what you want next year. And no, delicious hair ties and coins for eating are not options. But the other stuff...

...I apologize for repeatedly promising to bake cookies with you and then not doing so until you confront me about it 2 or 3 days later...

...I apologize for never remembering the darn advent tree. It's been 3 or 4 days we've skipped now...which is probably just as well because some of the ornaments are missing and honestly, none of us need the tantrums that will ensue if you actually remember the darn thing and discover that the drawer for December 14th is empty...

...I apologize for making up different stories about Santa every time he's mentioned. I know they're not all consistent and all put together they paint a picture of a crazed, purposeless old weirdo who might bring you a Hello Kitty blanket but not if you stuff butter in the creamer carton when Mommy's vacuuming. Forgive me. Mommy wasn't raised with Santa and is clearly terrible at picking up foreign (to her) cultural traditions in her adulthood. I'm still not clear on whether the big man brings all the presents or just some and whether he wraps them or brings them unwrapped and I think I've told you at various times that I've met Santa and that I have no idea what he looks like, leaving you to surmise, I suppose, that I met him in a very dark room but knew it was him by his jolly laugh and the faint smell of cookies that followed him around. Again, so sorry. We'll be lucky to get 2 or 3 more Christmases out of this whole thing before I crack.

Well, I think that's about all I have and you know what? I actually feel better. Y'all should try Lazymas. But if I catch even one of you with a hot glue gun constructing a Lazymas wreath, I'm officially canceling the holiday. Maybe I'll start my own holiday about...Losermas?

Christmas to-do list item #345: Make a snowman. Nailed it!