Aaaah. The week after Christmas, before a brand new year begins. It seems that just about anyone I saw or spoke to this week I’d ask “How was your Christmas?” followed by, “Are you ready for the New Year?”

The responses were varied, although all were positive. “It was great, how about yours?” “We really enjoyed it.” “Couldn’t have been better, and yours?” I did occasionally hear the anecdotal “…but I’m glad it’s over!” or “It’s been wonderful…but I’m not looking forward to those bills next month!”

Sometime along the way I started thinking, at times, Christmas seems much like a wedding.

This year I wasn’t as prepared and organized as usual in my Christmas preparations. I usually have the decorating all thought out in my mind’s eye, and the Christmas cards are ready for the season. I usually have accumulated ideas throughout the year of what I’d like to give people, and for that matter, have most of my shopping finished before all the sales even start. Some years I even get a jump start on the wrapping. I usually start my baking and freezing weeks in advance, and have my holiday meal plan for company visits drafted and a grocery list started. But it wasn’t at all like that this year. I can’t say I was any busier than usual. If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m ALWAYS busy. Life doesn’t slow down one bit for me. I was busy with a few additional commitments like professional conferences that presented themselves a little too close to the winter holidays for my comfort, but not so out of the ordinary that I can blame it all on that. I’m not sure what happened this year, but being out of sync in my holiday preparation certainly left me feeling ill at ease. Almost daily I found myself thinking about how much I still needed to get done. And every time I ticked something off my list, it seemed like three more things were added.

A month before Christmas an employee got married. As we’d inquire as to “how are the plans going?” we often heard a similar sentiment, “There is so much left to do, I just keep thinking of more things that have to get done.” So much goes into the planning and preparation for a wedding (and for Christmas):
-The gift registry (just like the Christmas wish list?),
-the bridal shower (holiday festivities to attend),
-the invitations (the office Christmas party invitations, inviting the relatives to come visit for the holidays, mailing Christmas cards),
-the photographer (Christmas card photos),
-the flowers (delivering the holiday poinsettias to referral sources),
-the wedding favors (Christmas gifts),
-the gown and tux (Christmas service attire),
-the vows (New Years’ resolutions),
-the reception (holiday menus, grocery shopping, baking, cooking…and let’s not forget the dishes)

So many little details to decide and implement, so much anticipation, so many worries and fears (will Santa come this year?) leading up to one very busy but exciting and joyous day. At that point, whatever didn’t get done and won’t get done, really doesn’t matter. And then suddenly, just like that, it’s over (with the bills that may drag on for a long time to come).

And hopefully, you are left with beautiful memories of a season filled with love and relationship. Enjoy the honeymoon!