Christmas Burnout (but still Christmas)

Our tree. Still undecorated.

DH = Dear husband

DD1 = Dear first daughter

Home business & Christmas rush

Since DH launched his home business in the fall of 2009, the Christmas season has been the Christmas rush. It has never stopped being a welcome phenomenon financially, but each year, we’re struck by how thoroughly it takes over our lives. Last year, DH’s business peaked in November and kept him working at warped intensity into January. This year, for some reason, it’s peaking now, and he’ll be crazy busy right into February.

Energy depletion

Here’s the thing about being married: you can’t help but share in the psyche of your spouse. Despite the fact that yesterday was my last day of work until the New Year, I’m not able to sleep. At 2:30, I woke up. At 4:00, I gave up on the hope of slipping back into slumber. And here I am. My kitchen clock says 4:34. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to sleep-in with sweet “The holidays are here!” bliss – apart from the fact that I’m married to a man who still has staggering amounts of work on his plate. And while DH is mercifully sleeping right now, he’ll be in his office before too long.

We are not Super-couple. We’ve never had that seemingly limitless energy that some people seem to have. Superpowers would come in handy right about now. Here are some indicators of our current maxed-out state:

  • We did not go to the staff Christmas party at my work.
  • We did not go to the Christmas dinner at our church.
  • Our social life is essentially at zero.
  • We haven’t done any work-outs in the last two and a half weeks.
  • My blog site is suffering technical difficulties. Contact page and comments not working – and I can’t do anything about it. (Help is on the way. I just don’t know when.)
  • I’ve got a cold.
  • We haven’t gone to church for the last two Sundays.
  • I haven’t sent out Christmas cards.
  • I haven’t read any blog posts in the past week. (Sorry!)
  • I have tried three times to watch a Christmas movie in a cozy-couple or cozy-family kind of way, but I’ve fallen asleep each time.
  • I haven’t done Christmas baking.
  • Our tree remains undecorated.

Lots to look forward to!

But Christmas IS coming. And people don’t really mind getting cards after December 25th, right? DD1 is home! Tonight, we’ll be dining out – the only such event for the year – with our three daughters. Monday, my sister will host the extended family gift exchange. If I get completely rid of my cold, I’ll be belting out carols at church Christmas eve and again on the day itself, all  gathered around the piano after we host the big family dinner. (I love that.) There will be time for visits and skating and skiing. I’ll be able to watch movies from start to finish.

Definitely not without expense, but it will probably be our most frugal Christmas yet. Our gift budget is slimmer than ever. We are not buying take-out meals, as we have through past Decembers, in an effort to cope with the combined business and busy-ness of the season. I miss the social events we’ve given up this year, but I’ve used some of my time over the week-ends to cook meals for the week. All kinds of savings in those last two sentences.

If my comments were working, I’d ask how you determine the boundaries for spending and for going out over the holidays. But as it is, I’ll wish you, instead, a wonderful holiday season of rest and fun and love. And if you celebrate the day, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Comments weren’t working when I first posted this, but they are now. Your comments are welcome.


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