People often tell me to dress the part I want to play—in other words, if I feel unmotivated, throw on a dress I like and somehow, magically, I will feel better. This often works.
I have decided to take the same approach to the holidays this season. I am going to bake, decorate and spread cheer until my ears ring with jingle bells. Phase one of my plan was to decorate a pre-fab gingerbread house, which was foiled by the fact that I left the kit at my family lake house three hours away during Thanksgiving. Oops.
This weekend I had an epiphany standing in line at the grocery store, surrounded by carts, screaming children and 532 green, sparkling garlands. It is simply this: this season turns everything into a major pain in the rear–cookie baking, wrapping, spending money I don’t have, seeing people I barely tolerate. The season conspires to make us all feel like Martha Stewart so for a chick who is barely treading water all year (like me), the idea that there are yet more demands on my time turns the holly and the jolly into surly and depressed pretty quickly.
Bearing that in mind, I decided to turn Casa Worsham into a cookie factory this weekend by baking cutouts and the first of several of the cookies I used to enjoy back when all of the schlepping was for my benefit.
Here we are making butterballs from my Nana’s recipe:
Then we moved on to Christmas cutouts:
My toddler decorated and while she had fun, mommy had less fun cleaning it up. Meet Santa as interpreted by a 22-month-old:
Still, we persevered. And the end result, while not pretty, was certainly worth a photo.
Cleaning up after a toddler has double-fisted green and red crystal sugar was, as predicted, more work than lying on the couch and funneling store bought cookies. If you’d asked me last night if it was worth it, I would have said no. But this morning, with 12 hours distance and a thorough visit from our cleaning ladies, I can safely say those memories were worth the extra effort. Stay tuned for more from my “catch the spirit” series.
Sasha Brown-Worsham is a freelance writer whose monthly column runs online at The Family Groove. Her work has appeared in Pregnancy, Runner’s World, Self and many other publications. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, son (and a cat and dog).