In a disaster movie I’ve probably dreamed up, the unsuspecting summer crowd is enjoying the beach, splashing and squealing. Then before they can react, the ocean pulls back from shore and forms a towering wave that crashes over everyone. A few of the victims saw the wave, but were so frightened they froze in place and were lost in the surge. With a similar deer-in-the-headlights stance, I’m looking over my calendar and it appears like a tidal wave is coming…soon.
After months leading up to the mid-term elections, the ads have ceased. I sigh, but before relief can set in, I realize that there are a host of pent-up activities on the horizon. This week alone, I have something every night after work – dinners, meetings, appointments – and this is just the beginning. The following week is Thanksgiving and I’ve hardly given it a thought. Sure, I’ve arranged some time off work, and our guest room is taking shape, but there is much to be done before we can serve a worthy meal.
The grocery stores have swept away the Halloween candy and put up holiday meal displays that include everything you need for baking, gravy, yummy appetizers, football-game-watching food, and food “gifts” – do people really still make fruitcake? It makes me feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who cries, “I’m late!” – I can hardly think about one holiday and they’re invoking fear of missing out if I don’t start my Christmas baking.
Theaters are selling tickets to A Christmas Carol, and The Nutcracker; reviewers are suggesting great family movies for the holidays; inflatable snowmen and faux Christmas pine boughs are already decorating the neighborhood. Apparently, this weekend is the time to buy that set of matching “elf” or “Grinch” pajamas for the family (before they run out of your size!). I’ve come to accept that some people put up their Christmas trees on the day after Thanksgiving, so any second now the tree lots will appear.
Of course, I am a planner, and I like getting things lined up and ready to go. I revel in working ahead. But sometimes, it all seems to come at once, making it harder to enjoy individual events. My plan? Take it one step – one appointment – and one holiday – at a time.