Lack of time won't defeat me

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By Carolyn Risner

It's no secret . . . I love Christmas. From crowded stores to decorations to kitchens redolent with the aromas of cinnamon and vanilla, it's all good to me.

Every year since I can remember, I've always vowed to get an earlier start, plan better, stretch out the chores and actually enjoy the holiday I love so much.

It's only a few days into December and I can already tell I am going to fail miserably at my goals.

I like to get the Christmas cards in the mail by Dec. 1–they're laying in three heaps in my living room floor, unsigned, unstamped and waiting for me to take charge of the task.

I was telling Elli Rarick this morning that even back in the day when I didn't have two nickels to rub together, I managed to mail cards to friends and family.

I'll do it this year too but it may be Valentine's Day before they receive them.

And it's not only the cards that have put me behind schedule. It's gifts too.

I took an afternoon last week and went shopping, list in hand, determined to knock three-fourths of the names on my list out of the way.

Mission foiled.

After visiting seven stores, I still could carry, with ease, my purchases.

If your arms aren't loaded and your hands aren't numb from the weight, then you obviously have done something wrong.

My problem, that afternoon, was nothing was out of the ordinary. Everything was, well, boring.

I scored two coups, both for my sons but with only 18 shopping days left, I fear they may get exactly what they asked for: gift cards.

All adults now, they know better than I what they need and want, but there's something impersonal about a gift card AND what fun is it to unwrap?

Don't get me wrong. I like gift cards. I received a few last year, and as of today, I have a little credit left on each of them. I like stringing out my gifts to last an entire year.

I just don't like giving gift cards.

I will make one more solid push for presents–next payday, of course–before I face the fact that I'm a failure when it comes to perfect gift selection.

And let's not forget the baking I'm committed to.

Each child likes a different cookie, a different candy and then of course, I also make Denise five dozen oatmeal scotchies every year because she's a lousy baker, and I do adore her.

With work, social engagements and household chores, I, like most of us, am just a tad overwhelmed.

Topping it off are people who have no holiday spirit and do everything they can to squash what you have.

I?m decorating my office this weekend, and I don't care if the only people who see it are the ones who come see me to complain.

Maybe it will make the mood sweeter to hear "What Child is This" in the background while they stare at Big Mouth Billy on the wall.

At least my tree at home is up.

Co-worker Bob wagered I didn't put up a tree.

Boy was he wrong.

I left it up all year.

Living in a small apartment, with lots of stuff and no storage space, I had no choice but to undecorate it and push it in front of the door.

It was a cinch this year to drag it to the window and re-adorn it.

The only problem was getting the clothing off it.

But that's another column for another day.

Carolyn Risner is editor of the Chiefland Citizen. E-mail her at editor@chieflandcitizen.com.