Friday, August 2, 2013

Don’t Procrastinate! Here’s Why...

Where was I in July? Why wasn’t I here, reminding you to shop the After-Independence-Day sales for bargains on star decorations and napkins and things that could be used for Christmas decorations? What happened to my Celebrate Christmas in July cheers, encouraging you to plan your holiday gifts, menus, and parties in advance?

My nails were painted
for a party, not a stay at
Club Hospital
I was in the hospital, escaping death. That was my surgeon’s take on it, anyway. If my daughter had not rushed me there in the “dead of night” (pun intended), I might have died. I thought I had a nasty intestinal virus, but the surgeon believes I had a hole in my colon. Fun stuff. Writhing in pain and unable to take it any more, I arrived at the ER hoping for a shot or something on the cheap and quick side, but they knocked me out and sliced me open to see what was what. Nine days later, I was released to come home and shuffle from the guest room (closest to the bathroom) to the living room and back. I truly wondered if I would ever feel normal again. I still wonder as I feel a twinge now and then and imagine the cause. For someone who has never experienced surgery or a hospital stay before, this is all new and frightening. Being told it could be 3-6 months before I’m back to normal—and a year for my insides to be completely healed—is not very comforting. Why is my body procrastinating??? Heal already!!!

I didn’t know that July 2013 would not be mine to enjoy. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. So, if you wait until after Thanksgiving to prepare for Christmas and you get hit with the unexpected, what will happen to your favorite holiday? Will you miss out on some yearly fun? Stress yourself out by trying to do too much with too little time? Face disappointed children and beat yourself up mentally?

I lost July, but that’s okay. I already have some gifts stashed away, and the one I intended to purchase in July can be bought in August (it’s just $5 — shhhh). I have new-to-us decorations stored in my holiday closet. I have my Christmas cards that will be ready to mail at the beginning of December. And of course, my good friend Beth and I already spent several months testing new appetizers to serve at our 2nd annual Christmas mystery party, so skipping appetizers in July doesn’t affect our plans.

Because I’ve made Christmas all year long a way of life, losing an Entire Month hasn’t ruined my plans. Even if, heaven forbid, I spent December in the hospital, all would not be lost. My family would still have gifts. I might have to ask a close friend to go to my house and wrap the gifts in my gift cabinet for me, but due to my advance gift purchases, I wouldn’t miss out on the joy of giving. I could direct my daughter to our craft closet, where the cards are stashed, and have her put the labels on them and mail them for me.

Please don’t leave things till the last minute. Don’t procrastinate. Before you know it, November will be here, and time will seem to speed up. If you do what you can now, at a more leisurely pace, you won’t find yourself anxious and stressed later. You will have saved yourself some time that you can spend enjoying your family and friends and the traditions of the holidays. Isn’t that the goal? To create beautiful memories that we can enjoy with our loved ones? Make sure you have the time. If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to make plans, set goals, and look forward to a warm and wonderful holiday season.