Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Tis the season

Tonight is the night I swore I was absolutely, positively, definitely going to write my Christmas cards (as opposed to the last two nights, when I was probably or certainly going to write my Christmas cards). I really need to write those damn Christmas cards. So of course, I am writing a blog entry instead.

It's not even the cards themselves I am so unmotivated to do. Scrawl a "happy holidays" message, sign my name, stamp and address it? Not a problem. I could casually get that done while simultaneously enjoying the second season of Weeds on DVD. It's the damn letter that needs to accompany several of those cards that's the problem.

Yes, I am writing a Christmas card letter. Yes, I realize that might be an unforgivably self-absorbed and lazy thing for a single person with no children or even pets to do. I do not care. I am all about granting Singletons the same rights enjoyed by Marrieds, and it starts with the Christmas letter, I say. As a matter of fact, I made that same very bold declaration in the Christmas letter I sent out last year. I know this because I just opened up last year's letter on my computer in the hopes that it might spark some ideas for this year's letter, and I saw it right there in the first paragraph.

As it turns out, I could probably recycle the same damn letter, as not a lot in my life has changed in the past year. Replace Jamaica and New York with Austin, Columbus, and Seattle in the paragraph about my travels for the year; up the ridiculous number of years I have been with the same company by one more digit... that about covers it, I guess. Still single. Still in Minneapolis. Still sending my Christmas cards mere days before the holiday with not a single present wrapped yet. Do you think anybody would actually notice if I simply sent the same letter again this year? I'd best not dwell on that idea too long. It's entirely too tempting, I think.

On the up side, I do believe I have all of my Christmas shopping done, and thanks to a desperate email to Amazon customer service, I may even actually receive all of my purchases on time. (I've often heard that sometimes it helps to complain, but rarely has it actually panned out for me. This time it did. Yay!) Of course, I do not have any of said purchases wrapped yet, but surely that will take just a moment or three, right? (File "wrapping Christmas gifts" under that list of things I always remember as being far less time consuming than it actually is. Whoops.)

Also on my list for this week was to find some holiday flair to wear to my friend Lisa's party on Friday night. It turns out my local Goodwill had a "Tacky Sweater Event" two weekends ago, so their inventory was decidedly lacking in festive Christmas apparel when I stopped in tonight. Consequently, I did not find the appliqu├ęd vest and the turtleneck printed with tiny candy canes or gingerbread men that I'd so hoped to find there. I was more than a bit disappointed, but I think I've assembled some pieces that will give me a sure-fire shot at the prize anyway. The items I purchased were not overtly Christmasy on their own, but the cashier who rung them up actually raised her eyebrows when she saw them together on the counter and said, "Well, you're just going to be the happiest elf at the party, aren't you?" Indeed, I am, miss. Thanks for noticing.

In other good news, I survived my company's holiday party Saturday, thanks at least in part to the male friend who was kind enough to accompany me even though I am no longer dating him. (Hey! The invitation said "Stefanie and Guest"; it did not say "Stefanie and Boyfriend, if You Have One." Everybody likes a free meal and free drinks, right?) It was a mostly uneventful event; for all my sublimated worrying about it, I barely even made eye contact with my ex-boyfriend coworker and his new wife. And while I did get a bit unexpectedly drunk and subsequently found myself nursing a nearly two-day hangover, at least I had the good sense to do most of my drinking after the party, with some friends at a bar in an entirely different city, rather than with my coworkers. When I walked into work Monday morning, I felt that hazy cloud of shamefulness shadowing my thoughts, but thankfully no one in that building is any the wiser about it. Whew.

And with that, I really, really must get to that Christmas letter. Tell me, what holiday-related chores are you procrastinating on as you're reading this?


Cranky and Difficult said...

Love your voice. nice to meet you.
(found this using the next blog button)

good luck with the cards!

Poppy Cede said...

The only chore I'm procrastinating on is going to sleep. :)

Babs said...

I'm excited to find another single person that sends a Christmas letter! This was my first time, and I kinda cheated by saying it was written by my dogs. Figured it made sense since last year I sent a pic of them under the Christmas tree. Talk about embracing your singledom. ;)

steve said...

I'm procrastinating on pretty much *everything* right now. Haven't bought anything, written anything, or sent anything yet. Ugh.

But I do want to see the second season of Weeds. Dig that show.

Pam said...

There were a couple years where I did a letter as a singleton. I frankly had a lot to share. In the last couple years though, I just haven't had much to say. Or maybe I get it all out on my blog.

And I have procrastinated my holiday cards long enough that I resigned to not sending them out this year. I think the world will still keep turning.

And I am starting my Christmas shopping Saturday.

nancypearlwannabe said...

A Christmas letter! What a cute idea! It's almost like writing a condensed blog post. I salute you in your efforts, I didn't even get around to sending cards this year.

3carnations said...

Oh, the Christmas letter. We actually don't do one with our cards yet. Maybe in a year or two. We know someone with eight children who does one, and it's fascinating, because you've got info on what 10 people have been up to. Not to discrimainate against people without children, but we once received a Christmas letter from a married couple (no children) and it sounded really self-absorbed - To the point of bragging "We did this, we bought this..." Maybe that's why it's normally kept to families with children - You can brag about children's accomplishments without directly being a braggart yourself.

We received one last year from a single dad with one child. There was a small paragraph about what the boy was up to, and a full page about what the dad was up to. That seemed off.

But, hey, good luck with YOUR letter. :) Really, your friends WANT to know what you're up to. Just, if/when you have children, write more about them than you. :)

As far as postponing holiday tasks...I've got some wrapping left, a few stocking stuffers to buy, but other than that, it's all done. Really, cleaning my house is what I'm procrastinating about (as always)! :)

Jess said...

I don't know if I'm just weird or accidentally forgot to shop for a few crucial people or what, but wrapping presents this year only took me like half an hour and felt really easy and quick.

Also, I would totally notice if someone sent me the same Christmas letter two years in a row. The same way I notice when a couple of my aunts pick out the same birthday card for me every year. I guess it means that they're really being honest when they say, "I saw this card and thought of you!" because apparently that's what happens EVERY YEAR.

Anonymous said...

I left a long comment, and it's gone. Thanks, new crappy blogger software!

Let me sum up, and then copy this text so I don't lose it again:

1. I write Christmas letters about my dull life as a single person, and I'm not going to get the letters out until after Christmas.
2. I've procrastinated doing everything this season.
3. I blame all my lateness on a broken ankle.

Erikka said...

1. you have inspired me to send out a New Year Letter to friends and family...hopefully by then something will have happened for me to tell everyone.

2. I am procrastinating on my nephew's present. A 4 yr old is probably the easiest person to get something for but I wanted to MAKE him something. I even bought the felt for finger puppets or smooshie toys. But now those ideas sound so lame and I have no motivation to move on another idea. Hrmph.

lizgwiz said...

I have so far bought gifts for only one person, and that's only because he's leaving town this weekend and I won't see him again for a couple of weeks.

No cards, no e-cards, no holiday phone calls, no NOTHING.

Looks like someone has a case of the "humbugs."

nabbalicious said...

I'm putting off getting my nephews their presents...what the hell do you get boys under 5?

I'm also putting off making a trip to the post office.

3carnations said...

Nabbalicious - Boys under 5 like cars, trucks and trains. It's true of my son and every one of his male friends. Anything having to do with Thomas the Tank Engine or the Cars movie. Anything with wheels. :)

Lara B said...

I'm procrastinating on a TON of stuff!!! (1) Cards. The cards, the cards, the cards. oy. (2) wrapping. (3) getting together more stuff for the family we adopted. (4) buying and sending my sister's supplemental present (we set a budget, and part 1 of her gift, I bought online and had sent directly to her). (5) um, i don't think we've bought anything for Rob's grandfather and uncle yet. (6) getting little random things for the postman, the dogwalker, etc.

Instead, I have been drinking. Lots.

-R- said...

First, I read Population: 485 last year and really liked it.

Second, I think I am ready for the holidays. I should get my sister one more additional Christmas present, but I can do it after Christmas since I won't see her until the 30th.

Third, what I am procrastinating on is work. Bleck.

VermontRockies said...

I'm with Steve...haven't done a THING. But hey! No cards written means no trip to the post office, and no gifts purchased means no wrapping to do, so I'm 50% ahead of the game, right?

I'm thinking I'll send out a New Year's 'hey I'm lame but I moved across the country and that's my excuse, and btw here's my new address' letter and just cancel Christmas this year. Not feeling very falala-y at the moment.

Aaron said...

Last minute = more fun. I live by this credo.

L Sass said...

I'm mostly procrastinating on all the work I need to get done in order to take two weeks off guilt-free. Sigh!

Anonymous said...

A holiday party with the objective of wearing the tackiest holiday flair is possibly the best thing I have ever heard of. Will we get to see your outfit?

Stefanie said...

Cranky--Thanks. Nice to meet you, too.

Poppy--I do that every night, too. Really MUST start turning off the computer and getting to bed earlier.

Babs--That is embracing your singledom indeed. I hope your friends find it charming and clever. I managed to mention alcohol three times in my bulleted recap of my year, so I'm just hoping the friends receiving MY single-girl Christmas letter don't think I'm a drunk!

Steve--Wow. Well you are worse off than I am, then. Thanks for putting that in perspective for me.

Pam--I haven't had much to say, either, but since I have some friends I contact only once a year, I have to say SOMETHING! :-)

NPW--I did sort of write it like a blog post. I hope it translates well to letter form. :-/

3Cs--Well now you've got me all paranoid! My letter probably did seem "off" to my married friends. Dang, I hope not.

Jess--I have had years like that, where I wonder, "OK, I MUST have forgotten someone..." This year I'm feeling all confident that everyone's covered, which means, of course, that THIS time I have surely forgotten something.

Noelle--I am sorry. Honestly, if I ever finally buy a domain and ditch Blogger, it will be more because of you than because Blogger's really not working for ME. I hate that my blog is making it difficult for people to comment. I love comments!!

Erikka--I think a New Year letter is a fine idea. Good luck with that.

Liz--That's no way to end the Year of Liz! Chin up, my friend! You will have a Merry Christmas if I have to beat it into you!! (Kidding. Just kidding, really. Bah Humbug all you like.)

Nabb--I too have been putting off the post office run. Things are just going to be late at this point. Oh well.

3Cs--On behalf of Nabbs, I thank you. Aren't you helpful! :-)

Lara--Your list is stressing ME out. Go back to drinking, my friend.

R--I have been meaning to read it for a long time now. (A friend told me about Perry after interviewing him once, and then I heard him on NPR one week.) I'm not very far into it, but so far, so good.

VermontRockies--You know you'll need a new nickname now, if you're ArizonaStefanie... (or is it NewMexicoStefanie? Dang...) I think moving across the country is a totally valid excuse for skipping all Christmas tasks. Unfortunately, it probably means no cards or surprise gifts in the mail for YOU, either!

Aaron--Well, that's one way to look at it... How's that working out for you?

L Sass--Two weeks off? Whoo! Are you heading back to MN?

Stefanie said...

OneSmartCookie--Oh, rest assured, I will take pictures. :-)

Mariposa said...

I'm always late with my christmas shopping always...so much that i always ends up locking myself in my room hours before midnight of christmas eve bec im still wrapping gifts! ;)

Anonymous said...

Must, must, must clean the guest room. My mom comes tomorrow. Why am I reading blogs and eating spritz cookies?

sognatrice said...

I am currently procrastinating actually making up and delivering cookie trays--I have all the cookies made and sitting in containers, of course. It's just the getting them on the plate, wrapping them up, and delivering them that's holding up the show. But they'll be gone by Monday. I swear.

Hope your cards are out!