While out looking for Christmas décor two weeks before Christmas, I walked by an aisle of décor for Valentine’s Day. And a children’s clothing store? Hardly any Christmas attire left, but all the Valentine’s outfits were on full display. O.M.G. It’s TWO MONTHS before that holiday.

I visited three stores two weeks before Thanksgiving looking for fall décor. Each store told me they sold out, or put it all away, “weeks ago”…as I was standing in the midst of blinking reindeer, snow-covered garland and directional signs for Santa Claus. Seriously? I mean, these retailers were decking the halls and singing yule tide carols before my kids had even said their first, “Trick or treat.” Maybe I was missing something?

But the real reason for the end of my holiday procrastination is thanks to my kids. In my normal procrastinator style, I had been researching all the options, checking out all the prices, asking the girls time and time again what they wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything. But I failed. Even Amazon Prime let me down. Everything the girls wanted sold out. And in the midst of my fury, I realized that I was missing more important deadlines, too. So I have come to the realization that I must officially end my love affair with last-minute pressure.

I’m disheartened that my age-old ways have now affected my kids, but what is more disheartening is my inability to focus on the here and now because I’m so busy freaking out over what I still need. Sure, I feel guilty that the doll my oldest daughter requested from Santa is now unavailable everywhere, and I wish that I had bought that toy I had my eye on for months at the first price break on Amazon versus waiting….foolishly thinking it would still be available. The rushing around leaves me tired and snappy, barely surviving from one holiday celebration to the next, instead of patient and appreciative, as I most definitely should be.

It’s been fun while it lasted, but it has to end. Heck, I even missed that the holiday toy drive was ending right after Thanksgiving. I rushed to fill the box when I received the late notice instead of taking my kids to help pick toys for other children, which was my intention. And the holiday cards that we love to create to share photos of our girls with friends and family? Yup. Missed that opportunity for the one of the first times since we’ve been married, too.

I’m not officially aligning myself with those moms that are always ahead of the game, but I am starting to see the attraction. Working, raising 3 kids and trying to keep the true Christmas spirit alive is not easy, but it’s not impossible, either. Maybe a little more planning and preparedness, even in small doses, is worth more than I thought in the past.

To my fellow holiday procrastinators, with whom I have been heavily involved for years, I say, it’s not you, it’s me…and we can still be friends. To prove that I’m serious about moving on, I not only purchased discounted Valentine’s shirts before Christmas, but I even bought clearance Halloween shirts for next year. So let me be the first to wish ya’ll a very happy St. Patrick’s Day 2016!




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