It’s started so beautifully the day after Thanksgiving, when you pulled out the Christmas decor. You envisioned stockings hung by the chimney with care, sugar plums dancing, and a long winter rest. You anticipated every gift would be special and the house full of sweet pine and cinnamon scents. Your hope was to bake every day and write special notes to friends you haven’t seen all year.

That was your vision, this is your reality: It’s the third week in a row that the kids have mentioned they need one more gift for a gift exchange (so you stop at Wal-Mart on your lunch hour), the fifth day in a row you’ve run home from work and hurriedly baked one more batch of cookies for a school event (most of them burnt because you were also helping with homework and making supper), and the twelfth evening you’ve wasted trying to find the perfect gift for your boss. The festive decor, the beautiful scents, the sweet spirit of your Christmas have all been lost in the hustle.

If you feel like Scrooge, you’ll enjoy this little ode.

The Scrooge of Martha Stewart

Whatever you do, don’t make your gifts. That’s ridiculous! If people want something homemade they can make it themselves.

Why do you care what the house smells like at Christmas? You didn’t care what it smelt like on Valentine’s or Easter or the Fourth of July. What difference does it make? For pity sakes! There’s no reason to mold everything you bake into shapes. We’re just going to eat it, regardless of the shape. At the end of the day it will all be in the same shape. Get over it!

About those gifts, they don’t need bows. Just throw them in a sack. Those bows just slow down the gift giving. We don’t have time for that kind of thing. Give me a break!

If you’re thinking about writing in calligraphy on your cards, pah-lease! Do you think that’s going to impress anybody? All that does is show them you don’t have enough to do.

Should you choose to waste your time on center pieces and napkins folded into the shape of doves, I would diagnose that as a serious break from reality. You’d better snap out of it!

Furthermore, if you have frozen your ice in Christmas tree trays — well, you just can’t be helped!

One more thing to think about before you hand paint all of those ornaments: In about ten years, your daughter is just going to throw them all away.

And don’t even get me started on Santa Claus! Bah Humbug!


Of course, that’s written with tongue in check. If you notice a bit of your attitude in this little ditty, it’s time to take a break. Find a way to re-capture the JOY. Say, “No” to another demand and “Yes” to the original image painted in your mind. Your first vision was of peace. What can you stop doing today that will bring peace to your home? And what can you start doing right now that will usher into your heart some serenity?