A few weeks ago, I had a whopper of a nightmare dream.

In my dream, Hun and I were talking in our living room.  Almost simultaneously, we looked at each other in horror, realizing it was 10:00pm on Christmas Eve night, the kids were in bed and we hadn’t bought a single Christmas gift for anyone.

The sense of sheer panic that overcame me in the dream is something that I can still feel all these weeks later.  Thankfully, I didn’t wake up from the dream in a panic attack, reality kicked in and I knew we still had plenty of time, but the feelings are still there none the less.

The logical side of me knows the dream is more symbolic than realistic.  I know that I’ve been feeling out of control at work, at home, and in every facet of my life.  The perfectionist in me is screaming that something is going to go horribly wrong – and what could be worse than having 4 kids wake up Christmas morning with no presents to open?  Probably, no really, a whole host of things COULD be way worse, but right now in our lives – no presents would be earth shattering to my kids.

That doesn’t change the fact that in years past I have had the season planned out well in advance of the calendar dates.  Hun and I used to go Christmas shopping for the kids in September, putting all of the toys on lay-a-way until November.  That left us with plenty of money, plenty of time, and plenty of holiday cheer.

Then Wal-Mart did away with their lay-a-way plan and things went all wonky for us.  Sure, it’s back NOW, but the years it was gone got us out of our system.  Trying to find our way back to a peaceful season has become a crazy notion.

Now, instead of spending the month helping the kids shop, putting up decorations and baking cookies, Hun and I are attempting to figure out what to get for our kids.  We spent several hours on Black Friday shopping for gifts – a tradition I had hoped to never start.  We have done this the past two years now, mainly because we were able to shop without the kids on this day in particular.

Forget shopping for the “deals” on Black Friday.  I prefer to shop without stress.  The crowds do nothing to help with that, but waiting until after 12:00pm on Black Friday makes the day a little more manageable for me.  Even Hun was willing to shop with me at that point to make sure our kids have a great Christmas.  Well…..as good as we’re willing to give them anyway…..

At 10:00pm on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the holiday weekend is “officially” over for me.  As I sit here, I realize we have the tree partially assembled (half of the ornaments aren’t going on no matter how bare the tree looks and the angel still sits on the desk waiting to be perched), there are storage boxes strewn across the living room, the outdoor decorations might or might not actually get put out this year, and various presents still need to be bought and wrapped.

I also realize that we have “most” of the kids’ gifts bought, wrapped and hidden in the attic (done this morning, before they came home from Jetsam’s house).  Most of the extra gifts for family and friends have been bought and wrapped – or at the very least ordered on-line and waiting for the items to arrive.  Baking might not happen this year, but I’m okay with that.

So….even though I know my dream/nightmare will not come true, I really don’t see any reason to tempt fate either.  Know what I mean?