Weird and random topics strung together,but I will do my best to provide some connections. Maybe.
It is raining, just three days after Christmas. Well actually, we had Christmas yesterday because someone, yours truly, had to cancel dinner on Christmas day due to some wacky stomach bug. I should have realized Christmas morning when I felt drained and terrible, coffee tasted off, and I could not get off the couch, but alas I did not realize it until the nausea hit at 2:30 that afternoon. Prior to that I thought my system could not handle the rich food from Christmas Eve. Maybe I had combined too many weird things at one time? Finally I realized I was pretty ill. I spend the next ten hours in bed sleeping, groaning, shivering, having crazy dreams and sipping juice to combat dehydration. The next day I no longer thought I was dying, but it took 24 hours to feel back to myself. Yesterday I went to the gym and thought things were just grand. However, during dinner I just did not feel right. Maybe I ate a few too many snacks. I could not even finish my wine and drank tea instead of coffee after dinner. Today I did eat breakfast and had some coffee, but still don't feel quite right.
I wonder if my not quite right feeling is a lingering illness or that old Christmas anxiety. I love the Christmas season. There's nothing better than hearing Nat, Dean or Frank crooning Christmas songs on the radio, watching It's a Wonderful Life, and singing carols with the kids, but the stress of Christmas is just too much. Too much giving and worrying, and planning and spending. Too much. Too much.
Since the kids attend Before and After care there were many people I wanted to thank with a small Christmas gift. I know baking is sweet and fairly economical, but I also know that some people will not eat food from a stranger's kitchen, so I choose not to bake for strangers because I worry that it will be wasted. Also, as a teacher, I try to stay away from mugs, too much candy (though I did give some people candy too), candles, ornaments and things that people just may not need. I opted for Dunkin Donut gift cards. They were only $5.00 cards, but I bought a lot. We wanted to try to catch everyone that runs activities for the kids and it really adds up. We totally forgot our mailman, so I actually regifted a gift card that was given to me. (My thoughts on regifting have changed a lot. If you receive something that you will never use, and you do not use it, I think it is perfectly acceptable to regift it. It is frugal, environmental, and cost effective. Go for it!) All those little gifts did not even include the classroom teachers. Both classes took up collections, which we just contributed to so the class could purchase a class gift. It was nice to check that off the list.
What I want to figure out is how to fix this so next year I don't go through the same old Christmas stress. Scour the aisles for the best sales and stockpile gifts all year. Take every $10 Kohl's coupon I receive and get some free dishtowels? That actually isn't a bad idea. What I could do is use the summer to plan, organize, and take care of a lot of Christmas stuff. It is early, but it would use the time that I have in the summer that I just don't have in December. We will see what I do. It's a good idea, but right now that is all that it is.