Under Pressure

This time of year there’s one overwhelming emotion that dictates every move we make.
Pressure.
It’s not joy or excitement, it’s not thankfulness or even selfishness. At least for me, my life is filled with pressure. Pressure to get things done, check things off the list. ¬†Pressure to get to the store for that sale, then use the sale on that website, then this item at that store with this soon to expire coupon.

Pressure to get the right wrapping paper, tie goodies up in ribbon the right way, bake the right things, sing the right songs. I’m exhausted just typing all of it. Let’s not forget, making sure the house looks perfect and accomplishing all of this without breaking a sweat or letting my smile fade.

After I got out of the hospital this summer, I realized that this pressure was going to be overwhelming. Instead¬†of embracing this chaos as a way of life, (it’s not quite the holiday season without feeling like I have a million things to do) I decided to plan ahead.

This blog is brought to you by Amazon.com.

Amazon and I go way back. Since we became Prime buddies our relationship has deepened. I purchased 75% of my Christmas gifts on Amazon.com. I gave my families the option to determine what they wanted to receive, asking for suggestions but ultimately I got them gifts that I thought they would like.

Hello free two-day shipping.

I also helped myself, knowing what a list maker I am, by focusing on one family at a time. Our first family was my sister-in-law, her husband, and four kids. While I was watching TV I scoured the web to see what I could purchase while texting her to see what her kids wanted that year. After the end of a three hour Top Chef marathon, her family’s Christmas presents were on their way. I continued this genius with the other families in my life.

But the real burden lifted when I accidentally walked into 10,000 Villages during their bag sale. Everything in the store with 25% off. Everyone on my side of the family got a “100% fair trade, 100% gift-able” gifts. They are quirky and beautiful, affordable and not at all practical. But hey it’s Christmas what do you want?

And it worked. Unbelievably the plan to conquer my Christmas present quest has been completed. Of course I have a few odds and ends to get – and there are always last minute additions I like to add. But if the world fell apart right now, people could scrounge through the bags on the piano and take their gifts.

It’s a great relief because thanksgiving was absorbed in butter and the task of prepping the turkey. (Funny I was never this exhausted on holidays when I was a kid).

So this year I think I’m ready. Ready and willing to ignore the yelling and badgering of the “Hurry!! “Lowest prices of the season!” ads. What does that even mean really? Even if I find a gift with a better price then the one I purchased earlier – less stress is worth the extra buck.

Instead I’m home – warming my heart by staying close to my family and friends, remembering what this holiday is all about. Drawing closer to the Father, reviling in his everlasting and all encompassing gift; the highest price was paid – and now its free to everyone. I don’t even need Amazon for it.