Monday 10 October 2016

It's the Most Wunnerful Ti-i-i-i-m-e of the Yearrrrr

After writing this post - and too late to write another - I realized the huge irony of poking fun at the stresses in my life on Thanksgiving Day. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I know it. Our holidays tend to be so filled with the work of making a nice day for others that they are less relaxing than I would like. However, I know very well how lucky I am to live in a safe, democratic country, with plenty of food, a comfortable house, universal health care, and freedom from persecution for my beliefs, and I reflect thankfully on those things even in the midst of hurried days.

If you are reading this post on Monday, welcome to our Canadian Thanksgiving Day.

Otherwise known as Wear-Your-Elastic-Waist-Pants Day.

Also known as The-Whole-House-Is-Clean-For-A-Couple-Of-Hours-Until-The-Cats-Are-Allowed-Out-Of-The-Basement-Again Day.

As I said, technically Thanksgiving falls on Monday, but we have our family get-together the day before, to give those who work a chance to recuperate before they head back to their jobs.

It's nice to see our close relatives and share some deliciousness and chitchat.

In many ways, our Thanksgiving is like our Christmas, but without the gifts and the potential for a snowstorm throwing a wrench into travel plans. We eat exactly the same things on both occasions, because there would be a mutiny if we didn't. We clean the house to exactly the same degree on both holidays, because the whole house needs it (with three cats and a twelve-month shedding season, the whole house ALWAYS needs it).

Speaking of Christmas, I have another, more private, name for Thanksgiving.

It's Hear-That-Faint-Noise?-That's-The-Sound-Of-The-Freight-Train-Of-Christmas-In-The-Distance-While-I'm-Standing-On-The-Tracks Day.

In October, that freight train looks innocent enough. Kinda like this:

October is one of my busiest months at work. There is also a family birthday, fall yardwork, Halloween, and craft prep for a November sale. There's still LOADS of time before Christmas arrives, though, right?

By November, that train looks more like this:

Still having fun, because crafts. And craft sale. And Christmas gift browsing. Notice there was no mention of "buying." Whee!! Starting to feel a bit dizzy by the end of the month, though.

And then December hits, and this lurks behind me everywhere I go:

Another family birthday (honestly, who has a baby in DECEMBER for crying out loud? ... er ... we did), and then there's shopping/cleaning/decorating/baking/wrapping/tree/cards/parties. Not enough hours in the day, or night. Decide to send cards for New Year's instead. Make executive decision to skip baking and just buy pies. Throw decorations on tree while vacuuming the cats. Where are the gift cards I bought? "In a safe place." Oh-oh. One year I misplaced all the gift cards and had to go out one hour before stores closed to replace them. Gah. We eventually found and used the originals ourselves, but - gah.

For the 75 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, life here is like a sprint crossed with a marathon combined with leaf-raking and sewing and glue-gunning and pulling out my hair over gift-shopping decisions (culminating in buying gift cards, of course) and mopping and finding the good tablecloth.

So if I happen to go missing, check the basement. It's quiet down there.

Because the cats are all upstairs. Shedding.

We all have our jobs to do, and those cats have never been known to shirk.

That's easy for you to say. You're a red button with white letters. And an attitude.

What's happening with you in the next few months? Feeling stressed or feeling fine?

(Photo and graphics courtesy of Pixabay.)


Steve Reed said...

"Vacuuming the cats" -- ha! Now THAT's an image.

This time of year always feels crazy, but I try really hard not to buy into it!

jenny_o said...

We used to occasionally vacuum our dog when I was growing up, and she seemed to like it. Cats? I don't think so :)

Elephant's Child said...

Most of our family (and extended family) birthdays are between December and January.
The whole house clean at once? Colour me jealous. And I have from time to time threatened to varnish the cats to reduce the patina of cat fur. On everything.
Happy Thanksgiving.

dinthebeast said...

Briana has the cat quasi-trained about the vacuum: she can vacuum right next to her and she doesn't do anything but give the vacuum a suspicious glare. Touching her with it is an entirely different story.
At least you have two and a half months between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we only have one month that usually feels like about a week.

-Doug in Oakland

jenny_o said...

It's surprising how consuming birthdays can be, isn't it?

Clean is a relative term ... maybe I should have said clean-ish :) I never thought about varnish as a solution!

jenny_o said...

I know! I was thinking what a wuss I am. How would I manage if I lived in the U.S.??

Jono said...

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! We are in the throes of the time of year I refer to as "Fall Panic" for many of the same reasons you state. Our Thanksgiving doesn't happen until the end of November as you know, so we have less time to get off the train tracks. And we procrastinate, of course. Three cats doesn't get a lot of sympathy from me as I am down to nine, but I can certainly relate to issues of fur in its various forms.
Just think, if I had driven thirty miles north I could have celebrated Thanksgiving early.

Jono said...

I can actually vacuum most of our horses.

jenny_o said...

So what kind of vacuum does one use to vacuum a horse? Canister? Upright? Shop vac? Vehicle vac? ...

jenny_o said...

From a turkey and time point of view, you should have made the drive. But wouldn't you still want MORE turkey in November?

Procrastination is probably the biggest issue for me. But it's easier to blame the cats. Especially if there are nine of them, you lucky duck.

Stephanie Faris said...

In a way, I think you guys are lucky to get T-giving out of the way early. For us, it's crammed right before Christmas, giving us only a month in between. And the traditional food for both holidays is pretty much the same, so we have a ton of turkey right there at the end of the year. Talk about being a diet crusher!

jenny_o said...

You're so right! If I lived in the U.S. I'd be in even worse shape :) Thanks for dropping in, Stephanie.