Love it or simply tolerate it, there’s no denying the month of December comes with a degree of built-in chaos. It’s practically part of the tradition itself, and while I years ago gave up leaving the house on Black Friday (even then not venturing out until afternoon because ERMAGERD), there’s something to be said for the spirit of it all. One of my greatest joys this time of year is choosing that perfect gift for someone who truly appreciates it, and the craziness that happens when you leave the house (or turn on the TV, fire up a device, or crack open a newspaper) just adds to the excitement of finding The One. This season of giving truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
But this year was off. My chaos didn’t happen. By the first week of December, most of the gifts were purchased. The house was clean. The menus were planned, shopping lists made, all for a holiday three weeks away. You would think with six young children and multiple hosting duties that I’d be thrilled to be on top of everything, but instead, I’m feeling a little bah humbug. WHAT THE HECK?
To be clear, I don’t exactly thrive on chaos. In fact, I put a great deal of effort into avoiding it. I am the spreadsheet queen–I have one for everything. My spreadsheet tells me to four percentile points (might be overkill, yes) how many gifts I’ve purchased, the percent of my budget I’ve spent, and whether I’m over or under budget (and by how much) on the items I do have. I am a math nerd and as long as I can get everything down to the numbers, I can cope. And when someone is that precise about coping, you’d think the ultimate prize would be having nothing left with which to cope. Peace. Calm.
Turns out I thrive on the stress, and without it, I feel a little…let down? Eh, maybe. But there’s good news in my strange little world where I need to be crazed, and it comes in the form of a book deadline on 31 December. Somehow having a few thousand words to write perks me right up, but in this season of giving and celebration, not everyone is so lucky. So whether you’re crazed or chillaxed, remember those who aren’t surrounded by holiday cheer. Say hello, share a dessert, or lend a smile. Let the joy be contagious. Leave the stress to those of us who, for whatever reason, really, REALLY like it.
PLAY ROMANTIC PURSUIT! Today’s entry will be an easy but important one. To enter, think about one thing you really, really love about the holiday season. Write it in the entry form for a chance to win that amazing gift basket, the details of which you’ll find in the side bar. Or, simply click here to enter. Good luck, and a wonderful, stress free holiday to you all.
About Sarah Ballance
Sarah Ballance is a multi-published author of contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense. She’s been married to her own romantic hero for what he calls a “long, long time” (and no, he’ll never hear the end of saying that). Together they have six children … and clearly too much time on their hands. She currently writes for Entangled and has upcoming releases from both Entangled and Samhain Publishing.