Yup, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The Phinneys got their crèche set up across the street, and Whitey Hebert’s plugged in his tree. ‘Course, it’s easy for him ‘cause he leaves the lights up all year ‘round, and that middle strand is still out. Don’t get me started!
Mahoosuc Mills is gearin’ up for our Down Home Holiday Festival. Used to be the Down Home Christmas Festival, but we are now politically correct. The St. Hyacinth’s Christmas Bazaar is part of the festival. I guess we should change it to “Holiday Bazaar,” but hey, we’re Catholics. Who are we kidding?
The Women Who Run With the Moose have a table down at St. Hyacinth’s, where we sell crafts. It’s the second most popular booth at the Christmas Bazaar, if I do say so myself. The most popular is still the Blessed Bling Boutique, which has to be seen to be believed. Many a year, we spend more money at the Blessed Bling than we make at our craft table, but that’s part of the fun.
Heck, what are the holidays for but overspendin’, overeatin’ and overcommittin’, right? I’m really not that bad at overspending. The deals at the Blessed Bling are pretty good, and we don’t have any little kids in the family to buy for, so presents really aren’t that big a deal. I’ve had mixed success trying not to over eat. I guess the good news is, it’s only a month or so of gluttony, then I get back down to business come January.
But overcommitting? That I can do somethin’ about, and I’m determined to. ‘Cause when I make too many commitments, I get tired and stressed and cranky which ain’t pretty, let me tell you. If I say yes to too many things, I short change myself and Charlie, and totally lose track of the holiday spirit. Not good.
‘Course left to my own devises, when Margaret Philbrook asks me to join her for a Pampered Chef party, I’m like a deer caught in the headlights. I don’t want to disappoint her. I’ve done it before, and I know it’s kind of borin’. Plus, I don’t need or want any more kitchen stuff, and everything is kind of expensive. But I think, if I don’t go, she probably won’t have enough people to get her free gift. Even if Charlie and me are booked that night, I start scheming on how I could do both. Again, not good. So I’ve had to come up with plan. Actually, credit where credit’s due, I got it from Charlie.
Started awhile back when me and Charlie were talkin’ with Bobby Francoeur down at the Busy Bee, and Bobby was tryin’ to rope us into an evening of canasta at his house. Charlie and me were holdin’ hands, and I gave his a little squeeze, our signal for “No way, Jose.” Charlie goes, “Bobby, sounds good, but let us go home and check our calendar, see if we’ve said yes to something else that night.” Smooth as butter, that’s my Charlie.
Right then and there, I made a deal with myself not to say yes right away. Sometimes, I really need to just sleep on it. Get some distance from the person asking. I’ll say, “Can I let you know tomorrow?”
Then I come up with a list of questions to think about that night:
• First off, does it sound like fun?
• Does it fit easily into my schedule?
• Does it make me feel energized when I think about it, or kind of loagie?
• Am I doin’ it for the right reasons or ‘cause I feel sorry for the person, or want to look good in their eyes?
• Does it have to be done in December, or could we bump it to the new year?
I figure I have to answer “yes” to at least half these questions, or it’s a no-go.
Then there’s makin’ the phone call. I know I don’t really need to tell the person why I can’t do it, but it just feels so cold to say, “No, I can’t,” and leave it at that. So usually, I just tell ‘em, “I’m sorry, Margaret, I have another commitment that evening.” I’m not lying, you understand. I do have another commitment: to myself and Charlie, to my sanity and overall peace of mind.
This holiday season, if you have a problem with overcommitment, I invite you to give this system a try. Even if you say “no” to only half of the stuff you’ve been asked to do, you’re still ahead of the game. Works for me and Charlie!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
I love entertaining groups, small and large! The following are wicked fun for after lunch, after dinner, rewards banquets, keynote speeches and what not.
And if your book group wants to read Finding Your Inner Moose, I'd love to be part of the discussion. Especially if there's food involved!
For more information, visit my website: idaswebsite.com