Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shorter, Darker, Colder

Shorter, Darker, Colder

If you live in the northeastern section of the states, you've set your clock back, reveled for a few days in the extra hour of sleep (even though the baby didn't quite get it despite your explanations) and watched the curled, brittle leaves raining down in blustery gusts that have arrived like a mother-in-law post partum: here to stay.

Fall is finally here, really here, and the holidays are gathering steam. Maybe you'll delight in shopping and prepping a big Thanksgiving dinner at home, maybe someone else is cooking, maybe you're gearing up for the trip from hell complete with lugging strollers and carseats down the jetway while on the cell phone yammering your flight number to your drunk brother-in-law while having to pee really badly. Or maybe you're still arguing with your spouse about whose family gets to spend Baby's first Thanksgiving / Christmas / other PC holiday with you and why can't you just stay home and watch football?

The days are shorter, darker, colder. It's a time of year, despite the festive glow launched by the pumpkins and skeletons of yesterday (yes I'm still dutifully polishing off the bite size Snickers and Milky Ways, you?) when some people get depressed. Some suffer from SAD syndrome - Sun Also Disappears. Some of us just get the blues. Most of us just feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Joyful yes, but resigned to being exhausted and overwhelmed until January 2, when we start a new anxiety over taxes and losing weight.

If you're a first time mom, maybe you're remembering fondly the year you abandoned Christmas in favor of a romantic getway to Hawaii or Chile. Seems like a lifetime ago doesn't it? Sister, it was.

Not to fear - there's a new lifetime ahead. One where you get to gloriously re-live all your bizarre holiday traditions through the eyes of your child. If you're like me and put off having a baby til the last chime of the clock, you might wonder sometimes if you really have the energy to do this. You do. You can.

Bring the baby to the early parties and start thinking right now about getting a sitter for the ones with spiked punch and late night charades. For God's sake, shop online, unless you're one of those creatures immune to mall rage. Give. As much as you can, without draining your reserves of cash /kindness / compassion.

And don't forget to panic about unsafe toys from China. Consumer Reports has launched the "Get the Lead Out This Holiday Season" campaign. Check it out here.

Speaking of safe toys, click here for something proactive and positive you can do

If you need more tips on how to calmly launch yourself into the storm of the holidays, read one of those helpful yet overly ambitious articles from Martha Stewart Living or Real Simple or watch the Food Network. Or book a trip to Hawaii or Chile - you, the spouse and the baby - and leave it all behind.