These are the days inside THE HOLIDAY ZONE.
Oh, we’ve been doing shopping. We roughly know what’s happening when: brother and sister-in-law arrive around 2pm Thursday, everyone is meeting at Lou Malnati’s at 6pm on Saturday, the cake needs to be picked up before the store closes on Christmas Eve, etc. But now it’s real. The kin have come. The chicken needs a’trussin’. You forgot the extra bottle of red wine; also you forgot the breadcrumbs. The children are freaking out (not about the breadcrumbs; you don’t know what they’re freaking out about but they are loud.) Your brother is doing that thing. And you still need stocking treats. The HOLIDAY ZONE is hard enough, but what’s really insulting is that now you must admit you are that rather frazzled person hustling up State Street with a furrowed brow. Lame.
People enter THE HOLIDAY ZONE at different times; you may have begun earlier in the week, you may be starting on Christmas Day and going into the days following. Whatever your particular schedule, if you’re not 100% sure you’ve entered THE HOLIDAY ZONE, here are clues:
1. You look at your email and most of it is last-minute sale offers from stores/companies you thought you filtered into your spam folder and there are barely any emails related to work or commitments with clubs/affiliations/personal trainers. This version of your email box is a feeling of relief mixed with a bizarre, vague disappointment. It’s nice to get emails that show you’re relevant.
2. Stomachaches. Frosting-related.
3. You leave a room and sigh. Then someone calls your name. You sigh again and go back to the room you just came from. And what were you going in there for? You cannot remember. It’ll come to you when you try to take the potatoes out of the oven and you realize you were trying to find the oven mitts. (They’re in the bathroom.)
4. You switch to a liquor drink instead of wine and later, you realize why you don’t do that. #spinning
5. You pull that dusty copy of Being and Time off the shelf and decide you will read it in the bathroom for awhile. The potholders are in there, anyway.
There are more signs. But if any of those symptoms resonate, you’re probably in THE HOLIDAY ZONE and you should find shelter. The good thing about THE HOLIDAY ZONE is that we’re all in it. Get along with each other: THE HOLIDAY ZONE is way easier with a pal. And heed some of the best advice I have ever gotten, ever: “Just when you’re going fast, trying to speed up, trying to hurry — that’s when you need to slow down.”