Opinion: Not decking any halls

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I’m feeling weird. As you know, our little six-pack will be abroad for Christmas, and though international travel always is a bit stressful, and particularly so during a global pandemic, this is the most relaxed December I can remember since becoming a parent 23 years ago. Literally, no Grinch in sight. What gives?

For starters, we have no family obligations whatsoever. There’s no debate on when we’re going to Louisville to celebrate with my mom and sisters, there’s no coordinating Mass and Christmas Eve dinner with my husband Doo’s folks, and there’s no determining a time for either set of cousins to do a gift exchange that ultimately ends with us single-handedly bringing Five Below into the black. We have completely eliminated ourselves from the multiple equations that normally drive me bonkers. It’s truly a Wonderful Life.

Secondly, I don’t have to worry about gifts for Doo or any of the kids. Not one. Airline tickets and room/board were paid for months ago and are far more than Santa usually brings. I’m not even doing stockings for fear their hand-knit-by-my-nanny socks might get lost en route. Our 2021 “Miracle on 34th Street” is that we’ll be on the Champs-Élysées! And you’re welcome.

Finally, I scaled way back on the home décor. I brokered a fake tree, deep-sixed the insufferable 12-house light-up tabletop village, and apart from some garland around the front door, did not do anything with the front yard. In terms of set up and maintenance, less is abso-Elf-ly more this year.

So, yeah, I’m feeling weird. But I’m Red-Ryder-excited by this far-less stressful “Christmas Story.”

Peace out.


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