‘Done decking the halls and checking the list twice? A little reward after wrapping is not unrealistic. An evening out disguised as a holiday-delight-date-night … oh, it’s the company holiday party.
And if you’re lucky, you may get by only needing to bring the grocery prepared dish you so neatly placed on a dollar store platter to look like your own. Because honestly, who wants to polish grandma’s silver only to have to remember to lug a dirty tray home? Followed by your husband cringing at the fallen crumbs on his freshly vacuumed car mat (the only time he seems to know a vacuum’s purpose). Heaven forbid it’s a Santa exchange in which you’re tasked to rummage through your donate bin for something to slap your best bow on. Or even worse, it’s B.Y.O.B.!
Yes, that time of year. Amidst the already headaches of Santa lines and parking lot war zones, ‘tis the season for merry and bright in a room of strangers you’re socially obligated to strike meaningful conversation with.
I’m supposed to feel “blessed” to be ever-supportive of my employed-spouse while enjoying a kitchen and kid-free evening. But did I really get a sitter for this? That kind of dough could have bought me the even larger snowman inflatable to join its lawn troops by night and resemble a big puddle by day. The one with the on/off at dawn/dusk sensor and its extended Black-Friday discount!
Truth be told, your spouse and their co-workers are probably looking forward to the night as much as you are. Take heart, there are ways to make the most of this holiday haphazard. And with the mindset of “purpose of the season,” remember you too have purpose this most wonderful time of year.
Be purposeful in your conversation
Get creative, mamas. Use the same mastery in chit-chat as you do when convincing your little one that the toy they’re pitching a fit for would be even more special coming from Santa. That type of talent doesn’t equate to fake. Both have intent and direction. Some of the following are examples that DO NOT involve work, politics or your kid’s potty success stories…
When do you open/exchange presents?
What is your favorite activity or tradition to celebrate this time of year?
Do you have a particular holiday movie you can’t go the season without watching?
Artificial or real? (we’re talking trees, people.)
These conversations could be a great source for sprucing up your own holiday experiences or reminiscing in the magic of Christmas Past. Besides, psychologists suggest that pasting a smile improves mood and reduces stress while mirroring to the neurons in others.
Be purposeful in your preparation
You’re giving purpose to those lost heels. The ones with the red clearance sticker still stuck to the sole.
And the Christmas cookie food coloring under your nails, the one that looks as if you rebuilt a car motor in your spare time, can easily be hidden with a slap of festive red polish. Rowwwwrrr.
Then there is glitter, because glitter makes everything better, unless it’s on your husband’s car mats… Ok, skip the glitter. Let’s talk turkey… wait, everyone’s tired of turkey. Bacon. You can’t go wrong with wrapping something in bacon and a dash of sprinkle cheese. Tasty & Tastemade videos are amazingly simple with only a handful of ingredients and are presented at a speed much like I watch my Redbox movies @1.5. People will start calling you “Martha” with the help of those upload lords.
Lastly, but most important to me, you get to take a shower and do your hair. No explanation needed. Be warned though, of the odor that comes from your hairdryer burning off dust when first turned on. Light a frou-frou candle. It just might put you in the mood to match your underwear.
Be purposeful in your marriage
Now that you’re fashionable, be fashionably late. Plan ahead to watch the sunset on the lake or bid adieu early to sip cocoa strolling through Saluda’s lights. Connect. Your marriage is a key building block for your family. When it’s unbalanced even the kids can feed off energies between the two of you.
So look into your husband’s eyes and tell him that although you’d rather have him to yourself, you’re proud to be with him for the night. In turn, this form of respect will circle back to you with the love you long for as a wife. As a bonus you’ll be better equipped after learning the environment from which he returns home each day. You’re giving purpose for your spouse to rejoice, knowing you’re in his corner by speaking his love language.
So the company work party may not be far removed from the smiles and nods of receiving a neighbor’s fruit cake, but it is an opportunity to get out of the house and speak to someone other than the cable company’s customer service rep.
Make the most of this merriment. Because the babysitter gets paid regardless.
Stephany Jaschke is a new to Columbia and the wife and mother of two young girls. As a former school teacher, she now finds herself a master of disguise in vegetables and princess performances. She’s also a recovering HGTV addict with tendencies of decreasing the square footage of her home by painting, then repainting the walls. Stephany enjoys bi-monthly bubble baths, pooping in peace and an occasional DVR of SNL. As a closet Macklemore rapper, she feels every Dave Matthews song was written about her life, especially while sipping a second glass of vino. In her spare time she loves reading mom blogs as if they were her actual friends and learning how this wonderful city of Columbia can persuade her to put on a bra and go out to venture. She aspires to one day learn the dance moves to Thriller and be glamorously comfortable using them in public.