And the season is flying around us like snow flurries in a globe. Packages are being dropped on door mats as if Santa is skipping the trips down the chimney. Cars are parked in front of stores like Black Friday has extended to Black month. I managed to get the tree decorated, but just the front side. Christmas cards trickle in with mixed joy and guilt, I’m admitting that I want to get my cards out, I just don’t know when. Recipes are showing up on social media making me wonder who has time to photograph the steps of a cooking process? I’m pretty sure I’d have to do a food photo shoot on the drive way just to have a clear area to take a picture. My niece wants to borrow my Christmas sweater for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. I’d planned on wearing it as a nice outfit to my event. Husband Doug asks me want I want for a gift and a nap in an empty hotel room sounds really good. He asks if I’ve put it on Google calendar. When you have to mark out time on the calendar for a nap it takes the fun out of it.

Every year I promise myself I’m going to be more organized and more prepared and every year those promises are forgotten faster than the New Year’s resolutions that follow. It may be that I want to do it all. I want to travel and take in Christmassy events everywhere, like beautiful St. Charles where I visited last week. And enjoy getting into the holiday spirit with the Good to Go gang in Branson.

But I also want the old family traditions of dragging out the ornaments that son Caleb made in grade school and holding each little memory in my hand for a brief moment because I can’t hold time. I also want to be “in the moment”. I want to be up on what the hot gift giving ideas are, I want to be fashionable and hip at holiday appearances. Then there is that ding-dang Pinterest that has taken Do It Yourself and Christmas decorating to another level. The box of Russell Stover candies that used to be bought in multiples and kept in a stash for all gift giving shortages is no longer sufficient. Oh no. We gotta get all Magnolia Market and tie twine and spray paint limbs and craft paper wrapping paper to be hand-stenciled with reindeer.

I recall a moment a couple of years ago that I was powering through some speed wrapping and the roll of paper had a roll away off the table and across the floor. I was standing with scissors aloft and tape stuck on my finger tips. I was in a time crunch and this stress was not bringing me joy. I said something that was probably more sharp than “Hark!” and launched the paper tube into the mess. I realized at that moment, I was going to need to just go stare at the baby Jesus in my Nativity or I was going to miss the whole real Christmas. So I did.

Just a little reminder......the baby came first, then the carols, cookies and chaos. HO HO HO.

Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or