Christmas used to be easier. I've been forced to deal with Christmas in the full on, adult way for the last few years -- Christmas parties, holiday cooking, in addition to the purchase of gifts and preparation of Christmas cards -- and it does increase my stress level during the last month of the year. But then again, this year has been very full of things to do and decide... and Christmas is just one more thing to add to the list.
I know pretty much when Christmas changed for me -- when I left graduate school. Graduate school is an experience that can often raise the blood pressure all by itself, but, it does have one great virtue: once you finish Fall term, there is usually a long break before the Winter or Spring term starts where you have nothing to do. In the case of my particular graduate school, this was especially true. Final exams for the Fall term would generally fall right about now, and then there would be three weeks off. The first ten days or so of that time would be glorious for Christmas shopping. Living the student life, I also generally went back to the land of my birth for Christmas, and didn't necessarily have to worry about buying trees, decorating, etc... unless I was also in a position when I could sleep late and nap at least once a day. Ah, those were the days.
Now I must cram nearly everything around a 40+ hour work week, and struggle through the checkout lines at consumer emporiums with everyone else. Yet, Christmas is still a special time. Hopefully it will be a fairly stress-free time this year...
Of course, the fact that my computer at home (Frankencomputer) has not yet reformed its ways and has melted down yet again is NOT helping. The disk that gave me trouble before was exchanged under warranty. Alas, it was not exchanged for a new one -- rather, the manufacturer sent me a "factory reconditioned" model. This replacement disk operated flawlessly for about two weeks, but I fear that it is dying as well (for different reasons)... and now must be exchanged for a third disk. Oh well. At least everything is still backed up.
on 2003-12-10 at 3:25 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond