Trivial But Weighty

I’ve been ruminating some more about why, with all my early planning of holiday tasks, I still felt like I was hit by a truck in the final stretch of Christmas. With most of my family and friends, I know my budget, find an item, and call it a gift.  But when it comes to shopping for my kids, there seems never to be an end to the list of potential gifts.  I know I’m responsible for drawing the line, but I feel like I’m never done.  Here’s a story to illustrate:


As mentioned earlier, one of the traditional stocking stuffers my kids can expect is a small box of Ticonderoga pencils.  Something about having plenty of pencils makes me, as a mother, happy and my kids, if not happy, then well-equipped.   There were only three boxes in the store when I was there to print the holiday newsletter — fine, because only three stockings would be hung by the fire with care this year (our two daughters and our youngest niece).   I was being very careful about not bulking up the bunch of presents to send overseas with my son’s friends, so I thought, “Okay, this year he won’t have the pencils.”  But I just couldn’t let it go.  “They’re not very large, or heavy,” I reasoned. “Does he even have a pencil sharpener there?”  “They’re only pencils, I’m sure they have them in Norway.”  “And the kids are probably humoring me by enjoying the gift.”  “But it’s our tradition, and he’s away from home for the first Christmas in his life.” “I’m such a basket case for obsessing about such a trivial thing!”  “Stop it!”  I finally made another trip to an office supply store to get the darn things, and a small, plastic sharpener, to boot.  (Not so “easy” after all.)

Here is a picture taken earlier this season, when the snow was fresh and fluffy.  I felt like the gremlin with way too much on my mind:


Christmas finally came and went, and the friends brought my son’s gifts to Norway.  The TSA  did force them to unwrap them (all my work!).  I received a very nice thank you email from our son, with the final sentence, “I was also maybe a little too excited about the pencil sharpener, since I’ve been going between increasingly dull pencils I collected.”

Ah, instinct won over reason, and all was well.  I will never be a Martha Stewart, with an iron-clad organizational plan.  But that’s A Good Thing for me.


Warmest wishes to you for ringing in the New Year with love and good cheer!

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