The season of lists

Saturday, December 29, 2012

We may not be able to agree on what holiday it is, lumping them together into one general season, but we can definitely agree on the amount of information required to execute even one seasonal get-together. For neurotic list-makers like me, this is excellent. This is my favorite time of year, in part because of the general sense of peace and well-being, in part because of the amazing food and family comfort, and in part because it gives me an excuse to create an absorbent amount of lists.

The season truly starts in September or October, when the annual Facebook message is sent out asking around for the Christmas list: the moment when you're supposed to take every "hey, that's a really cool gadget! I should put it on my Christmas list" thought and actually remember all of the cool gadgets you noticed over the past year.

From there, it snowballs. Lists for Christmas treats you'll buy all of the ingredients for and attempt to make. Lists for all of the presents you buy others, and lists of the presents you receive from others that you have to remember thank-you notes for. Lists of family and friends to send holiday cards to, and lists of people who sent you holiday cards that you need to add to your own holiday card list.

There are lists for what to pack to travel, lists for what needs to be done before the season. Chore lists to make sure the house is ready. Lists to make sure you don't spend too much on one child, and therefore love them more.

There are the 12 days of Christmas and the eight days of Hanukkah, each with their own list on what each day signifies.

Because I'm a reviewer, I have the "favorites of the year" lists for books and music.

This year, in honor of doomsday, there were extra bucket lists and lists for organizing or attending a doomsday party.

Near the end of the season, there are lists for how much is spent and how many lattes or meals out will have to be foregone in order to recoup the expense.

But there's one more list that hasn't quite come up yet. The New Year's resolution. This one is perhaps the most important, because it's supposed to last all year. It's suppose to dictate the lists for the rest of the year. Perhaps, in 2013, there will be less Christmas treats to make lists for, or smaller sizes of pants and dresses to ask for (from personal experience, it's good to note the size change in the Christmas list). Perhaps more lists will be created: lists for counting calories eaten, miles run and sizes dropped. There may be lists for dollars spent, and saved, and milligrams of caffeine drunk or hours of sleep slept.

So, in the new year, may your lists be crossed off one by one, and may 2013 bring you the best of happiness and achievement.

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