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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Now Where Did I Put That?

“Christmas brain”: A condition occurring when one has been highly busy in the pre-Christmas season, resulting in forgetfulness and general confusion. Although not a contagious condition passed by germs, it afflicts adults in December, occasionally leaking into the first week of January, due to exhaustion.
 

You know your Christmas brain is getting worse when you realize in the last hours of Christmas Eve that you cannot find two gifts you intend to give the following day. You’ve looked in the spots you think are likely. You look under piles of miscellaneous stuff. You decide not to panic. There’s plenty of time to find them. Three hours until bedtime. Plenty of time. You consider panicking just a little, since it’s been less than 24 hours since you bought these gifts. Instead, you try to take deep, calming breaths. You know they are in the house. (You choose not to dwell on the fact that this only slightly narrows the search.)

For weeks you’ve been extra, extra busy with Christmas stuff. You’ve been helping Santa. You’ve sent cards. You’ve written many to do lists, revised them, and written more. You’ve shopped, boosting the national economy. You’ve glued, sealed and taped. You’ve hidden gifts, and you always knew where they were. Until now. The missing presents are two gift cards, mere millimeters thick, and they could be hiding anywhere. Since you’ve looked in the two most obvious spots, you consider whether to look in unlikely spots. There’s no way you would have hidden gift cards in the toilet tank or the freezer, but in cases like this you consider looking in implausible spots such as those, because your Christmas brain may have led you to make strange choices. (You know a hiding place is good when you have successful hidden it from yourself.)

You admonish yourself for taking a blogging break when you should be hunting for hidden treasures. But after a moment’s consideration you nod to yourself, understanding that taking a soothing break will help you focus when you do resume the search.

You square your shoulders, and prepare to continue the hunt. If Santa can find his way through the snow, surely you can find two gift cards playing hide-and-seek. I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…

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