I currently sit at the kitchen table, staring at a Christmas tree and a decoration consisting of marzipan snowmen that we made long ago. Various members of my family (i.e. everyone except for my dad) are choosing perfumes, applying mascara and, ahem, probably raiding the sweaters of my closet. I sit alone wrapped in a blanket and, as of five minutes ago, am attracting all the household cats. Glorious. I am a teenage social recluse.

This year I am, so far grudgingly, trying to finish college applications before Christmas, as are many friends. I have missed my usual enthusiasm concerning the days leading up to Christmas. So far on my part there has been minimal cookie-making, minimal decorating, and no drive-by past the insane Christmas light house on Quinientos Street. There was one attempted gingerbread house, but I am sorry to say it failed miserably: The gingerbread pieces were shattered and couldn’t even be fixed with a pound of icing, though I tried.

To give you an image, I locked myself in my room, which was until a few days ago too disgusting (due to massive heaps of clothes) to spend five minutes in, and tried to force myself to write essays. I would rather write them than not, obviously, because it gives me a chance to better explain myself to schools. However, my strain of procrastination syndrome prevented me: What exactly was I doing in front of the computer?

All in all, I have gotten no Christmas shopping done, have experienced minimum merriment, and have finished zero college essays. It is the twenty-third, meaning I must either be a workaholic on Christmas Eve or extend my deadline, proving to my dad that I really do need definite, engraved-in-stone deadlines.

I am torn: Should I put everything on hold and enjoy myself, celebrating Christmas half-assedly while working on essays, or switch into a higher gear and do everything before tomorrow night? The last sounds best to me, too. Yet it is not necessarily practical.

Here I am in this strange state. Everyone else expects me to be joyful, as I would like to be, but Christmas cheer is more like some desire of mine hanging over the reality of applications. The underlying preoccupation I try so hard to conceal sabotages party conversations. The shopping, the carols, and the festivities seem like more hours of my procrastinating. And sad to say, the climax of the holiday this year will not Santa’s arrival, but instead the moment I click the “submit” button for my last college application.


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