Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond

Happy holidays! Don't die.

The December holidays are hard for many of us. For me, Christmas is a big deal. Always has been for my family. And while it's a time of joy and love, it's also a time of stress and RUSH AROUND AND DO ALL THE THINGS. All of them.

There's shopping for presents, and making sure everything is bought and received and wrapped by one particular day, which just so happens to be the same day that everyone else wants everything bought and received by.

There's decorating festively, and here, I really pity people with large houses. 1-bedroom apartments are hard enough.

There are all the seasonal concerts to go to (Nutcracker, Messiah, everything else that every musical group does because it's Christmas), or, if you're really lucky/crazy, to perform in.

There are parties to host, buy things for, prepare, dress for, and attend.

There are the cards to send to everyone you ever knew.

There are all the traditions to follow: wandering around an outdoor market with hot chocolate, ice skating, sledding, picking out a tree, Advent wreaths, reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on the night before Christmas....and the time to fit all of them in.

THEN, there's everything you already have to do in your daily life. Work, namely. Everyone wants to get everything done before Christmas, because no one wants to work in between Christmas and New Year's, so you're trying to fit a month of work into three and a half weeks, when your workday is already shortened because of everything else you're doing. And as a freelancer, this only falls into a sharper relief. Clients bombard you with urgent projects, but only because they've suddenly gotten urgent deadlines from higher-ups. It's no one's fault, really.

But there are also all the other normal daily things: dinner and laundry and maybe even trying to spend time with the people you love.

It's tough to find a balance.

Maybe I shouldn't try to move 400 miles away five days before Christmas. What did I get myself into...