The Christmas Meltdown – ADDA


By Jolanda Keida

Every year, I promise I will be diligent. I’ll get everything done on time. Tree, lights, cards, presents.  Last year it was two out of four.  (I remember only because of the time stamp on my tree and light pictures. November was warm!) Not bad at all. This year? Ugh.

Lights are half done… it’s too cold to put up roof lights. And I had to find last year’s video to see how I rigged the rest of the lights. Planned to do it this weekend but I underestimated how much time I had before my two concerts.  And then I couldn’t because my daughter is quarantined in our house and I’m in another because she tested positive yesterday.

Tree is up but remains undecorated.  Every year I expect my kids (21 and 27) to do it but they have no interest.

Cards are sitting there waiting for me.  Where’s my list?  Do I want to add a little newsletter? Should I personalize it?  Uh-oh, these cards need pictures in front.  Oops, getting close to Xmas, gotta use general ‘holiday’ cards instead (again).  Grrrrr! I need holiday stamps. (The post office and the bank are like the dentist office to me.)

Presents?  Got hubby and daughter’s list last month. Just use the links and buy it, Jolanda.  Nope. Waste time looking for somewhere to buy it cheaper or waiting for it to go on sale.  Hmmmm, this seller’s book has bad reviews (pages falling out). Might be a knock-off.  Let me see if I can find it leather-bound. A week before Xmas, I finally ask my son what he wants (He didn’t give me a list!)  Uh-oh, I didn’t give them my list.  Oops, now I can’t get their stuff before Xmas. Pictures wrapped in a box again. Oh, and I forgot, I have brothers and sisters now (DNA story for another time) – are they getting me anything?

It all came to head yesterday. I had a meltdown. Hubby JUST mentioned he wanted a toaster oven/air fryer (wasn’t on the list!) Went on five different websites and created a spreadsheet to determine the best one. Hmmm, Kohl’s 40% off ends today. Let me just get the best one from there. Go to nearest store.  After 30 minutes comparing prices and features, I realize they don’t have it in stock.

I sit in the parking lot trying to order it on my phone. I don’t remember the password to the app to add my Kohl’s cash and use my card. I go to the desktop version with my password saved, but when I try to add the blasted thing to my cart, it reverts to the app!  When I try to look up the password in Google, the tech gods decide they’ve got it in for me YET AGAIN and won’t let me in.

MAJOR MELTDOWN. I mean, I’m racing through the parking lot doing 90. Racing up the main road, daring cops to pull me over. I get home and my laptop takes FOREVER to come on. I started balling and screaming, I #%*&(+! HATE CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every year after my meltdown, I vow to start planning in November. I’ll lay out my commitments, so I know which days I must do which things. And every year, ADHD brainwashes me and I go through this all over again.

I’m sharing this with the hope that it releases similar frustrations in others (maybe you) and helps us get through Xmas without feeling like complete failures. I CAN’T be the only one this happens to.  And if that’s true, I might just do a workshop next year (IF I REMEMBER!!!!!!) We can get together, block out time on the calendar to get specific things done, and support each other as accountability buddies! Who’s with me?!


Jolanda Kieda is an ADHD coach in the Metro-Detroit area. She’s working toward her ADHD coach certification and is an enthusiastic volunteer with ADDA. Jolanda is fiercely passionate about empowering individuals to rise above their ADHD and live life on their own terms. She can be reached through

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