They say time flies when you’re having fun. Oh it flies, for sure, especially during the holiday season,! But I don’t know about the fun part. Never mind “where have all the flowers gone?” Where have all the days gone? We’re exactly SEVEN days away from Christmas and I’m flashing back to a moment in early November when I thought, “Gee, I’m really in the Christmas spirit this year. I’m going to enjoy the heck out of the next two months. Get my tree and outside lights up early, and invite the friends and neighbors for hot chocolate and cookies.” Reality check: Nearly two months have come and gone and I’ve barely enjoyed a Christmas moment. When is this kind of craziness going to stop? Not a single light hung and no tree yet. I’ve got a LOT to do this week!
The Boys and Old Soul are now pressuring me for the tree we haven’t found yet despite three unsuccessful shopping expeditions. We’ve come home empty handed because we like the old-fashioned “Tannenbaum” tree that nobody seems to sell anymore. As if the sparse branches of the traditional Christmas tree was a function of not having enough Christmas cash to afford the full-bodied, Frazier-Firs that force you drape your ornaments on the outside versus spacing them from trunk to tip the way they did in the olden days. Yes, we have enough money for the big, fat Christmas tree but we want an old-fashioned spindly tree to go with our nearly 200-year-old house. As the search continues, my children’s angst is on the rise. “Mommy, TREE! Santa put toys UNDER [the] tree!!!!! We need [a] TREE, Mommy!” For all the worry about the tree, thank God they haven’t keyed in to the whole chimney thing… Six years post-construction and we’re still working on getting a fireplace installed! Santa will have to use the door. Hopefully, the new (and third) dog will grant him passage.
Yes, this is the year of The Boys. At six, they are finally all jazzed up, the way you love a kid to be, about Christmas and Santa. It’s like their very first Christmas. VERY cool. This is the kind of fun that makes time fly. Oddly though, no matter how hard I try, they are absolutely, positively NOT interested in watching Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, The [original] Grinch and Frosty the Snowman, my favorites. I have seven days to push my holiday agenda but if it doesn’t work, I’m going to stay up late[r] one night to watch them myself. Maybe with the hot chocolate and cookies I didn’t share with my neighbors. Anyway, I plan on enjoying their building excitement over these next few days to fulfill my early November dreams of enjoying the Christmas season.
Speaking of being fulfilled (if the excitement, hot chocolate and cookies don’t do it), I heard one of those annoying, shut-up-and-stop-yelling-at-me, advertisements on the car radio the other day on my way to the mall, desperate to pick up a choice gift that I could ONLY get THERE (otherwise, you wouldn’t catch me dead in a shopping mall). The radio guy said, “Having trouble losing those last 10 pounds?…” NOOOOOOO, for God’s sake!!!! I’m not having trouble losing the LAST 10 pounds. THAT insinuates I’ve lost everything else but those last 10. It’s the FIRST 10 POUNDS I’m struggling with! What a marketing coup it would be if someone came out with a successful weight loss program to help those of us who are more than 10 pounds away from our ideal weight… Those of us who are NOT yet on the losing path and who have NOT glimpsed the “almost-there plateau” in years. How about some help getting US on our way to losing those FIRST 10 pounds!
On that same shopping adventure, I discovered something REALLY important that might come in handy over the next week as we navigate the shopping frenzy of the week before Christmas. The BEST time to go to the mall is at 2:50 pm when all the shoppers turn into pumpkins — oops, wrong holiday — I mean parents as they rush out to pick up their kids from school. Pulling in at 2:06, there was not a spot to be had ANYWHERE in the lot. I circled the rows of cars near the mall entrance where I knew the kiosk I had to visit was (so I could go in for the kill and make a quick exit) but there were no empty spots. Widening my range with each pass, I followed present-laden shoppers walking (most wandering lost) through the parking lot, looking for their cars. Inevitably, every one suddenly switched direction, cutting through to the next row (something you can’t do in a car) as they spotted their vehicle… The lucky car circling for the 19th time in that row wins the prize, drats! I finally lucked out with a distant spot being vacated by a cabbie who failed to draw the attention of other hopeful parkers because he backed in to his spot, so he packed his trunk with shopping bags inconspicuously and, as luck would have it, conveniently started ‘er up just as I made my approach. I was in and out of the mall with my Christmas cache by 2:50 pm and, behold, the lot was EMPTY! There were tons of spots right up front! If I had known, I might have had Sarge pick up the Old Soul and stayed to do more shopping (hah, as if)! Then again, the long walk did me good considering those first 10 pounds I’m still trying to lose.
Yes, the Christmas season brings warm (because I’m sweating after hoofing it from the far reaches of the parking lot) and fuzzy thoughts (due to extreme fatigue) of gift giving and candy canes and all the other wondrous things that go along with this, my favorite, holiday.