Christmas sure comes at you, doesn’t it? You gotta do this, you wanna do that. Traditions to be observed without fail. I don’t worry about presents so much, since I already have everything. Much is about being thankful for what there is, and taking care of it. But I too have traditions, to pick from, I guess.
Mine started in November when the good people at christmasforest.com let me know it’s that time again. They make wreaths. I’m finding that the colonials made wreaths too, out of whatever local produce, you know, and I actually got this idea from a corporate type making an observance for his customers. He sent them wreaths from christmasforest.com which is a really nice touch.
Every year they scour the forests in Washington state and assemble the freshest most awesome wreaths. I made sure I got one, and sent one to my mummy, and my honey. It goes on the front door and if you mist it, it will stay green into February. I reckon it depends on your climate.
Then I strung lights on the spruce out front, for the first time in years. I already wrote about that. It’s raining, too. I’m like, OK, if they say they are outdoor lights, and I trip a breaker because of a short circuit due to rainfall and a leak, um, yeah, they may be outdoor lights but I’m the one who has to go out to the breaker panel in the rain and reset the fool thing. I seriously doubt we have any recourse over a $5.99 string of lights that claims to be "outdoor." But I am thinking about it.
At some point me and the mom and dad reached a saturation level at our houses, so we don’t sweat the shopping. Truth be told, it’s the little people who need to be excited about Christmas presents, and that is conveniently my honey’s job to figure out what to get them. What’s appropirate, what’s hot, what’s needed, all those kinds of things. But a lil’ voice at the chiropractor’s office persuaded me to get my mummy a gift certificate for a 1-hour massage. I’ve been trying to get the mom into that place for quite some time, and the allure of a massage might do the trick. My mom is 79 and has complained of physical ailments as long as I can remember, and has sought treatment for them in many places over the years. Chiropractors out the ying yang, my mom. Goes back to injuries she got in high school, not to mention the recent ones when my father lost his balance and fell on her. She’s way jacked up, to hear her tell it. Her fleet of doctors believes she will live to complain at 95.
The e-mail prompted me to think maybe my honey could use a AAA membership, for whenever her car craps out on her. This could be a good thing. I’m still thinking.
I used to do the Christmas card thing, faithfully, for 18 years. It kinda hits the fan when you’re dealing with a sick dog or a sick parent. At some point I pulled the plug on that effort, because it really is an effort. I was up to sending about 30 cards a year, very cool cards I’d order in July for like 50 bucks, with a newsletter, printed off the old HP printer, making a list, checking it twice, and after 18 years of doing that I can honestly say you’re lucky if 1/3 of your recipients send cards too. But that’s not why you do it, nor is it why you quit. I just gave up on that whole production line because I felt like it.
I was hoping to transfer that effort to the internet. One year I e-mailed it, but not everyone on the old list provided an e-mail address. Lately I figured I’d do it here, but I’m told some people have trouble getting into Windows Live. Kinda like some people (about 2/3 of them) have trouble sending cards. But that’s not why I’d do it.
But strangely and without fail, I recently received a card from a couple whose wedding I attended (she worked at a big stationery store so maybe that’s why she’s into sending cards), and also my crazy aunt in New York City. So I rounded up the little package of 5 cards I got from Colonial Williamsburg and scribbled on two of them a few minutes ago. I’m waiting for the ink to dry. And that’s where I’m at for Christmas.