As the temperatures begin to dip into the very holiday level of 85 degrees, it makes me long for my snowflake t-shirts and winter sandals. It's getting to the point where I find myself feigning and Australian accent and pretending its Christmas Down-Under. Hot holidays are a rip off. I'm not asking for snow...well maybe I am, but that's just ridiculous. I'm asking for maybe a windbreaker holiday, or maybe even being able to say, bring a sweater, you may get chilly, without it seeming cheeky.
I'm not going to embrace it.
Its bad enough that I succumbed to the earth friendly fake tree. If you hear me saying how great it is, and how much I love it...it's all part of the self-brainwash. Yes, it is good for the environment. Yes it is cost effective...but that's about where I have to end the list. The rest of the benefits just don't apply to me. I don't have cats.
So how many days are there until Christmas anyway? I see the advertisers have been market-conscious and haven't flooded us with the up to the minute T-minus data. But I did catch a "news anchor" making recommendations on how to save money on stuffing, cranberry sauce and what-not. I wonder if this current crisis will force the cancellation of "where in the world is Matt Lauer". Not that I want the market to remain poor, but it spares us the travel trevails of the the NBC morning crew---but I digress. I can appreciate the countdown...but again, it doesn't apply to me. And not because of the cat thing, but because the one thing I have always been good at, is planning for Christmas.
I shop all year for Christmas. It's the most organized area of my life. Open a closet and you run the risk of, the classic and always funny, being bombarded by its' contents. I could spend all day looking for one of 10 pairs of scissors stashed around the house. Clickers, keys, clothes all a jumble in my mind. But Christmas...perfectly assembled from the list to the budget to the wrapped gifts under the tree.
What's my secret?
There is no secret. I have a staff. Nah, just kidding.
My secret is that I pick up lots of crap at a discount, wrap it up to make it look expensive and then pass it off to my unsuspecting friends and family, as gifts picked just for them.
It gets done because it's on my radar. Just like good grooming and hygiene, a tidy abode, adequate car care, regular doctor visits or rodent traps may be on your radar.
It is a priority for me because I have wonderful memories associated with this time of year and I evoke them each time I pick up a gift, or prepare for the holidays.
It reminds me of singing "my favorite things" in the 4th grade chior...before my voice broke. When it was just a whisper in a sea of whispers, and no one could tell who the off-key crooner was.
It reminds me of staying up late nights and preparing cookies for the family party and lining the shelves of the service porch with boxes and boxed of sweet treats.
It reminds me of my dad "flocking" the house because it was his year to pick the tree and he wanted a white Christmas. Flock was a popular word in our house during the holidays. It wasn't until I was an adult that I understood that flock is a noun and not a verb.
But most of all it reminds me of candy. Candy, candy everywhere. Slap lots of it onto gingerbread slab and invite Hansel and Gretel over. Use peppermint disks to make a wonderful and fragrant wreath. Assemble gumball trees for a colorful and playful centerpiece. Have too many candy canes? Make them into stars and use them as a fun gift tag. I could go on, but how would Meredith hold our attention for the next 30 days? I have designed the ultimate candy accessory for the holidays. The Gumdrop Sconce. What will I think of next? Perhaps a tiny chocolate tree house for the parade of ants?
You can count the hours, count the days, count the minutes...but whatever it is...make them count.