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Holiday Decorating Takes a New Turn

    Some people love the holiday decorating at this time of year. Me - I’d like to hire one of those people.

    Last year my grandsons plowed into the decorations and merrily put them around the house and when they finished, everything looked strangely wonderful. This year those very same grandsons are in Northern California. They’ll be here for Christmas, but not in time to decorate.

    Around the first of December, three large gray tubs appeared just inside the entryway. Don’t know how they got there, but they sure looked like they were waiting for something – or someone. I couldn’t see what was in them, but I knew - and it wasn’t Christmas presents.

    It was decorations. Three gray tubs filled to the brim with Christmas decorations. As I walked past them, it occurred to me that I might take off the lid of one of those tubs and take out a decoration – one, only one - and set it over on the coffee table, or on the windowsill, or…

    Well of course that depends on what I took out. I took off the lid of the box nearest me and there lay that red and green doorknob hanger with the jingle bell on the end. And not two feet away, was the doorknob. Easy enough. I stretched the yarn loop over the doorknob and turned away.

    Something drew me back toward the tubs and this time I took out that funny little Santa that drives everyone crazy with his jingling-jangling bell and the tinny Christmas music that rings out as he waddles across the floor. I set him at the corner of the living room, where the grandkids could pick him up and wind him up and… you know, drive us all crazy.

    Then I went back to what I was doing before the attack of the tubs. For the next few days, every time I walked by the tubs, I removed the lid from one of them, reached inside and took something out - usually two something’s, or three – and set them wherever the mood hit me.

    The Snowmen Crossing sign ended up by the entrance to the dining room, instead of outdoors next to the front door. The Nativity Scene went where it always does, on the hearth. A lot more fake poinsettias and snowmen than usual went on the piano. The oversize red velvet bows climbed onto the pillar that separates the entryway from the living room and before I knew it, all of the Christmas decorations were up.

    On the same day that I put up the last decoration, we received our first two Christmas cards. And that’s when I decided about the cards.

    It worked for the decorations. Why not for the cards? A few at a time. Forget the mass production with me signing all the cards at one sitting and updating the address files on the computer at another sitting – a long one! - and then licking and stamping all the envelopes at another sitting and hurrying down to the mailbox to send them all off. I’d do them a few at a time. As they came in. By hand - without the computer.

    So that’s what I did. What I’m doing. Get a card – send a card. All those short notes that I left for later and never quite got to – well, this year I’m writing them as I go.  As they come in.  I know I’ll have to take stock pretty soon, to see who’s left on my list, but for now I’m doing just fine. So it’s with great relief this year that I say to all - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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