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Holiday Decorating

     Several years ago my grandsons plowed into the decorations and merrily put them around the house and when they finished, everything looked strangely wonderful. This year those grandsons are six hundred miles away.

     Around the first of December, three large gray tubs appeared inside the entryway, looking like they were waiting for someone. Could it be me? I knew it was Christmas decorations. As I walked past those gray tubs, it occurred to me I should lift one of the lids—just checking, you know—maybe take out a decoration or two. . . .

     Before I could make a move the lid jumped off its tub and the red and green doorknob hanger with the jingle bell on it jingled as it reached out for my hand. Not two feet away, the doorknob was watching me. Well, that’s easy enough. I stretched the yarn loop over the doorknob and went on my way.

     I didn’t get far. . . Out of the corner of my eye I saw Santa waving at me—that funny little Santa that drives everyone crazy with his jingle-jangle bell and the tinny Christmas music that rings out as he waddles across the floor. Who can argue with Santa? I set him near the tree where the grandkids could pick him up and wind him up and… you know, drive us all crazy. I scurried off before another decoration could pop up out of the tub.

     For the next few days, every time I walked by the tubs, one of their lids jumped off and poked a decoration—or two or three—at me and refused to close itself until I set the poked-up decorations wherever the mood hit me to set them.

     Thus 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, and more fake poinsettias and snowmen than usual went on the piano. An oversized red velvet bow ended up on the mailbox and before I knew it, all of the Christmas decorations were settled in place—or out of place, as the case may be.

     The day I put up the last decoration, our first two Christmas cards arrived and that’s when I decided about the cards. If it worked for the decorations; why wouldn’t it work for the cards? A few at a time. Forget the mass production; I’d do them as they came in.

     So that’s what I’m doing. Get a card— send a card. All those short notes that, in the past, I’d left for later and never got around to writing—this year I’m writing them as the cards come in. Soon I’ll take stock to see who’s left on my list, but for now I’m doing just fine. So it’s with great joy this year that I say to all—Merry Christmas!

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