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I Had a Whole Month to Get Ready for Christmas - But Then

     Being that I’m always way behind when it comes to preparations for the holidays, I was going to kill the first person who sent me a Christmas card.  The first card came today – it was from my daughter.

     I was okay until last week. I had all of December – well, until the twenty-fifth – to get ready. But suddenly my calendar began filling up with all sorts of events. It’s beginning to look like Christmas – I mean, it’s beginning to look like there won’t be a single day left for decorating the house, buying Christmas presents, getting the cards out and cleaning up for our family’s traditional Christmas Eve party. 

     Up ’til last week I had the usual monthly engagements – a haircut on the sixteenth, a Sunday afternoon Chargers game on the twelfth – but a real one at the stadium this time, not the usual home-on-the-couch game - and a finance committee meeting on the sixth. Then the phone rang and I wound up with a book-signing to go to.  No problem, I’ve got lots of time I said to myself.

     Then the e-mail rang and after I read it, I had a breakfast scheduled for the third. The next day the e-mail rang again and off I went to mark the calendar for a Christmas potluck on the eleventh. Today I got home from work to hear that the grandkids will be spending the evening with us this Sunday.

     Our kitchen calendar for the month of December was almost completely marked up when I went to delete my junked e-mail tonight. As I scrolled down the list of hundreds of unwanted e-mails from utter strangers out in cyberspace, something caught my eye. What’s this?

     In the midst of those messages was an invitation to Christmas lunch with a few of my comrades in column-writing! Who knows how many parties I’ve missed since I installed that junk e-mail detecting software? For sure I’m going to start reviewing all my junked e-mail. But not ’til January. Gotta take care of Christmas first.

     Besides all this, my Dad decided it’s time for me to get serious about learning Spanish so last week he presented me with a book, “Spanish in 10 Minutes a Day.” And in case that didn’t do it, he gave me another book with everything you ever wanted to know about Spanish verbs. Help! But okay. For my Dad, I’ll give it a try… At the least, I can wish him a “feliz navidad” instead of a Merry Christmas this year.

     After I marked the calendar for the lunch I almost missed, my other – often better – half and I went down to check out the new Wal-Mart. Somehow, must be fate, we ended up in the Christmas decorations section. It’s huge!!! Where do people put all these decorations! And how do they ever choose which ones to take home? I was a little anxious to get out of there, since I haven’t even put up the decorations we have at home.  All I don’t need is more Christmas decorations. But the other half was in the spirit, so we lingered…

     I’m really looking forward to my December calendar of events - the potluck and the book-signing and the Christmas Eve party and the haircut, too. And I’ll get those cards out, I know I will. Somehow… And as soon as everyone gives me their lists, I’ll run down to the mall and fill up bags and bags with presents for all the family and friends. And somewhere in the middle of all this, I’ll get those decorations up – with a little help from those grandkids and my better-for-sure half. And come Christmas Eve, I’ll sing hallelujah with the rest of them, because I will have done it once more. Survived the season with not a little, but a whole lot of, Christmas cheer. Just don’t ask me how.

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